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The NATIONAL RECREATION TRAILS (NRT) program works to preserve and celebrate our nation's pathways. We invite you to explore America’s great national system of trails and greenways. You’ll find trails that bring our communities closer together. You’ll discover nature and wildlife. You’ll enjoy fitness and family fun. Celebrate America's history and future on a National Recreation Trail! Learn more about the NRT Program:


NRT Program Links



Featured Trail

Juniata River Water Trail, Penn.

Featured State


Latest News and Features

An overview of the National Water Trails System

From coast to coast, and on many coasts in between, people are out exploring our nation’s waterways. A new national network of exemplary water trails is expected to increase access to water-based outdoor recreation, encourage community stewardship of local waterways, and promote tourism that fuels local economies across America.


It’s time to enter 2014 NRT Photo Contest

American Trails sponsors an annual contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails across the country. It's easy to enter, so take your camera when you're out on the trail! We'll be giving awards in several categories to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. Deadline for entries is Dec. 15, 2014.  See details on the 2014 NRT Photo Contest...

Nominate a trail for NRT designation

Is your trail a good candidate for National Recreation Trail designation? Applications for NRT designation are being taken this
fall. For trails on local, state, and private lands, and on federal lands (except National Forests and Grasslands), the deadline is
November 1. 

2014 designations of National Recreation Trails

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis today designated 19 hiking and biking trails and two water trails as National Recreation Tails, adding 452 miles in 11 states to the National Trails System.   Read more...

Winners announced for 2013 Photo Contest for National Recreation Trails

American Trails sponsors the annual Photo Contest for National Recreation Trails. In celebration of these great trails we presenting awards in several categories to highlight the diversity of NRTs, from backcountry pathways to urban greenways.   See the winning photos...

Entries in the 2013 National Recreation Trails photo contest

See eight galleries of photos in the 2013 contest for National Recreation Trails pictures. American Trails sponsors the annual contest which provides awards in several categories and shows off entries (and previous winners) on the NRT website.   See 160 photos...

See the 2013 trails designated as NRTs

In 2013, 28 trails in 18 states were designated as new National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program recognizes trails that provide opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the out-of-doors and improve the quality of life of our communities.  View the 2013 trails...

Learn about 13 years of new National Recreation Trails in our Annual NRT Designations index

Since 2001, National Recreation Trails have been designated each year. See the entries below for each year's designations and a link to details of the trails.   Read more...

See what’s required for National Recreation Trail designation

National Recreation Trail applications for trails on local, state, BLM, and National Park lands are processed on an annual cycle through the Department of the Interior. Applications for designation of trails on National Forests and Grasslands have a separate process.   Learn how to nominate a trail for NRT designation...

See 65 trails on National Wildlife Refuge System lands

The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a supporter of the National Recreation Trails (NRT) program. A wide variety of trails on National Wildlife Refuges are designated National Recreation Trails.  Read more...

Use the NRT logo to blaze your trail on land or paper

One of the most effective ways of highlighting your trail's status as a National Recreation Trail is to install colorful NRT logo signs right on the trail. The signs are available for a reasonable price in two convenient sizes.  Learn more...