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Trails Day 2016 and the annual designation of new National Recreation Trails brought about a buzz of articles in the news media nationwide. The following is a list of some of the more noteworthy entries we saw:


National Recreation Trail designated in Putnam County

WJXT Jacksonville

John Bartram and his son, William, were naturalists and authors who explored the St. Johns River in the 1700s. Their legacy inspired the creation of a combined 250 miles of hiking, cycling, and paddling trails with related driving tours. A wealth of online resources facilitates planning for adventures within this slice of rural Florida. Read the article.


Kankakee River Water Trail wins national designation

Bloomington Pantagraph
The Interior Department says the Kankakee River Water Trail traverses what was once one of the largest wetlands in the U.S. It says it boasts ample public access sites, thousands of acres of natural areas and preserves, remarkable wildlife, overnight camping for paddlers, many historic sites, and a high-quality sports fishery. Read the article.



photo of a river

Shetucket River Water Trail (CT)

National Park Service adds Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness to trails system

Tulsa World
The National Park Service announced Friday that Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area trails are to be designated as part of the National Trails System. Read the article.


Great Miami watershed named national trail

Troy Daily News
The Great Miami Watershed Water Trail has been named a National Water Trail System by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The water trail includes the Great Miami, Stillwater and Mad rivers and is the only national water trail in Ohio. Read the article


Editorial: Backbone Trail now deserves a bigger spotlight

Ventura County Star
Maybe a movie about a Backbone Trail hiker trying to walk off a life crisis would bring it some overdue recognition, but a little more tourism promotion and a few more campgrounds and other lodging opportunities also would help make it more of a destination spot. Read the article.


Arkansas River named National Water Trail

High Plains Journal
The Arkansas River National Water Trail is 192 miles long, begins in Great Bend, Kansas, and ends at the Kansas-Oklahoma border southeast of Arkansas City. It runs through widely varied prairie and woodland habitats and passes a number of cities along its course. Read the article.


Kankakee River gains national status and extra attention

South Bend Tribune

The Kankakee River gained status over the weekend as a National Water Trail. The National Park Service and the Department of Interior conferred the status on the historic ditch that paddlers can access near Crumstown, following a straight, channelized line of water as it widens, then wiggles naturally as it crosses into Illinois. Read the article.


Roche Harbor Trails earn national recognition

Journal of the San Juan Islands

The Trails Committee of the San Juan Island Park and Recreation District is pleased to announce that the Roche Harbor Resort Trails are now designated the honor of being a National Recreation Trail. On June 3rd, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Director Jonathon B. Jarvis announced that the Roche Harbor Trails were one of six trails nationally to join the National Trail System. Read the article.





About the National Recreation Trails program

National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the new National Recreation Trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from the Secretary of Interior or Secetary of Agriculture, and a set of trail markers.

The National Recreation Trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website at

For more about the new designations and details of many featured trails, please visit:


trail noteEach year nominations for designation of new National Recreation Trails may be submitted. Details of the program may be found on the NRT website hosted by American Trails: ( The National Recreation Trail Program recognizes trails that provide opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the out-of-doors and improve the quality of life of our communities.



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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails:


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Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program


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