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National Recreation Trail Program nears relaunch

National Recreation Trails are a category identified in the National Trails System Act. How can we use this designation as a means of promoting trails nationally?

This past year a variety of trail groups and agencies has worked together to redesign and revitalize the National Recreation Trails (NRT) Program. American Trails is serving as the lead nonprofit partner on this project and is particularly involved in efforts to publicize the program and provide easily accessible information about the designated trails.

The National Recreation Trails Program supports designated NRTs with a new benefits package. Its goal is to promote the use and care of existing trails and stimulate the development of new trails to create a national network of trails and realize the vision of Trails for All Americans.

Unveiling of the new NRT program is expected this summer in time for National Trails Day. In September, at the National Trails Symposium in Redding, California, an NRT workshop, titled "Back in the Saddle Again," will provide more information on:

The deadline for the new round of nominations is scheduled for November, 2000.

Benefits of NRT Designation

National Recreation Trails benefit from the prestige and increased visibility of being a part of the National Trails System. Trail managers receive a letter and certificate of designation, entitling them to use the NRT logo to mark their trails.

New designations are announced annually by either the Secretary of Interior or the USDA Regional Foresters as part of the nationwide celebration of National Trails Day.

Other benefits include:

Publicity for National Recreation Trails

Once designated, all NRTs are included on the NRT website being developed. American Trails and the National Park Service are finalizing an agreement to add NRT program information to the American Trails website, as well as to include all designated trails on its Trail Explorer website database.

The website will describe each trail and provide maps and pictures for trail users. The site is also designed to enable trail managers to use it as a tool for maintaining data about their NRTs. American Trails will also manage the NRT listings in Trail Explorer. View 300 NRTs on Trail Explorer at

For more information on the National Recreation Trails Program see the American Trails website:


Message to National Recreation Trail Managers

If you haven't turned in your survey, please do so by September 1, 2000. If you need another copy of the survey, contact the NRT Coordinator at (202) 565-1200.


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