On America’s Trails


Government Book Talk

stelprdbLet’s talk briefly about two American legends celebrated on screen and page. One stretches 2,160 miles from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. The second covers 2,665 miles from America’s southern and northernmost borders along the mountain ranges of Washington, Oregon, and California.

They’re the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, respectively—the first scenic trails designated by the Federal government nearly a half-century ago. On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Trails System Act into law. It established a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails. You can read the original act on GPO’s govinfo.

Until 1968, the Federal government simply built and maintained trails on Federal lands. The National Trails System Act expanded that role by providing funding and support for interstate coordination and volunteer partnerships. Today, the National Trails System includes 20 national scenic and historic trails traversing nearly 40,000 miles.

In addition to making the National Trails…

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