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NPS: Secretary Haaland Designates Four New National Recreation Trails

Banks-Vernonia State Trail
One of four new national recreation trails – Banks-Vernonia State Trail [Image by Rick Obst on Flickr]
Just in time for summer, and also in celebration of Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day on June 1, Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland has made an exciting announcement. Four new national recreation trails, in four states, have been designated, adding 33.5 miles to the National Trails System. These new trails join an existing network of over 1,300 national recreation trails in each US state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Read on to find out more about the four new national recreation trails and what you can expect.

Four new national recreation trails join the US National Trails System

According to the press release, Secretary Deb Haaland today made the following announcement:

Increased access to green spaces nurtures our mind and bodies, and helps to build stronger communities. Every American deserves to have a safe and nearby place to experience nature. The National Trails System improves access to the outdoors while providing significant impacts to local economies. The additions we are making today are part of our commitment to ensure that we leave a better, healthier planet for generations to come.

“These four new national trails will build connections in communities, ensuring bikers, hikers and all who love our public lands have increased access to outdoor recreation opportunities close to home,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “This National Trails Day and Great Outdoors Month, I encourage everyone to visit these trails and enjoy the view.”

The latest national trail designations are consistent with the principles of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative. This locally led and voluntary nationwide effort aims to conserve, connect and restore the lands, water and wildlife of the USA.

Secretary Haaland has designated the following new national recreation trails. However, each will retain its existing ownership and will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers, and a letter of recognition.

New National Recreation Trails

Banks-Vernonia State Trail, Oregon

Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Western entrance to the Buxton railroad trestle on the Banks-Vernonia Trail [Image by Rick Obst on Flickr]
The Banks-Vernonia State Trail connects the towns of Banks and Vernonia, through the foothills of Oregon’s lush coastal mountain range. The 21-mile paved rail-to-trail route offers a gentle grade, allowing hikers, equestrians, bikers and people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the wonderfully scenic mountains, forests and fields of Washington and Columbia Counties.

Comal River Water Trail, Texas

Comal River Water Trail, Texas
Comal River Water Trail, Texas [Image City Of New Braunfels – Government on Facebook]
The Cornal River Water Trail flows through the heart of New Braunfels and is recognized as one of the best tubing rivers in Texas. Running for 1.5 miles, the cool and clear, spring-fed waters come from the Edwards Aquifer, which provides important habitat for rare aquatic flora and fauna. Meanwhile, locals and visitors can be seen at the river trail all year round, taking advantage of the many recreational opportunities. Whether tubing, kayaking, scuba diving or fishing, the Cornal River Water Trail is a special place that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Hell’s Revenge Trail, Utah

Hell;s Revenge Trail, Utah
Hell’s Revenge Trail, Utah [Image by redrockrubi on Flickr]
Don’t let the name of the trail put you off, as this popular off-highway vehicle trail is just outside of the town of Moab. Running for 9.7 miles, Hell’s Revenge Trail is also within the BLM Sand Flats Recreation Area. Meanwhile, the trail offers long stretches of slick rock and wonderful views, including the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, the Canyonlands National Parks, the Colorado River Gorge, several Wilderness Study Areas, all surrounding Moab and the landscapes of the Sand Flats Recreation Area.

Sweet Springs Turnpike Trail, West Virginia

Sweet Springs Turnpike Trail, West Virginia
Map of the Sweet Springs Turnpike Trail [Image by Sweet Springs Resort Park on Facebook]
The Sweet Springs Turnpike Trail is ideal for families of all ages. Running at just over one mile, the trail is a multiuse, gentle grade scenic trail, heading from open pastures to dense forest. Along the way, hikers can enjoy stunning views of Sweet Springs Valley and the Andrew S. Rowan Memorial Farm.

Meanwhile, it offers beautiful scenic foliage with a wide variety of tree species, raptors and wildlife. One particularly interesting section of the trail runs along a remarkably intact section of the historic 19th-century stage road, dubbed The Price’s Mountain-Sweet Springs Turnpike. Moreover, the trail is associated with the nearby Old Sweet Springs Historic District.

Enjoy your nearest national recreation trail this summer, making memories and enjoying the spectacular view.


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