A Foundation for Planning, Administration, Management and Interpretation of Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Segments and for Coordination among Trail Segment Management Partners
A "Foundation" document is intended to capture existing practices to administer the federal interest in the Trail, to summarize plans and policies to date, and to serve as a basis for future coordination, site specific planning and Trail corridor-wide decision-making; in particular, the content is intended to serve as a foundation for comprehensive management of the Trail network, and as a reference for NPS staff and Trail management partners, volunteer-based organizations, and others with an interest in the Trail network. Click here to download a copy (1.1 MB).
Potomac Heritage NST Interpretive Concept Plan
A series of meetings and discussions in 2004 led to completion of an "interpretive concept plan," which established a foundation for interpretation, described opportunities and provided some direction for Trail stakeholders. Click here to download the document.
In addition, the Trail Office provides Trail segment managers with a set of Identity Guidelines for Trail Partners (2006) and related media as tools to develop and maintain thematic and physical connections between and among Trail segments and related resources. To download a copy of the Guidelines only, click here (PDF, 19.3 MB).
More about planning, management and administration
Appendices for the Trail "foundation document" provide additional information about planning for and management of the Trail network, as well as the history and significance of the Trail:
In addition to the above, local and regional plans provide detailed information about the developing Trail network and participation in local planning processes has been and continues to be essential to complete the Trail network. Following are some links to such plans:
Authorized by Congress as part of the National Trails System Act of 1968, the former Bureau of Outdoor Recreation published a "feasibility study" on the Potomac Heritage Trail in 1974. Click here to view or download a copy of the study (PDF; 28.5 MB).
The National Park Service Centennial in 2016
The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, one of eight national scenic trails within the National Trails System, is also considered a "unit" of the National Park System. While many have come to describe the Trail as a partnership or network, the dual designations suggest roles for Trail partners and projects leading up to the celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. The attached document, for your information and comment, indicates a "strategy" for Trail administration over the next eight years.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, America invites the world to discover the meaning of national parks to their lives and inspires people to both experience and become devoted to these special places.
On August 25, 2006–-the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service–-Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne launched the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare national parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment. Since then the National Park Service asked citizens, park partners, experts and other stakeholders what they envisioned for a second century of national parks.
A nationwide series of more than 40 listening sessions produced more than 6,000 comments that helped to shape five centennial goals. The goals and vision were presented to President Bush and to the American people on May 31st in a report called The Future of America's National Parks.
Every national park staff took their lead from this report and created local centennial strategies to describe their vision and desired accomplishments by 2016. This is just the first year, and there are many great things to come as the National Park Service prepares to celebrate 100 years!
To keep up with the Centennial Initiative and to experience the interactive version of The Future of America's National Parks and special features please visit the centennial website at www.nps.gov/2016.
Did You Know?
Most freight boats on the C&O Canal were approximately 95 feet long and 14.5 feet wide while most locks were 100 feet long and 15 feet wide. This left boat captains little margin for error as they steered their boats into the locks, trying to avoid the $5.00 fine for damaging lock masonry.