Pike National Historic Trail Feasibility Study

Learn and Explore

Attend a Virtual Public Meeting

The primary purpose of virtual public meetings is to explain the study process and to answer questions. Meetings are organized by state. One meeting will be conducted in Spanish.

Zoom meetings will allow you to view the presentation and type comments into the “chat” box. To join the meeting, click on the link (listed below) at the date and time of the meeting you would like to attend.

Participants can listen in by calling the meeting’s conference phone number. Callers will not be able to speak during the meetings. All phone lines are “listen only.” Enter the Meeting ID & Participant ID when prompted. For all meetings: US Phone # 1 346 248 7799 & Mexico Phone # 52 558 659 6002

Mark your calendar!

Colorado

Monday, May 24: Noon-2pm MST | Zoom Link: Colorado Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 840 3093 7946 | Participant ID: 530852973

Monday, May 24: 6-8pm MST | Zoom Link: Colorado Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 828 6939 0971 | Participant ID: 172502062

Saturday, June 12: 10am-Noon MST | Zoom Link: Colorado Meeting 3
Meeting ID: 856 5344 0707 | Participant ID: 72732556

Kansas and Nebraska

Tuesday, May 25: Noon-2pm CST | Zoom Link: Kansas & Nebraska Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 827 8296 7057 | Participant ID: 220943572

Tuesday, May 25: 6-8pm CST | Zoom Link: Kansas & Nebraska Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 889 1217 9442 | Participant ID: 300930688

Louisiana

Wednesday, May 26: Noon-2pm CST | Zoom Link: Louisiana Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 839 9100 4135 | Participant ID: 761202222

Wednesday, May 26: 6-8pm CST | Zoom Link: Louisiana Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 840 5548 1626 | Participant ID: 714240317

Missouri

Thursday, May 27: Noon-2pm CST | Zoom Link: Missouri Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 826 6010 2248 | Participant ID: 455020726

Thursday, May 27: 6-8pm CST | Zoom Link: Missouri Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 899 7164 1072 | Participant ID: 506950327

New Mexico

Tuesday, June 1: Noon-2pm MST | Zoom Link: New Mexico Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 838 6804 9754 | Participant ID: 328518961

Tuesday, June 1: 6-8pm MST | Zoom Link: New Mexico Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 838 1888 9561 | Participant ID: 554465943

Texas

Wednesday, June 2: Noon-2pm CST | Zoom Link: Texas Meeting 1
Meeting ID: 895 7929 1260 Participant ID: 422059154

Wednesday, June 2: 6-8pm CST | Zoom Link: Texas Meeting 2
Meeting ID: 869 3127 0127 Participant ID: 408333179

Spanish-speaking meeting

Thursday, June 3: 6-8pm MST | Zoom Link: Spanish-speaking Meeting
Meeting ID: 895 6536 6174 | Participant ID: 365754559

Public Comment

Public input is critical to the trail study process. It helps the National Park Service gauge public interest and identify concerns, and can bring new information about the trail to light. The NPS has identified a series of questions to help solicit input.

Outreach and Engagement Questions:

  1. Are there sites or areas on or adjacent to the route that are, or could be, visited by the public for recreational opportunities or historic appreciation (e.g. hiking or outdoor access, museums, historic sites, educational exhibits)? If so, please tell us about them.
  2. Does the study route accurately identify Pike’s 1806-1807 route? If not, where does it differ? Is there anything else you want the National Park Service to know about this route and its associated sites?
  3. How might designation of this route as a national historic trail affect you and your community? Do you have concerns? What benefits do you see?
  4. Would you like to see Pike’s 1806-1807 expedition designated as a national historic trail? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think this route is important in America’s history? Why or why not?
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
3 minutes, 7 seconds

NPS is conducting a study to evaluate the feasibility and suitability of designating the Pike Trail as a new National Historic Trail. We invite you to learn about and participate in the study process. The route under study affects areas and interests in present-day Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, as well as Mexico. Your participation is critical to the study process and findings. We hope to hear from you and your community. Visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/pike.

Map of the central United States showing a blue dashed line starting from Missouri, heading west to Colorado, then south into Mexico, before crossing Texas and ending in Louisiana.
The Pike Trail is displayed in blue. The expedition set out from Fort Belle Fontaine, Missouri and traveled approximately 3,700 miles before ending at Natchitoches, Louisiana.

NPS Map

Pike’s 1806-07 Expedition

The study addresses the route taken by Lt. Zebulon M. Pike during his 1806-1807 expedition into the southern portions of the Louisiana Purchase and the northern edge of the Spanish colonial empire. The expedition was among the first United States government-ordered, American-led explorations into the area. It spans seven states and over 2,700 miles in the United States, with an additional 1,000 miles of trail in Mexico. The section of trail which traverses Mexico is not eligible for designation as it falls outside of the United States.

portrait of a map in military jacket facing to his right
Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1832) as he appeared during the War of 1812.

Gimbrede, Thomas, Engraver. Library of Congress.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Trail Feasibility Study?

The purpose of the Pike National Historic Trail (NHT) Feasibility Study is to evaluate the national historical significance of the route, as well as the feasibility, suitability, and desirability of designating the route as a national historic trail. The Pike NHT Feasibility Study was directed by Congress in 2019 under the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (P.L. 116-9).

How Does the NPS Evaluate the Route?

To determine the route’s feasibility, suitability, and eligibility as a new national historic trail, the Pike route will be evaluated according to three criteria in the National Trails System Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-543). To qualify for designation as a new national historic trail, a trail must meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. It must be a trail or route established by historic use and must be historically significant as a result of that use.

  2. It must be of national significance with respect to any of several broad facets of American history, such as trade and commerce, exploration, migration and settlement, or military campaigns. To qualify as nationally significant, historic use of the trail must have had a far reaching effect on broad patterns of American culture. Trails significant in the history of Native Americans may be included.

  3. It must have significant potential for public recreational use or historical interest based on historic interpretation and appreciation. The presence of recreation potential not related to historic appreciation is not sufficient justification for designation under this category.

When Will We Know the Results of the Study?

Based on experience, trail studies typically take approximately two and half years to complete. After the trail study is complete it will be transmitted to Congress and the NPS will publicly release the study report. The timeline for transmission to Congress is December 2022.

How is the Decision Made to Designate a National Historic Trail?

Only Congress has the authority to enact legislation to designate new national historic trails. Congress may or may not act on or follow the findings of the study. There is no timeframe for legislative action.

What Happens if Congress Designates the Pike Trail as a New National Historic Trail?

Should Congress designate the route as a new national historic trail, that would trigger a set of additional actions, to include a Comprehensive Management Plan for the trail. At the Comprehensive Management Plan stage details on how the trail is to be managed would be assessed and determined. The Comprehensive Management Plan is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Details on interpretive signage, location of historic sites, educational programming, and places where the public could visit, connect and understand the route would be fleshed out. The Comprehensive Management Plan would involve a great deal of additional public engagement and comment.

How Would the Trail’s Designation Impact Private Property Owners?

Designation does not give the federal government any ownership or control over private property along a NHT. Private property rights remain intact. Landowner participation is entirely voluntary. Non-federal landowners are under no obligation to participate or to allow the public on their lands.

Last updated: April 27, 2021