"A national trail is a gateway into nature’s secret beauties, a portal to the past, a way into solitude and community. It is also an inroad to our national character. Our trails are both irresistible and indispensable."
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010
The National Trails System Act of 1968, as amended, calls for establishing trails in both urban and rural settings for people of all ages, interests, skills, and physical abilities. The National Trails System promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access. The system includes national scenic trails, national historic trails, and national recreation trails.
The National Park Service encourages all public and private agencies to develop, maintain, and protect trails. With the cooperation and support of a nationwide trails community, the vision of an interconnected, cross-country trail system will become a reality.