America's National Trails System

"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. 


Featured Trail:

Featured Trail: National Recreation Trails
National Recreation Trails

The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day. What better way to celebrate than on a National Recreation Trail (NRT)!

Hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail
National Scenic Trails

Explore your National Scenic Trails

Covered wagon on the Oregon Trail
National Historic Trails

Explore your National Historic Trails

Trail leading through rocks and fog
National Recreation Trails

Explore your National Recreation Trails


The National Trails System supports the current #RecreateResponsibly movement

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness

The National Trails System encourages you to safely experience and learn more about your National Trails

Last updated: August 30, 2023