Bicycles & Pedestrians

a group ride on bikes next to river
Youth Heritage Treks at Schuykill National Heritage Area


Leaving your cars behind can be one of the best ways to experience getting to and moving through your national parks. Bicycling, hiking, walking and sometimes paddling are alternatives to motor vehicle travel.

The National Park Service (NPS) uses multi-use trails and other transportation alternatives to accommodate more visitors, alleviate congestion, protect park resources, encourage climate-friendly travel options, promote healthy activity, and enhance the visitor experience. The vast majority of our 294 million annual visitors use some form of a trail or pathway. More than a dozen parks promote car-free days for bicycling and pedestrian activities.

Front Country Trails

Of the nearly 18,000 miles of trails throughout all units of the National Park System, most are natural surfaced trails in back country settings. However, there are 5,012 miles of trails that connecting built facilities to popular overlooks, other tourist destinations, parks and local communities. These are known as 'front country' trails.

There are 5,012 miles are front country paved trails in the National Park Service (NPS); that is 28% of all trails managed by the NPS. There are approximately 1.4 million square feet of trail bridges and tunnels and approximately 1,000 miles of NPS front country trails are paved, helping to disperse users and allowing visitors who bicycle or walk to have a more first-hand park experience.

Front country trails provide great national park experiences. They also provide an alternative to private motor vehicle access to many park units.
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