June is Great Outdoors Month and June 3 is National Trails Day.
To commemorate both events, and with perfect timing, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that the department has designated nine trails in nine states as national recreation trails. Together, they add 340 miles to the National Trails System.
The land- or water-based national recreation trails, along with national scenic trails, national historic trails, and side and connecting trails, make up the National Trails System. It was created by the National Trails System Act of 1968 to establish trails in both urban and rural settings for people of all ages, interests, skills, and physical abilities. The newly designated trails join a network of more than 1,300 existing national recreation trails, which can be found in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
“National recreation trails, including these new designations, are some of our country’s highest-caliber trails and provide close-to-home recreation opportunities and the benefits of spending time outdoors,” Chuck Sams, National Park Service director, said in a statement. “They can be used by everyone and provide for the ever-increasing recreation needs of our growing population, especially in urban areas.”
Here’s what you need to know about the nine new national recreation trails, including where they are located.
1. Vernon Bush Garden Trail
The 1-mile Vernon Bush Garden Trail, which is located in Jackson County, features scenic lake views, picnic areas, and is home to a wide variety of plant species. The “strategically landscaped and seasonal changes of the flowers and trees delivers a beautiful, ever-changing experience,” according to the county.
2. Razorback Greenway
The 40-mile Razorback Greenway is a shared-use trail in the Ozark Mountains that connects several communities throughout northwest Arkansas, including Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers, and Bentonville. It provides access points to museums, historic sites, entertainment venues, local businesses, and even lakes.
3. Harris Greenway Trail
Connecting Tribble Mill Park with Harbins Park on the outskirts of Atlanta, the Harris Greenway Trail is a more than 5-mile-long multi-use trail. It also provides connections to local parks, local businesses, neighborhoods, and other local trail systems.
4. Fabulous Fox! Water Trail
Illinois And Wisconsin
The Fabulous Fox! Water Trail, which runs from southeast Wisconsin to northeast Illinois, is 158 miles long and has more than 70 access points. Paddlers of all types can enjoy the landscape while also visiting numerous communities.
5. Crown Zellerbach Trail
The Crown Zellerbach Trail, otherwise known as the Crown Z or CZ Trail, is a 22-mile trail that connects the towns of Scappoose and Vernonia. The mostly gravel trail, which winds through Oregon’s Coastal Range and Columbia River wetlands, offers recreation opportunities for all types of trail users.
6. Enterprise South Nature Park
Located just outside Chattanooga, Enterprise South Nature Park features 70 miles of trails through 2,800 acres of heavily wooded forests. The network of walking and cycling paths offers a place for recreation, enjoyment, and solitude while being close to an urban area.
7. Wilson Creek Trail
Wilson Creek Trail, which is nearly 10 miles long, links Bonnie Wenk Park and Towne Lake Park in McKinney. Importantly, the trail also provides access to other recreation areas, including playgrounds, a disc golf course, and an outdoor fitness court.
8. Iron Hills Trail System
Located on Bureau of Land Management land in southwest Utah, the Iron Hills Trail System is a 29-mile network of trails. While it’s known for “premier mountain biking,” the trail system is also popular with hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and wildlife viewers.
9. Old Highway 131 Trail
Located in the heart of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, the four-season, 4.5-mile Old Highway 131 Trail is a favorite spot for hikers, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers. What’s more, since the trail “traverses lands rich in indigenous culture and history,” the state has created a digital interpretive guide to learn more about the area.