National Trails System Partners
[Trail Organizations] [Federal Agencies ]
As the national voice for America’s hikers, American Hiking Society (AHS) promotes and protects foot trails and the hiking experience. From the halls of Congress to the backcountry, American Hiking speaks up for hikers and the trails they love. By joining American Hiking, you help to form a powerful chorus that can’t be ignored.
Amigos De Anza is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created by George Cardinet, “Grandfather” of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. “Amigos de Anza,” is a committee devoted solely to the Anza Trail. The Amigos educate visitors about the trail, protect resources along the route, monitor trail development, mark the trail, solicit funds, and undertake a variety of other activities which support the objectives of the trail.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is a volunteer-based, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, management, and promotion of the Appalachian Trail as a primitive setting for outdoor recreation (on foot) and for learning.
The Arizona Trail is one of America’s most diverse and dramatically
scenic long distance non-motorized trails, stretching continuously over 800 miles from Mexico to Utah. The Trail links the lower Sonoran desert to sub-alpine mountain forest more than 12,000 feet in elevation, traversing some of the most pristine backcountry found anywhere in the world.
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro: For centuries, this was the sole artery for news, supplies, and travel to the far-flung Spanish colony of New Mexico. Today the route of the Camino Real passes through two nations, Mexico and the United States. The National Historic Trail in the U.S. is managed in partnership by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
The Continental Divide Trail Alliance promotes, constructs, and manages a primitive trail along the Continental Divide to link and protect significant resources along the Trail with the support of volunteers and public and private partnerships. We also promote the appreciation, preservation, and enjoyment of America’s natural lands through education and by preserving the opportunity to experience the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
Since 1978, the Continental Divide Trail Society has been an independent advocate and resource for the hikers of today and tomorrow. The Society’s mission is to help in the planning, development, and maintenance of the CDNST as a silent trail and to assist users to plan and enjoy their experiences.
In November 2000 President Bill Clinton signed into law S. 700, the “Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail Act.” Ultimately, the “Ala Kahakai” (Trail by the Sea) will be a continuous walking path, extending along the coastline of Hawai`i for approximately 175 miles. As much as possible the Ala Kahakai route will follow ancient and historic Hawaiian paths that are known to have existed in the past.
Connecting habitats as diverse as jungle-like cypress strands, vast open prairies, desert-like scrub, pine flatwoods, ravines lined with mountain laurel, and white sand beaches, the Florida Trail , Florida’s Footpath Forever , stretches 1,300 miles across the Sunshine State, providing day hikers and backpackers alike with an immersion into the unique wilderness areas of Florida. It is the only National Scenic Trail where hikers can enjoy both subtropical and temperate ecosystems all year long, and a perfect destination for winter outings.
The Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation (IAPTF) is a non-profit, volunteer- and member-based organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our mission is “to create, support and protect a thousand-mile foot trail tracing Ice Age formations across Wisconsin.” Established in 1958, IAPTF now has over 5,000 members who support the Ice Age Trail.
The Iditarod National Historic Trail, Inc. works to preserve, protect and maintain the historic, educational and cultural values of the Iditarod National Historic Trail System. The Iditarod Trail, a symbol of frontier travel and once main artery of Alaska’s winter commerce, served a string of mining camps, trading posts, and other settlements founded between 1880 and 1920, during Alaska’s Gold Rush Era.
The Iowa Mormon Trails Association is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and development of the Mormon Trail across Iowa.
The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc. incorporated in 1969 to preserve the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the route it traveled. The Foundation has grown from a simple beginning to more than 40 Chapters throughout the United States and 3,500 members worldwide. The Foundation focuses on stewardship of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, scholarship and historical accuracy with regard to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and education of young people.
The Mormon Trails Association (MTA) is a non-profit [501(c)(3)] association, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We sponsor lectures, field trips, and work with other historic trail organizations, whose trails pass through Utah and Wyoming, in research, marking, preservation, and celebration efforts.
The purpose of the Natchez Trace Trail Conference (NTTC) is to plan, develop and maintain a hiking trail, the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, along the full length of the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, and to educate the public in its’ careful use and preservation.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 was a major event that shaped the boundaries and the very future of the United States. It is the mission of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial to commemorate that journey, re-kindle its spirit of discovery, and acclaim the contributions and goodwill of the native peoples.
Ranked among the most remarkable feats to come out of the 1860 American West, the Pony Express was in service from April 1860 to November 1861. Its primary mission was to deliver mail and news between St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco, California. The spirit and memory of the Pony Express is kept alive by the National Pony Express Association by identifying, reestablishing and marking the original pony express trail.
The Nez Perce Trail Foundation exists to promote the development of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail on the ground, and to further the interpretation of events of this most significant trail.
The North Country National Scenic Trail is a premier footpath that stretches more than 4,200 miles, offering a superb experience for hikers in a permanently protected corridor, traversing and interpreting the richly diverse environmental, cultural, and historic features of the northern United States. When complete, the North Country Trail will be the longest continuous off-road hiking trail in the United States passing through seven states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
The Old Spanish Trail was a pack mule trail linking land-locked New Mexico with coastal California between 1829 and 1848. Over this trail moved people, goods, and ideas. Recognizing the national significance of this historic long distance trade route, in 2002 Congress designated it the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. The mission of the Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA) is to study, preserve, protect, interpret, and promote appropriate use of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail.
The Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), founded in 1982, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Independence, Missouri. OCTA is dedicated to education, preservation and enjoyment of the trans-Mississippi emigrant trails. The association features a large bookstore that offers the best available titles on the emigrant experience. “Emigrant Names,” a genealogy tool, is sold through the bookstore. Further, OCTA publishes the scholarly “Overland Journal” as well as a quarterly newsletter, “News From the Plains,” both of which are mailed as a benefit of membership.
The Overmountain Victory Trail Association was formed in 1975 to gain recognition for the route the Overmountain men took to the Battle of King’s Mountain South Carolina. The OVTA’s mission is to Protect, Preserve and Interpret the route of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Our protection efforts include everything from maintaining the Pemberton Oak; a 600 year old oak tree that was the mustering point along the trail, and the only living remnant from the 1780 campaign; to working with civic organizations to develop the trail in their community.
The Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council is Oregon’s official liaison to other states, federal agencies and historic trail associations. Its nine members, appointed by the governor, promote public awareness of the historical significance of the trails and encourage the development, protection and interpretation of sixteen designated historic trails in Oregon. The Council meets quarterly to evaluate and record trail conditions and to discuss concerns about these historic resources.
The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to protect, preserve, and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) so as to reflect its world-class significance for the enjoyment, education and adventure of hikers and equestrians. From desert to glacier-flanked mountain, the PCT symbolizes everything there is to love – and protect – in the Western United States. Join us as we celebrate, enjoy, and safeguard this unique American treasure.
From the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the wilderness beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, this scenic 1,200 mile trail links together the dynamic and diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. It is the mission of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association to establish, protect, construct and maintain the Pacific Northwest Trail as a public, non-motorized travel way and to work for the protection, preservation, and responsible management of the natural, scenic, historic and culturally significant resources that are an integral part of the Pacific Northwest Trail experience.
The Potomac Heritage Partnership seeks to inspire and foster a sense of community and integrity that promotes the preservation and protection of cultural heritage resources for the Potomac River watershed.
The Potomac Heritage Trail Association is a membership-based organization dedicated to the development, construction preservation, and interpretation of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. We need your assistance.
The Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) is a non-profit corporation founded in 1986 to preserve, protect, and promote the historic Santa Fe Trail that ran from Franklin, MO, to Santa Fe, NM, from 1821 to 1880. This trail was designated a National Historic Trail by Congress in 1987, and SFTA works closely with the National Park Service to interpret the trail remnants and historic sites for visitors.
Under the National Trails Systems Act of 1968, Congress, in 1996, created the Selma-to-Montgomery Historical Trail. This trail, in Alabama, represents an important historical route in US history. The Selma-to-Montgomery march eventually led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) is a non-profit, membership organization formed to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, which commemorates the forced removal of the Cherokee and other tribes (primarily the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole) from their homelands in the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the early and mid-1800s.
NATIONAL TRAILS- Federal Agencies & Relevant Programs
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Landscape Conservation System offers some of the most remarkable landscapes found on the public lands in the American West. As part of this system, the BLM is responsible for over 4,500 miles of ten National Historic Trails and over 600 miles of the Continental Divide and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails.
Designates America’s Byways and provides funding for Byway projects. Our mission is to provide resources to the byway community in creating a unique travel experience and enhanced local quality of life through efforts to preserve, protect, interpret, and promote the intrinsic qualities of designated byways.
Provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
Provides funds to the States for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, scenic and historic sites and highway programs, landscaping, historic preservation, archaeological planning and research, and transportation museums. Projects must relate to surface transportation.
Provides funds to construct roads and trails within (or, in some cases, providing access to) Federal lands.
The National Trails System is the network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968. These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement.
The Forest Service is a land management organization dedicated to the management of the National Forest System lands for a variety of uses and activities including outdoor recreation. The Forest Service is interested in providing a variety of trail opportunities that are environmentally sensitive, educational, and support community objectives that contribute to local and regional economies and physical and mental quality of life.
Acknowledgements: The Partnership for the National Trails System would like to thank the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration for its continued support. This website was developed in part with financial support from the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. The contents of this website reflect the views of the Partnership for the National Trails System, who is responsible for the information. The contents do not necessarily reflect the policy of any agency of the United States Government.