Washington, DC – The National Park Service has awarded $340,000 to eight projects that will link existing national historic and scenic trails to national parks and other Federal facilities.
The annual “Connect Trails to Parks” awards will develop or enhance trail connections. They will also fund informational waysides, educational services, bridge and trail designs, and planning services.
“These grants will help upgrade trails and expand access to national parks and national trails,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “Trails are increasingly important not just as places to exercise but as places where we can unplug and rewind, places where we can explore and commune with the outdoor world and learn about our heritage.”
The National Park Service plays a vital role in operating the 54,000-mile National Trails System. The Trails System dates to a 1968 law that created the Appalachian and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails. Today, the National Trails System is comprised of 11 national scenic trails (NSTs), 19 national historic trails (NHTs), and more than 1,100 national recreation trails (NRTs).
Each “Connect Trails to Parks” project must cost $100,000 or less and be slated for completion by the end of next year. The program was established in 2008 to increase awareness, appreciation, and use of the National Trails System as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2018. For more information about the National Trails System please visit www.nps.gov/nts.