WASHINGTON, D.C. – To promote outdoor recreation and reconnect Americans to nature, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the recognition of 19 hiking and biking trails and two water trails as national recreation trails, adding 452 miles in 11 states to the National Trails System.
“I can think of no better way to celebrate National Trails Day than to support the efforts of local communities by formally recognizing these exceptional trails as national recreation trails,” Jewell said. “They provide easily accessible places to get exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas, and promote our goal of encouraging all Americans, especially youth, to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors.”
National recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation.
The national recreation trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website.
Harlem Valley Rail Trail – Columbia County
This paved bicycle/pedestrian path is built on the railbed of the old Harlem Line of the New York Central Railroad. It is ideal for runners, bicyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, cross-county skiers, wheelchair users, hikers and dog walkers who enjoy combining the quiet beauty of rural landscapes with healthy exercise. The trail in Columbia County, from Undermountain Road to Hillsdale, feeds into the Taconic State Park.
Harlem Valley Rail Trail – Dutchess County
The trail extends 10.7 miles north from the terminus of Metro North’s Harlem Valley commuter line at Wassaic to the heart of the historic Village of Millerton. Along the way, it passes through the Village of Amenia, forests, wetlands, fields and meadows. The trail is revitalizing the communities it passes through and gives people for miles around a secure, beautiful place to get outdoors.