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National Scenic Trails

The United States has an extensive network of trails listed as National Scenic and Historic Trails. The first two trails listed in the National Scenic Trails Act of 1968 were the Appalachian (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Since then numerous other scenic and historic trails have been added, these include the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), Oregon National Historic Trail, Lewis & Clark Historic Trail, Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, in 1977. As of 2024, there are 11 National Scenic Trails and 21 National Historic Trails listed in the National Scenic Trails Act.

the big three

Appalachian Trail

Running approximately 2,160 miles along the ridges of the Appalachians, in the Eastern United States, the Appalachian Trail traverses some 14 states, from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin Mountain in Maine. The AT lies within a day’s drive of over half the Country’s population. It traverses the most densely populated areas of the country. Still, it is possible to find solitude in the midst of the urban landscape. Due to it’s proximity to a large population, the AT attracts the largest number of people to attempt a Thru-hike. Each spring some 3000 to 4000 make the attempt. Of those that start, only about 10% complete the trek.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the primary organization managing the Appalachian Trail. It is responsible for coordinating the many different trail clubs, acquiring land and easement rights for land that the AT crosses. The conference maintains an online store where you can purchase books, guides, maps, and other material concerning the Appalachian Trail.

 

Appalachian Trail Logo

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy


799 Washington St
Harpers Ferry, WV  25425
Phone: (304) 535-6331


www.appalachiantrail.org

Other Long-Distance Trails

The following trails have been added to our list by fellow hikers. If you have more trail information and/or corrections please contact ALDHA-West.


*indicates a National Scenic Trail

**indicates a National Historic Trail

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**Ala Kahaki National Historic Trail - 175 miles to preserve, protect and interpret traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources. This "trail by the sea" traverses wahi pana (storied landscapes), ancient Hawaiian sites and over 200 ahupuaʻa (traditional land divisions)

American Discovery -  6,800+ miles from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California

*Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) - 800 miles across Arizona, from the U.S.-Mexico border to Utah

Baker - 134 miles traversing six counties in Pennsylvania

Bay Area Ridge - 400 miles surrounding California’s San Francisco Bay

Bay Circuit - 230+ miles outside Boston traversing Eastern Massachusetts

Bigfoot - 360 miles through the Klamath Mountains of northwest California and southwest Oregon

Benton MacKaye - ~300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia (sharing the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail) to Big Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bruce - 890 kilometres from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Tobermory, Ontario

Buckeye - 1,444 miles looping around the state of Ohio

**Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail - 3,292 miles passing through Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California

**California National Historic Trail - 5,665 miles crossing Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and California

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - 184.5 miles along the original canal between Washington, DC and Cumberland, MD

California Coastal - 1,200 miles along the coast of California

**Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - ~3,000 miles around Chesapeake Bay through Virgina, Maryland, Delware, Washington DC, Pennsylvaina, and New York

Canol Heritage - 357 kilometres in the Northwest Territories of Canada near the Arctic Circle.

**Chilkoot National Historic Trail - 33 miles from Dyea, Alaska to Bennett, British Columbia following the Klondike Gold Rush

Chinook - 300+ miles encircling the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon

Cohos - 170 miles from Crawford Notch, New Hampshire in the White Mountain National Forest to the Canadian border at Pittsburg, New Hampshire

Colorado - 567 miles between Denver, Colorado and Durango, Colorado through the Rockies

Conservation - 177 miles from the Pennsylvania border in Allegany State Park to the Bruce Trail in Canada

Cumberland - 263 miles in the eastern escarpment of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau

Desert - 2,223 miles from the border of Mexico in California to the border of Canada near the Idaho/Washington state line

 

**El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail - 2,500 miles from colonial Mexico City through Texas and ends in Natchitoches, Louisiana  

**El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail - 1,590 miles Mexico City to San Juan Pueblo (Ohkay Owingeh), New Mexico

East Coast - 270 kilometres from Topsail Beach, Newfoundland to Cappahayden, Newfoundland

Finger Lakes - 580 miles from the Pennsylvania-New York border in Allegany State Park to Long Path and the summit of Slide Mountain in the Catskill Forest Preserve  

*Florida National Scenic Trail - 1,500 miles from Big Cypress National Preserve to Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Beach

Foothills - 80+ miles from Ceasars Head State Park to Oconee State Park along the North Carolina Border 

Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) - 770+ miles from the Sonoran desert near Phoenix Arizona thru the Rocky Mountains to Albuquerque New Mexico

Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) - 150 miles from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Great Divide - 1,200 kilometers following the Canadian Continental Divide from Glacier National Park at the U.S. and Canada border north to Kakwa Lake, British Columbia

Great Western - 2,400 miles from Mexico to Canada through Arizona, Utah, and Idaho

Great Western Loop - 6,875 miles connecting the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), the Grand Enchantment Trail (GET), and the Arizona Trail (AZT)

Hot Springs - 2,421 miles from Santa Barbara, CA to Canada connecting 100 hot springs

*Ice Age National Scenic Trail – 1,200 miles around Wisconsin from Interstate State Park on the St. Croix River to Potawatomi State Park on Green Bay

Idaho Centennial - 1,000 miles in Idaho from Nevada to the Canadian border

**Iditarod National Historic Trail - 938 miles (winter only) from Seward, Alaska to Nome, Alaska

Inland Northwest 1,500 miles between the Canadian border and central Idaho and northeast Oregon

International Appalachian - 1,580 miles from Mount Katahdin, Maine to the Gaspé Peninsula in Forillon National Park, Quebéc

John Muir Trail (JMT) - 211 miles from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney, California

**Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail - 1,200 miles from Nogales, Arizona to San Francisco, California

**Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail - ~4,900 miles through the homelands of more than 60 Tribal nations from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon

Lone Star - 96 miles from Richards, Texas to Winters Bayou, Texas

Long - 263 miles through the Green Mountains of Vermont from the Massachusetts Line to the Canadian Border

Lowest to Highest (L2H) -  130 miles from the lowest point in the U.S., Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park (elevation -280’) to the summit of the highest point in the continental U.S. on Mt. Whitney (elevation 14,505’)

Maah Daah Hey144 miles in North Dakota

Mason-Dixon - 190 miles from Whiskey Springs, Pennsylvania, on the Appalachian Trail, to Brandywine River, near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

Mountains-to-Sea - ~900 miles traversing North Carolina from the mountains to the sea

Mokelumne Coast to Crest - 300 miles from East Bay, San Francisco to Ebbetts Pass, California (Sierras)

**Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail - 1,300 miles traveled by Mormons who fled Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley

*Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail - 450 miles through the Old Southwest of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee

*New England National Scenic Trail – 235 miles Long Island Sound, Connecticut River to Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire

North Carolina Bartram - 78.4 miles through the mountainous towns of Franklin, Highlands, Andrews, Robbinsville, and Nantahala in North Carolina

*North Country National Scenic Trail - 4,800 miles across North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont

Northville-Placid - 132 miles traversing the Adirondack wilderness from Northville to Lake Placid, New York

**Old Spanish National Historic Trail - 2,700 miles Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles, California

**Oregon National Historic Trail - 2,000 miles covering the original Oregon trail across Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Washingon, and Oregon

Oregon Coast - 360 miles along the coast of Oregon

Oregon Desert - 750 miles from Bend, Oregon to Lake Owyhee State park in Oregon

Ouachita - 223 miles from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock, Arkansas

 

**Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail - 330 miles through Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina

Ozark Highlands  - 218 miles  Lake Fort Smith State Park to the Buffalo National River in Arkansas

*Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail - 1,200 miles from Chief Mountain Customs, Montana to the Olympic Peninsula, Washington

**Pony Express National Historic Trail - 2,000 miles from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California

*Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail - 825 miles from Chesapeake Bay to Allegheny Highlands, Ohio

Pinhoti - 335 miles from Weogufka, Alabama to the southern terminus of the Appalachin Trail

Pine Mountain - 23 miles along the Pine Mountain ridge in west central Georgia

Rideau300 kilometers in Eastern Ontario, Canada from Kingston on Lake Ontario to Ottawa 

River to River - 175 miles from Battery Rock on the Ohio River to Grand Tower on the Mississippi River

San Diego Trans Couny (aka Sea to Sea) - 140 miles from the Salton Sea, California to the Pacific Ocean near Del Mar, California

**Santa Fe National Historic Trail - 1,203 miles from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico

**Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail - 54 miles along the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama

Siskiyou Peaks Trail - 448 miles from Ashland, Oregon to Mt Shasta City, California

Sheltowee Trace - 267 miles from Pickett State Park, Tennessee to the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Ohio

Sierra High Route - 195 mile fom Kings Canyon Highway near Bubbs Creek and the South Fork of the Kings Canyon River Mono Village near Twin Lakes, California

**Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail - 560 mile through Maryland and Washington, DC

Sunshine Coast - 160 kilometers on the Upper Sunshine Coast near Powell River, British Columbia, Canada

Superior Hiking - 310 miles along the shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota

Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) - 165 miles around Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada

Tahoe-Yosemite - 180 miles from Meeks Bay on Lake Tahoe, California to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park

Theodore Solomons - 271 miles of a lower elevation alternative to the John Muir Trail (JMT) begins at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to Cottonwood trailhead outside Lone Pine, CA

Trans Catalina - 38.5 miles on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of southern California

**Trail of Tears National Historic Trail - 5,043 miles to commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. Includes trails in North Carolina, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri

Tuscarora252 miles and parallels the Appalachian Trail to the west in northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania

Vancouver Island Backbone - 300 kilometers around Vancouver Island, British Columbia

**Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail - 680 miles in North Carolina, Virgina, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island

West Coast – 77 kilometers from southern west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Bamfield on the north end

Wonderland - 92 miles encircling Mount Rainier in Washington

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