Happy 50th National Trail System
The country’s National Trail System is having a big birthday this April, but long before the United States existed the earliest trails evolved from necessity, essential for survival they served as a transportation system for hunting, gathering, trading, migration, commerce, and now thousands of generations later we are on many of those same trails, not for toil, but for leisure. That is a really broad historical perspective to process. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the American population had grown to the point where trails were constructed to provide recreational access to the country’s great scenic places, eventually giving rise to the National Trails System Act of 1968. How large will the cake have to be for everyone who has enjoyed the National Trail System since the passage of the that bill ? My guess is “HUGE” with an estimated 50 million visitors a year.
The act has been modified over the years and though it encompasses specific trails it has been a symbolic driver of outdoor recreation resulting in the construction and maintenance of many trails. In the end whatever path you are on you should be celebrating the birthday of the National Trail System Act, it’s 50 years old in 2018.