Many thanks to Joe and Monica Cook for
the use of this photograph. Also visit
Kathy Bilton's AT Homepage
In 1968 Congress passed the National Trails System Act to provide federal
assistance to the Appalachian Trail and to establish
a national system of trails.
The Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails were named in the act as the first two
national scenic trails. Today the National Trails System consists of Congressionally
designated national scenic trails, which are continuous protected scenic corridors
for outdoor recreation, and national historic trails, which recognize prominent
past routes of exploration, migration, and military action.
Although both types are administered by federal agencies, land ownership
may be in public or private hands. Of the 17 national scenic and national historic
trails so far established, 12 are administered by the National Park Service, four
by the Forest Service, and one by the Bureau of Land Management.