The National Trails System

The Great Plains Trail, almost regardless of its eventual exact route, will cross several National Historic Trails.  Although both part of the National Trails System, National Historic Trails (NHT) differ from National Scenic Trails (NST) in that their primary focus is to accurately trace historical routes to provide a window into events from the past.  National Scenic Trails are meant to be recreational in focus, and are designed to highlight certain natural features and regions of the country.

There are currently eleven National Scenic Trails, and nineteen National Historic Trails.  With your help, The Great Plains Trail will become a new National Scenic Trail, and will not intersect any other NSTs, but will run roughly parallel to the Continental Divide NST.

However, The Great Plains Trail will intersect no fewer than six National Historic Trails.  Below is a list (with links), from north to south, of the National Historic Trails that the Great Plains Trail will cross:

Lewis and Clark NHT

Mormon Pioneer NHT

California NHT

Oregon NHT

Pony Express NHT

Santa Fe NHT


About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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3 Responses to The National Trails System

  1. Ross-Barry Finlayson says:

    This is a great post. These trails are awesome and, as you say, pass-through many historic sites. In Great Britain one can walk from “John O Groats” to “Landsend”. Here in Japan there is the “Tokaido Road” that stretches for 1,700km and passes-through 32-prefectures. I have hiked/cycled along parts of this road in the Kansai Area. It is full of history and awesome scenery. It is a pity though that this road hasn’t been preserved more. I hope you don’t mind if I share this post. Looking forward to more of your blogs.

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