On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Trails System Act, which among other things, seeks “to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.”
Here are some more wise words about the NTS Act from a wise President:
“We are preserving for the pleasure of these people one of the most beautiful regions on God’s earth. I also have before me the first Federal legislation ‘providing a national system of both urban and rural trails.
The simplest pleasures–and healthful exercise–of walking in an outdoor setting have been almost impossible for the millions of Americans who live in the cities. And where natural areas exist within the cities, they are usually not connected by walkways. In many cities, there are simply just no footpaths that lead out of the city into the countryside.
Our history of wise management of America’s national forests has assisted us in designating the initial elements of the National Trails System. Two National Scenic Trails, one in the East and one in the West, are being set aside as the first components of the Trails System: the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
The legislation also calls for study of 14 additional routes for possible inclusion in the Trails System.”
We’ve done the math, and it looks like 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. Here at GPTA, we will be planning a few things to help commemorate this historic milestone. Unlike the photo, everything we plan will happen in full color! Stay tuned!