NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ADDS MILES
Public Lands Encourage Family Visits
It’s National Trails Day time and as has been the custom, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has announced the 2010 addition of over 700 miles of trails to the National Trails System. These new designations occur in thirty-one states, none in Indiana this year, and include Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, Washington state, North Carolina, and others.
In conjunction with the June 5th celebration of National Trails Day, other initiatives have been set in motion, notably the kickoff of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative into a higher-gear “Let’s Move Outside!” campaign to encourage children and families toward more physical activities . This dovetails with the President’s April announcement of “The Great Outdoors Initiative” to encourage submission of good ideas and hear success stories regarding what Americans are doing to protect natural resources.
The Let’s Move Outside! project makes use of America ’s public lands and waters, providing hiking, biking, swimming, paddling, and horseback riding. On the weekend of June 5-6, the nation’s national parks will offer free admission. Besides the parks programs, national wildlife refuges will seek to integrate their “Let’s Go Outside” project to work in conjunction with Park Service efforts.
Between the National Park System, 522 National Wildlife Refuges, and the 12,500 miles of the National Trails System, getting outside is getting more enticing all the time.
Indiana now has three National Wildlife Refuges: Muscatatuck, near Seymour, Big Oaks, near Madison , and the Patoka River Wildlife Refuge near Oakland City , north of Evansville . That’s in addition to the Hoosier National Forest, of course, with its 200 miles of trails, and the Indiana Dunes National Seashore and State Park, 200 State Nature Preserves, and many other parks and historic sites.
For the federal public lands initiatives, see Let's Move Outside. For a listing of nationwide activities by state for National Trails Day, see here.
The national recreation trails program is administered by the National Park Service, Forest Service, and other federal and nonprofit groups. To visit the national recreational trails website, see National Recreation Trails.