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  • Posted Jun 17, 2008

25 trails obtain designation in the 2008 National Recreation Trail Program. Iowa has 3 of them!

From the National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Did you know there’s a place not too far away that can improve your health, reduce stress, and enthrall children? The country’s 200,000 miles of trails are ideal places for exercise and exploration. Every trail, regardless of length or location, is filled with opportunities for mental, physical, and spiritual growth. In honor of National Trails Day (June 7th) and the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne yesterday designated 25 trails in 16 states as National Recreational Trails. “One of my priorities at Interior is to reconnect American families to nature,” said Secretary Kempthorne. “The National Trails System, including these additions, provides an excellent link to the outdoors, particularly for children. National Recreation Trails exemplify partnerships and are providing a path to fitness and stewardship for Americans of all ages.”
Following are the 3 of the 25 newly designated National Recreation Trails that are in Iowa: Great Western Trail – A key connection between urban Des Moines and the surrounding rural landscape, this 16.5-mile scenic rail-trail offers trail users the opportunity to journey through Iowa history while hiking, biking, or enjoying other recreational activities. Mines of Spain State Recreation Area Trails System – Located just south of Dubuque along the Mississippi River, this approximately 20-mile trail system offers a wealth of opportunities for recreation, environmental education, human history interpretation, and wildlife observation. Summerset Trail – Stretching almost 12 miles through rolling hills, river bottom wetlands, and remnant prairies, this rail-trail allows for hiking, biking, or cross-country skiing through some of the best of central Iowa’s natural scenery. View all the newly designated National Recreation Trails
The National Recreation Trail Program recognizes trails that provide opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the out-of-doors and improve the quality of life of our communities. Each year nominations for designation of new National Recreation Trails may be submitted. The National Park Service and USDA Forest Service jointly administer the NRT program with help from other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.

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