National Trails

National Trails are long distance footpaths and bridleways in England and Wales. They are administered by Natural England, a statutory agency of the UK government, and Natural Resources Wales (successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales), a Welsh Government-sponsored body.

National Trails are marked with an acorn symbol along the route.

In Scotland, the equivalent trails are called Scotland's Great Trails and are administered by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Acorn Britain National Trails Symbol
Acorn symbol used to guide the route of National Trails

List of National Trails

Together these are over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) long.

See also

External links

Bealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGall

Bealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGall (Gaeltacht Way, Donegal) comprises four circular long-distance trails in the Gaeltacht areas of County Donegal Republic of Ireland. All four trails are designated as a National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and managed by Donegal County Council and Údaras na Gaeltachta.Slí an Earagail (Errigal Way) is 77 kilometres (48 miles) long and begins and ends in Dunlewey. It is graded as "easy' by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 720 metres (2,360 feet). The trail follows a circular route around the forestry, countryside and coastline surrounding Errigal and passes through the villages of Gweedore, Falcarragh, Derrybeg and Bunbeg. The trail links to two shorter loop walks on Tory Island and Gola Island and there is also a 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) connecting trail to Slí na Rosann.Slí na Rosann (Rosses Way) is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long and begins and ends in Dungloe. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 770 metres (2,530 feet). The trail explores the lakes and coastline of The Rosses region of Donegal and takes in the settlements of Burtonport, Annagry, Crolly and Maghery. The trail links to a loop walk around the island of Arranmore and there is also a 22 kilometres (14 miles) link trail from the townland of Crovehy to Slí na Finne, via Doochary.Slí na Finne (Finn's Way) is 51 kilometres (32 miles) long and begins and ends in Fintown. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 980 metres (3,220 feet). The trail loops around the mountains around Lough Finn and the River Finn and passes through the villages of Cloghan and Commeen.Slí Cholmcille (Colmcille's Way) is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long and begins and ends in Ardara. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 1,600 metres (5,200 feet). The route traverses the mountains and coastline of south-west Donegal, an area associated with Saint Colmcille, who gives his name to the trail. It passes through the villages of Kilcar, Carrick and Glencolmcille. Slí Cholmcille is proposed to be included in the Irish leg of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT), an extension of the Appalachian Trail through Canada to Newfoundland, to all terrain the formed part of the Appalachian Mountains on Pangaea, including Ireland.

Burren Way

The Burren Way (Irish: Slí Bhoirne) is a long-distance trail in County Clare, Ireland. It is 114 kilometres (71 miles) long, begins in Lahinch and ends in Corofin, crossing The Burren, one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe.

The trail, typically completed in five days, comprises sections of tarmac road, boreen, droving road, path and forestry track. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by the Burren Way Committee.

East Clare Way

The East Clare Way is a long-distance trail in County Clare, Ireland. It is a 180-kilometre (112-mile) long circular route that begins and ends in Killaloe. It is typically completed in eight days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by East & Mid Clare Way Limited and the East Clare Way Committee.The circular route explores the hills and lakes to the west of Lough Derg and takes in the towns and villages of Kilbane, Broadford, O'Callaghans Mills, Tulla, Feakle, Flagmount, Mountshannon and Scarriff. The northern sections of the trail cross the Slieve Aughty Mountains.A review of the National Waymarked Trails in 2010 found the proportion of road walking on the East Clare Way (53%) to be high and recommended that work be undertaken to take more of the trail off road.

Essex, San Bernardino County, California

Essex is a small unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California. Essex lies on Old National Trails Highway – part of the old Route 66 – just south of Interstate 40 in the Mojave Desert.

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail or Ice Age Floods Trail is designated as the first National Geologic Trail in the United States. It will consist of a network of routes connecting facilities that will provide interpretation of the geological consequences of the Glacial Lake Missoula floods of the last glacial period that began about 110,000 years ago.

Kerry Way

The Kerry Way (Irish: Slí Uíbh Ráthaigh) is a long-distance trail in County Kerry, Ireland. It is a 214-kilometre (133-mile) long circular trail that begins and ends in Killarney. It is typically completed in nine days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Kerry County Council, South Kerry Development Partnership and the Kerry Way Committee. The Way circles the Iveragh Peninsula and forms a walkers' version of the Ring of Kerry road tour. It is the longest of Ireland's National Waymarked Trails.

Larimer County, Colorado

Larimer County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 299,630. The county seat and most populous city is Fort Collins. The county was named for William Larimer, Jr., the founder of Denver.

Larimer County comprises the Fort Collins, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is located at the northern end of the Front Range, at the edge of the Colorado Eastern Plains along the border with Wyoming.

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. It is part of the National Trails System of the United States. It extends for some 3,700 miles (6,000 km) from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

The trail is administered by the National Park Service, but sites along the trail are managed by federal land management agencies, state, local, tribal, and private organizations. The trail is not a hiking trail, but provides opportunities for hiking, boating and horseback riding at many locations along the route. The trail is the second longest of the 23 National Scenic and National Historic Trails. Beginning at the Camp Dubois recreation in Illinois, it passes through portions of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois. The Trail connects 16 states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) and many tribal lands. It is administered by the National Park Service.The 2019 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act extended the Trail an additional 1,200 miles along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.

List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.

Lists of long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland

These are lists of long-distance trails in Ireland, and include recognised and maintained walking trails, pilgrim trails, cycling greenways, boardwalk-mountain trails, and interconnected national and international trail systems. Access is noted as the greatest obstacle to developing trails as Ireland has weak supporting legislation.

There are 43 National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. Each trail is waymarked with square black posts containing an image, in yellow, of a walking man and a directional arrow, a symbol reserved for use only by National Waymarked Trails. The oldest trail is the Wicklow Way, which was opened in 1980, and there are now over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) of waymarked trails Ireland. The most frequented trails are the Wicklow, Sheep's Head, Kerry, Dingle, Beara, Burren and Western Ways. The standard of many of these trails are below international comparison, with access noted as the greatest obstacle.

In 1997, the Heritage Council, started developing a series of walking routes based on medieval pilgrimage paths, and there are now 124 kilometres (77 miles) of major penitential trails: Cnoc na dTobar, Cosán na Naomh, St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Saint Kevin's Way, and Tochar Phádraig. These pilgrim trails, and seven others, are supported by Pilgrim Paths of Ireland who follow the same guidelines for developing National Waymarked Trails.

In 2017, the 46-kilometre Waterford Greenway was opened for cyclists, and many others are planned or in development. Many of the National Waymarked Trails form part of larger long-distance and transnational trails such as European walking route E8, the Beara-Breifne Way and the International Appalachian Trail.

Lough Derg Way

The Lough Derg Way is a long-distance trail in Ireland. It is 68 kilometres (42 miles) long and begins in Limerick City and ends in Dromineer, County Tipperary. It is typically completed in three days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Shannon Development, Tipperary County Council and Tipperary Integrated Development Company. The trail was reconfigured and relaunched in 2011 with many sections taken off road aided by an investment of €115,000 under the Comhairle na Tuaithe Walks Scheme, which supports landowners to maintain trails that cross their land.The trail follows the River Shannon and its associated canals from Limerick City to Dromineer on the banks of Lough Derg. Along the way it passes the towns and villages of Clonlara, O'Brien's Bridge, Killaloe, Ballina and Garrykennedy. The trail connects with the East Clare Way at Killaoe.

Mid Clare Way

The Mid Clare Way is a long-distance trail in County Clare, Ireland. It is a 148-kilometre (92-mile) long circular route that begins and ends in Newmarket-on-Fergus. It is typically completed in six days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by East & Mid Clare Way Limited and the Mid Clare Way Committee. The trail was developed over a six-year period and opened on 31 May 1999 by Síle de Valera, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.The trail makes a circuit of the countryside surrounding the town of Ennis, taking in the villages of Quin, Spancil Hill, Doon, Ruan, Connolly, Lissycasey and Clarecastle. The trail connects with the East Clare Way at the townland of Gortnamearacaun.A review of the National Waymarked Trails in 2010 found the condition of the route to be poor and usage to be low with a high proportion of the route (65%) to be on roads. The report recommended that format of the trail be examined and consideration given to the development of a series of shorter walks.

National Old Trails Road

National Old Trails Road, also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, was established in 1912, and became part of the National Auto Trail system in the United States. It was 3,096 miles (4,983 km) long and stretched from Baltimore, Maryland (some old maps indicate New York City was the actual eastern terminus), to California. Much of the route follows the old National Road and the Santa Fe Trail.

National Recreation Trail

National Recreation Trail (NRT) is a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States. Over 1,148 trails in all 50 U.S. states, available for public use and ranging from less than a mile to 485 miles (781 km) in length, have been designated as NRTs on federal, state, municipal, and privately owned lands. Trails may be nominated for designation as NRTs each year. The NRT online database includes information on most designated trails. National Recreational Trails are part of the National Trails System.

Most NRTs are hiking trails, but a significant number are multi-use trails or bike paths. A few are water trails.The National Park Service (part of the United States Department of the Interior) and the United States Forest Service (part of the United States Department of Agriculture) jointly administer the National Recreation Trails Program with help from a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, the lead nonprofit for developing and promoting NRTs.

The National Trails System Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-543) authorized creation of a national trail system composed of National Recreation Trails and National Scenic Trails. National Historic Trails were added in 1978. While National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, National Recreation Trails may be designated by the Secretary of Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization. Through designation, these trails are recognized as part of America's national system of trails.

The National Recreation Trail Program, an independent advocacy organization, supports designated NRTs with an array of benefits, including promotion, technical assistance, a newsletter, email alerts, and networking. Its goal is to promote the use and care of existing trails and stimulate the development of new trails to create a national network of trails and realize the vision of "Trails for All Americans." A state-by-state index provide photos and details on featured trails. The first-ever NRT Photo Contest was sponsored in 2003 by American Trails and is continuing each year. A Request for Proposals for art projects on National Recreation Trails was also undertaken.

National Trails System

The National Trails System was created by the National Trails System Act (Pub.L. 90–543, 82 Stat. 919, enacted October 2, 1968), codified at 16 U.S.C. § 1241 et seq.

The Act created a series of National trails "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." Specifically, the Act authorized three types of trails: the National Scenic Trails, National Recreation Trails and connecting-and-side trails. The 1968 Act also created two national scenic trails: the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest; and requested that an additional fourteen trail routes be studied for possible inclusion.

In 1978, as a result of the study of trails that were most significant for their historic associations, a fourth category of trail was added: the National Historic Trails. Since 1968, over forty trail routes have been studied for inclusion in the system. Of these studied trails, twenty-one have been established as part of the system. Today, the National Trails System consists of 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails and over 1,000 National Recreation Trail and two connecting-and-side trails, with a total length of more than 50,000 miles (80,000 km). These National Trails are more than just for hiking, many are also open for horseback riding, mountain biking, camping and/or scenic driving.

As Congressionally established long-distance trails, each one is administered by a federal agency, either the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, or National Park Service. Two of the trails are jointly administered by the BLM and the NPS. Occasionally, these agencies acquire lands to protect key sites, resources and viewsheds. More often than not, they work in partnership with the states, local units of government, land trusts and private landowners, to protect lands and structures along these trails, enabling them to be accessible to the public. National Recreation Trails and connecting-and-side trails do not require Congressional action, but are recognized by actions of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture. All of the National Trails are supported by private non-profit organizations that work with the various federal agencies under the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS).

The Act is codified as 16 U.S.C. §§ 1241–1251. However, it has been amended numerous times since its passage, most recently on October 18, 2004 (Pub.L. 108–342).

Offa's Dyke Path

Offa's Dyke Path (Welsh: Llwybr Clawdd Offa) is a long-distance footpath following closely the Wales–England border. Opened in 1971, it is one of Britain's National Trails and draws walkers from throughout the world. Some of the 177-mile (285 km) route either follows, or keeps close company with, the remnants of Offa's Dyke, an earthwork, most of which was probably constructed in the late 8th century on the orders of Offa of Mercia.

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVHT) is part of the U.S. National Trails System, and N.C. State Trail System. It recognizes the Revolutionary War Overmountain Men, Patriots from what is now East Tennessee who crossed the Great Smoky Mountains and then fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.

South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is a long distance footpath and bridleway running along the South Downs in southern England. It is one of 16 National Trails in England and Wales. The trail runs for 160 km (100 mi) from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, with about 4,150 m (13,620 ft) of ascent and descent.

Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland (Irish: Spórt Éireann), formerly the Irish Sports Council, is the organisation which oversees, and partly funds, the development of sport within Ireland.Sport Ireland is a statutory authority and was established in July 1999 under powers provided by the Irish Sports Council Act. Its remit is to plan, lead and co-ordinate the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland.

Sport Ireland comprises eight major divisions including: Finance, High Performance, Local Sports Partnerships, National Governing Bodies, the Anti-Doping Unit, Corporate Services, the National Trails Office, and the Irish Institute of Sport.The body is based at the National Sports Campus, Abbotstown, near Blanchardstown, western Dublin.

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)

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