CNY Hiking Shenandoah National Park Blue Ridge Parkway National Parks & Forests
  National Scenic Trails
in the USA


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Currently there are eleven hiking trails in the USA that are officially labeled as a National Scenic Trail.  The definition of a National Scenic Trail is hiking trails that are nearly 100 miles or longer, continuous, primarily non-motorized routes of outstanding recreation opportunity and were established by Act of Congress.

The eleven NST's are the Appalachian Trail, North Country Trail, Florida Trail, Ice Age Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Potomac Heritage Trail, Natchez Trace Trail, Arizona Trail, New England Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail.  Look below for more information on each trail as well as links to learn more about the trails.

Appalachian Trail - The white blazed Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is about 2180 miles long winding through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to it's famous northern terminus at Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine. The AT is the "Grand Daddy" of the long distance hiking trails in the USA.

North Country Trail - The NCT is a work in progress.  The finished trail will stretch for nearly 4600 miles linking communities, forests, mountains, and prairies across seven northern states from North Dakota to New York. Already, more than 2100 miles have been certified off-road. Additional miles follow shared paths, and some road walks yet remain.

Pacific Crest Trail - The PCT travels 2663 miles from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada, passing through California, Oregon and Washington.  The elevation of the trail ranges from near sea level at the Columbia River to 13153 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada.  A side trail from the main PCT leads to 14494 foot Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous USA.

Continental Divide Trail - The CDT travels 3100 miles from the Mexican border in New Mexico to the Canadian border in Montana. The trail basically follows the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains. The CDT is part of what is known as the long distance hiking "Triple Crown" along with the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

Florida Trail - The orange blazed Florida Trail spans 1400 miles in the state of Florida from Big Cypress National Preserve to Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola Beach.

Ice Age Trail - The yellow blazed Ice Age Trail travels nearly 1100 miles in Wisconsin from Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park along the Door Peninsula on Sturgeon Bay.

Potomac Heritage Trail - Is a collection of numerous separate trails that form the Potomac Heritage Trail or PHT.

Natchez Trace Trail - The route of the Natchez Trace Trail generally follows the 444 mile Natchez Trace Parkway through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.  This is not your normal long distance hiking trail as the trail is generally in sections, only about 60 total miles in length.

Arizona Trail - The 800 mile Arizona Trail southern terminus is at the Coronado National Memorial near the Arizona-Mexican border and travels north through Grand Canyon National Park ending near the Arizona-Utah border.

New England Trail - This 220 mile trail is a work in progress that just became a National Scenic Trail in 2009.

Pacific Northwest Trail - The 1200 mile PNT eastern terminus is Chief Mountain customs on the Montana-Canadian border and the trail travels through the northern panhandle of Idaho then into Washington, ending at the Pacific coast of the Olympic Peninsula.

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