Three scenic trails in the northern United States have new status as National Park System sites.
The Ice Age, New England and North Country national scenic trails were previously administered by the National Park Service as part of the National Trails System.
They’re now part of the National Park System, bringing the total number of units from 425 to 428, according to an NPS news release. The system includes more than 25 naming designations, including national scenic trail, national seashore, national monument and so on. The 400-plus sites are commonly referred to as “parks.” There are 63 sites with “national park” in their name – blockbusters such as Grand Canyon National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The new scenic trail designations doubled the number of sites in that category from three to six. The trails join the Appalachian, Natchez Trace, and Potomac Heritage trails.
“The new status for the Ice Age, New England, and North Country national scenic trails will increase public awareness and use of these amazing pathways,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, in a statement. “Their combined 5,500-plus miles travel through parts of 10 states and hundreds of communities, from large cities to rural towns, providing countless close-to-home opportunities for people to easily access green space and enjoy the benefits of outdoor recreation.”
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail stretches nearly 1,200 miles in Wisconsin in a landscape of rolling hills and ridges, lakes and river valleys — “reminders that just 15,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, much of North America lay under a huge glacier,” NPS says in the news release.
In Connecticut and Massachusetts, the New England National Scenic Trail extends 235 miles from the shores of Long Island Sound to mountain summits.
The North Country National Scenic Trail is still in progress and is expected to be a 4,600-mile continuous path when it’s finished, traversing parts of eight states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Source: CBS News