Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Outdoor Rec & Adventure

Bill calls for nationwide recreational trail system

See also

National recreational trails would get a boost under legislation introduced in the Senate. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced the National Discovery Trails Act of 2014 (S. 2346), which would allow creation of national discovery trails and officially designate the one existing coast-to-coast national recreational trail. The bill became available online on the congressional website on Saturday, May 24, 2014.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. No other senator signed on as a cosponsor. The bill calls for officially designating as national discovery trails paths that go through at least two states. If they go through non-federal lands, the property owners would have to acquiesce.

The national trails should link cultural, natural, historic and recreational centers and provide recreational opportunities themselves. The bill also calls for officially designating the American Discovery Trail as the first such trail. This trail runs about 6,000 miles between Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware to Point Reyes National Seashore in California, including two possible routes between Kentucky and Colorado. But the bill would ban buying non-federal land to add to the trail.

Other trails that get the designation would have to link with other trails and be supported by volunteer organizations. States and communities should support the segments in their areas. Trails should be continuous and walkable. Volunteer groups could place directional signs for hikers and bikers.

The legislation says that within three years of any such designation, the responsible federal agency would have to develop a plan for each trail describing management of the plan an how it will coordinate with other land and resource owners. The plans would have to show how the efforts aren't impinging other uses of the trail.

Coons points out that the National Trails System, authorized in 1968, includes eight national scenic trails, 15 national historic trails, and more than 1,000 national recreational trails. But nothing links them together.



  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Brees gets tested
    Saints Drew Brees says he has 10 years left in NFL, immediately gets drug tested
    NFL News
  • Bryan subdues burglar
    Former WWE champ Daniel Bryan holds down burglar with submission move
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court

Related Videos:

  • Clouds over PB
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518344045" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Plan calls for replacing the troubled Eisenhower Memorial Commission
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518138599" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Rafting companies in Tahoe City shut down
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>