Three scenic trails in the US now have National Park status

Three scenic trails, New England, North Country, and Ice Age, in the US now have National Park status
Ice Age

New England, North Country, and Ice Age 

North Country

This just in, three scenic trails found in the northern United States have now been given new status as National Park System sites. The Ice Age (IAT), New England (NET), and North Country (NCT) were previously a part of the National Trials System, a status administered by the National Park Service. However, now they have been made part of the National Park System and according to a National Park System news release have brought the total number of units from 425 to 428. 

The National Park System consists of more than 25 naming designations, that include national seashore, national scenic trail, national monument, and numerous others. The 400-plus sites are referred commonly to as “parks” and there are 63 sites that have “national park” in their name like the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and the ever-so-famous Grand Canyon National Park. The addition of new scenic trails, NET, NCT, and IAT doubled the number of sites in that category from three to six. These trails join the three others. national scenic trails Natchez Trace Parkway, Potomac Heritage Trail, and Appalachian Trail. National Park Service Director, Chuck Sams, mentioned in a statement:

“The new status for the IAT, NET, and NCT national scenic trails will increase public awareness and use of these amazing pathways,” Continued National Park Service Director Chuck Sams “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.”

From Scenic Trails to National Parks 

New England

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail stretches over an area of nearly 1,200 miles into Wisconsin. The landscape of this trail is dominated by ridges, rolling hills, lakes, and river valleys. The National Park System said in a press release mentioning the Ice Age National Scenic Trail:

“reminders that just 15,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, much of North America lay under a huge glacier,” 

The New England National Scenic Trail is the shortest of the three scenic trails and extends 235 miles in Connecticut and Massachusetts from the shores of Long Island Sound to mountain summits. The North Country National Scenic Trail on the other hand is still in progress, however, it is expected to be a continuous path stretching about 4,600 miles when it is finished. The national scenic trail will traverse parts of eight states namely Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York Vermont, and Wisconsin. The NCT is the longest scenic trail in the United States and is twice as long as the Pacific Crest Trail. 

The redesignation of these trails will help them immensely and open new possibilities for funding and also play a vital role in speeding up progress on the underdeveloped paths of these trails. The executive director of the IAT Alliance, Luke Kloberdanz said that even though granting National Park System status to the scenic trail was a small step for the park service, it was Momentous, for the IAT, and NCT. 

“I happen to be calling in from a title company where we are closing on a property that we just purchased for the [IAT],” Luke Kloberdanz said speaking on the video call. “So I think having the cachet that comes with being a national park unit, the resources that become available help us close these gaps and meet our mission each day.”

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