In Memoriam: Civic leader Dan Ogden helped shaped the National Trails System Act

By Dana Hendricks, Columbia Cascades Regional Representative, Pacific Crest Trail Association

Daniel M. Ogden, Jr.

Daniel M. Ogden, Jr., who helped create the National Trails System Act, passed away February 7, 2018, at the age of 95. A memorial service was held March 24 in Vancouver, WA, where he was honored for his many and various achievements of civic service.

The achievement for which we know and love him best is that, during his tenure as assistant director of planning and research in the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, he put together the 1966 study Trails For America. Because the study made such a compelling case for the spiritual and physical health benefits of trails to the American people, it became the basis for the National Trails System Act of 1968.

A lifelong conservationist and highly effective administrator, Dan also played a key role in establishing the Redwood National Park, the North Cascades National Park, and the National Wild Scenic Rivers Act. On this, the 50th anniversary of all these important milestones, we commemorate and thank Dan.

More Articles

  • The Columbian published Ogden’s obituary and an article about his legacy.
  • “A Tribute to Dan Ogden: 1923-2018” by Dana Hendricks. PCTA website April 13, 2018
  • The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and Oregon-California Trails Association held a joint symposium and presented Dan Ogden with a plaque honoring his role in creating the National Trails System Act. PNTS Pathways – Spring 2017
  • “Visiting with trail visionaries: Dan Ogden and Jean Matthews” by Dana Hendricks. PCT Communicator – Spring 2016
  • Dan Ogden wrote an article about the development of the National Trails System Act in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the system and the Pacific Crest Trail. PCT Communicator – September 2008

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in Pathways Across America is public domain. All views expressed herein are perspectives of individuals working on behalf of the National Trails System and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Federal agencies.

Photo Credit: Pacific Crest Trail Association. Above: PCTA Regional Representative Dana Hendricks (left) interviewed Dan Ogden (right) about his 1966 study Trails for America. She wrote the article “Visiting with Visionaries” for the Spring 2016 issue of the Pacific Crest Trail Communicator.