About Us

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is a 501(c)(3) that connects member not-for-profit trail organizations and Federal agency partners to further the protection, completion, and stewardship of the 32 national scenic and historic trails within the National Trails System.

The PNTS advocates on behalf of the National Trails System as a whole for land preservation and stewardship resources. Other major roles of the PNTS include the collection and dissemination of National Trails news and the development of outreach initiatives and youth programming.

Today, the Partnership has over 32 National Scenic & Historic Trail members and a growing network of affiliate members and works in close collaboration with the several Federal agency partners who have jurisdiction over the trails.

Since 2001, the Partnership has embodied the collaboration of the National Trails System Act and has advocated for the trails. The Partnership continues to seek new partnerships and relationships both within and outside the trails community to foster a strong National Trail System well-connected to communities, businesses, and civic groups.

The Partnership recognizes that national trails are a powerful way to connect with nature, history, and culture. The Partnership also recognizes there are historical injustices that have resulted in barriers that prevent people from accessing trails and their resources. On February 8, 2020, the Partnership Board approved this Statement of Inclusion.

Our Mission

We connect, strengthen and amplify a vibrant network of partners united to preserve, enhance and promote National Historic & Scenic Trails.

Our Vision

We envision a thriving National Trails System that connects people and landscapes, commemorates diverse stories, and assures extraordinary experiences for all, now and in the future.


The purpose of PNTS is to promote and support the efforts of National Scenic and Historic Trail organizations, to secure public and private resources and to serve as a collective voice for policy and action that supports national scenic and historic trails.

Who We Are 

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is the only nationwide, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the extraordinary value of America’s National Scenic and Historic Trails. We do so by providing the private partners associated with each trail with resources to enhance their advocacy, professional trail skill sets, volunteer engagement, and nurturing of future conservationists.


Our Values

National Trails exist because of the people and communities that walked the path before us. They preserve cultural heritage and history, protect critical landscapes and provide opportunities for adventure, reflection and enjoyment. We value National Trails lands and the ecosystems and landscapes they connect. We value the experiences that National Trails provide to the public and the contributions they bring to the lives and livelihoods of people and communities – past, present and future – that are touched by them. Building on this legacy, the Partnership is guided by a set of core values:


Just as the National Trails System connects
public lands and urban and rural communities,
we connect people who enjoy National Historic
& Scenic Trails and work to make them great.
As partners, we listen, work, innovate and grow
together to advance system-wide goals through
our individual actions and our shared work.

Equity and Inclusion

Diversity makes us, and the National Trails
System, stronger. We strive to engage people of
all perspectives, identities, backgrounds, skills
and styles. We create spaces that ensure and
prioritize meaningful and diverse participation.


We build trust through responsible actions
and honest relationships. We judiciously use
the resources entrusted to us.


We address the evolving needs of a growing
National Trails System and the people who enjoy
it. We continue to improve our sustainability and
resilience as a network of partners.


We appreciate the people, communities, cultures,
organizations, partners, that contribute to the
National Trails System and their varied ecosystems.
As a broad, diverse and ever-expanding network,
we will treat each other fairly and with dignity.

What We Do

    • Advocate for Federal agency policy and legislation that preserves America’s natural and historic heritage.
    • Create trails of opportunity for all to explore our natural and historic heritage throughout America.
    • Introduce young people through a variety of programs to the natural grandeur of America and inspiring episodes of our history.
    • Engage diverse populations so that all Americans are included and welcomed to enjoy our premier long-distance trails.
    • Promote healthful outdoor recreation and appreciation of cultural, historic, natural, and scenic values and resources.
    • Conserve remarkable natural, cultural, scenic, and historic resources and places.
    • Celebrate pathways across America and through our history.