Get to Know the Partnership for the National Trails System

 A wooden footpath through a dense forest.

Find adventure, explore new places, connect with your friends and family, learn about the past, discover nature, and relish breathtaking views – all on a trail.

About Us

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is a connector, collective voice, and resource for National Scenic and Historic Trails. Working closely with our Federal partners and member organizations who co-manage National Scenic and Historic Trails, we work to ensure a connected and vibrant National Trails System for all.

National Scenic and Historic Trails connect 500+ national parks, forests, and other public lands, as well as over 230 cities and ‘trail towns’. They traverse all 50 States and Washington, D.C. while showcasing some of the nation’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, interpreting iconic historic stories, preserving natural and cultural values, and providing unmatched recreational opportunities. The Nation Trails System continues to grow as trails segments are connected, new side trails are added to better link nearby communities to Trails, and as more Trails are designated by Congress.

As the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails in the National Trails System, we bring together professionals, advocates, and trail and hiking enthusiasts to advance the vision established in the National Trails System Act for an accessible, connected system of outdoor areas and historic resources that link places across the U.S. and provide valuable, welcoming recreational experiences for all people.

Our Work

Our primary areas of focus include:

  • Leading advocacy and policy efforts that fight for adequate resources for National Trails. Through this work we champion equitable outdoor access, local economic growth, and land conservation to complete trails and protect adjacent lands (i.e. viewsheds) that advance climate resiliency.
  • Elevating the profile of National Trails through events like our annual ‘fly-in’ event, Hike the Hill®—the premiere advocacy event for National Trails, co-hosted with American Hiking Society—and regular communications including our quarterly newsletter, Pathways Across America.
  • Fostering the next generation of trail leaders through our career-exploration-focused Trail Apprentices Program.
  • Learning and training opportunities customized for trail professionals and enthusiasts including webinars, interactive workshops, publications, and more.
  • Capacity building resources such as Trail Intern Grants that enable our nonprofit, trail-organization members to hire interns to take on projects that give more people a chance to get involved with trails.
  • Connecting nonprofit trail organizations and Federal partners on a breadth of topics ranging from policy to best practices in trail operations and inclusive engagement.
  • Developing resources for land conservation and trails management such as case studies; system-wide, interactive maps and planning tools;
  • And, much more.

Get to know PNTS and Trails Near You

Visit, learn about, and get involved with trails in your area and around the U.S.

69% of people in America live with an hour’s drive of a National Scenic and Historic Trail. There also are more than 1,200 National Recreation Trails and many more local and State trails around the country to enjoy. Click here to make your pledge and support trails.

 

Trail Resources

Click to explore interactive national trails maps Click to learn about national scenic and historic trails Click to pledge your support for trails

Click to subscribe to the PNTS newsletter Click to read our magazine, Pathways Across America Click to learn about and or sign up for our 2021 National Trails Workshop

 

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