Message from the Executive Director Winter 2021/22

Each year, the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) team has the pleasure of collecting annual highlights from the nonprofit organizations and agencies that work together to manage, maintain and promote National Scenic & Historic Trails. After a year filled with feats of physical and mental fortitude, with fantastic ideas and incredible challenges, with moments that are inspiring, endearing, stressful and seemingly anything in between, with opportunities to learn, grow and reach more people , and always with great resourcefulness and commitment, our members and partners reflect on the accomplishments made on National Scenic & Historic Trails and as a system at the close of each year so we can share a few of those highlights with you.

And each year there is so much to report. If you’ve subscribed to PATHWAYS Across America in previous years, you may notice a change in the format in the trail highlights presented in the Winter issue of this publication. Try as we may, we can never encapsulate the treasured experiences and dynamic work occurring on National Scenic & Historic Trails in a year in a single issue of a magazine. With input from our partners and members, this year we chose to feature brief stories rather than providing a bulleted list of highlights for each Trail. The stories in this issue are featured to provide a broad overview of the breadth of activity and the significant accomplishments that impact trail users, neighboring communities and all of those who benefit from the natural and historic assets available on National Trails. By switching to a narrative format, key themes and priorities become clear, as does the great investment contributed by people working together around the U.S. to ensure a safe and vibrant National Trails System and the even greater social, environmental and economic impact that results from their collective work.

The brief stories in this issue are simply snapshots of what occurred on each Trail in 2021 but never fear, PATHWAYS Across America is just one way we share information. More highlights of 2021 are available on our website, The annual State of the Trails Report, also available on our website, shows the collective impact of National Scenic & Historic Trails through a series of infographics. And, of course, we share the latest in Trail news throughout the year via this magazine, our e-newsletter, social media and more. I hope you will subscribe, like or follow us to stay up-to-date and get involved with National Scenic & Historic Trails.

As the highlights show, it is the work and commitment of the people who value National Trails that make them great. While I hope you’ll enjoy the stories we share, they are no substitute for experience. I hope each of you will enjoy a year filled with new adventures and opportunities to explore National Trails both near and far from home.

All the best,
Valerie Rupp