America’s National Trails System-How it Happened and How It Has Evolved with Steve Elkinton

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America’s National Trails System Course Description

America’s National Trails System is an amazingly successful experiment in partnership-driven conservation and one of the natural gems of America. Some trails such as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail near Bellingham and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail are well known. Important routes of history such as the Oregon Trail and the rivers used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition are also part of this System. Today these 30 national scenic and historic trails touch or cross all 50 states and are sustained through dynamic public-private partnerships. We will examine how this system originated, how it was evolved for five decades, what its major challenges are today, and how students may enjoy and support it in the future.

Session 1 surveys the National Trails and its origins. Session 2 traces the evolution of the National Trails from the 1960s to the present along with major issues that have arisen. Session 3 focuses on the National Trails today, highlighting the various partnerships, current challenges facing the Trails, and how to access and enjoy the trails. Graphics from the author’s The National Trails System, An Illustrated History, will be used to illustrate key points.

We are delighted to welcome Steve Elkinton from Philadelphia, who was able to share his insights into these national treasures via Zoom.

 America’s National Trails System Course Dates and Time

Tuesdays, March 16, 23, and 30, 2021
10am to 12pm

Registration ends March 9!


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