Find Your Trail

We’re thrilled to share a feature we wrote (as Amy Beth and Derek) for Southwest: The Magazine, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. National Trails System for the October issue. President Johnson signed the National Trails Act on October 2, 1968, federally protecting the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, and in response to decades of conservation efforts and research studies indicating that walking is the most enjoyed form of outdoor recreation in the U.S.. Early efforts to designate and protect national trails stalled during WWII, or made it to Congress but lost momentum once in committee. There are now 30 major scenic and historic trails and just under 1,300 recreational trails protected by the National Trails System, which is overseen by the National Park Service. Continued protection relies upon a multitude of trail alliances and conservancies, and a fleet of volunteers. If you happen to be on a Southwest Airlines flight this month, flip to page 62!