USGS Plans National Trails Program to Link More Trails


By Charles Pekow — Imagine a national digital list and map of all trails on federal recreational land. It’s on the way. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced plans to create a National Digital Trails Project–Trails Data Portal. But the map will be geared toward maintaining trails and linking them, not helping riders locate them.

The project includes three main goals:

  1. A web-based geospatial analysis tool to assist federal land managers identify and prioritize connecting trails and trail networks.
  2. Creating “a robust nationwide geospatial trails dataset including, at a minimum, trails from key federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service.
  3. A “mobile responsive application that will assist trail stewards, land management agencies, and members of the public in the maintenance of trails information.”

USGS opened a public comment period until August 2, 2021. It especially wants comments on creating the dataset, which will involve collecting information from federal, state and local officials and non-profits. Trail managers will login to provide info for the dataset. But participation will be voluntary so the list may not include all trails.

For details and to send comments, see


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