U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt has designated two new national recreation trails in Texas.
The designations of the Knobby Knees Trail in Liberty and the Trinity River Paddling Trail are part of a broader national announcement that establishes 30 new national recreation trails in 25 states, adding more than 1,275 miles to the National Trails System.
According to the Department of the Interior, the Knobby Knees Trail a gateway into the bottomland hardwood forests of Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, allowing visitors to explore nine miles of trail network.
The Trinity River Paddling Trail covers 130 river miles and contains 21 launch sites that provide access to three major river tributaries: the Clear Fork, West Fork, and Elm Fork. The trail also provides access to 40 miles of the main stem of the Trinity River.
The new designations are an addition to the 370 miles of national recreation trails that were designated in 2018, the Department of the Interior said.
"I encourage Americans to get outside, enjoy our incredible public lands and visit a nearby national recreation trail," Secretary Bernhardt said. "Spanning more than 83,000 miles, larger than the interstate highway system, the National Trails System provides easy access to a wide variety of outdoor experiences. The Trump Administration is committed to expanding public access to the outdoors, so more Americans have the opportunity and ability to experience it in all of its splendor."
The Department of the Interior said these new designations advance the Trump Administration's priority to increase public access to outdoor recreational opportunities, which support more than 452,000 jobs and account for more than $58 billion in economic output across the country.
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"Americans are enjoying close-to-home recreation and thanks to our amazing National Trails System, they have even more places to explore. With a 75% increase in bike ridership on trails this year, we commend the Department of the Interior for this expansion and granting our nation more access to the outdoors," said PeopleForBikes President and CEO Jenn Dice. "Thanks to these initiatives, we're getting closer to meeting the needs of a fast-growing community of people outdoors and on bikes finding joy, freedom and health on our trails nationwide."
The National Trails System promotes preservation, public access, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas, and historic resources of the United States, the Department of the Interior said.
"American Hiking Society welcomes the designation of 30 new National Recreation Trails that will create enhanced recreational opportunities for hikers and all types of trail users," American Hiking Society Executive Director Kate Van Waes said. "Each trail selected to receive this honor must support a diversity of users, reflect its region, and be among America's best trails, all qualities that benefit the hiking community."
The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in conjunction with federal and nonprofit partners.
According to the Department of the Interior, the designation of a national recreation trail can be done by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture on an existing local or regional trail with the consent of the federal, state, local, nonprofit, or private entity that has jurisdiction over the trail.
The managing agency or organization of a trail must apply for national recreation trail distinction. Each of newly designated trail will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers, and a letter of recognition from Secretary Bernhardt.