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Interior Department Suwanee River Wilderness Trail Added to National Trails System

U.S. Interior Sec. David Bernhardt announced 30 new trails in 25 states, adding almost 1,300 miles to the National Trails System.

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Last week, U.S. Interior Sec. David Bernhardt announced 30 new national recreation trails including one in the Sunshine State to the National Trails System.

Bernhardt announced 30 new trails in 25 states, adding almost 1,300 miles to the National Trails System.

“I encourage Americans to get outside, enjoy our incredible public lands and visit a nearby national recreation trail. 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,” said Bernhardt. “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 new designations advance the Trump Administration’s priority to increase public access to outdoor recreational opportunities in alignment with Secretary’s Order 3366. Interior-managed outdoor recreation activities support more than 452,000 jobs and account for more than $58 billion in economic output across the country,” the Interior Department noted.

“American Trails promotes and maintains the database of our country’s National Recreation Trails (NRT) and applauds this new slate of Secretarial designations from the Department of the Interior,” said NRT Executive Director Mike Passo. “The NRT program brings vibrancy to the National Trail System by uniquely highlighting trails that are accessible, relatable, and serve a wide diversity of our nation’s public. With these designations, the NRT database at exceeds 1,300 trails.”

“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,” said American Hiking Society Executive Director Kate Van Waes. “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.”

“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 percent 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 Interior Department added the Suwanee River Wilderness Trail, which winds through both Florida and Georgia, to the program.

“The majestic 235-mile Suwanee River begins just below the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia. The meandering waterway then coils through the heart of north central Florida, ending in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast. Steeped in rich culture and history, this beloved river remains a wild natural wonder with endless delights for adventurous explorers,” the Interior Department noted.


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  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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