The National Trails System has grown by 722 miles due to the recent designation of 31 National Recreation Trails in 15 states by Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
In honor of the 18th annual National Trails Day and the 42nd anniversary of the National Trails System, Secretary Salazar has announced the designation of 31 trails across the country as National Recreational Trails (NRTs). The Cumberland Valley Rail-Trial Trail, from Shippensburg to Newville, was recognized as just one of four National Recreation Trails designated this year in Pennsylvania. The trail joins a statewide network of 65 National Recreation Trails totaling nearly 2100 miles.
"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the outdoors," said Secretary Salazar. "These new National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship, while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren."
National Recreation Trails are components of the National Trails System and recognize existing trails that connect people to important natural, recreational and cultural places and improve their quality of life. The program is jointly administered by the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program and the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails. Each of the trails added to the system will receive a certificate of designation and trail markers. They become part of a national network of more than 1,050 trails encompassing more than 12,500 miles.
The Cumberland Valley Rail-Trial receiving NRT recognition is eleven miles long and follows the center of the Cumberland Valley between Shippensburg and Newville. The trail provides safe and easy access to the outdoors for citizens of South Central Pennsylvania.
A dedication ceremony was held on National Trails Day, June 5th as part of the award ceremony for the ArtSHIP Art, Wine and Brew Festival 10k Race. The Festival is being held on the campus lawn triangle between Earl Street and the Cumberland Valley Rail-Trial.
The trail was built and is maintained by the Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council, Inc. (CVRTC), an all volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. CVRTC was formed in 1990 and the first 9 ½ miles of the Cumberland Valley Rail-Trial were completed in the fall of 2006. CVRTC is currently working on extending the trail another 11 miles to the north and finishing the last mile to the south connecting the business districts of Shippensburg and Carlisle along with the campuses of Shippensburg University and Dickenson College.