The non-governmental organization Rails-to-Trails works with state and local governments to extend extensive park systems from coast to coast along former rail tracks converted to trails. So far they have opened 56,327 kilometers of new trails and have plans for another 12,875 kilometers.
Spanning the nation
Just one project, the “Great American Road Trail,” offers more than 2,000 miles of biking, jogging, and walking trails in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The group wants to build an additional 1,700 miles of trails, totaling 3,500 miles, to complete a trail that connects 12 states and spans the nation.
The trail, says Kevin Belanger of Rails to Trails, “will serve the more than 50 million people who live within 90 kilometers of the tracks and the millions of global visitors who come to the United States to explore its diverse landscapes and communities.” A great example to be followed by other nations.