Benefits of NRT Designation

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Benefits of NRT Designation

National Recreation Trails benefit from the prestige and increased visibility of being a part of the National Trails System. New designations are announced annually by the Secretary of Interior and recognized every two years at the National Trails Symposium.

Other national publicity includes such events as the annual NRT Photo Contest, sponsored by American Trails, which has attracted hundreds of entries from across the country.

Successful applicants receive a letter and certificate, designating their trail as an NRT. Trail managers are entitled to use the NRT logo in appropriate settings and trail publications. Plastic NRT logo signs (3.5” x 3.5” small or 8” x 8” large) are also available free of charge (thanks to generous funding from the National Park Service) and shipping is complimentary. Plastic signs can be obtained by filling out this form and emailing to [email protected]. You may also choose to purchase metal signs for a nominal fee via the American Trails Online Store. Before signs are shipped, American Trails will confirm your trails are designated NRTs.

Successful National Water Trails also receive a letter and a certificate, but they are entitled to use the NWTS logo and signs in appropriate settings and trail publications.

Promotion of Your Trail

All NRTs will be included in the online searchable database of trails (sponsored by includes descriptive information, maps, and pictures for trail users. Trail managers provide information about their NRTs for the site. Keep it up to date by sending corrections and additions by e-mail to [email protected].

A web page for each state highlights Featured Trails with links to more information. For trails without a website, we are providing a page with photos, history, and useful facts about the project.

Other Benefits Include:

  • Access to technical assistance from NRT Program partners.
  • Periodic electronic newsletters with program updates, newsworthy activities, technical information, and innovative solutions to trail issues from around the country.
  • Access to an e-mail news group for NRT managers only to receive updates on funding, resources, and technical assistance opportunities.
  • Access to networking and training opportunities.
  • Assistance with recognition and special events highlighting the trail.
  • Trail markers with the NRT logo for your trail: order signs online from the American Trails Store
  • Letters of support for fundraising and trail protection efforts.
  • Some state funding programs also consider NRT designation in allocating Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and other funding administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.
  • Access to update online trail information in the online NRT database