By Ryan McClymont
San Francisco District Public Affairs
The North Slope Trail at Lake Sonoma, in Healdsburg, California, has been designated a national recreation trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The trail is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District and is among 21 trails nationwide designated this year as new national recreation trails. The North Slope Trail joins a national network of more than 1,200 previously designated trails that encompass more than 14,000 miles of existing trails and trail systems in all 50 states.
The national recreation trail designation recognizes those trails that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. The first national trails were established in the early 1970s.
The North Slope Trail is an easy-to-hike one-mile trail through the coastal hills of northern California. This popular trail has sweeping views of Lake Sonoma and the surrounding wine country and is enjoyed by a wide variety of visitors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Northern California Chapter of the Back County Horsemen of America; not-for-profit organizations, including the Friends of Lake Sonoma; and park volunteers formed a unique partnership to achieve the design and construction of the trail.
The park rangers at Lake Sonoma received a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from the Secretary of the Interior and national recreation trail markers to place on the North Slope Trail.
This year’s designation of 21 new national trails adds over 450 miles of trails to the National Trails System. These land and water trails connect people with nature and the great outdoors as part of a healthier lifestyle, a core principle behind President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside! initiatives.
The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website at http://www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails.
As the nation’s largest federal provider of water-based recreation, the Army Corps of Engineers’ more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states provide more than 7,700 miles of diverse land and water trail systems. Agency officials credit the support of local public and private organizations and the thousands of volunteers annually in helping to make these trails available for public use.