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News Release


February 12, 2014
Mark Newell, APR 573-308-3850 mnewell@usgs.gov
Jack Haskel 916-285-1846 jhaskel@pcta.org
Matt McGrath 425-783-6199 mtmcgrath@fs.fed.us

National Scenic Trails Added to Washington State Maps

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Additional Contact:  Larry Moore, 303-202-4019,  lmoore@usgs.gov


Newly released US Topo maps  for Washington now feature segments of the Pacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails. Several of the 1,446 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the Trails along with other improved layers.

These trails are two of 11 National Scenic Trails in the U.S.

"Recreationists love maps and the Washington State US Topo maps will provide great planning and navigation tools for hikers and equestrians using the PCT," said Beth Boyst, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager. "'Plan ahead and prepare' for the trip is the corner stone of 'Leave No Trace' principles of backcountry travel."

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is a treasured pathway through some of the most scenic terrain in the nation. Beginning in southern California at the Mexican border, the PCT travels a total distance of 2,650 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington until reaching the Canadian border. The PCT is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress in the 1968 National Trails System Act and fifty-four percent of the trail lies within designated wilderness.

"The Pacific Northwest Trail travels through rugged, remote wilderness areas and downtown Main Streets in gateway communities," says Matt McGrath, the Pacific Northwest Trail Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service. "These new maps will improve recreational experiences by better connecting visitors to the varied opportunities available along the PNT."

The Pacific Northwest Trail begins near the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and travels more than 1,200 miles through Montana, Idaho, and Washington before reaching its western terminus at the Pacific Ocean near Cape Alava. The Trail was designated by Congress as a NST in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009.

The USGS partnered with the National Forest Service to incorporate the two trails onto the Washington US Topo maps. These two NST's join the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin as being featured on the new Topo maps. The USGS hopes to eventually include all National Scenic Trails in The National Map products. ­­­­­­­­­­­

These new maps replace the first edition US Topo maps for Washington and are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

As with all US Topo map updates, the replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for download.

To download US Topo maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

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The National Trails System was established by Act of Congress in 1968. The Act grants the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture authority over the National Trails System.  The Act defines four types of trails. Two of these types, the National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails, can only be designated by Act of Congress.  National scenic trails are extended trails located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, and cultural qualities of the area through which such trails may pass.

There are 11 National Scenic Trails:

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
  • Florida National Scenic Trail
  • Arizona National Scenic Trail
  • New England National Scenic Trail
  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail


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