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The National Digital Trails Project

Our Nation is home to thousands of miles of trails maintained by many different land management agencies and organizations. Since January 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Digital Trails project has been supporting the U.S. Department of the Interior's priority of improving access to our nation's public lands. The first objective was to help improve connectivity between existing trails and trail networks by developing a trail planning support tool for assisting land managers in identifying and prioritizing candidate trails. Utilizing geospatial analysis, the web-based Trail Routing, Analysis, and Information Linkage System enables land managers to visualize optimal connector routes between existing trails based on slope, land ownership, transportation, surface water, and user-defined custom areas. Secondly, the project was tasked with the creation of a nationwide, public domain, geospatial trail dataset which includes trails from key federal land management agencies and many states. A robust trail network supports increased access and expands recreational opportunities over public lands. This presentation provides an overview of the project and discusses project accomplishments and future steps.

Cynthia Rachol

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