Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Deputy Secretary Hayes, Senator Durbin Announce Designation of 41 New National Recreation Trails
Office of the Secretary
Lake Michigan Water Trail Joins National Network
CHICAGO, IL — Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the designation of 41 trails as National Recreation Trails, adding almost 650 miles of trails to the National Trails System. Spanning across 17 states, the land and water trails provide opportunities for communities to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors as part of a healthier lifestyle, the core principles behind President Obama's America's Great Outdoors and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Outside! initiatives.
“From coast to coast, National Recreation Trails help connect Americans with the wonders of America's Great Outdoors," said Deputy Secretary Hayes. "Today's new National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, provide great opportunities for people to get outside, get active and have fun. The trails establish a strong link in our urban and rural communities alike to a conservation legacy for future generations to build upon."
Today's announcement took place on the Lake Michigan waterfront where Deputy Secretary Hayes and Senator Durbin designated the new Lake Michigan Water Trail – Chicago to New Buffalo Section, which is the first leg of an ambitious shoreline trail around the entire Lake. The designation of the Lake Michigan Water Trail is part of President Obama's larger vision, as outlined through the America's Great Outdoors report, to create connected water trails along America's waterways with a network of public access points.
“The Lake Michigan Water Trail's official designation will make it easier for local residents and visitors alike to find and visit Lake Michigan shorelines,” said Senator Durbin. “There's no better way to take in urban landscapes like the Chicago skyline than from a canoe or a kayak. And as more people have this opportunity to enjoy this wonderful treasure on Chicago's lakefront, more people will share in our resolve to protect the health of the Great Lakes.”
Today's announcement comes in advance of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4, when hundreds of organized activities including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications will take place around the country.
The following 41 trails have been designated as National Recreation Trails. For more information on each trail, please click here.
Chattahoochee Valley Railroad (CVRR) Trail – Northern Section
Chattahoochee Valley Railroad (CVRR) Trail – Southern Section
Chewacla State Park Trail System
Chief Ladiga Trail (Jacksonville Section)
Chief Ladiga Trail (Piedmont Section)
Citronelle Walking Trail
City of Foley Antique Rose Trail
DeSoto State Park Trail System
Florala-Lake Jackson Scenic Trail
Lake Guntersville State Park Trail System
Lake Lurleen State Park Trail System
The Larry and Ronna Dykes Trail
Montevallo Greenway Trail
Queen City Park Trail
Sunset Drive Trail
Swan Creek Greenway Trail
Talladega-Lincoln Outdoor Park Trails (T.O.P.TRAILS)
Tannehill Tramway Trail
Village Pointe Preserve Park Trail System
Wind Creek State Park Trail System
Yoholo-Micco, The Creek Indian Trail
Old Post Mountain Bike Trail
Springhill Park Mountain Bike Trail
Quinebaug River Water Trail – Thompson Section
Tom Varn Hiking and Jogging Trail
Withlacoochee State Trail
ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN
Lake Michigan National Water Trail – Chicago to New Buffalo Segment
Ray Yellig Memorial Trail
Sand Creek Trail
Catoctin Trail (Blue Trail)
The Waverley Trail
Froland Waterfowl Production Area Interpretive Trail
Barclay Farm Trails
Croft Farm Trails
Sandtown Nature Trail
Blue Marsh Lake Multi-Use Trail
Susquehanna River Water Trail – West Branch
Warriors' Path State Park Mountain Bike Trail System
Ralph S. Larue/West Fork Trail
The National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the new National Recreation Trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Salazar, and a set of trail markers. These trails join a network of more than 1,100 previously designated trails that total more than 13,000 miles.
The National Recreation Trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. 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.