Recently the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that they were adding 19 new National Recreation Trails (NRT), that included the Cannon Valley Trail, in Minnesota. This will add an additional 370 miles to over a 1,000 trails in the NRT system network throughout the U.S.
Confirmation of these trails, Secretary Zinke stated. “By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone. Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature. These trails in both urban and rural areas will boost tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”
The National Park Service also acknowledges the added trails
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike.” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors.”
Both the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture have the authority to approve designations in response to an application from the trail’s managing agency or organization. The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service. This is done in conjunction with a number of other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.
About the Cannon Valley Trail
The Cannon Valley Trail is a 19.7 mile long trail that runs through diverse and spectacular scenery on a former Chicago Great Western Railroad line. The trail connects the cities of Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota.
Paralleling the Cannon River, the Trail offers glimpses and panoramas of the valley. There is a gradually descends 115 feet in elevation from Cannon Falls to Red Wing. Along the trail, pedal past overhanging cliffs and extensive wetland complexes for viewing. Throughout the year nature’s seasonal changes are vividly displayed along the trail.
The Trail is open year round for bicycling, in-line skating, skateboarding, similar wheeled recreational devices, hiking, walking and cross country skiing. Trail users age 18 or older must have a valid Wheel Pass when using the trail from April 1st – November 1st.