The American Discovery Trail is designed to serve as the backbone of a nationwide network of trails, and we need your help to make it an official part of the National Trails System.

Becoming a part of the National Trails System is a multi-step process. In the first step, Congress passed a law directing the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility and desirability study to determine if the ADT qualified to become a part of the National Trails System.

This study recommended that the ADT be added to the National Trails System as the first of a new category of long-distance trails to be known as National Discovery Trails. Legislation to implement this recommendation, known as the National Discovery Trails Act, has been introduced in Congress several times. The bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times, but each time it stalled in committees in the House.

There have also been attempts to pass ‘watered down’ bills permitting the National Park Service to allow placement of ADT signs but these have also died in committee. (The National Forests and BLM usually follow the NPS’s lead in these matters though they can operate independently)

Currently there is no pending legislation, please watch the Latest News page for updates on this matter – we will keep trying.