Happy 50th to the Trails, Rivers, etc…


Remember that classic TV show where the pregnant wife has gone into sudden labor and the husband gets pulled over for speedingย  while trying to reach the hospital but then the quick-thinking police officer provides an escort with sirens blazing for the expectant couple? Perhaps cliche, but fifty years ago today, that scene played out for my parents and I narrowly avoided charging into this world on the city streets thanks to the NYPD.


October of 1968 was also a fruitful month for our public lands. On October 2nd of that year, the National Trails System Act and the Wild and Scenic River Act were both signed into law.

The Tomales Point Trail is a National Recreation Trail contained within the NPS Point Reyes Unit.

The National Trails System Act initially designated two national scenic trails, the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and made provisions to study 14 other trails for inclusion. The Act was later amended to include historic trails and rail trails. Today there are thousands of miles of national trails including 11 National Scenic Trails and 19 National Historic Trails. The trails are managed by five different government agencies and more information can be found on the Partnership for the National Trails System Website.

The Rogue Wild and Scenic River in Oregon was one of the original 8 rivers named under the Act in 1968.

The National Wild and Scenic River Act initially designated eight rivers and today protects over 150 rivers. These are managed by four government agencies and more information can be found on the National Rivers Website. To see my previous post on the Middle Delaware click here (posts on the Rogue and Flathead National Rivers are coming soon.)

The Smith Wild and Scenic River in California runs through parts of Redwood National Park.

Redwood National Park was also designated on October 2nd, 1968. To see my post on that park, click here.


Other park sites (which I have yet to visit) and are turning 50 in October include:

  • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Washington.
  • North Cascades National Park, Washington.
  • Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington.
  • Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, North Carolina.
  • Biscayne National Monument, Florida. (Re-designated Biscayne National Park in 1980)

Found this video clip I must have accidentally taken on my waterproof camera while kayaking down the Smith River:



40 thoughts on “Happy 50th to the Trails, Rivers, etc…

  1. Happy birthday! You must visit those parks/recreation areas you mentioned in my home state of Washington. They are wonderful! I love traveling but I’m proud of the homegrown beauty of Washington.
    May your next 50 be as blessed as your first 50!

  2. Happy Birthday and I concur that you need to visit the Northwest to add the North Cascades and Lake Chelan to your list – and visit some good NW Breweries while you are at it.

  3. A very special Happy Birthday to you, Ms. T.! I’m glad we found each other online. <3 You are so inspiring for me to see some of these places. Some parks, we share; and some parks I still have to visit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Steve

    Please post a picture of the map on your wall with pins marking all the places you’ve been. We all know you have one! Most interesting post!

      1. Sadly, all our reps (in rural, North Georgia) are all red as can be and wanting to emulate our disgusting president, eager to drill, or dig, or develop as much public land as possible. Their canned responses literally make me nauseous…

      2. Blue state here, but red, gerrymandered congressional district. The rep is a dem but trying not to alienate the more conservative component of his constituency. His responses give less specifics on what he is doing for conservation than the senators. Wish he was stronger on these issues but he has taken a pretty firm stance against other repugnant Trump policies. Hopefully we’ll have a more balanced government after November 6th so we don’t wind up with condos on the rim of the Grand Canyon or oil wells in Yellowstone ๐Ÿ™„

  5. Happy birthday! As our government is trying to shrink our National Parks, Monuments and trails, your blog is so important, educating the public to the necessity of these entities. Oh, my parents didn’t make it to the hospital==I was born in the doctor’s car!

    1. Well thank you! Hope it was a full-size car…can’t imagine that happening in a mini Cooper, lol.
      The National Parks Traveler is great about reporting on park news and they send out a weekly newsletter:
      Another valuable resource in the fight to keep our public lands protected is the Sierra Club. They have a ‘take action’ section on the website and send out e-mail action alerts too. Clicking on the action plans and putting in your zip code will send e-mails to your senators and congressional rep urging them to support or oppose relevant legislation. https://www.sierraclub.org/take-action
      Maybe I will do a few posts on parks activism…thanks for the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

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