.…a national system is one that is made up of trails in a city or town, those that pass through the countryside, those on private lands and on public lands in state and national parks and forests. Creating a system means learning where trails are and developing connections that link them together into networks and where desirable and necessary, building new trails that also connect. Just as the nation’s roads, whether interstate highways, state roads, county roads or village streets, are seen as a system, developed and managed by various entities and levels of government, so should trails be viewed. A system will result only when individual trails or a community or park or forest trail system are looked at and planned for in the context of a larger system.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990
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