MZTA - Mile Zero Trail Association

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Proposed Southern Great Plains to Interior Highlands Trail

A Mile Zero Trail Association Key Project: The Link Trail

Three North-South trails - the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Pacific Crest Trail - are considered the "Triple Crown of Hiking." Making connections between them, however, is the future of access and use for these visionary projects in the United States. The Mile Zero Trail Association believes the greatest opportunity exists in the project we have proposed and named "Southern Great Plains to Interior Highlands Trail," or the "Link Trail."

Resources described below (in a preliminary assessment), which may be accessed by the trail for education, recreation and quality of life, emphasize the enormous value and potential of the trail.


Project Details

Project concepts are subject to change, but open to review in the present state.

Status

Link Trail A (LTA) - Auto Touring (Automobiles, possibly being highly suitable for autonomous vehicles in the future) - The full route exists. It will be identified and described within a few months. Promotion will begin by the end of 2018.

Link Trail B (LTB) - Bike Touring (Bicycles and wheelchair accessible segments) - The route will first be identified based on existing roads. It will be planned to utilize existing public campgrounds that are about 60 miles apart on the route. A major goal of trail condition is that it support an American Heartland Bike Tour in the future.

Link Trail C (LTC) - Hiking (Conservancy maintained thru-hiking and local walking trail) - About 35 percent of the route follows existing trails. Additional trails and secondary roads will be utilized. Chapters of the association will advocate for and construct trail segments. They work to improve the trail experience and possibly offer programs to benefit visitors and local communities. A "shelterbelt" tree program is planned.


Campaigns

Link Trail D (LTD) - "Link Trail D" (not a seperate route) will encourage people and tour companies to take Link Trail D ("The Detour"), a roads-less-traveled tour that customizes and highlights specific interests that are abundant in the Central United States, along the Link Trail Corridor that roughly parallels and may utilize Histporic U.S. Route 66, the Bankhead Highway, Interstates 40, 30, 20 and 10 (for example, selecting a route that follows the Link Trail to a destination and one of the other routes back). "The Detour" will offer travel advice and planning for trail users who are interested in specific subjects, like history, music, nature, outdoor adventure, and more.

The Mile Zero Trail Association and/or the conservancy will explore the possibility of cities, towns and parks along the Link Trail creating an advertising and marketing fund to promote cultural tourism and recreation opportunities offered along the Link Trail to interested populations in other countries.

Learn more about trail interests and planned campaigns.


Utilization

The Link Trail not only supports multiple modes of transit, but also many uses and interests.

A National Cultural Trail - Unique cultures, diversity, history, the American music story, anthropology, archaeology, and more.

An Educational and Scientific Trail - Geology, environmental studies, ecology, ornithology, wildlife biology, botany, nature, forestry, archaeology, and more.

A Recreation Trail - Healthy activity, health benefits for local communities.

Economic Benefits - Connectivity between communities, hospitality and creative enterprises, and more.

A Competitive Trail - Potential to host America's own version of the Tour de France.

Mass Access - Remote, off main transit hubs, serving underutilized communities and resources, but adjacent to large populations (which currently exceed 36 million people).

Future Value - Intermodal use, new technology, highly accessible, sections with wheelchair access, utilization of mass transit and ridesharing services, and more.


Link Trail utilizes scenic backroads
The Link Trail utilizes hiking and equestrian trails, and scenic backroads


Planning

PLANNED REGIONAL DISTRICTS AND SECTIONS

CONFERENCE: ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

I. Rocky Mountains to Western Great Plains (High Plains)
A. Continental Divide (El Rito or Coyote Ranger District) to Taos, NM
B. Taos, NM to Maxwell, NM
C. Maxwell, NM to Rita Blanca National Grassland, NM
D. Rita Blanca National Grassland, TX to Stinnett, TX
E. Stinnett, TX to Black Kettle National Grassland/TX Border

II. Central Great Plains (Basins)
A. Black Kettle National Grassland, OK to Interstate 40 (Elk City, OK and Clinton, OK)
B. Interstate 40 (Elk City, OK and Clinton, OK) to Medicine Park, OK
C. Medicine Park, OK to Red River
D. Red River to Denton, TX

CONFERENCE: SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS TO INTERIOR HIGHLANDS

III Cross Timbers: The Arbuckle Cutoff
A. Medicine Park, OK or Duncan, OK to Davis, OK
B. Davis, OK to Talihina, OK/Ouachita NRT

IV. Great Plains (Blackland Prairies) to Interior Highlands
A. Denton, TX to Plano, TX to Farmersville, TX
B. Farmersville, TX to Red River
C. Red River to Talihina, OK/Ouachita NRT
D. Talihina, OK to Little Rock, AR

CONFERENCE: MISSISSIPPI DELTA TO APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS

V. Mississippi River Embayment to Appalachian Foothills
A. Little Rock, AR to Mississippi River (Helena, AR or Memphis, TN)
B. Mississippi River (Helena, AR or Memphis, TN) to Holly Springs National Forest
C. Holly Springs National Forest to Mississippi/Alabama State Line (Tennessee River)

VI. Appalachian Foothills to Eastern Highlands (Appalachian Mountains)
A. Mississippi/Alabama State Line to Huntsville, AL
B. Huntsville, AL to Chattanooga, TN
C. Chattanooga, TN to Appalachian Trail (Southern Terminus or Great Smoky Mountains National Park)


Notes:

At this stage, descriptions of sections and segments originate from west (Continental Divide Trail) to east (Appalachian Trail). It is likely that trail descriptions and measurements will be described from east to west and west to east, but that is to be determined as route descriptions are improved.

A "Segment" of trail may be a full section or part of a section, or a segment that is part of two sections.

"Route" may be an established trail or roadway, one in development, or a description of the general path of the Link Trail.

"Counties" may not be a complete list, depending on final determined route.

"Access" refers to a broad number of features that may be accessed from the Link Trail (A, B or C), or provide access to the Link Trail, including transportation, natural features, parks, cultural and educational resources, population centers, hospitality and services, historic places, and more.

Trail divisions and chapter districts are not divided equally. They are determined by regions and obvious or suitable divisions for the purpose of organizing and planning. Chapter organizations may organize one, two or three additional clubs if needed to plan and manage a span of trail.


Trail priorities (for hiking route):

Dedicated trail (forest, grassland)
Urban/rural greenway space (e.g. rails-to-trails, nature parks)
Backroads/county roads (rural, agricultural)
Farm-to-market, rural highways (with safe easements)
Complete streets (safe sidewalks and bike lanes)
State highways (minimum, only with safe easements)

Note: The trail is planned to make the fewest possible interactions/crossings of Interstate Highways. Seven crossings are needed in non-urban environments. Eight crossings may be needed in four cities (DFW, Little Rock, Memphis, Chattanooga), where environments may usually be traversed by trains, light rail lines and parkway trails.


Initial estimated percentage of trail environment:

50% natural
40% rural, agricultural
10% urban


Geographic Regions overview (with major modern and historic characteristics):

Northcentral New Mexico (Rocky Mountains, Rio Grande, Pueblos)
Northeast New Mexico (Volcanoes, Paleontology, Archaeology)
Texas Panhandle West (Agriculture, Dust Bowl, Western History)
Texas Panhandle East (Agriculture, Archaeology, Great Plains)
Westcentral Oklahoma (Geology, Native American History, Route 66)
Southwest Oklahoma (Wichita Mountains, Geology, Wildlife)
Northcentral Texas (Cities, Prairies, History, Transportation)
Southcentral Oklahoma (Cross Timbers, Arbuckle Mountains, Indian Territory)
Southeast Oklahoma (Ouachita Mountains, Nature, Geology, Outlaw History)
Westcentral Arkansas (Ouachita Mountains, Nature, Resorts, History)
Eastcentral Arkansas (Mississippi River, Wetlands, Louisiana Purchase)
Northwest Mississippi (Delta, Agriculture, African American History, Music History)
Northeast Mississippi (Hills, Forests, Natchez Trace, Civil War History)
Northwest Alabama (Tennessee Valley, Historic Trails, History, Music History)
Northeast Alabama (Cumberland Plateau, Foothills, Trail of Tears, History)
Southeast Tennessee (Appalachian Mountains, Native American History, Railroads)


NEW MEXICO (ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO GREAT PLAINS)

NORTHCENTRAL TO NORTHEAST NEW MEXICO (CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TO TAOS, NM TO RITA BLANCA NATIONAL GRASSLAND)

Segment: Continental Divide (El Rito or Coyote Ranger District) to Taos, NM
Route: Santa Fe National Forest and/or Carson National Forest, To be determined
Counties: Rio Arriba, Taos

Access: Rocky Mountains, Rio Grande, Rio Grande Gorge, Carson National Forest, Earthship Community, Ghost Ranch, Rio Grande Trail (proposed), Continental Divide Trail, Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (Ride the Divide trail), Rio Grande National Forest, Tres Piedras, Chili Line Narrow Gauge Railroad (historic), Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, Tierra Amarilla, Rio Arriba County Courthouse

Additional Possible Access: Rio Grande Gorge State Park, Heron Lake State Park, El Vado Lake, Chama, Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark), San Luis Valley, Rio Grande Headwaters Basin, Rio Grande National Forest, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Laguna and Zia Trail (historic), Acoma and Salt Lake Trail (historic), Zuni Trail, Sky City Cultural Center/Haak'u Museum, Acoma Pueblo, El Morro National Monument, El Malpais National Monument, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area, Acoma Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mount Taylor, Jemenez Springs, Chamisa Wilderness Study Area, Tierra Amarilla, Abiquiu, Tres Piedras, Gila National Forest, Plains of San Augustin


Segment: Taos, NM to Maxwell, NM
Route: Carson National Forest trails and/or forest roads, Parallel Santa Fe Trail (Mountain Route)
Counties: Taos, Colfax, Mora

Access: Russell's Travel Center (auto), Maxwell, Springer, Colfax County Corthouse (historic, currently a history museum), Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, Laguna Madre, Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center and Museum, Santa Fe Trail (historic), Santa Fe Trail Cimarron Cutoff (historic), National Old Trails Road (historic), Cimarron, Raton, Climax Canyon Park Geology (K-T Boundary/Iridium Layer, Evidence of Meteorite Impact), Raton Downtown Historic District, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Philmont Museum, Kit Carson Museum, Morphy Lake State Park, Miami Lake, Carson National Forest, Angel Fire, Palo Flechado Pass, Valle Escondido, Talpa, Rancho de Taos, Saint Francis de Asis Church, Spanish Trail, Taos, Taos Square, Taos Pueblo, Museums, Cleveland Roller Mill Museum, Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, Agua Piedra Campground, Taos Ski Valley, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Cimarron Canyon State Park, Eagle Nest Lake

Additional Possible Access: Santa Fe National Forest, Embudo, Embudo Stream Gauging Station (National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark), Espanola, Chimayo, Los Alamos, White Rock, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Plaza, Museum Hill, Canyon Road, Santa Fe Railyard, Santa Fe Southern Historic Railway, New Mexico Rail Runner (NMRX), Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, Madrid, Cerillos, Indian Pueblos, Bandelier National Monument, Valle Grande, Valles Caldera National Preserve, El Camino Real, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, Albuquerque, Albuquerque and Wingate Road (historic), Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (historic), Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Santa Fe Branch (spur), Grand Enchantment Trail, Great Western Loop


Segment: Maxwell, NM/Raton, NM to Rita Blanca National Grassland
Route: Parallel Santa Fe Trail (Cimarron Cutoff) and Chico Road
Counties: Colfax, Mora, Union, Harding

Access: Santa Fe Trail (historic), Goodnight-Loving Trail (historic), National Old Trails Road (historic), McNees Crossing Monument, Rabbit Ear Mesa, Clayton Lake State Park (dinosaur tracks), Clayton Dinosaur Trackway, Clayton, Clayton Public Library, Herzstein Memorial Museum, Luna Theatre, Eklund Hotel, Fisher Park, Folsom, Folsom Archaeological Site, Red Mountain, Folsom Hotel, Amistad Gymnasium (historic WPA project), Sierra Grande, Capulin Volcano National Monument, River Mesa, Horseshoe Crater, Pine Butte East, Pine Butte West, Kiowa Mesa, Raspberry Mountain, Temple Peak, Rincon Peak, South Chico Hill, Malpie Mountain, Barela Mountain, Dorsey Mansion State Monument, Chico Hills, Point of Rocks Mesa, Pine Buttes, Laughlin Peak, Palo Blanco Mountain, Temple Peak, volcanic cones and craters

Additional Possible Access (From Black Mesa Nature Preserve): Highway 456 to Capulin Volcano National Monument and Highway 72 to Sugarite Canyon State Park, Raton; Also, Highway 120 to Kiowa National Grassland to Ocate Mesa to Angel Fire (highway closed in winter), Mills Canyon, Mills Canyon Rim Campground, Chicosa Lake State Park, Canadian River, Trinidad, Trinidad State Park, Raton Pass, Sugarite Canyon State Park, Wagon Mound, Wagon Mound National Historic Landmark


TEXAS PANHANDLE (RITA BLANCA NATIONAL GRASSLAND TO BLACK KETTLE NATIONAL GRASSLAND)

Segment: Rita Blanca National Grassland to Stinnett, TX
Route: Parallel U.S. 287
Counties: Dallam, Hartley, Sherman, Moore, Hutchison

Access: Permian Basin, Dumas, Window on the Plains Museum, Dalhart, XIT Museum, XIT Ranch, Adrian Lion's Club Farm and Ranch Museum, La Rita Theatre Performing Arts Center, Lake Rita Blanca Park, Empty Saddle Monument, Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Rita Blanca National Grassland, Thompson Grove Recreation Area, Thompson Grove Campground, Channing, XIT General Office,

Additional Possible Access: 1849 California Road, Farwell, Farwell City Park (Ozark Trails marker), Stratford, Sherman County Depot Museum, Black Mesa (5239' elevation; 4973' in Oklahoma, highest elevation point in Oklahoma), Black Mesa State Park and Nature Preserve, Black Mesa Trail, Basketmakers Cave, Robbers Roost Peak, Boise City, Felt, Kenton, Wheeless, Camp Nichols, Santa Fe Trail, Cedar Breaks Archaeological District, Autograph Rock Historic District, Cold Spring and Inscription Rock Historic District, Three Entrance Cave Archaeological District, Red Ghost Cave Archaeological District, Bat Cave Archaeological District, Dust Bowl (historic event), Cimarron County Courthouse,


Segment: Stinnett, TX to Black Kettle National Grassland
Route: Parallel Canadian River
Counties: Hutchison, Carson, Roberts, Gray, Hemphill, Wheeler

Access: Lake Marvin Recreation Area, Canadian, Canadian River, Canadian River Wagon Bridge, 1849 California Road, Randolf Barnes Marcy history (author of "Prairie Traveler: a hand-book for overland expeditions"), Battle of Adobe Walls Historic Site, Women's Christian Temperance Union Hemphill County Library, Canadian Palace Theatre, Citadelle Art Foundation Museum, River Valley Pioneer Museum, Battle of Buffalo Wallow, Red River War, Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area and Lake Marvin, Black Kettle National Grasslands, Borger, Hutchinson County Historical Museum, Morley Theater, Stinnett, Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway (historic Rock Island), Isaac McCormick Pioneer Cottage, A.M. Coffee Track and Prehistoric Bison Exhibit (city hall), Texas Plains Trail (auto), Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Fritch, Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Lake Meredith Aquatic and Wildlife Museum, Comanche Trail (aka Comanche Trace, Comanche War Trail)

Additional Possible Access: Texas Plains Trail (auto), Perryton, Whigham Park, Museum of the Plains, "Buried City" Archaeological Site, Mobeetie, Old Mobeetie Jail Museum, Battle of Sweetwater Creek, Fort Elliot, Buffalo Soldiers, White Deer, Polish Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Skellytown, Skelly Gas Station (restored), Pampa, Red River Expedition of 1852 (historic marker). Southern Kansas Railway, White Deer Land Museum, Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center, Gray County Courthouse, Miami, Roberts County Museum, Spearman, J.B. Buchanan Vintage Windmill Collection, Stationmaster's House Museum, Santa Fe Depot, Panhandle, Carson County Square House Museum, Thomas Cree's Little Tree (memorial), Quanah Parker Trail (marker), Santa Fe Depot (Panhandle city hall), Amarillo, Amarillo Botanical Gardens, Amarillo College Natural History Museum, American Quarter Horse Museum, Cadillac Ranch, Big Texan Steakhouse Restaurant, Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Shamrock, Tower Conoco Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Pioneer West Museum, Magnolia Gas Station, Texas Theatre, Shamrock Water Tower, McLean, First Phillips 66 Service Station in Texas, Route 66, Wellington (Ozark Trail marker), Ritz Theatre, Dimmitt (Ozark Trail marker), Miami, Pampa, McClellan Creek National Grassland, Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lubbock, American Wind Power Center, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Buddy Holly Center, Cactus Theatre


WESTERN OKLAHOMA (BLACK KETTLE NATIONAL GRASSLAND to RED RIVER)

Segment: Black Kettle National Grassland to Elk City, OK/Clinton, OK
Route: Parallel Highway 73 and Highway 33
Counties: Roger Mills, Beckham, Custer, Washita

Access: Foss Lake State Park, Foss Lake, Foss Lake Bike Tour Route, Black Kettle National Grassland, Black Kettle Museum, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Great Plains Shelterbelt (historic Prairie States Forestry Program in response to the Dust Bowl), Antelope Hills

Alternate (auto)
Segment: Elk City, OK to Black Kettle National Grassland
Route: Highway 6 to Highway 283
Counties: Roger Mills, Beckham, Custer, Washita

Access: Route 66, Black Kettle National Grassland, Black Kettle Museum, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Black Kettle's Camp (camp site), Washita Battlefield Visitor Center, Spring Creek Lake, Spring Creek Lake Campground, Skipout Campground, Black Kettle Campground, Cheyenne, Memorial Park, U.S. Forestry Department


Segment: Elk City, OK/Clinton, OK to Medicine Park, OK
Route: Highway 115, Parallel Washita River
Counties: Beckham, Washita, Greer, Kiowa, Comanche

Access: Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, Mount Scout (829' prominence), Mount Scout Observation Area, Comanche County High Point (935' prominence), King Mountain (866' prominence), Soldiers Peak (786' prominence), Tepee Mountain (754' prominence), Long Mountain (717' prominence), Navajo Mountains (690' prominence), Mount Sherman (682' prominence), Walsh Mountain, Mount Pincho, Mount Marcy, Mount Sheridan, Flat Top Mountain, Blue Mountain, Baker Peak, Elk Mountain, Quartz Mountain, Prairie Dog Town, Medicine Creek, Meers, The Stick Hills, Wichita Mountains National Scenic Byway, Zodletone Mountain and Zodletone Spring Microbial Observatory (Oklahoma University/Oklahoma State University/NSF), Saddle Mountain, Cooperton, Cutthroat Gap Massacre site, Babbs, Babbs Schoolhouse Fire site, Ozark Trail (historic auto route, locally named "The Old Ozark Trail" between Anadarko and Hobart; much of it became Route 66), Hobart, Anadarko Basin, Clinton, Route 66, Route 66 Museum, Cheyenne Cultural Center

Alternate (auto)
Segment: Elk City to Medicine Park
Counties: Beckham, Washita, Greer, Kiowa, Comanche

Route: Highway 49 to Highway 19 to Highway 6
Access: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Mount Scout Observation Area, Glen Mountains, Great Plains State Park, Mountain Park, Soldiers Peak, Saddle Mountain, Quartz Mountain, Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center, Lake Altus-Lugert, Granite, Walsh Mountain, Great Western Trail, Elk City, National Route 66 Museum, National Transportation Museum, Hedlund Motor Company Building, Farm and Ranch Museum, Anadarko Basin Museum of Natural History (presently closed)

Additional Possible Access: Mangum, Western Trail (historic), Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway (later Missouri, Kansas and Texas "Katy" Railway), Old Greer County Museum and Pioneer Hall of Fame, Margaret Carter Library (genealogy), Dr Pepper Bottling Company (historic),


NORTHCENTRAL TEXAS LOOP (MEDICINE PARK TO DENTON TO PLANO TO OUACHITA NRT)

Segment: Medicine Park, OK to Courtney, OK/Red River
Route: Parallel Highway 89, Parallel and cross Chisholm Trail/U.S. Highway 81
Counties: Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson, Love

Access: Lawton, Museum of the Great Plains, Comanche national Museum and Cultural Center, Fort Sill Museum, Fort Sill, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, St. Louis-San Francisco "Frisco" Railway, Spanish Fort (historic [with marker], site of a Taovaya [Wichita/Caddoan] village and Battle of the Twin Villages), Taovayan Valley, Cross Timbers, Mud Creek, Comanche, Comanche Lake, Waurika Lake, Duncan, Meridian Highway (historic), Chisholm Trail (historic), Lake Ellsworth, Lake Lawtonka, Medicine Park, Wichita Mountains, Sterling, Elgin, Geronimo Gravesite, Monument to Apache Prisoners of War, Fort Sill National Cemetery


Segment: Illinois Bend, TX/Red Iver to Denton, TX
Route: Pass to the west side of Ray Roberts Lake, Parallel Elm Fork of the Trinity River
Counties: Denton, Cooke, Montague, Tarrant, Decatur

Access: DCTA A-train, Denton County Historical Park, Denton historic downtown, Bayless Selby House Museum, African American Museum in Historic Quakertown House, Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, restaurants, live music venues, craft/micro breweries, Ray Roberts Lake, Ray Roberts Greenbelt Trailhead, Elm Fork of the Trinity River, Muenster, MKT Railroad, Ben and Aggie Fette Seyler Muenster Museum, Illinois Bend, Spanish Fort (historic markers, site of 1759 Battle of the Twin Villages), Red River

Additional Possible Access: Denison, Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, Eisenhower State Park, Lake Texoma, Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Red River Railroad Museum, Heritage Park, Denisons Farmers Market, Sherman, C.S. Roberts House and Museum, Denison and Sherman Railway (Interurban Railway), Sherman Jazz Museum, Sherman Museum, Durant, Three Valley Museum, Theodore Roosevelt whistle stop train visit (historic event), Caddo, Caddo Indian Territory Museum, Dorthea Lange photographer during Great Depression (historic event), Fort Washita Historic Site, Chickasaw White House, Texas Road (historic), Butterfield Overland Mail Route (historic), Colbert, Colbert's Ferry (historic), Colbert's Station (historic), California Road (historic), Platter Flats Camp (Army COE), Carpenter's Bluff Bridge, Grapevine Lake, Lewisville Lake, LLELA Nature Preserve, Pilot Knoll Park, Willow Grove Park, Hidden Cove Park, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Decatur, Whistle Stop Cafe, LBJ National Grasslands, LBJ National Grasslands Bike Trails, TADRA Point Trailhead, Pilot Point historic downtown, Texas Tulips farm, Butterfield Stage Theatre (Carnegie Library), C.S. Roberts House, Weatherford, Weatherford historic downtown, Weatherford to Fort Worth bike route (Trinty Trails), Clark Gardens Botanical Park, craft/micro breweries, Mineral Wells, Baker Hotel, Crazy Bath House (Famous Mineral Water Company historic marker), Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway, Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway, Cross Timbers Back Country Trail, Bat World Sanctuary, Lone Star Amphitheatre


ARBUCKLE CUTOFF (WICHITA MOUNTAINS TO OUACHITA MOUNTAINS)

Segment: Lawton, OK or Duncan, OK to Davis, OK
Davis, OK to Talihina, OK/Ouachita NRT
Route: Parallel Highway 7 and Highway 43
Counties: Comanche, Stephens, Garvin, Carter, Murray, Johnston, Atoka, Pittsburg, Latimer, Pushmataha, Le Flore

Access: Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Park, Lake Lawtonka, Meridian Highway (historic), Chisholm Trail (historic), Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls Park, Davis, Arbuckle Wilderness, Lake of the Arbuckles, wind farm, quarries, Chickasaw National Recreation Area (formerly Platt National Park), Chickasaw Cultural Center, Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center, Tishomingo, Chickasaw Council House and Museum, Chickasaw Bank Museum, Chickasaw National Capitol Building, The Indie Cinema, Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Boggy Depot State Park, Atoka Reservoir, Atoka Wildlife Management Area, McGee Creek Natural Scenic State Recreation Area, McGee Creek State Park, Sardis Lake, Choctaw Nation Museum, Kiamichi Mountains, Kiamichi River, Talihina, Talimena State Park, Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area, Ouachita Mountains, Talimena Scenic Drive National Scenic Byway, Ouachita National Recreation Trail

Additional Possible Access: Ardmore, Amtrak, Ozark Trail (historic auto route, locally named "The Old Ozark Trail" between Anadarko and Hobart; much of it became Route 66), 1849 California Road, Texas Road (historic), Butterfield Overland Mail Route (historic), Colbert, Colbert's Ferry (historic), Canadian River, Lake Murray State Park, WinStar World casino and Resort, Lake Texoma, Norman, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma River (North Canadian River), Bricktown, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, Harn Homestead, American Indian Culture Center and Museum, American Banjo Museum, Oklahoma Museum of Film, Oklahoma Museum of Telephone History, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum, Oklahoma Railway Museum, Denton, Dallas-Fort Worth


GREAT PLAINS TO INTERIOR HIGHLANDS TO EASTERN HIGHLANDS

BLACKLAND PRAIRIES TO INTERIOR HIGHLANDS (NE TEXAS, SE OKLAHOMA, WC ARKANSAS)

Segment: Plano, TX to Farmersville, TX
Route: DFW Regional Veloweb
Counties: Collin (with access for Denton, Tarrant, Dallas)

Access: DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Red Line, DART Cotton Belt Line (planned), DFW Regional Veloweb, DFW International Airport, The T (Trinity Metro), Trinity Metro (formerly Fort Worth Transportation Authority), TEX Rail, Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), A-Train, Trinity Railway Express, Amtrak, Texas Central High Speed Rail (planned Houston to Dallas), Dallas, Denton, Grapevine, Fort Worth, Lake Worth, Broadview Park CCC Site, Marion Sansom Park, Tandy Hills Nature Area, Bankhead Highway (historic "Texas Highway 1"), Frisco Railroad (historic), Santa Fe Railroad (historic), MKT "Katy" Railroad (historic), Shawnee Trail/Texas Road (historic), Katy Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Interurban Railway Museum, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Twelve Hills Nature Center, Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, Trinity River Audubon Center, Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Center, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Bob Jones Nature Center, Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Southfork Ranch, John Gillin Residence (Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home), Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House, National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, Sid Richardson Museum, Cattle Raisers Museum, Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, Fort Worth Cultural District, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Will Rogers Memorial Center, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Kimbell Art Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Leonard's Department Store Museum, Sundance Square, Dealey Plaza, Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, Whiterock Lake, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Fair Park, Texas Musicians Museum, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arts District, Bishop Arts District, Deep Ellum, restaurants, live music venues, craft/micro breweries, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Meridian Highway (historic), Texas & Pacific Station (historic), administration building and TRE (Trinity Railway Express) station, Frontiers of Flight Museum, C.R. Smith Museum, Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Old Frankford Church, Frisco, Frisco Heritage Center Museum, Frisco Discovert Center, Allen Heritage Center (Houston and Texas Central Railway Train Depot replica), Allen Water Station Stone Dam, Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine Settlement to City Museums, Grapevine historic downtown, Garland historic downtown, Farmers Branch Historical Park, A.W. Perry Homestead Museum, North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center, Carrollton historic downtown, Plano historic downtown, Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas Farmers Market, the Cottages at Hickory Crossing, Juanita Craft Civil Rights House, Dallas African American Museum, Scyene (historic town, now a Dallas neighborhood), historic markers, Old Scyene Road (once a buffalo trail), outlaw history, Mesquite, Florence Ranch Homestead, Cedar Hill State Park, Cedar Hill Museum of History, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art, M-Line Trolley (vintage trolley, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority)

Additional Possible Access: Weatherford, Parker County Courthouse, Santa Fe Depot, historic downtown and residences, Museum of the Americas, Weatherford Farmers Market, Chandor Gardens, Doss Heritage and Culture Center, Weatherford to Fort Worth bike route (Trinity Trails), Clark Gardens Botanical Park, craft/micro breweries, Mineral Wells, Baker Hotel, Crazy Bath House (Famous Mineral Water Company historic marker), Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway, Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway, Cross Timbers Back Country Trail, Bat World Sanctuary, Lone Star Amphitheatre, Possum Kingdom Lake, Possum Kingdom State Park Granbury, Hood County Courthouse, Granbury Train Depot, historic downtown and residences, Granbury Opera House, Brazos River, Flower Mound (founded as part of National Urban Policy and New Community Development Act of 1970)


Segment: Farmersville, TX to Paris, TX and Clarksville, TX
Route: Northeast Texas Trail (trail connects Farmersville to New Boston)
Counties: Collin, Hunt, Fannin, Lamar, Red River, Bowie

Access: Caddo National Grassland, Texas Lakes Trail (auto), Jefferson-McKinney Road, Chaparral Trail (Northeast Texas Trail), Farmersville, historic downtown, historic cemeteries, Onion Shed, Honaker-Holsonbake House, Bain-Honaker House, Masonic Lodge No. 214, Aston Building, Paris, Paris Union Station, Union Pacific Depot (historic), Lamar County Historical Museum, Paris Historic District, Bywaters Park, MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) Railroad, Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, Louisiana and Arkansas Railway, Sam Bell Maxey HouseState Historic Site, Paris Community Theatre, Rufus Fenner Scott Mansion (historic), Blossom, (historic railroad front street), Clarksville, Clarksville historic downtown, Blossom (originally named Blossom Prairie), Jefferson Highway (historic), Lavon Lake, McKinney, Chestnut Square Historic Village, Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, Greenville, Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum, Cooper Lake State Park, Pat Mayse Lake, Gambill Wildlife Refuge, Ambia, Kaleidoscope Farms, Ladonia, Ladonia Fossil Park, Sulphur River, Pecan Gap, Pecan Festival, Pecan Gap Chalk (geological layer), Wolfe City, Wolfe City historic downtown, Wolfe City Public Library (historic train depot), Celeste (historic railroad front street), Clymer Meadow Preserve, Clara Foster Slough Museum

Additional Possible Access: Princeton, J.M. Caldwell Sr. Community Park (historic site of mifgrant labor camp and WWII prisoner-of-war camp), Bonham, Bonham historic downtown, Fannin County Museum of History, Sam Rayburn House Museum, Bonham State Park, Greenville, Texarkana, Scott Joplin Mural, Cherokee Trace, Tyler, Cotton Belt Railroad Depot Museum, Smith County Historical Society (Carnegie Library), Texas Rose Festival, Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, Jefferson, Jefferson Historic District, Jay Gould Railcar "Atalanta", Big Cypress Bayou, Caddo Lake, Marshall, Texas & Pacific Depot, Starr Family Home State Historic Site, Mount Vernon, Bankhead Highway Visitor Center, Fire Station Museum, 1894 Railroad Museum, Alamo Mission Museum, Old Mount Vernon Waterworks Plant, Atlanta, Atlanta Historical Museum, Pittsburg, Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Center, Depot Museum and Farmstead Museum, Texas Forest Trail (auto), Texas State Railroad, Palestine, Texas State Railroad Society Museum (Carnegie Library), The Texas Theatre, Republic of Texas National Road


Segment: Paris, TX and Clarksville, TX to Talihina, OK or Talimena State Park
Route: To be determined (TX: Lamar County or Red River County; OK: Choctaw County, Pushmataha County and/or McCurtain County)
Counties: Texas: Lamar, Red River; Oklahoma: McCurtain, Le Flore, Choctaw, Pushmataha, Latimer

Access: Apukshunnubbee District (Chocktaw Nation district), Red River, Idabel, Museum of the Red River, Little River National Wildlife Refuge, Glover River, River Bend Recreation Area, Stephens Gap Recreation Area, Hochatown, Broken Bow, Beavers Bend Resort Park, Beavers Bend State Park, Hochatown State Park/Broken Bow Lake, Ringold, Little River, Pine Creek Lake, Pine Creek Cove, Little River Park, Pine Creek State Park, Old Oklahoma Highway 98, Battiest, Honobia, Ouachita National Forest, Sugar Loaf Mountain (1898' prominence), Cavanal Mountain (1795' prominence), Kiamichi Mountain (1321' prominence), Blue Mountain (1161' prominence), Buffalo Mountain (1146' prominence), Winding Stair Mountain (1121' prominence), Flagpole Mountain (1094' prominence), Blue Mountain (1082' prominence), Boktuklo Mountains (980' prominence), Polecat Peak (906' prominence), Wolf Mountain (841' prominence), Middle Mountain (789' prominence), Sycamore Lookout (771' prominence), Potato Peaks (728' prominence), Big Eagle Creek, Little Eagle Creek, Little Eagle Trail, Oklahoma High Top (721' prominence), Boktuklo Creek, Boktuklo Trail, Honobia Creek Wildlife Management Area, Honobia Trail, Kiamichi Mountains, Red Oak Mountain, Kiamichi River, Long Mountain, East Signal Peak, Three Sticks Monument, Military Road (historic), reported Bigfoot sightings!

Additional Possible Access: Hugo, Hugo Lake State Park, Robbers Cave State Park, Stringtown, Atoka Reservoir, Atoka Wildlife Management Area, McGee Creek Natural Scenic State Recreation Area, McGee Creek State Park, Sardis Lake, Choctaw Nation Museum, Kiamichi Mountains, Kiamichi River, Texas Road (historic), Butterfield Overland Mail Route (historic), California Road (historic), Fort Smith, historic downtown, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith Museum of History, Fort Smith Trolley Museum, W.H.H Clayton House, Riverfront Amphitheatre, Belle Grove Historic District, Miss Laura's Social Club, Fort Chaffee, Arkansas River lock and dam, Springhill Park Campground, Butterfield Overland Mail route, Sallisaw, Spiro Mounds Archaeological State Park, Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (Kansas City Southern Railroad), Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, Cattail Islands, Poteau, Heavener Runestone Park (formerly a State Park), 1849 California Road, Tahlequah, Cherokee Heritage Center, Sequoyah's Cabin, George M. Murrell Home, Webber's Plantation, Woodhall Homeplace, Illinois Campground, historic cemeteries, McAlester, historic district, Hartshorne, Choctaw Coal and Railway, Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway (historic Rock Island), Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church, Jefferson Highway (historic), Lake Eufala, Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufala State Park, Old Choate House Museum, Pushmataha District (Chocktaw Nation district), Moshulatubbee District (Chocktaw Nation district)


NORTHCENTRAL TEXAS LOOP AND ARBUCKLE CUTOFF JOIN OUACHITA NRT

Segment: Talihina, OK or Talimena State Park to Little Rock, AR
Route: Talihina, OK to Natural Steps, AR via Ouachita National Recreation Trail/Ouachita National Scenic Trail; Natural Steps, AR/Pinnacle Mountain State Park to Little Rock via Arkansas River Trail
Counties: Scott, Polk, Yell, Montgomery, Perry, Garland, Saline, Pulaski

Access: Upper Kiamichi River Wilderness, Talimena State Park, Talimena Scenic Drive National Scenic Byway (auto), Oklahoma Scenic Highway 1/Arkansas Highway 88, Skyline Drive, Indian Nations National Scenic and Wildlife Area, Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area, Robert S. Kerr Arboretum, Nature Center and Botanical Area (Kerr Arboretum Trails), Beech Creek National Scenic and Botanical Area, Black Fork Mountain Wilderness, Big Creek, Ouachita River, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Rich Mountain (1931' prominence), Rich Mountain Tower Recreation Area, Poteau Mountain (1899' prominence), Petit Jean Mountain (1530' prominence), Potato Hill Mountain (1221' prominence), Blue Mountain (1213' prominence), Raspberry Mountain (1208' prominence), Fourche Mountain (1080' prominence), Black Fork Mountain (1060' prominence), Ouachita Pinnacle (1011' prominence), White Oak Mountain (950' prominence), High Peak (940' prominence), Pilot Knob (927' prominence), Eagle Mountain (880' prominence), East Poteau Mountain (859' prominence), Ola Mountain (826' prominence), Sharp Top Mountain (803' prominence), West Hanna Mountain (790' prominence), Lost Mountain (779' prominence), Big Brushy Recreation Site, Irons Fork Recreational Area, Lake Ouachita, Fourche La Fave River, Arkansas Scenic Highway 7 (route to Magazine Mountain), Flatside Wilderness, Camp Ouachita National Historic District/Lake Sylvia Recreational Area, Flatside Pinnacle, Flatside Wilderness, Williams Junction, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Maumelle (founded as part of National Urban Policy and New Community Development Act of 1970), Arkansas Arboretum, Lake Maumelle, Arkansas River, Little Rock, Little Rock Arkansas River Trail, Rock Region METRO, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, 1961 Freedom Ride

Additional Possible Access: Mena, Skyline Drive, Mountain Fork Bridge (National Register of Historic Places), Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad, Kansas City Southern Depot (historic), Cossatot River, Hot Springs, Hot Springs National Park, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Ouachita River, Turkey Track Bluegrass, Lake Hamilton, Lake Catherine State Park, Arkansas Scenic Highway 7, Petite Jean River, Magazine Mountain (2753' elevation, highest point in Arkansas; 2143' prominence), Jenkins Ferry State Park, Jenkins Ferry Battleground State Park, Ozark Highlands Trail, Ozark Plateau and Mountains, Buffalo National Wild and Scenic River, Ozark National Forest, Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, Petite Jean State Park, Clarksville, Ozark General Store, Clarksville Depot, Johnson County Historical Society, Spanda Creek Nature Trail, Russellville, Lake Dardanelle State Park, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, Arkansas River, Arkansas River Valley, Dardanelle, Mount Nebo State Park, Fort Smith State Park, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Sallisaw, Spiro Mounds Archaeological State Park, Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (Kansas City Southern Railroad), Poteau, Heavener Runestone Park (formerly a State Park), 1849 California Road, Tahlequah, Cherokee Heritage Center, Sequoyah's Cabin, George M. Murrell Home, Webber's Plantation, Woodhall Homeplace, Illinois Campground, historic cemeteries


MISSISSIPPI EMBAYMENT TO EASTERN HIGHLANDS (APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS)

Segment: Little Rock, AR to Helena, AR or Memphis, TN
Route: To be determined
Counties: Pulaski, Lonoke, Prairie, Monroe, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips, Crittenden

Access: Little Rock, North Little Rock Riverfront Park, Plantation Agriculture Museum, Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park, White River National Recreation Area, St. Francis National Forest, Storm Creek Lake, Mississippi River State Park, Willow Beack Recreation Area, Delta Heritage Trail State Park, White River National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana Purchase Monument State Park, Arkansas Post National Memorial, Mississippi River Alluvial Plain (Mississippi River Embayment), Delta Heritage Trail State Park, Great River Road National Scenic Byway, Clarendon, Military Road Memphis to Little Rock (historic), Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Monroe County Courthouse

Additional Possible Access: Parkin Archaeological State Park, Crittenden County Museum, Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, Village Creek State Park, Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge, Jonesboro, historic downtown, West Washington Avenue Historic District, "Church War of Jonesboro (historic event), St. Louis Southwestern "Cotton Belt" Railway, Missouri Pacific Railroad, St. Louis-San Francisco "Frisco" Railway, St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Singer Forest Natural Heritage Area, Marked Tree, New Madrid Fault, St. Francis River, White River


Segment: Helena, AR or Memphis, TN to Holly Springs National Forest, MS
Route: U.S. Highway 49/Mississippi State Highway 315 (scenic highway); Big River Crossing (Memphis option), parallel U.S. Highways 72 and/or 78
Counties: Shelby (Tennessee); Coahoma, Tunica, Quitman, DeSoto, Tate, Panola, Marshall, Lafayette (Mississippi)

Access: U.S. Highway 61, U.S. Highway 49 ("The Crossroads"), Mississippi River, Mississippi Delta (Mississippi River Embayment), Friars Point (Mississippi River access), "City of New Orleans"/Illinois Central, Memphis, Frisco Bridge (National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark), Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, Harahan Bridge (Big River Crossing), Memphis Area Transit Authority, Shelby Farms Park, Village Creek State Park, C.H. Nash Museum and Chucalissa Archaeological Site, Holly Springs National Forest, Chewalla Recreation Area, Tippah River, Lake Center, Wall Doxey State Park, Sardis Lake, Arkabutla Lake, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Memphis, Big River Crossing, Union Pacific Railroad Trestle, Big River Trail, Delta Regional River Park, Memphis Area Transit Authority, National Civil Rights Museum, 1961 Freedom Ride, Beale Street National Historic Preservation District, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studios, Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Graceland, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear

Additional Possible Access: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, DeSoto County Museum, DeSoto County Courthouse murals, Fuller State Park, Clarksdale, Delta Blues Museum, Cleveland, Dockery Farms, Dockery Service Station, Greenville, Oxford, Carroll County Courthouse, Tate County Heritage Museum, Great River Road National Scenic Byway, Mississippi Blues Trail, Underground Railroad, Tunica, Tunic Resorts, Tunica River Park, Gateway to the Blues, Yazoo City, Belzoni, Catfish Museum and Visitors Center, Jaketown Museum, Mississippi Blues Trail sites, Wister Gardens, Humfreys County Cultural Museum, WWII German Prisons Camp, Sky Lake Wildelife Management Area and Preserve (incl. 2,000 year old Cypress tree), Marks, Mule Train Market, Bentonia, Panther Swamp Wildlife Refuge, Delta National Forest, Blue Front Cafe, Lambert, Train Coal Tower, Tutwiler, Railroad Blues Park, Money, Bryant's Grocery Store, Emmett Till Historic Intrepid Center, Winterville, Winterville Mounds, Delta State University, Grammy Museum Mississippi, Homes of James Earl Jones, Othar Turner and Dumas Malone, Como, Senatobia, Grace, Farmer's Grocery Store, Sidon, Tallahatchie Bridge ("Ode to Billie Joe" lore), Greenwood, Baptiste Town neighborhood, Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Leland, Highway 61 Blues Museum, Mississippi Blues Trail sites, Jim Henson Museum, Doe's Eat Place, Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Center, Rolling Fork Visitors Center and Museum, Mont Helena, Vicksburg, McRaven Tour Home, Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi Freedom Trail, Glenwood Cemetery, Pocahontas Mounds, Mississippi Petrified Forest, Mound Bayou, New Deal Market, Indianola Pecan House, Mississippi Delta "Top 40" sites


Segment: Holly Springs National Forest, MS to MS/AL State Line
MS/AL State Line to Huntsville, AL
Route: Use Tanglefoot Trail (possible), Use Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Follow Tennessee River and Parallel U.S. Highway 72
Counties (Mississippi): Benton, Union, Pontotoc, Chichasaw, Lee, Prentiss, Itawamba, Tishomingo
Counties (Alabama): Lauderdale, Colbert, Lawrence, Limestone, Morgan, Madison

Access: Holly Springs National Forest, Winborn Lookout Tower, Darden Hills, Little Tallahatchie Canal, Little Tallahatchie River, New Albany, Tanglefoot Trail, Pontotoc, Pontotoc Town Square Museum, New Houlka, Tombigbee National Forest, Davis Lake Recreation Area, Gaines Trace (historic), Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Old Natchez Trace Park, Tupelo, Tupelo National Battlefield, Tupelo National Fish Hatchery, Tupelo Automobile Museum, Elvis Presley Birthplace, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Pharr Mounds (NRHP), Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Mississippi Final Stands Interpretive Center, Underground Railroad, Tishomingo, Tishomingo State Park, 1939 Swinging Bridge, Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (Adventure Cycling Association), Bear Creek Mound and Village Site (NRHP), Bay Springs Lake, Crows Neck Recreation and Environmental Center, Natchez Trace Recreation Area, Tennessee River, Florence Waumanona Indian Mound and Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House (Rosenbaum Usonian Home Museum), W.C. Handy Museum, Florence Historic Districts (Walnut Street, Cherry Street, Wood Avenue, Seminary-O'Neal, Sannoner, College Place, Locust Street), Muscle Shoals, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Fame Studios, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Helen Keller Birthplace, Decatur, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson's Military Road (historic), Jackson Highway (historic), Tuscumbia, Tuscumbia Historic District, Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Joe Wheeler State Park, Rogersville, U.S. Highway 72 (historic Indian trail), Ditto Landing, Snake Road, Lamb's Ferry Road, Wheeler Dam Village, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Twickenham Historic District, Old Town Historic District, Five Points Historic District, Lowe Mill Village, Dallas Mill Village, Flying Monkey Arts Center, Clay House Museum, Harrison Brothers Hardware Store, Huntsville Museum of Art, Big Spring International Park, Huntsville Botanical Garden, John Hunt Park, craft/micro breweries, restaurants, festivals

Additional Possible Access: Nashville, Richard Martin Trail, Natchez Trace Parkway, Pulaski, Fayetteville, Old Stone Bridge, Tennessee River Museum, Waterloo Landing, Tuscumbia Landing, Owl Creek Site (NRHP), Tombigbee National Forest, Witch Dance Hill, Bynum Mound and Village Site (NRHP), Winterville Mounds Site (NRHP), Boyd Mounds Site (NRHP), Jackson, Natchez, Emerald Mound Site National Historic Landmark (NRHP), Grand Village of Natchez Indians National Historic Landmark (NRHP), New Orleans, Illinois Central Railroad (City of New Orleans), Bankhead National Forest, J.P. Coleman State Park, Dismals Canyon (bioluminescent glowworms), waterfalls, Sipsie Wilderness, Brushy Lake Recreation Area, Colbert Alloys Park, Mallard Creek Fish Camp, Point Mallard, McFarland Park, Cave Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, Colbert County Rose Trail Park,


Segment: Huntsville, AL to Chattanooga, TN
Route: Follow Tennessee River and Parallel U.S. Highway 72
Counties: Madison, Jackson, Marshall, DeKalb (Alabama); Marion, Hamilton (Tennessee)

Access: Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Land Trust of North Alabama: Monte Sano Nature Preserve, Von Braun Astronomical Society observatories, Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville Depot, North Alabama Railroad Museum, Norfolk Southern Railroad, Mercury and Chase Railroad, North Alabama Railroad Museum, Chase Depot, Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N), Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad, Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority (HMCRA), Huntsville Shuttle (bus and trolley), Port of Huntsville, Wade Mountain Preserve, National Speleological Society, Greenway bike paths, Harvest Square Preserve, Old Railroad Bed Trail, Hotel Monte Sano (historic, no longer exists), Monte Sano (mountain), Little Cove Road Greenway, Aldridge Creek Greenway, Belvins Gap Preserve, The Certain Tract, Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Madison County Nature Trail, Triana Recreation Area, Wade Mountain Nature Preserve, Cathedral Caverns State Park, Russell Cave National Monument, Buck's Pocket State Park, Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve, Chattanooga, Signal Point, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, 1961 Freedom Ride, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Nickajack Trail/Cisca to St. Augustine Trail (historic), Tecallassee (historic Cherokee community), Raccoon Mountain, Crow Creek, Point Park, Battle for Chattanooga Museum, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, Cravens House, Rock City Gardens

Additional Possible Access: Guntersville, Lake Guntersville State Park, Fort Payne, Fort Payne Cabin Historic Site, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Andrew Ross Home, historic cemeteries, Little River Canyon National Preserve, DeSoto State Park, Johns Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Birmingham, Cheaha State Park (Talladega National Forest), Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, Montgomery, Selma, Selma to Montgomery March Byway, Underground Railroad, Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, Tuskegee, Tuscaloosa, Moundville Archaeological Park, Chattanooga, Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), Rome, Georgia, Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, Atlanta


Segment: Chattanooga, TN to Appalachian Trail
Route: To be determined, most certainly to including Benton MacKaye Trail (access to Appalachian Trail (southern terminus) and/or Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
Counties: Hamilton, Bradley, Polk (Tennessee); Cherokee, Graham, Swain, Macon, Clay (North Carolina); Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer (Georgia)

Access: Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Mountains, Signal Point, Chattanooga Regional History Museum, Brown's Ferry Tavern Site, John Ross House, Ross's Landing, Vann's Plantation, Audubon Acres, Cleveland, Southern Railway Depot (historic), Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Spring Frog Cabin, Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail, Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area, Fort Loudoun State Historic Park, McGee Carson Peninsula State Historic Park, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Notchy Creek Recreation Area, Tellico Lake,Toqua Recreation Area, North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area, waterfalls, Benton Falls, Jack River Falls, Cohutta Wilderness, Cohutta Wilderness Trailheads, Big Frog Wilderness, Little Frog Mountain Wilderness, Bald River Gorge Wilderness, Citico Creek Wilderness, Citico (historic Cherokee community), Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, Foothills Parkway, Tellico Plains, Chilhowee, Fontana Dam, Fontana Lake, Chota (historic Cherokee community), Southeast Serpentine Trail, Lake Santeetlah, Tapoco Foothills Trail, Bartram Trail, Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Gee Creek Wilderness, Rich Mountain Wilderness, Amicalola Falls State Park, Hiwassee Ocoee State Park, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Ocoee Whitewater Center, Hiwassee River, Hiwassee Lake, Ocoee River, Tuckaleechee Caverns, Great Eastern Trail, Pinhoti National Recreation Trail, Chattahoochee National Forest, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Stecoah Valley Center Arts Program, Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap, Red Clay State Historic Park, Enterprise South Nature Park, Audubon Acres, Conasauga River, Ed Jenkins National Recreation Area

Additional Possible Access: Savage Gulf State Natural Area, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Georgia Road/Federal Road (historic), Chattanooga-Willstown Road (historic), Great Indian War and Trading Path/Knoxville Road (historic), Blyth Ferry, Charleston, Fort Cass, Lewis Ross Home, Rattlesnake Spring, Hair Conrad Cabin, Junaluska Memorial and Museum, Red Clay State Historic Area, Cherokee County Historical Museum, Chief Vann House Historic Site, New Echota State Historic Site, Cedar Town Encampment, Chieftons Museum, Major Ridge Home, Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Visitor Center, Chota, Tale of the Dragon, Cherokee, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway, Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway, Fontana Lake, Fontana Dam, Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala Outdoor Center, North Carolina Highway 28 (Moonshiner 28), Bryson City, Tsali (historic Cherokee community), Thunderhead Mountain, Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Tuckasegee River, Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians, waterfalls, Franklin, Highlands, Asheville, Knoxville, Etowah, Etowah River, Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Red Top Mountain State Park


Facts

The Link Trail covers:

-1,600-1,800 miles (final determined routes may increase distance, partly based on connecting end points)
-Eight States - Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas
-Nine States, if final route includes North Carolina (highly likely, since Fontana Dam is a good AT connection point)
-Additional simple access to Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina
-Three Time Zones - Eastern, Central and Mountain

The Link Trail directly accesses many National Forests, National Grasslands, National Monuments, National Parks, National Recreation Areas, National Historic Sites and Landmarks, National Byways, National Trails, National Wildlife Refuges and National Reserves.

The Link Trail connects the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to the Continental Divide Trail, with additional Connections to the Great Eastern Trail, Pinhoti National Recreation Trail, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Ouachita National Recreation Trail, as well as many other National Historic Trails and Scenic Byways. It also connects several visionary Rails to Trails projects, and crosses numerous historic trails.


The combined Link Trail (LTA, LTB and LTC) may be accessed by many modes of transportation, including:

-Walking/hiking
-Bicycles
-Wheelchairs (many segments)
-Automobiles, autonomous (self-driving) automobiles
-Public transit (in major cities), ridesharing services
-Horses (many segments)

Note: Much of the trail can be accessed by prominent rivers. Waterways connect the two major end points of the trail, Chattanooga, TN and Taos, NM. Most waterways are part of the Mississippi River drainage system, including the Tennessee River, Ohio River, Mississippi River and Arkansas River. Fewer than 10 miles seperate Arkansas River tributaries from the Rio Grande, north of Taos, New Mexico.


Major cities and towns on or very near the trail include:

Chattanooga, TN (548,000)
Huntsville, AL (736,000)
Decatur, AL (included in Huntsville MSA)
Florence, AL (148,000)
Muscle Shoals, AL (included in Florence MSA)
Tupelo, MS (141,000)
New Albany, MS (9,000)
Memphis, TN (1,342,000)
Helena-West Helena, AR (19,000)
Little Rock, AR (735,000)
Hot Springs, AR (97,000)
Paris, TX (26,000)
Dallas, TX (7,234,000)
Plano, TX (included in Dallas MSA)
McKinney, TX (included in Dallas MSA)
Denton, TX (included in Dallas MSA)
Grapevine, TX (included in Dallas MSA)
Fort Worth, TX (included in Dallas MSA)
Duncan, OK (24,000)
Lawton, OK (125,000)
Ardmore, OK (49,000)
Clinton, OK (10,000)
Elk City, OK (13,000)
Borger, TX (14,000)
Dumas, TX (15,000)
Dalhart, TX (8,000)
Raton, NM (7,000)
Ranchos de Taos, NM (9,000)
Taos, NM (included in Ranchos de Taos)

Total: 11,309,000


Additional nearby cities (with unique access and cultural significance):

Atlanta, GA (5,711,000)
Birmingham, AL (1,129,000)
Nashville, TN (1,831,000)
Jackson, MS (540,000)
Baton Rouge, LA (831,000)
New Orleans, LA (1,228,000)
Houston, TX (6,491,000)
Waco, TX (266,000)
Austin, TX (2,057,000)
San Antonio, TX (2,455,000)
Oklahoma City, OK (1,374,000)
Amarillo, TX (277,000)
Santa Fe, NM (145,000)
Albuquerque, NM (910,000)

Total: 25,245,000


More information is available in
Frequently Asked Questions.


Media and Folklife Center Concept

Projects

Numerous projects are planned to stem from the Link Trail, partially including:

-Campgrounds and Backpackers' Quarters
-Youth Camps
-Folklife and Media Centers
-Nature and Interpretive Centers
-Conferences and Trail Events (e.g. Farmers' Markets, Mini Festivals, etc.)
-American Heartland Bike Tours, and possible competitive multi-stage event

Basic Backpacker Cabin Prototype

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