MZTA - Mile Zero Trail Association

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."

Project 2

The National Park-to-Park Highway
The National Park-to-Park Highway Revisited

The National Park-to-Park Highway Association formed in 1916. By 1920, the group made the inaugural drive on the highway, covering 11 states and connecting the nation's first 12 National Parks. In the early days of the century of car culture, good roads - encouraged by the Good Roads Movement and the National Park-to-Park Highway Association - ensured access for average Americans to their national treasures.

For the 100 year anniversary, the Mile Zero Trail Association will help others experience the parks and attractions on the route, and explore the future of access to the parks, including costs and modes of transit.

Project 3

The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In 1921, Benton MacKaye conceived the Appalachian Trail and formed the Appalachian Trail Conference (later the AT Conservancy). The first segment opened in 1923 and the 2,200 mile trail was completed in 1937.

In 1923, Willis and Anne Davis envisioned a National Park in the Southern Appalachian Mountains to serve residents of the Eastern United States, many of whom were not able to travel to the Western parks. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation's most visited, was officially established in 1934.

The Mile Zero Trail Association will participate in the centennial celebrations of our nation's best ideas, access to the National Parks and the healthy activities that nature trails encourage for all people.

Project 4

The Route of Cabeza de Vaca
The Narvaez Expedition and the Route of Cabeza de Vaca

The epic journey and the account written by Cabeza de Vaca of the first contact between Native Americans, Europeans and Africans during the Narvaez Expedition on the Gulf Coast, and in the interior of the modern United States and Mexico, merits further academic study, community involvement and international cultural exchange.

The Mile Zero Trail Association will advocate for events related to the 500 year anniversary, 2027-2036, along with an interpretive center, informative signage, educational exhibits and a national - even international - historic trail over land, rivers, mountains and seas to connect key sites, indigenous peoples' homelands, and unique geographic landscapes and ecological zones.

View preliminary concepts and progress.

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