I've recently learned about the U.S. national trails system, apparently akin to the European long-distance paths. I found an (incomplete?) table of U.S. national trails and a rather poorly layed out map.

Is there any website where long- and short-distance marked hiking trails are shown against a selectable background (such as on Wikiloc or Topomapper? For a single country is interesting, but the best would be something integrated.

Wikiloc lists less than 5000 trails in the contiguous United States (compared to ca. 250000 in Europe), so that's not the best resource — and even if the long-distance trails would happen to be listed, they're drowned in all the other material available.

  • Good question. I don't know of a single source for all trails. There are a handful of long trails - Appalachian, Pacific Crest, the Continental Divide Trails. There's another that runs east-west up near the border with Canada, can't remember the name. There are medium-length trails (say, under 1000 miles). There are countless short trails. There are trails for all purposes. Biking, foot-only, equestrian, combined. There are countless unnamed trails of various lengths. There's the unofficial extended Appalachian Trail. City trails, forest trails, etc. Jan 18, 2013 at 2:14
  • "even if the long-distance trails would happen to be listed, they're drowned in all the other material available" -- This is the problem with basically every trail site I have found. Jan 18, 2013 at 14:24
  • @RussellSteen Not when official authorities post them, such as this map with corresponding GPS-track downloads
    – gerrit
    Jan 18, 2013 at 14:39
  • @gerrit -- That depends very highly on the authority. I'm not sure "official" authorities on the whole are better than anything else. In my area the last thing I check is the official authorities as their information is usually years out of date. The local volunteer clubs usually have the most accurate info. Feb 25, 2013 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


I don't know of a site that lists all trails in the US. This is probably because trails are managed by the same patchwork of authority that manages the land. There are various federal, state, regional, town, and private groups that manage land that contains trails open to the public. The best I can advise is to pick a small area you are interested in and drill down to find trails there.

Just because there is no easy place to find a listing of all trails in the US, that doesn't mean they don't exist. You would get completely the wrong impression simply by comparing the 5k versus 250k numbers of listed trails you found. There are some long thru-trails many people will have heard of, like the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental divide trail. Then there are regional ones like the Long Trail in Vermont, the Arizona Trail, etc. But the vast majority are in local networks of trails scattered an many places.

In terms of total miles, these local trails exist in vast numbers compared to the few well known long ones. The town I live in (Groton MA) is about 34 square miles and has over 100 miles of hiking trails. You're unlikely to find them on any national web site. And, we're just one little town. Nearby towns don't have quite as many, but they all have some local trails and conservation areas. We also have a few smaller regional trails just in this area of New England, like the M+M, Midstate, Wapack, Bay Circuit, and a few others. Are any of those on your list? Probably not most of them.

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