Epic 3,700-mile nature trail will one day allow you to hike coast-to-coast

Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice. An ambitious, historic new plan will one day allow you to run, bike or even rollerblade coast-to-coast.

Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) unveiled its 3,700-mile off-road trail this week. When fully completed, the “Great American Rail Trail” will become the nation’s first cross-country multi-use trail.

The trail will travel from Washington D.C. through 12 states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

RTC settled on the entirely bikeable and walkable route after a 12-month analysis of more than 34,000 miles of existing multi-use trails. More than half of the trail – 1,900 miles – is already complete, with much of it consisting of old railroad track.

New segments are expected to be finished every year and, when complete, the trail will serve an estimated 50 million Americans.

RTC wants 90% of the trail to be located away from roads – and therefore cars – with the eventual goal of 100%.

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