Hiking trails and conservation are closely related.
Hiking trails, such as the American Perimeter Trail and our National Scenic Trails, traverse some of the ecologically and culturally significant areas in a region or country. These trails are important tools for conservation by providing access to natural areas, promoting environmental education, and creating opportunities for people to connect with and appreciate the natural world.
Here are a few specific ways that the American Perimemter Trail will, and is, contributing to conservation efforts:
- Protection of natural and cultural resources: The APT helps protect natural and cultural resources by providing access to these areas and promoting their value to visitors. From the beginning, and as the trail continues to develop, the APT is being designed and managed in a way that provides exposure to valuable ecosystems and cultural areas while minimizing impact to these sensitive areas.
- Environmental education and interpretation: The APT provides opportunities for environmental education and interpretation, helping to promote awareness and understanding of the natural and cultural resources of a region. Ultimately, our vision is to have interpretive signs, exhibits, and guided hikes that help visitors learn about the ecology, geology, and cultural history of an area and foster a greater appreciation for the value of conservation
- Stewardship and volunteerism: Trail maintenance, monitoring, and restoration projects can be opportunities for people to connect with and care for the areas they enjoy, creating a sense of ownership and investment in their conservation.
- Sustainable recreation: The APT provides opportunities for people to enjoy and appreciate the natural world without causing harm to the environment. The APT is being designed in a way that minimizes impact on sensitive ecosystems, and visitors are encouraged to use Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the trail and surrounding areas.