Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a partnership to develop and sustain a system of trails for recreation, transportation, health, and education between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands.

The designation of a Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail corridor in 1983, an amendment to the National Trails System Act, is being used by communities in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania to develop and make connections among trails, historic sites and a range of recreational and educational opportunities. Six trails are currently recognized as segments of the Trail:

  • the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail between Ohiopyle and Seward, Penn., managed by Laurel Ridge State Park, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources;

  • the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage between Cumberland, Md., and Pittsburgh, Penn. (connecting to the LHHT in Ohiopyle), managed by an alliance of organizations and agencies;

  • the 184.5-mile C and O Canal Towpath between Georgetown (in the District of Columbia) and Cumberland, Md., managed by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park;

  • the 17-mile Mount Vernon Trail and the 10-mile Potomac Heritage Trail in northern Virginia, managed by George Washington Memorial Parkway; and

  • the 22-mile Prince Georges County Potomac Heritage Trail On-Road Bicycling Route, managed by County agencies and the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Other existing and planned trails--in southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, the Northern Neck of Virginia, and the District of Columbia--contribute to the concept of the National Scenic Trail and a developing Trail network.

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