Places We Save: Hiking Trails

Trail at Big Thicket, Texas

Trail at Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas. Photo by Scott Jones/Flickr.

For nearly 30 years, The Conservation Fund has helped ensure access to some of America’s best hiking experiences. From close-to-home urban trail systems to the most remote wilderness hikes, our efforts have successfully helped establish, connect and extend trails as well as protect viewsheds along the way. 

Check out the projects below to learn more about some favorite hiking trails we’ve helped protect. 

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Ice-Age-Trail_NPS_390x260

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Wisconsin? Consider this: Just 15,000 years ago, during what is known as the Ice Age, the northern U.S.—including Wisconsin—was blanketed with mile-thick glaciers. There’s perhaps no better way… Read More

Fiery Gizzard Trail Mike Hicks

The Fund partnered with the Land Trust for Tennessee and the Friends of the South Cumberland State Recreation Area to purchase and protect more than 6,200 acres of the western bluff of Fiery Gizzard Cove and more than a mile… Read More

Saving San Diego’s Open Space San Diego hills and sage brush

San Diego is known for its miles of coastline and beautiful beaches. But there is more to this coastal ecosystem than just sand and surf: other landscapes, such as coastal sage brush and forest habitat, also are critical to maintaining the… Read More

City of Brentwood Pond at Ravenswood property in Brentwood, Tennessee

Access to the outdoors is a health and quality of life issue for all Americans, but especially those living in or near urban areas.  Our work with the city of Brentwood in Tennessee is a great example of how our… Read More

A Bright Future For Rocky Fork Rocky Fork creek

Success! After nearly five years of hard work, we were thrilled to convey the final piece of Rocky Fork, the largest tract of unprotected land in the southern Appalachian Mountains, to the U.S. Forest Service in September 2012. Located along… Read More

Connecting Pinhoti And Appalachian Trails Hikers on the Pinhoti Trail

When the Appalachian Trail was mapped in the 1920s, the plan set out by Benton Mackaye called for a trail and associated spurs that stretched from Maine to northern Alabama. While the primary trail was completed in north Georgia in the 1930s,… Read More

Gateway Community Initiative In Michigan: Waterloo Recreation Area main street in Chelsea, Michigan

Waterloo Recreation Area in Michigan is a little-known treasure. About a one-hour drive from Ann Arbor, this 20,000-acre park is the largest in the lower peninsula and shares a 36-mile hiking trail with the Pinckney State Recreation Area. Yet there wasn’t… Read More

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Cascade Siskiyou National Monument

Encompassing a diverse array of habitat types, from the high, dry deserts of the Great Basin to the wet, lower-elevation forests of the Pacific Coast, Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument stretches across more than 54,000 acres in southwest Oregon, just north of the… Read More

Big Thicket National Preserve Trail at Big Thicket, Texas

Renowned as the “biological crossroads of North America,” Big Thicket is a remarkable mix of southeastern swamps, eastern deciduous forest, central plains, pine savannas and dry sandhills. There are 10 distinct ecosystems within the nearly 106,000-acre preserve that are home… Read More

Brule-St.Croix Legacy Forest Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest

We’re working to create the 68,000-acre Brule-St.Croix Legacy Forest, slated to become Wisconsin’s largest conservation project. By preserving this sustainably managed working forest, we’re protecting public access to trails, clean water, small lakes and key habitat. In 2012, we completed… Read More

Grandfather Mountain State Park Grandfather Mountain

In 2009, Grandfather Mountain State Park officially became North Carolina’s newest state park. We helped to protect 2,456 acres along the crest of the famous landmark, truly a natural wonder worth passing on to our grandchildren. Popular hiking trails, the… Read More

Roaring Creek At Weiser State Forest bikers at Weiser State Forest

In 2003, The Conservation Fund teamed up with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to protect nearly 9,000 acres of prime Pennsylvania hardwood forest, known as the Roaring Creek Tract. Purchased from a private water company, the land was… Read More

Bridger-Teton National Forest Wind River Range

The Bridger-Teton National Forest, just southeast of Jackson, Wyoming, encompasses an astounding 3.4 million acres of land.  The jagged peaks of the snow-capped mountains create a dramatic landscape emblematic of the American West.  As part of the 18 million-acre Greater… Read More

Blue Ridge Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway

As one of the most visited units of the National Park Service (NPS), the Blue Ridge Parkway welcomes more than 17 million visitors each year. Travelers enjoy the parkway’s nearly 470 miles of twists and turns through the mountain landscape connecting… Read More