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National Trails System turns 50

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act will kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at the Cradle of Forestry in America near Brevard. 

Suzanne Dixon, president and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, will deliver the keynote speech highlighting the landmark legislation of 1968, which adopted the A.T. into the National Park System. Dixon will also discuss the A.T.’s rich history and management and the future of the world’s most iconic hiking trail. 

The National Trails System Act now includes 30 trails recognized for their scenic and historical significance. These trails connect more than 70 wildlife refuges, 80 national parks, 90 national forests and 120 wilderness areas. The celebration is part of the Wilderness Skills Institute, now in its eighth year of providing training to public lands volunteers, advocates and agency staff. Training is free to accepted participants, with applications accepted annually beginning in mid-January at

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