State wildlife trails (United States)

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State wildlife trails in the United States are state-sponsored systems of hiking and driving trails developed for the benefit of birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts. They have been created and maintained by state governments or other state-level entities, both to promote ecology and to promote tourism. The term "trail" used in the names of most of these systems is, in general, a misnomer as that these trail networks are not single routes and are connected by motorways.

These wildlife trail systems typically cover multiple wildlife viewing sites covering large areas of their respective states. Viewing sites may include nature preserves, state parks, national parks, and other venues.[1][2]

The first of these trail systems was the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.[3][4][5][5] Numerous other trail systems have been opened throughout the country since.

Apart from these state-maintained trail networks, some nature-advocacy groups and other entities have defined their own "trails" (a notable example being the Audubon Society's Great River Birding Trail that spans the entire Mississippi River). These are not discussed here.

Trail systems by state[edit]

The following are state nature trails found in each state.[2][5]

Alabama[edit]

As of March 2012, Alabama is in the process of planning and developing four additional bird trails.[6] When all the trails area completed, there will be bird watching sites in every county in the state.

Alaska[edit]

  • Alaska Coastal Wildlife Viewing Trail

Arizona[edit]

  • Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail

California[edit]

  • Central Coast Birding Trail
  • Eastern Sierra Birding Trail

Colorado[edit]

  • Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail

Connecticut[edit]

  • Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail

Florida[edit]

Georgia[edit]

  • Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail

Kansas[edit]

  • Kansas Birding and Prairie Flora Trails

Louisiana[edit]

  • Grand Isle Birding Trail

Kentucky[edit]

  • John James Audubon Birding Trail

Minnesota[edit]

  • Pine to Prairie Birding Trail
  • Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail

Montana[edit]

  • Great Montana Birding and Wildlife Trail

New Jersey[edit]

  • New Jersey Birding & Wildlife Trails

New Mexico[edit]

  • Southwest New Mexico Birding Trail

New York[edit]

  • Audubon Niagara Birding Trails

North Dakota[edit]

  • Steele Birding Drive
  • Bismarck-Mandan Birding Drive
  • Central Dakota Birding Drive

Ohio[edit]

  • Southern Ohio Birding and Heritage Trail

Oregon[edit]

  • Klamath Basin Birding Trail
  • Oregon Cascade Birding Trail

Pennsylvania[edit]

  • Susquehanna River Birding and Wildlife Trail

Texas[edit]

Utah[edit]

  • Great Salt Lake Birding Trails

Vermont[edit]

  • Lake Champlain Birding Trail

Virginia[edit]

  • Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Washington[edit]

  • Great Washington Birding Trail

Wisconsin[edit]

  • Great Wisconsin Birding Trail

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stewart, Doug. "Getting on the Trail of America’s Birds". National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 12 Nov 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Flyways North America's New Birding Trails". Bird Watcher's Digest. Retrieved 12 Nov 2009. 
  3. ^ "Visitors Flock to Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail". NOAA Coastal Services Center. May–June 2000. 
  4. ^ Stewart, Doug. "Getting on the Trail of America’s Birds". National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 11 Nov 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "Birding Trails in North America". American Birding Association. Retrieved 11 Nov 2009. 
  6. ^ "Alabama Birding Trails". Outdoor Alabama. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 18 March 2012.