American Discovery Trail

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American Discovery Trail
AmDiscoveryMap.jpg
The American Discovery Trail, including its northern and southern routes.
Length 6800 mi (10944 km)
Location United States
Trailheads Cape Henlopen, Delaware;
Limantour Beach, California
Use Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking
Elevation
Highest point Argentine Pass, 13,207 ft (4,025 m)
Lowest point California Delta between Isleton and Antioch, −17 ft (−5.2 m)
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy to Strenuous
Season All year
Sights National Parks, National Forests
Hazards Severe Weather

The American Discovery Trail is a system of recreational trails and roads which collectively form a coast-to-coast hiking and biking trail across the mid-tier of the United States. Horses can also be ridden on most of this trail.[1] It starts on the Delmarva Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and ends on the northern California coast on the Pacific Ocean. The trail has northern and southern alternates for part of its distance, passing through Chicago and St Louis respectively. The total length of the trail including both the north and south routes is 6,800 miles (10,900 km). The northern route covers 4,834 miles (7,780 km) with the southern route covering 5,057 miles (8,138 km). It is the only non-motorized coast-to-coast trail.[2]

The trail passes through 14 national parks and 16 national forests and uses sections of or connects to five National Scenic Trails, 10 National Historic Trails, and 23 National Recreation Trails. For part of its distance, it is coincident with the North Country Trail and the Buckeye Trail.

The trail passes through the District of Columbia and the following 15 states:

Hiking records[edit]

ADT Society's official trail logo[1]

Joyce and Pete Cottrell, of Whitefield, New Hampshire, were the first to backpack the entire official route of the American Discovery Trail. They hiked the segments out of sequence over two calendar years, finishing in 2003.[3][4]

The first hikers to complete the trail in one continuous walk were Marcia and Ken Powers, a wife and husband team from Pleasanton, California. Their trailwalk lasted from February 27 to October 15, 2005. They started out from Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware and ended at Point Reyes, California. They trailed 5,058 miles (8,140 km) by foot, averaging 22 miles (35 km) a day.[5][6]

The first person to backpack the entire 6,800 miles (including both Northern and Southern sections) in one continuous hike was Mike "Lion King" Daniel. He started from Cape Henlopen State Park on June 17, 2007, and ended at Point Reyes, California on November 5, 2008.[7][8]

The first person cover the entire equestrian route on horseback was Matt Parker. He undertook the journey between May 2003 and November 2005.[9][10]

Notable locations[edit]

The following notable locations are found along or adjacent to the route of the American Discovery Trail. They are listed from east to west to correspond with the itinerary typically followed by thru-hikers to take advantage of the best seasonal weather conditions.[2]

Other affiliated locations[edit]

The following locations are found along or adjacent to the route of the American Discovery Trail. They are divided into categories within each state, organized by state from east to west.[2]

Delaware[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Cape Henlopen Bike Trail

Forests[edit]

  • Redden State Forest

Parks[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Maryland[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Parks[edit]

West Virginia[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Forests[edit]

Parks[edit]

Ohio[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Forests[edit]

Parks[edit]

Indiana (Northern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Parks[edit]

  • Tippecanoe River State Park
  • Summit Lake State Park

Indiana (Southern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Pigeon Creek Greenway
  • Knobstone Trail
  • Two Lakes Trail
  • Adventure Trail
  • Burdette Park/University of Southern Indiana Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Nature Trail
  • Heritage Trail of Madison

Forests[edit]

  • Clark State Forest
  • Harrison-Crawford State Forest
  • Hoosier National Forest

Parks[edit]

  • Burdette Park
  • Clifty Falls State Park
  • Lincoln State Park
  • Falls of the Ohio State Park
  • O'Bannon Woods State Park

Illinois (Northern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Parks[edit]

  • Indian Boundary Park, Frankfort
  • Dewey Helmick Nature Preservek
  • Hickory Creek Bikeway Trailhead Park, Frankfort
  • Channahon State Park
  • McKinley Woods State Park
  • William G. Stratton State Park
  • Gebhard Woods State Park
  • Illini State Park
  • Starved Rock State Park
  • Buffalo Rock State Park
  • Mathhiessen State Park
  • Hennepin Canal State Park

Illinois (Southern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

Forests[edit]

Parks[edit]

  • Devil's Backbone Park
  • Ferne Clyffe State Park
  • Giant City State Park
  • Cave In Rock State Park

Iowa (Northern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Riverfront Trail
  • Hoover Nature Trail
  • Cedar River Trail
  • Cedar Valley Nature Trail
  • Cedar Valley Lakes Trail
  • Pioneer Trail
  • Comet Trail
  • Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
  • Saylorville-Des Moines River Trail
  • Raccoon River Valley Trail
  • T-Bone Trail
  • Wabash Trace Trail

Parks[edit]

  • Deerwood Park
  • George Wyth State Park
  • Wild Cat Den State Park
  • Pleasant Creek State Park

Missouri (Southern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • KATY Trail
  • Lewis & Clark trail

Forests[edit]

  • Daniel Boone State Forest
  • Baltimore Bend State Forest

Parks[edit]

  • Forest Park
  • Missouri State Park
  • Frontier Park
  • Swope Park
  • Arrow Rock State Park
  • Van Meter State Park

Nebraska (Northern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • MoPac East Trail
  • Oak Creek Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail

Parks[edit]

  • Fort Kearny State Historical Park
  • Ash Hollow State Historical Park
  • Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

Kansas (Southern route)[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Parks[edit]

  • Shawnee Mission Park
  • Clinton Lake State Park

Colorado[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Pueblo Riverwalk
  • Canon City Riverwalk
  • Cripple Creek Trails System
  • Ute Pass Trail
  • America The Beautiful Trail
  • Green Mountain Falls Bikeway
  • Sinton Trail
  • Pikes Peak Greenway
  • New Santa Fe Trail
  • Carpenter Peak Trail
  • Chatfield Trails System
  • South Platte River Trail
  • Bear Creek Greenway
  • Castle Trail
  • People's Path
  • Warren Gulch Trail
  • Spring Creek Trail
  • South Park Trail
  • Burning Bear Trail
  • Hall Valley Trail
  • Colorado Trail
  • Vail Pass Tenmile Canyon National Recreation Trail
  • Chalk Creek Trail
  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • Timberline Trail
  • Taylor Pass Trail
  • Brush Creek Trail
  • Crystal River Trail
  • Braderick Creek Trail
  • Lake Ridge Lakes Trail
  • High Trail
  • Sunlight-Powderhorn Snowmobile Trail
  • Leon Lake Trail
  • Crag Crest National Recreation Trail
  • Kannah Creek Trail
  • Old Spanish Trail
  • Colorado Riverfront Trail
  • Liberty Cap Trail
  • Black Ridge Trail
  • Monument Canyon Trail
  • Kokopelli's Trail
  • Fountain Creek Greenway
  • Cavalier Park Trail

Forests[edit]

  • Pike NF
  • Arapaho NF
  • San Isabel NF
  • Gunnison NF
  • White River NF
  • Grand Mesa NF

Parks[edit]

  • John Martin Reservoir State Park
  • Pueblo Reservoir State Park
  • Mueller State Park
  • Garden of the Gods Park
  • Roxborough State Park
  • Chatfield State Park
  • Bear Creek Park
  • Mount Falcon Park
  • O'Fallon Denver Mountain Park
  • Elk Meadow Park

Utah[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Kokopelli Mountain Bike Trail
  • Great Western Trail
  • Paiute ATV Trail
  • Oak Creek Trail
  • Lockhart Basin Trail
  • Hurrah Pass Trail

Forests[edit]

  • Dixie National Forest
  • Fishlake National Forest
  • Manti-LaSal National Forest

Parks[edit]

  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Arches National Park

Nevada[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Tahoe Rim Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Mount Jefferson Trail
  • Toiyabe National Recreation Trail

Forests[edit]

  • Humboldt National Forest
  • Toiyabe National Forest

Parks[edit]

  • Great Basin National Park
  • Cave Lake State Park
  • Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park
  • Currant Mountain Wilderness Area
  • Alta Toquima Wilderness Area
  • Arc Dome Wilderness Area
  • Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park
  • Sand Mountain Recreation Area
  • Grimes Point National Historic Site
  • Fort Churchill Historical State Park
  • Washoe Lake State Park
  • Mt. Rose Wilderness Area
  • Lake Tahoe State Park
  • Table Mountain Wilderness Area

California[edit]

Affiliated trails[edit]

  • Tahoe Rim Trail
  • Western States Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail
  • Foresthill Loop Trail
  • Confluence Trail
  • Pioneer Express Trail
  • American River Bike Trail
  • Jedediah Smith National Recreation Trail
  • Delta de Anza Regional Trail
  • Stewartville Trail
  • Ridge Trail
  • Black Diamond Trail
  • Cumberland Trail
  • Black Diamond to Mt. Diablo Trail
  • Bruce Lee Trail
  • Mitchell Canyon Trail
  • Deer Flat Creek Trail
  • Prospectors Gap Trail
  • North Peak Trail
  • Summit Trail
  • Wall Point Trail
  • Briones-Mount Diablo Trail
  • Lafayette Ridge Trail
  • Homestead Valley Trail
  • Oursan Trail
  • Bear Creek Trail
  • Inspiration Trail
  • Bay Area Ridge Trail
  • Sea View Trail
  • Vollmer Peak Trail
  • Grizzly Peak Trail
  • San Francisco Bay Trail
  • SCA Trail
  • Bobcat Trail
  • Miwok Trail
  • Redwood Creek Trail
  • Deer Creek Park Fire Trail
  • Hillside Trail
  • Ben Johnson Trail
  • Stapleveldt Trail
  • Matt Davis Trail
  • Coastal Trail
  • Bolinas Ridge Trail
  • Randall Trail
  • Olema Valley Trail
  • Stewart Trail
  • Glen Trail
  • Bear Valley Trail
  • Coast Trail
  • Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail

Parks[edit]

  • Granite Chief Wilderness
  • Auburn State Recreation Area
  • Folsom Lake Recreation Area
  • American River Parkway
  • Discovery Park in Sacramento
  • William Land Park in Sacramento
  • Contra Loma Regional Park
  • Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
  • Mt. Diablo State Park
  • Shell Ridge Recreation Area
  • Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek
  • Acalanes Ridge Recreation Area
  • Briones Regional Park
  • Wildcat Canyon Regional Park
  • Charles Tilden Regional Park
  • Presidio of San Francisco
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Mt. Tamalpais State Park
  • Point Reyes National Seashore

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". News and Information. American Discovery Trail. 2001–2010. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "American Discovery Trail Society - the only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail for hiking, biking, riding". www.discoverytrail.org. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  3. ^ "ADT: News: The Cottrells". www.discoverytrail.org. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  4. ^ Barbassa, Juliana (2003-08-24). "For This Pair, Road Less Traveled Is 'a Gift'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  5. ^ "ADT: News: The Powers". www.discoverytrail.org. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  6. ^ "Couple finishes 4,900-mile walk across U.S". msnbc.com. 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  7. ^ Bratton, Dick (Oct 31, 2008). "Backpacker to finish 6,200 mile hike at Point Reyes" (PDF). American Discovery Trail Society. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Walking with Freedom". www.walkingwithfreedom.com. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  9. ^ "ADT: News: Matt Parker". www.discoverytrail.org. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Ride of Passage - About Matt". www.rideofpassage.com. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°37′32″N 105°46′56″W / 39.62556°N 105.78222°W / 39.62556; -105.78222