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]


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 Coastal Wildlife Viewing Trail


  • Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail


  • Central Coast Birding Trail
  • Eastern Sierra Birding Trail


  • Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail


  • Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail




  • Kansas Birding and Prairie Flora Trails


  • Grand Isle Birding Trail


  • John James Audubon Birding Trail


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


  • 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


  • Southern Ohio Birding and Heritage Trail


  • Klamath Basin Birding Trail
  • Oregon Cascade Birding Trail


  • Susquehanna River Birding and Wildlife Trail



  • Great Salt Lake Birding Trails


  • Lake Champlain Birding Trail


  • Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail


  • Great Washington Birding Trail


  • Great Wisconsin Birding Trail

See also[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.