Citizens in the Potomac Heritage Trail corridor are rediscovering history and reclaiming access to rivers and other outdoor places. The designation of a Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail corridor in 1983, an amendment to the National Trails System Act, is being used by communities in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania to develop and make connections among trails, historic sites and a range of recreational and educational opportunities.
Fundamentally, the National Scenic Trail is a partnership to develop and sustain a network of locally-managed trails between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands. Five trails are currently recognized as segments of the Trail:
The 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail between Ohiopyle and Seward, Penn., managed by
Laurel Ridge State
Park, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural
The 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage between Cumberland, Md., and Pittsburgh, Penn. (connecting to the LHHT in Ohiopyle), managed by an alliance of organizations and
The 184.5-mile C & O Canal Towpath between Georgetown (in the District of Columbia) and Cumberland, Md., managed by
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical
The 17-mile Mount Vernon Trail and the 10-mile Potomac Heritage Trail in northern Virginia, managed by
George Washington Memorial
Other existing and planned trails--in southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, the Northern Neck, and District of Columbia--contribute to the concept of the National Scenic Trail.