Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan

About the Comprehensive Plan

The National Trails System Act [Sec. 5 (e)] directs the Forest Service to develop a comprehensive plan for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. The comprehensive plan defines the future vision for administration and management of the trail, and describes how the Forest Service will work with public and private partners to provide this trail opportunity for present and future generations. Click the button below to go to the Forest Service's project page for the PNT Comprehensive Plan, where you can access documents and learn about the planning process. 

PNT Comprehensive Plan


The Story Behind the Creation of the PNT

Historic photo of a meeting of the early Steering Committee and Study Team

In 1977, Ron Strickland started the Pacific Northwest Trail Association to develop and preserve what would become the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. However, it would take many years of diligent, collaborative work to designate the trail to the National Trails System. 

From 1978-80, the Forest Service and the National Park Service jointly studied the Pacific Northwest Trail as a proposed addition to the National Trails System, in accordance with the National Trails System Act [Sec. 5 (c)].

The 1980 Feasibility Study report they produced describes conditions and public opinion along the trail at that time, 35 years ago.

The report analyzed three route alternatives ("most scenic", "least cost", "minimal environmental impact") and included maps of routes suggested by stakeholders and the public, scenic quality, and areas of environmental concern. These alternatives are outlined in the Feasibility Study Report. 

The culmination of all this work came to fruition in 2009 when President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Act, which had been introduced by Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Maria Cantwell. With the president's signature, the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail was added to the National Scenic and Historic Trail System. 

The 1980 Feasibility Study Report


Historic Photos: