Special Places

In 1964, our nation's leaders formally acknowledged the immediate and lasting benefits of wild places to the human spirit and fabric of our nation. That year, Congress enacted the Wilderness Act, landmark legislation that permanently protected some of the most natural and undisturbed places in America. In 1968, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act was passed to strike a balance between the demands for hydropower, flood control, and irrigation with the need to protect our most outstandingly remarkable rivers. Also in 1968, Congress passed the National Trails System Act to designate National Scenic, Historic, and Recreation Trails as special pathways through some of the country’s most unique natural, cultural, and recreational areas.


We owe a great deal to the wisdom and foresight of congressional delegations and dedicated citizen volunteers whose efforts have provided an enduring benefit to the American people. Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, and other Congressionally designated areas information is found on the following web pages:


[photo] West Elks Wilderness, Colorado



[photo] Feather Wild and Scenic River, California

Wild and Scenic Rivers


[photo] Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Argentine Pass, Colorado

National Scenic and Historic Trails


[photo] Mount St Helens National Monument, Washington

Other Congressionally Designated Areas, such as National Volcanic Monuments and National Recreation Areas.