The American Discovery Trail - First conceived by Backpacker magazine and the American Hiking Society more than a decade ago, the 6,300-mile American Discovery Trail now links 15 states and the District of Columbia, 14 national parks, 16 national forests and 10,000 sites of cultural, historical and natural significance.

American Discovery Trail Information

Starts at Cape Henlopen, Delaware

First conceived by Backpacker magazine and the American Hiking Society more than a decade ago, the 6,300-mile American Discovery Trail now links 15 states and the District of Columbia, 14 national parks, 16 national forests and 10,000 sites of cultural, historical and natural significance. More than 32 million people live within 20 miles of the trail, and 100.5 million live in the states through which the trail passes.

The American Discovery Trail is also one of 16 National Millennium Trails, joining the Appalachian Trail, the Iditarod, and other major routes in a federally recognized program.

In celebration of the American Discovery Trail's Grand Opening Year, a team of four people will travel the route between April and September. For Motor Company, the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of the American Discovery Trail, is also the sponsor of the ADT Ford Adventure Team. Updates on the team's progress will be posted at

Along the route, the ADT Ford Adventure team will be outfitted with a 2001 Explorer Sport Trac, the first SUV of its type on the road. Combining the interior comfort of a four-door sport utility vehicle with an open rear cargo area for added versatility, the Explorer Sport Trac is a unique evolution of today's four-door Explorer, the best-selling SUV in the industry.

Delaware | Maryland | West Virginia | Ohio/Kentucky | Indiana | Illinois
Iowa | Missouri | Nebraska | Kansas | Colorado | Utah | Nevada | California


  • Route: 42 miles long, largely on paved county rural roads. One segment
  • Forests (1): Redden State Forest
  • Parks (1): Cape Henlopen State Park
  • Point of Interest (4): Historic towns of Lewes and Milton; Zwaanendael Museum; Cape May-Lewes Ferry; Atlantic Ocean beaches.


  • Route: 270 miles, mostly trails and sidewalks.
  • Trails (11): Love Point to Lewes, DE; Smuggler's Trail formerly Queen Anne's Railroad (future); Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Rail Trail; Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail; East Coast Greenway; Anacosta Tributary Trails; Fort Circle Trail; Capitol Crescent Trail; Rock Creek Park Trail, Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail; Allegheny Highlands Trail.
  • Parks (7): Tuckahoe State Park; Adkins Arboretum, Martinak State Park; Sandy Point Beach State Park, Chillum State Park, Greenbelt National Park; Rock Creek Park; Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Points of Interest (18): Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area; Horseheads Wetlands Center; Chesapeake Bay Bridge; National Wildlife Visitors Center; Beltsville Agricultural Center; NASA-Goddard Visitors Center; College Park Airport and Museum; University of Maryland; Port of Bladensburg; Anacostia Stream Valley; National Zoo; Nation's Capitol attractions; Historic Georgetown; Chesapeake & Ohio Canal; Great Falls of the Potomac; Brunswick Train Museum; Harper Ferry; Antietam Battlefield.


  • Route: 262.1 miles. Four segments.
  • Trails (4): North-Bend Rail-Trail; Harrison Country Rail-Trail; Big Blue Trail; Dryfork Rail-Trail
  • Forests (1): Monogahela National Forest
  • Parks (5): Harpers Ferry National Park; Canaan Valley Resort state Park; Tygart Lake State Park; North Bend State Park; Valley Falls State Park.
  • Points of Interest (6): Appalachian Mountain Range; Potomac Highlands; Dolly Sods National Wildlife Area; Otter Creek National Wildlife Area; Greenland Gap; Nancy Hanks Memorial.


  • Route: 521.5 miles long, on trails through public lands and private lands with landowner permission. 11 sections.
  • Trails (11): Buckeye Trail; North Country National Scenic Trail; Burr Oak Loop Trail; Robert and Mary Lou Paton Trail in Burr Oak SP; Grandma Gatewood Trail in Hocking Hills SP; The Riverwalk in Cincinnati; The Shaker Trace in Miami-Whitewater Forest Hamilton County Park; Hedgeapple Trail; Big Woods Trail; Sugar Bush Trail; West Shore Trail in Hueston Woods State Park.
  • Forests (6): Wayne National Forest; Hocking State Forest; Tar Hollow State Forestl Scioto Trail State Forest; Pike State Forest; Shawnee State Forest
  • Parks (20): Burr Oak State Park; Logan State Park; Hocking Hills State Park; Tar Hollow; Scioto Trail State Park; Pike Lake State Park; Fort Hill State Memorial; Serpent Mound State Memorial; Davis Memorial; Shawnee State Park; Grant Lake; East Fork State Park; Little Miami River State Park; Eden Park; Bicentennial Common in Cincinnati; Devou Park (Kentucky); Harrison's Towm; Miami - Whitewater Forest Hamilton County Park; Gov. Bebb Butler County Metropark; Hueston Woods State Park.


  • Route: NORTHERN -- 195 miles, mostly trails and rural roads. Two segments. SOUTHERN -- 326 miles, mostly rural roads and trails. Four segments.
  • Trails (12): Laugherty Creek Trail; Chief White Eye Trail; Knobstone Trail; Adventure National Recreation Trail; Morgan Ridge Trail; Tipsaw Lake Trail; Two Lakes Trail; Hoosier Heritage Scenic Trail; Whitewater Valley Gorge National Recreation Trail; Cardinal Greenway; Dearborn Trails; Lincoln
  • Forests (3): Clark State Forest; Harrison-Crawford State Forest; Hoosier National Forest.
  • Parks (6): Clifty Falls State Park; Lincoln State Park; Tippecanoe River State Park; Falls of the Ohio State Park; Burdette Park; Scales Lake County park.
  • Points of Interest (13): Holiday World Amusement Park; Angel Mounds State Historical Site; Memorial Parkway; Frances Slocum State Recreation Area; Lake Manitou; Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area; LaSalle State Fish and Wildlife Area; Col. Williams Jones State Historic Site; Pigeon Roost State Historic Site; Hill Forest State Historic Site; Bass Lake State Beach; Wyandotte Caves; Hovey Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.


  • Route: NORTHERN -- 210 miles, mostly trails and sidewalks. Three segments. SOUTHERN -- 286 miles, mostly on gravel and paved roads/shoulders. Three segments.
  • Trails (8): Old Plank Road Trail; Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail; Kaskaskia Trail; Grand Illinois Trail; Great River Trail; River to River Trail; Tunnel Hill Rail-Trail; Metro-East Levee Trail.
  • Forests (1): Shawnee National Forest.
  • Parks (10): Channahon State Park; McKinley Woods State Park; William G. Stratton State Park; Gebhard Woods State Park; Starved Rock State Park; Mathhlessen State Park; Hennepin Canal State Park; Devil's Backbone Park; Ferne Clyffe State Park; Giant City State Park.
  • Points of Interest (16): Illinois Ozarks; Lust Creek Canyon National Natural Landmark; Clear Spring Wilderness; LaRue Pine Hills; Garden of the Gods; Grand Tower; Fort Kasaskia; Modoc Rock Shelter; Cahokia; Fort de Chartres; Prairie du Rocher; Historic downtown Joliet; Effigy Tumull; LaSalle County Museum; Hennepin Canal Parkway Museum; Rock Island Arsenal.


  • Route: 504 miles, mostly existing rail-trails. Three segments.
  • Trails (9): Riverfront Trail; Hoover Nature 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.
  • Parks (4): Deerwood Park; George Wyth State Park; Wild Cat Den State Park; Pleasant Creek State Park.
  • Point of Interest (7): Living History Farms; National Park Service National Trail Center; President Herbert Hoover Birthplace; National Czech and Slovac Museum; University of Northern Iowa; University of Iowa; Danish Villages


  • Route: 364 miles. Three segments.
  • Forests (2): Daniel Boone State Forest; Baltimore Bend State Forest.
  • Parks (6): Forest Park; Missouri State Park; Frontier Park; Swope Park; Arrow Rock State Park; Van Meter State Park.
  • Point of Interests (9): Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch); Weldon Springs Wildlife Area; Missouri River; Battle of Lexington State Historic Site; River Bluff Nature Preserve; Blue River; Jackson County Recreational Areas; National Frontier Trails Center; Harry Truman Home and Library.


  • Route: 515 miles, mostly roads and road shoulders. Four segments.
  • Trails (5): Pony Express National Historic Trail; Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail; MoPac East Trail; Val-Brainard Trail; Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
  • Parks (3): Fort Kearney State Historical Park; Ash Hollow State Historical Park; Buffalo Bills Ranch State Historical Park.
  • Points of Interest (7): Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer; Platte River Valley; Johnson Lake State Recreation Area; Lake Maloney State Recreation Area; Sutherland Canal; Keith-Lincoln County Canal; President Gerald Ford Birthplace


  • Route: 574 miles, mostly roads or road shoulders. Four segments.
  • Parks (2): Shawnee Mission Park; Clinton Lake State Park
  • Trails (1): Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
  • Point of Interest (14): Flint Hills; Smoky Hills; Madonna of the Trail; Cottonwood River; Great Plains; Arkansas River; Quivera National Wildlife Refuge; Cheyanne Bottoms Wildlife Areal Santa Fe Trail Center Museum and Culural Center; Fort Larned National Historic Site; Corporate Woods; Dodge City; Old Kaw Mission and Museum; Coronado-Quivera Museum


  • Route: Colorado has 1,000 miles of ADT. From Kansas to Denver is 399 miles, Nebraska to Denver 195 miles, and Denver to Utah is 406 miles.
  • Trails (41): 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; Hali Valley Trail; Colorado Trail; Vail 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.
  • Forests (6): Pike National Foest; Arapaho National Forest; San Isabel National Forest; Gunnison National Forest; White River NF; Grand Mesa National Forest.
  • Parks (10): John Martin Resevoir State Park; Pueblo Resevoir 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.
  • Points of Interest (40): Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site; Pueblo Museum; Colorado Territorial Prison Museum; Royal Gorge; Cripple Creek National Historic Area; Pikes Peak Highway; Manitou Springs; Pikes Peak Cog Railway; Barr National Recreation Trail; Garden of the Gods; US Olympic Headquarters & Training Center; Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame/ American Cowboy Museum; US Air Force Acadamy; Overland Trail Museum; Fort Vasquez State Museum; Denver Museums (10); Red Rocks Amphitheater; Georgetown National Historic District; Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park; Breckenridge National Historic District; Camp Hale 10th Mountain Division Memorial; Leadville National Historic District (highest city in the US - 10,152); National Mining Hall of Fame; Mt Elbert (highest mountain in Colorado - 14,433); Mt. Princeton Hot Springs; Crested Butte National Historic District; Marble Museum; Redstone Mining Camp; Grand Mesa; Colorado National Monument.

12. UTAH

  • Route: 560 miles, rural, remote and rugged terrain. Three segments.
  • Trails (6): Kokopelli Mountain Bike Trail; Great Western Trail; Paiute ATV Trail; Oak Creek Trak; Lockhart Basin Trail; Hurrah Pass Trail.
  • Forests (3): Dixie National Forest; Fishlake National Forest; Manti-LaSal National Forest.
  • Parks (3): Canyonlands National Park; Capital Reef National Park; Arches National Park.
  • Points of Interest (7): Colorado River; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; Henry Mountains; Escalante Desert; Mineral Mountains; Ferguson Desert; Crystal Peak.


  • Route: 466 miles, largely on isolated, relatively unused dirt roads. Three segments.
  • Trails (4): Tahoe Rim Trail; Pony Express National Historic Trail; Mount Jefferson Trail; Toiyabe National Recreation Trail.
  • Parks (14): Great Basin National Park; Toiyabe National Forest; Mt. Rose Wilderness Area; Washoe Lake State Park; Fort Churchill Historical State Park; Grimes Point National Historic Site; Sand Mountain Recreation Area; Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park; Arc Dome Wilderness Area; Alta Toqulma Wilderness Area; Table Mountain Wilderness Area; Currant Mountain Wilderness Area; Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park; Cabe Lake State Park.
  • Forests (2): Humboldt National Forest; Toiyabe National Forest.
  • Points of Interest (21): Ward Charcoal Oven State Historical Site; Water Canyon; White River Valley; Freeland Canyon; Blackrock Canyon; Railroad Valley; Duckwater Shoshone Reservation; Big Sand Spring Valley; Big Smokey Valley; Sierra Nevada Mountains; Historic Virginia City; Reese River Valley; Sand Mountain Recreation Site; Round Mountain Townsite; Tahoe Meadows Trailhead; Pony Express Stations; Weeks; Wildcat; Sand Springs; Carson Sink; Desert Station.


  • Route: 366 miles. Nine segments.
  • Trails (44): Tahoe Rim Trail; Coastal Trail; Pacific Crest Trail; Foresthill Loop Trail; Confluence Trail; Western States Pioneer Express Trail; American River Bike Trail; Jedediah Smith National Recreation Trail; Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail; Stewartville Trail; Homestead Valley Trail; Oursan Trail; Bear Creek Trail; Inspiration Trail; Bay Area Ridge Trail; Sea View Trail; Vollmer Peal Trail; Grizzly Peak Trail; San Francisco Bay Trail; SCA Trail; Bobcat Trail; Miwok Trail; Redwood Creek Trail; Black Diamond Trail; Cumberland Trail; Bruce Lee Trail; Mitchell Canyon Trail; Deer Flat Trail; Prospectors Gap Trail; North Peak Trail; Sumit Trail Wall; Point Trail; Brlones-Mount Diablo; Lafayette Rige Trail; Hillside Trail; Ben Johnson Trail; Stapleveldt Trail; Matt Davis Trail; Coastal Trail; Bolinas Ridge Trail; Olema Valley Trail; Stewart Trail; Glen Trail; Bear Valley Trail; Coast Trail.
  • Parks (20): Granite Chief Wilderness; Auburn State Recreation Area; Folsom Lake State Park; American River Parkway; Discovery Park in Sacrament; William Land Park in Sacramento; Contra Loma Regoinal 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. Tamalpals State Park; Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Points of Interest (26): Truckee River Rafting; Squaw Valley; Watson Monument; Sierra Nevada Mountains; Duncan Peak Lookout; Gold Mining Towns: Last Chance, Deadwood; Michigan Bluff & Leland Stanford Homestead; Foresthill Cemetery (Gold Miners); Ford Bar on Middle Fork of American River; No Hands Bridge; Folsom Lake State Recreation Area; Folsom Dam & Prison; Folsom Old Town & First Power Plant; Nimbus Fish Hatchery & Salmon Ladder; Sacramento Old Town & Railroad Museum; Sacramento Cemetery (Pioneers); Sacramento Zoo; Mt. Diablo; Summit Building; Strawberry Canyon; University of California - Berkeley Campus; Jack London Square in Oakland; Fisherman's Wharf; Fort Point National Historic Site; Golden Gate Bridge; Olema Valley.

For More Information on the American Discovery Trail, visit their website at:

If you are ready for a backpacking adventure, booking your flight and planning your route is just the first step. Picking the items you will take with you (including your backpack) is the next step. This guide will help you prepare for your trip, no matter where you're going or how long you're going for.

Delaware State Park Information
Cape Henlopen
State Park
Fenwick Island
State Park
Holts Landing
State Park
Del. Seashore
State Park


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