Dundrennan Abbey by Alistair Via Flickr: Dundrennan Abbey was founded in 1142 by Fergus, Lord of Galloway, with the help of King David I of Scotland. The white-robed Cistercian monks came from Rievaulx Abbey, in North Yorkshire. After establishing the abbey at Dundrennan, monks went forth to found two more Cistercian abbeys in Galloway – Glenluce, near Stranraer, around 1190, and Sweetheart, in the village of New Abbey, south of Dumfries, in 1273. All three are now in the care of Historic Scotland.
We end our May #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover with the Top 15 Trails to Blaze on BLM’s National Conservation Lands.
1. Arizona National Scenic Trail in Arizona, from Mexico to Utah. The Arizona Trail highlights the state’s topographic, biologic, historic and cultural diversity. The trail’s primary users are hikers, equestrians and bicyclists.
2. California National Historic Trail through California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. The California National Historic Trail was a mid-19th century highway for human movement to lures of gold and farmland in California.
3. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail through Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail was designated for its scenic significance. It is also considered the ‘King of Trails’ - it navigates dramatically diverse ecosystems through mountain meadows, granite peaks, and high-desert surroundings.
4. El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail in New Mexico. The BLM-National Park Service administered El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail recognizes the primary route between the colonial Spanish capital of Mexico City and the Spanish provincial capitals, in what are now Mexico and New Mexico.
5. Iditarod National Historic Trail in Alaska. This 2,200 mile winter trail system first connected prehistoric Native Alaskan villages and became a major settlement route for Gold Rush-era Alaska. Today, BLM administers this trail, used by recreation enthusiasts, hunters, and long-distance winter races.
6. Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail though Arizona and California. Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail commemorates Spanish Commander Anza’s route taken on the expedition to bring colonists to the San Francisco bay area in 1775-1776.
7. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington. In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their journey along what is now the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
8. Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail through Utah and Wyoming. The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail once carried tens of thousands of Mormon emigrants to the Great Basin. In 1847, Mormon Church leader Brigham Young led pioneers west toward the Great Salt Lake Valley.
9. Nez Perce (Nee Me Poo) National Historic Trail through Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming. The Nez Perce National Historic Trail commemorates the flight of the Nez Perce Indians from their homeland in the Pacific Northwest to Canada to escape capture by the U.S. military.
10. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail through Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail opened a land route across 19th century Mexico between the Tierra Adentro, the fabled, yet isolated place that would become New Mexico, and California’s missions and burgeoning settlements.
11. Oregon National Historic Trail through Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming. For over 80 years in the nineteenth century, an estimated 300,000 emigrants used the Oregon National Historic Trail as a pathway to the Pacific. The once trail can now be traveled via auto, foot, mountain bike, and horseback.
12. Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail through California, Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail has the greatest elevation change of any of the National Scenic Trails, from near sea level to the crest of the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges.
13. Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail through Idaho, Montana and Washington. From the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Northwest Trail is a unique hiking experience, offering a variety of back-country scenery and outdoor adventure.
14. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Maryland. The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a network of locally-managed trails in a corridor between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands. The area hosts diverse plant and animal populations as well as a historic homesite occupied as early as the 18th century.
15. Pony Express National Historic Trail through California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. The Pony Express National Historic Trail is the route where young men on horseback once carried the nation’s mail across the country. Today, one can auto-tour the route visiting interpretive sites and museums, or hike, bike, or horseback ride various trail segments.
CLICK HERE for links to these National Scenic and Historic Trails.