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Iditarod National Historic Trail, Alaska | by mypubliclands
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Iditarod National Historic Trail, Alaska

The Iditarod Trail is the only winter trail in the National Trails System and the only Congressionally-designated National Historic Trail in Alaska. The Iditarod National Historic Trail system is comprised of a 1,000-mile main trail between Seward and Nome, and an additional 1,400 miles of side/connecting trails that link communities and historic sites, or provide parallel route.

 

Congress established the Iditarod as a National Historic Trail in 1978. A May 17, 1978 Senate report noted that the trails comprising the Iditarod National Historic Trail “…offer a rich diversity of climate, terrain, scenery, wildlife, recreation and resources in an environment largely unchanged since the days of the stampeders. It is the isolated, primitive quality of this historical environment that makes the National Historic Iditarod Trail proposal unique. Nowhere in the National Trail System is there such an extensive landscape, so demanding of durability and skill during its winter season of travel. On the Iditarod, today’s adventurer can duplicate the experience and challenge of yesteryear.”

 

Today, BLM works with partners to maintain and promote the historic qualities that make the Iditarod unique among our nation’s National Historic Trails. As the designated Trail Administrator, BLM facilitates efforts by volunteers and local, state and federal agencies on behalf of the entire trail. BLM maintains about 120 miles of the trail, including five public shelter cabins. The trail segments that cross BLM-managed lands are managed as part of BLM's National Conservation Lands.

 

The most practical way to explore the trail is in the winter, when the hundreds of miles of swamps crossed by the Trail are frozen, making for easy passage. While offering outstanding opportunities for solitude, the Trail demands a high degree of self-reliance by the user, proficiency in extreme winter camping and travel by ski, dog team, snowmobile, or fat tire bike.

 

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

 

National Historic Trails are extended trails that closely follow a historic trail or route of travel that is of national significance. The BLM identifies and protects the historic routes, remnants, and artifacts for public use and enjoyment.

 

National Scenic Trails are continuous, extended trails that pass through areas with significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural significance. They are managed by the BLM for outdoor recreation, conservation, and public enjoyment.

 

National Recreation Trails are located within parks, forests and other recreation areas and are reasonably accessible to urban or high-use areas. These trails are designated by the Secretary of the Interior or other delegated official.

 

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Taken on March 5, 2016