Discussion: National Scenic Trails - Hiking Boots Only? What do you think?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail at
Bear Mountain
The International Mountain Biking Association has been working to try to secure mountain biking access to many of the National Scenic Trails in the United States (ie the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail to point out a few).  In most cases these trails are closed to mountain bike use and in some cases, the statutory language creating the trails specifically states that they are foot trails.  The American Hiking Society has been objecting to this proposal and seeks to keep the National Scenic Trails as foot trails only.

What do you think?

In our minds there are plenty of opportunities where hikers and mountain bikers can coexist, but in the case of many of these National Scenic Trails, the expectation is that you are there to take part in a hiking experience and the addition of multiple uses, especially along these long distance trails would have an adverse impact on the large numbers of people using these trails to have a meaningful hiking experience.  If mountain bikers are looking for longer distance experiences, there are opportunities for them to create their own long distance trails and routes, such as paddlers have created with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Let us know what you think!