The federal government has designated the Wright's Mountain trail system in Bradford as a National Recreation Trail.
The National Recreation Trail program provides funding, technical assistance and promotion to trail systems in all 50 states.
The federal designation in Bradford — which was announced recently by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke — is only the sixth trail system in Vermont to get on the national register.
“I think what it means for us, and for our town, is it’s an affirmation,” said Nancy Jones, chair of the Bradford Conservation Commission. “It confirms what we already know — that we have something very special.”
The Bradford Conservation Commission maintains 9.6 miles of trails on Wright's Mountain, explained Jones.
And Jones said all of the work has been done by volunteers, so there are a lot of people in Bradford who are proud of the federal designation.
“Once you’ve groomed a trail, or once you’ve help construct a trail, you’re part of it. It’s part of you,” Jones said. “And so hopefully a lot of people feel connected to it.”
The Bradford Conservation Commission purchased the first parcel on Wright's Mountain in 1994.
The federal designation puts the trail system in a national database, and Jones said the trails could see an increase in local and out-of-state visitors from the exposure.