New England National Scenic Trail


New England National Scenic Trail

The New England National Scenic Trail is a National Scenic Trail in southern New England, which includes most of the three single trails Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Mattabesett Trail and Metacomet Trail. After the Metacomet-Monadnock-Mattabesett trail system, the trail is sometimes called Triple-M Trail.[1] The 220-mile (350 km) route extends through 39 communities from Guilford, Connecticut at Long Island Sound over the Metacomet Ridge, through the highlands of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, to the summit of Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire. This includes a now partially complete connector trail (the Menunkatuck Trail) from the southernmost location of the Mattabesett Trail (in northern Guilford, Connecticut) to the sea (Long Island Sound) and a deviation of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Massachusetts, to lead the trail through state-owned land instead of largely unprotected land.[2]

History

In 2000, the United States Congress authorized the National Park Service to research the new trail composed of the Mattabesett Trail, Metacomet Trail, and Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Connecticut and Massachusetts. This was backed by Public Law 107-338 (signed by President George W. Bush in December 2002). The argument, as testified before Congress, was that the preservation of the trail system as a recreational resource is only possible through its joint protection.[3]

The draft study was concluded in April 2006, published and made available for public review and comment. At this time, the trail was referred to as the MMM Trail (Metacomet-Monadnock-Mattabesett). Public meetings in Connecticut and Massachusetts on September 26 and 27, 2006, respectively, yielded large support for the project and inquired about trail use and management, and alternative trail routes.[3]

In March 2007, Representative John Olver (D-MA) introduced the New England Scenic Trail Designation Act. Co-sponsors were the Democratic representatives Richard Neal (D-MA), John B. Larson (D-CT), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT); a companion bill was introduced by Senator John Kerry. The bill, proposed amending the National Trail System Act to add the Monadnock, Metacomet and Mattabesett (MMM or triple-M) Trail System as a National Scenic Trail, was passed by the House of Representatives in 2008.[1] This measure was subsequently rolled into the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2009. The act established three new national scenic trails, including the New England National Scenic Trail.[1]

References

External Links


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