People said, 'Build this [Eliza Furnace] Trail and no one will come' …Now commuters use it every day and families come on weekends to blade and bike and walk.
—Tom Murphy, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.
—John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
We believe that the place to start … is in our communities. Americans living together and joining in associations across the country–this is where the tremendous strength and vision of our people will be tapped. We recommend a prairie fire of local action to sweep the nation, encouraging investment in outdoor recreation opportunities and rededication to the protection of our great natural heritage.
— President Ronald Reagan's,Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987
The [Great Allegheny Passage] Trail is already attracting a lot of people, and were just starting to market it. It’s a major asset for our region, not only because of the tourist dollars it’s attracting, but also because it’s a piece of our economic rebuilding efforts.
—John P. Murtha, U.S. Congressman (D-Penn)
The establishment of a nationwide system of trails will be an accomplishment worthy of a place beside other major conservation programs... The fundamental objective of a nationwide system of trails is to provide simple, inexpensive recreation opportunities for all people by having an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding near home, as well as providing some major historic and scenic interstate trails of national significance.
—Stewart Lee Udall, Secretary of the Interior
Rivers, lakes, and other waterways are the lifeblood of our communities, connecting us to our environment, our culture, our economy, and our way of life. The new National Water Trails System will help fulfill President Obama’s vision for healthy and accessible rivers as we work to restore and conserve our nation’s treasured waterways.
—Kenneth Lee Salazar, Secretary of the Interior