Photo by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

For the first time in American history, an epic new cross-country trail will allow outdoorsmen to travel nonstop from coast to coast.

The Great American Rail-Trail will stretch 3,700 miles across 12 states, from Washington DC to Washington state. Collectively, the trail will connect more than 125 currently existing trails and 90 trail gaps.

The trail is the signature project of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails organization. For the last 12 months, the nonprofit has been researching and developing a proposal for the ideal Great American cross-country route.

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RTC finally released their route proposal last week, and they are now asking for at least 1 million pledges of support in order to bring their dream to fruition.

Though the proposed route would require some work, 52% of the trail is already open for public use.

“We have the chance to create from that vision a national treasure that unites millions of people over thousands of miles of trail,” said Ryan Chao, president of RTC. “This trail is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide—together—an enduring gift to the nation that will bring joy for generations to come.”

(WATCH the video below) – Feature photo by Liz Zabel / GO Cedar Rapids

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