In 1968, the National Trails System Act created the American National Trails System. The goal of the Act was “to promote preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.”
Trail and pleasure riding is the most common use for horses in the United States today. Equestrians enjoy the benefits of many of the trails in the National Trails System, though riders typically must share trails with hikers, mountain bikers, and sometimes ATVs or snowmobiles. Due to conflict, liability and ecological issues, many trails are being closed to equestrians. Through continued joint efforts with other trail users, organizations like Back Country Horsemen of America work to preserve wilderness trails for equestrian use.