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Long-distance trail hikers soon will have a new checkbox on their to-do list: The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, a 1,200-mile-long footpath stretching from the peaks of Glacier National Park and through North Cascades National Park to the Pacific Ocean shoreline of Olympic National Park.

National Parks Traveler reported that the trail was initially proposed in 1970 then designated in 2009 as one of the country’s 11 National Scenic Trails. Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed a 23-member advisory panel to work on developing trail uses, signage, and a corridor.

As envisioned, the trail would stretch from northeastern Glacier National Park — the trailhead is proposed to be located at the Chief Mountain customs office at the U.S.-Canadian border — to coastal Olympic National Park at Cape Alava.

“We’re excited to assemble such a diverse group of volunteers to collaborate with us in developing a plan designed to improve recreational opportunities and experiences, and support our unique mix of gateway communities,” said Matt McGrath, Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail program manager. “The strong interest in the council demonstrates the significance of the Pacific Northwest Trail as a truly national resource.”

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