- Other Program Areas
- Recreational Trails
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
About the PHNST
Explore the Trail
2022 Corridor Analysis
NVRC has completed Corridor Analysis studies in 2011, 2015, and 2022 to offer synopses of existing and planned segments for the PHNST in Northern Virginia, including relevant information on amenities, accessibility, events and activities, and other key corridor components. The 2022 Corridor Analysis builds off of findings from NVRC’s 2022 Health, Social Equity and Economic Impact Study (see below) which show that completion of the PHNST network could provide important public health benefits and improve tourism, business development, and trail infrastructure for underserved communities. As such, the 2022 Corridor Analysis is structured to help NVRC and relevant stakeholders progress projects and programming that address connectivity and related goals with an expanded focus on existing trail features, including physical attributes, accessibility, and amenities along the trail.
Components of the 2022 Corridor Analysis are incorporated into the dashboard (see above) through interactive online maps. A written report is also available with additional information on the study's methodology, future trail priorities and needs, and project funding resources.
2022 Health, Social Equity, and Economic Impact Study
In January 2022, NVRC released the results of a community impact assessment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Northern Virginia. The study includes an assessment of health equity, social equity, transportation, and economic impacts of improving trail access, closing trail gaps, and making safe connections to nearby communities. The objective of the study was to assess the public health and community-related impacts associated with use of the trail and to provide recommendations to maximize those impacts and help justify the investment of public funds.
Trails not only provide a wide range of recreational values, services, and protection of specific natural and cultural features, but they also explicitly contribute to social and economic well-being. To assist the National Park Service, local governments and land managing agencies with completion of their PHNST trail and connection trail gaps, the NVRC, on behalf of its PHNST partners, seeks to develop a deeper understanding about why the trail and its connections are valuable to Northern Virginia residents, businesses, and the economy. Learn more about the study's outcomes and access associated documents and outreach materials on its PHNST dashboard page.
NVRC Roles & Responsibilities
NVRC has provided planning and management for the Northern Virginia section of the PHNST since the 1990’s, including support prior to Congressional designation. In 2014, management stakeholders, the National Park Service, NVRC, and other relevant partners signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize collaboration, completion, and promotion of trail segments in Northern Virginia. An updated MOU was signed in 2019 to include new management stakeholders and confirm associated roles to oversee and host the trail. NVRC also currently supports the PHNST through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to lead trail data and mapping activities, special studies, and sponsor enhancement grant funding for trail construction activities in several jurisdictions.
Memorandum of Understanding Among Trail Partners in Northern Virginia - This memorandum updates a 2014 agreement among trail managers and coordinators representing local, state, regional, and federal partners who host and promote the trail.