Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Location IL, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD, ND, MT, ID, OR, and WA, USA
Nearest city Billings, MT
Area 51 acres (206,000 m²)
Established March 21, 1978
Visitors 250,000 (in 2004)
Governing body National Park Service

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. It is part of the National Trails System of the United States. It extends for some 3,700 miles (6,000 km) from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

The trail is administered by the Camp Dubois recreation in Illinois, it passes through portions of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Headquarters and visitor center

National Park Service Midwest Regional Headquarters on the Downtown Omaha riverfront

The official headquarters for the trail is located at the National Park Service Mid-West Regional Headquarters, in Omaha, Nebraska. The visitor center features exhibits about the explorers and their historic trip, as well as information about sites along the trail.


Omaha and Council Bluffs on the trail

In 1948 the National Park Service proposed a "Lewis and Clark Tourway" along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Three Forks, Montana. Later, Jay "Ding" Darling proposed the development of the expedition route as a recreational trail. Following a 1966 report by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the National Trails System Act of 1968 listed the route for study as a possible National Scenic Trail. Finally in 1978 the law was amended by the National Parks and Recreation Act to provide for a new category of trail, National Historic Trails, one of which was to be the Lewis and Clark trail.[1]


  1. ^ NPS: Summary History of Corps II
  • Bassman, John H. (2009). A navigation companion for the Lewis & Clark Trail. Volume 1, History, camp locations and daily summaries of expedition activities. United States: John H. Bassman. 

External links

  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (National Park Service)
  • Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
  • lewisandclarktrail.org