The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that symbolize resiliency and character while linking the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The trail serves as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished on September 11, 2001, and the many heroes who committed themselves to the response for their country.

The multipurpose trail system provides cyclists and hikers a valued public resource and an opportunity to experience breathtaking landscapes, discover new towns, and visit many memorials and historic places of American resilience along the way. The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance works closely with local, state and federal governments, federal agencies, and fellow trail organizations to make the 1,300-mile vision a reality.

The September 11th Trail Alliance was formed in 2004 and is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All donations and contributions to the September 11th Trail Alliance are tax deductible. To become a member or to volunteer and help take action in your local community please consider a donation!

adventure cyclist magazine cover
Read “An American Pilgrimage: Cycling the 9/11 Trail,” in the Oct/Nov 2018 issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine

Our founding

The September 11th National Memorial Trail is designed to pay tribute to all those who perished, and the heroic first responders, on September 11, 2001 in America’s single worst terrorist attack. On that fateful day, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, crashing two aircraft into New York City’s World Trade Center Twin Towers; another aircraft plunged into the Pentagon, and the heroic passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 stopped a fourth airliner from striking the nation’s capitol by forcing it to crash land in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Several days later, just blocks from the Pentagon and minutes from our Nations’ Capitol, conservation and recreation leaders from across the country convened to attend the “Mid-Atlantic Governors Conference on Greenways, Blueways and Green Infrastructure” at a nearby hotel less than a half-mile from the Pentagon. In the planning stage for nearly a year, it was decided that the conference should go on in the spirit that the terrorists would not disrupt our daily lives. The conference was a rousing success; the only dilemma being that those conference members planning to travel by air from across the country and abroad were prohibited from attending due to the restrictions on air travel.

At the concluding forum, conference chair David Brickley, director of Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, presented the audience with the vision of establishing a multi-use trail as a perpetual remembrance of those heroes lost on that fateful day. The trail route would start from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and proceed to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, then across to New York City and back down to the Pentagon. It would be called the September 11th National Memorial Trail. The conference participants’ response was exciting and the concept moved forward.

Read more of the 9/11 Trail’s history