The act made possible a system of national trails, including National Scenic Trails, National Recreation Trails, and a series of connecting and side trails. Later, National Historic Trails were added to the system.
There are some trails established by the act or later added to the system, like the Overmountain Victory Trail, that may never see completion. Mounting budget difficulties and encroaching development are to blame.
But overall, the act was a bold and lasting step to preserve and promote outdoor recreational opportunities and historic areas.
How often do we get a chance to celebrate something the federal government did that was done right? This is one.