Join Our Mailing List
Table of Contents

Quick Links

Cool Trails Photo Gallery

trails training

November 2016 e-Newsletter

Advancing trails for those who build, maintain, use, and dream of trails...

  whatshotWHAT'S HOT 

Donate to American Trails TODAY on Giving Tuesday!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far this #NorthStateGivingTuesday to support our Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program ! We are so excited to see our numbers grow and hope you will aide in our efforts to reach our goal of $5,000 today! Please donate between the hours of 6am-6pm Pacific today and enter to win a variety of prizes including an REI 2-person tent, REI daypack, or Whiskeytown, CA park passes. Donate $100 or more and be eligible to win a free registration to the International Trails Symposium taking place in Dayton, OH May in May 2017! Learn more about our cause and donate...

Republicans and Democrats alike voted to support the outdoors
"We saw that while American voters are divided on many issues, parks and natural areas are an issue that we can all agree on," said Trust for Public Land president Will Rogers in a statement. These ballot measures will fund the creation of dozens of miles of hiking and biking trails, the conservation of tens of thousands of acres of land, and the construction of innovative urban parks and public spaces. Read more about voting results...
Dec. 8 webinar: "Leveraging Public-Private Funding for Trails"
"Powerful Partnerships: Lessons Learned on Leveraging Public-Private Funding for Trails" will be presented December 8, 2016. It covers innovative funding strategies for water and land trails with two case studies of strong public-private partnerships. Speakers are Elizabeth Riggs, Huron River Watershed Council; and Julie Clark, Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation (TART) Trails. Learn more and REGISTER for this webinar... 
New American Trails Executive Director announced
We are pleased to announce that Mike Passo will be the new American Trails Executive Director. Mike is very familiar with American Trails from his recent years as a board member, and he has worked for 10 years as the Professional TrailBuilders Association conference coordinator and executive director. We look forward to working with Mike when he begins full time with American Trails in January. Read more...
Recreational Trails Program celebrates 25 years of funding
December 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the law that created the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), one of the most important sources of funding for trail projects. Through all the years of competition for Federal dollars, the program has been maintained-- helping States, volunteer groups, and project sponsors to improve our nationwide system of trails. Read more about the RTP and trail funding...
Photo contest for National Recreation Trails
American Trails sponsors the annual contest for photographs of designated National Recreation Trails across the country. Our annual contest provides awards in several categories. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016. Learn more...
May 7-10, 2017 ~ Dayton, Ohio
Call for Award Nominations deadline December 1
Here's an opportunity to recognize someone you know who is working for the betterment of trails. Nominations for the 2017 National and International Trails Awards are being accepted until December 1, 2016. American Trails will recognize the winners at the Symposium in Dayton. Read more and learn how to submit a nomination...

Emerging Leaders scholarship application deadline December 1
The Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program will bring up to 16 young adults (ages 21-25) to participate in the 2017 mentorship program at the Symposium. The program will immerse the scholarship recipients in learning best practices and trends in the field to blaze a pathway to careers in natural resource management. The deadline for scholarship applications is December 1. We welcome sponsors/partners for this program and will soon have an application recruiting mentors who will be paired with the scholarship applicants. Learn more...
Call for Presentations deadline December 9
Keeping in line with the Symposium theme, "Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities," we welcome proposals that address at least one of eight unique topic areas as they relate to the theme. Proposals can be for national or international presentations and are due by December 9, 2016. Learn more and download the CFP... 
Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities  
15% exhibitor discount deadline January 15, 2017
Download the Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Packet to view additional benefits, including choosing your booth location in the order the contract and payment is received (some exceptions apply) and adding a logo or name link on our Meet Our Sponsors page.

Thank you to our major sponsors and honorary partners to date: 

Thank you to the additional sponsors and exhibitors to date:


Advocates imagine a 27-mile riverfront trail for Chicago
Active Transportation Alliance unveiled on Monday their preliminary vision to establish an unbroken, connective trail along the 27 miles of riverfront that span the North and South branches of the Chicago River. The trail would then link up to existing suburban pathways, such as the North Branch Trail and the I&M Canal Trail Extension. Read more and see photos...

Sharing the wild: a new trail to a lonely destination in Alaska
Erin McKittrick writes thoughtfully about trail work: "With a saw in hand, it feels like a trail is something you build. The construction laid out in our state permit follows certain standards. But when sawed logs sprout with shelf fungus and the cut branches rot into the forest floor, a trail is an artifact. It's a callus on the land, smoothed and hardened by use. And like a callus, it will melt away if pressure and friction disappear. It takes just two years for salmonberries to obliterate an untended path." Read more and see photos...

Scientists and nature-lovers: hiking is good for what ails you
Research published in the Public Library of Science shows that walking in a natural environment boosts energy and positivity, and decreases tension and anger and the risk of depression. Florida trail enthusiasts agree. Read more and see photos...

Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy
Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization? Read more and see photos...

Colorado's Staunton State Park debuts all-terrain wheelchair
The Action TrackChair has tank-like wheels that allow users to go off road, on dirt trails and up inclines, which is not possible on traditional wheelchairs. The Friends of Staunton hope to push this program out to other Colorado state parks. Read more and see photos...

Trail tourism: making trail memories that last
Author Amy Camp asks "What can we do to make trail trips more memorable?" She writes that the majority of trail users "seek to discover new places as part of their destination trail adventures. The trail may be the hook, but they also want to experience communities, their heritage, and local customs and culture." Read more and see photos...

Featured National Recreation Trail: Copper Harbor Trails, Michigan
The Copper Harbor Trails are a 30-mile non-motorized sy ste m of singletrack, flow and gravity trails, and rugged terrain that make for a world class mountain bike destination located in the village of Copper Harbor, Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior. Read more and see photos...  
Featured Recreational Trails Program-funded project: Sawtooth National Forest trails, Idaho
Youth Corps and Boy Scouts improved the Pioneer-Cabin, High Ridge and Federal Gulch trails. They realigned and rebuilt trail, constructed turnpike, and corrected drainage problems. The goal was to restore lost access and safety to these high-elevation routes for hikers and equestrians. Read more and see photos...

Hiking in Greece: alternative tourism just waiting to be developed
Hiking tourism as a factor of tourism development in Greece was presented to Greek tourism professionals and travel agents from abroad, on the sidelines of the Nostos Expo 2016, Greece's first alternative tourism exhibition. Read more and see photos...

Creating trail tourism in rural Saskatchewan
Trans Canada Trail (TCT) has been working with rural municipalities across Saskatchewan to help build its tourism infrastructure, researching and adapting Trail routes to highlight points of interest and to link some of the province's most meaningful cultural and historical sites. Read more and see photos...

New Zealand Cycle Trail generates $37 million from tourism
A new report shows the New Zealand Cycle Trail generated about $37 million in economic benefits and was used by more than a million people last year. The Queenstown Trail led the way nationally with 211,901 users, and $9 million in revenue from international visitors and $5.4 million in revenue from domestic visitors. Read more and see map...

Archived webinar: "Trails and Greenways: What's Next?"

A recent webinar is available as a free recorded presentation from American Trails. "Trails and Greenways: What's Next?" covers the latest trends in the planning, promotion, and conservation of trail and greenway corridors." Topics include landscape initiatives to preserve trail corridors, trails as green infrastructure, and connecting urban areas to nature. Read more and access archived webinar...

Rail with trail project in Oregon shares resources
The Joseph Branch rail line in northeastern Oregon is 63 miles long. A Concept Plan details the feasibility of creating a trail in the corridor while maintaining the active railroad. A companion study examines the significant economic benefits that could result from trail development. Download the Concept Plan (pdf 17.9 mb) and the Economic Impact Assessment (pdf 855 kb)...
Greater Yellowstone Trail Concept Plan
What if it were possible to travel 180 miles of the most scenic terrain in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho on a trail primarily at easy railroad grades? Two dozen groups and agencies cooperated on a plan to leverage attractions and existing trails with new projects for a unified long-distance trail system. Download the Trail Concept Plan... (pdf 10.7 mb)

Share your photos with Cool Trail Solutions
Is a picture still worth 1,000 words? We've got over 1,000 photos of trail construction, facilities, and management issues. The National Trails Training Partnership Cool Trail Solutions area many topics with images and ideas. We also provide the opportunity for others to share their photos and project descriptions. Read more and access photo galleries...

Early 2017 trail training opportunities

Current training opportunities for trail skills across the country. See the Online Trails Training Calendar for details...

December 8 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Powerful Partnerships: Lessons Learned on Leveraging Public-Private Funding for Trails Register today!
January 17 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Hut 2 Hut Systems
February 12-15 - Washington, DC
* The Corps Network National Conference
February 12-15 - Washington, DC
* Hike the Hill
February 23 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Creative Reassembling of Former Railroad Corridor
February 25 - Princeton, NJ
* New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit
March 6-9 - Washington, DC
* National Bike Summit
March 12-18 - Bend, OR
* PTBA Sustainable Trails Conference
March 14 - Ogden, UT
* Utah Bike Summit
March 20-21 - Portland, OR
* Oregon Active Transportation Summit
March 24-26 - Nauvoo, AL
* Alabama Hiking Society Trail Conference
April 19-21 - Monterey, CA
* California Trails and Greenways Conference
April 20-22 - Columbus, GA
* Georgia Trail Summit

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at .


Working together - works! There is strength in numbers!


For over 28 years, American Trails has been a collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, builders, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities.


American Trails will continue to keep you informed on both trail know-how and issues critical to the future of trails. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well-being of Americans of all ages and abilities, including our children.


American Trails is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.


  DONATE         join now  


 quicklinksQUICK LINKS 

Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to one of the world's most comprehensive online resources for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, and enhancing trails, greenways, and blueways. We also bring you news from the halls of Congress, new studies and resources, interesting articles, events, training opportunities, and the latest in trail products and services. Check out the topics above for what's new in the trails world!

Send news and calendar items to
Advertising Opportunities:
American Trails offers cost-effective advertising opportunities for our Trail Tracks e-Newsletter, the American Trails Magazine, in our Business Directory, and on our website! Find out more here.  
Like us on Facebook        Follow us on Twitter  
Visit our blog 
Header photo: Padilla Bay Shore Trail, Bayview, Washington; photo by Stuart Macdonald