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March 2018 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
Saving Trails Since 1988
The CRT awards are still accepting nominations!

The Coalition for Recreational Trails is accepting nominations in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds by state trail programs and by state recreational trails advisory committees. These two state awards are in addition to the CRT Achievement Awards that recognize excellent projects funded by the RTP. All the awards are named in honor of Tom Petri, the former Member of Congress who was a long-time champion of the RTP.  Learn how to submit nominations and see past award winners by state...
Can you complete the 30 Miles for 30 Years Challenge?

2018 is not only the 50th anniversary of the trails act, it also marks the 30th year American Trails has been a force for action in the trails world! To celebrate we are challenging you to explore 30 miles of our nations trails. Accept this challenge and create your own supporter page to share with your family and friends. You can use your page to raise money, track your journey, and post updates on social media by linking your supporter page to your Facebook or Twitter account! Read more and sign up ...
Call for presentations for American Trails' 2019 International Trails Symposium

American Trails is calling for presentation proposals from  you  for our 2019 International Trails Symposium (ITS)! The ITS is the premier opportunity for greenways and trails advocates, managers, planners, builders, and users, as well as environmental, tourism, development, and business interests, to come together to strengthen America’s remarkable network of trails! What topics do you believe the trails world needs to hear more about?  Submit  your proposals today!

April 5 webinar covers accessible outdoor recreation facilities

Bill Botten with the U.S. Access Board will review the scoping and technical requirements for outdoor developed areas on federal lands. The presentation will also highlight best practices for recreation facilities including trails. Read more and register for the webinar...

Are you looking for a trail job?

There are jobs available for a variety of trail-related work. See the American Trails Employment postings for professional as well as entry-level jobs. American Trails posts opportunities for trails and greenways employment, seasonal work for conservation corps, bicycle pedestrian advocacy, trail organizations, state parks, and federal agencies. See current jobs...

Does nature makes us happier and healthier?
Jim Schmid reviews The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative . In this conversational and personal account, journalist Florence Williams travels widely to track down our deep connection to the natural landscape. Williams makes a compelling case that we suffer from an “epidemic dislocation from the outdoors.” Read more...

Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Stub Stewart State Park, Oregon
With more than 25 miles of multi-use trails, Stub Stewart is a premier destination for hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders. The Northwest Trail Alliance has worked for several years to improve the trail system for all users. Read more and see photos...

Check out the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Funding Program

A joint partnership effort between the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) and the USDA Forest Service, and you! These program funds are provided to trail and stewardship organizations to improve trail maintenance on the National Forest System Trail System. Applications are now being accepted for summer 2018! Learn more here...

Featured National Recreation Trail: Tanglefoot Trail, Mississippi

The Tanglefoot Trail is Mississippi's longest rails-to-trails conversion, a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that runs 43.5 miles through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. Read more and see photos...

The Aetna Foundation's 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program is now accepting applications.

The Foundation expects to award up to $2 million in grants to organizations that increase opportunities for low-income, minority communities to make healthy choices in the places they live, work, learn, and play. Grant requests can range between $50,000 and $100,000 for projects that span 18 to 24 months. The Foundation seek partners whose work addresses pressing issues in the following domains: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors.  Learn more here...

Featured Trail Industry Manufacturer: The Acorn Group

Blending the skills of planners, designers, and educators, The Acorn Group offers award-winning services in interpretive planning and design. Part art, part science, accented with storytelling and exquisite design, their interpretive master plans, exhibits, panels, and programs create sensory-rich experiences that bring your content to life. Learn more about The Acorn Group in the American Trails Online Business Directory...
How to get a pedestrian island installed
Trails as well as streets cross wide, busy highways. A pedestrian refuge enables walkers and cyclists to cross halfway to a protected island. But how do you find the funding and political will in the mix of jurisdictions governing transportation? The AARP details approaches that work. Read more and see photos...

Dallas to bike-share companies: Clean up your mess, or we will
"Dallas City Hall is running out of patience with the five companies that have turned parts of this city into bike-rental graveyards," writes the Dallas Morning News. In the last few months the bike-share companies have placed as many as 20,000 bikes on Dallas streets that rent for a dollar an hour and can be left anywhere. Read more and see photos...

From trail to homeless camp and back again

Orange County Public Works released eye-popping figures on March 8, on the total amount of debris, needles, and hazardous waste removed when crews cleaned up the area along the Santa Ana River Trail once populated by the encampments of homeless people. Read more and see photos...

Minnesota legislatures are seeking the creation of a strategic master plan of trails for off-road vehicles and recognizing an interest within the state for additional well-managed trails and facilities for off-highway recreational vehicle enthusiasts and other recreational users. Read more and see photos...
New 'Celtic Camino' spurs second coming for Irish pilgrim trails

For just over a year now, walkers who complete a 'Celtic Camino' - by walking at least 25km of a pilgrim trail in Ireland - can collect a special certificate issued by the Camino Society Ireland at St. James' Church in Dublin. Read more...

Scottish Borders bids to harness horse tourism

Ride Scotland's Horse Country aims to develop a network of facilities for riders and their horses along more than 300 miles of off-road trails. Project co-ordinator Gowan Miller said the region had the "perfect combination" of spectacular countryside and long-established trails. If successful, it is hoped the scheme could spread out into Northumberland and Dumfries and Galloway. Read more...

This 1-km boardwalk wraps around the edge of an ancient mountain in Canada

Of the countless hiking trails in Canada, the coolest one you can explore lies in a place you might not expect — atop a 7,486-foot tall mountain. Read more...

American Trails is starting a webinar series on accessibility
Accessible Trail Development is the theme for a series of four webinars hosted by American Trails. Trail planners and managers will want to expand their knowledge of this vital but often confusing topic.
On the schedule are:
  • April 5: Outdoor Developed Areas Final Rule
  • April 12: Creating Accessible Trails with Universally Designed Interpretation
  • April 26: Getting the Word Out about Accessibility of Trails and Outdoor Recreation

American Trails members save 50% on webinars and only pay $19 (nonmembers $39). The registration fee includes learning credits via AICP CM, LA CES, and NRPA CEU equivalency petition. Learn more and register for these webinars...
Arizona Trail Skills Institute provides full range of training
Working together, Arizona Trail Association and American Conservation Experience will teach valuable skills to volunteers, including those who have been involved in trail projects for many years. Drawing upon thousands of hours on the trail, these sessions include time-tested techniques and innovative principles. Read more and see training schedule...
Trail users surveyed on New York pathways
Fifteen trails in New York State were selected for a study which used a variety of surveys and interviews with trail users. "An Analysis of the 2015 Trail User Survey & Count" provides an interesting comparison of different kinds of trails, each with their own use patterns and types of visitors. Download 70-page study (pdf 2.9 mb)...
Best practices for snowmobile trails
The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers Inc. (VAST) has revised their "Best Practices for the Development of Snowmobile Trails" for 2017. The design guide is filled with diagrams and photos illustrating both good and bad design of trails, plus bridges, mapping, road and rail crossings, and structures. Download design guide (pdf 9.5 mb)...

Learn to be a National Recreation Trails Ambassador
American Trails is seeking motivated volunteer Trail Ambassadors that are willing to visit as many of the National Recreation Trails in their region as possible over the next year, to gather data and identify issues on these great trails. Learn more about the NRT Ambassador Program...
20 18 trail training opportunities across America
For more current training opportunities for trail skills across the country, s ee the Online Trails Training Calendar for details…
April 2018
April 5, 2018 — Webinar: Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas

April 12, 2018 — Webinar: Creating Accessible Trails with Universally Designed Interpretation

April 14, 2018 — Sustainable Trail Permitting and Contracting

  • Wentworth, NC
  • Participants will learn about potential permitting requirements and trail contracting for natural surface sustainable trail projects. The session will cover environmental regulatory agencies and contacts. Students will be provided with examples of trail contracts and create one of their own based on findings from a trail assessment.
  • Info: or

April 18-20, 2018 — Conference on Tourism and Conservation in the Great Plains

  • Kearney, NE
  • From for-profit businesses and tour guides to outdoor recreation groups and nonprofit conservation agencies, we’re bringing together hundreds of people who are looking at tourism and conservation in new ways. We argue that responsible nature-based tourism offers one strategy to simultaneously save the region's natural marvels, benefit landowners, and help rural communities thrive.
  • Info:

April 23-26, 2018 — 2018 National Outdoor Recreation Conference

  • Burlington, VT
  • The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals presents the 2018 National Outdoor Recreation Conference: "Building Resilient Communities, Environments and Economies." Outdoor recreation infrastructure and opportunities are now acknowledged as the catalysts for engaging current and future land stewards, building strong local economies, and contributing to a sense of community and belonging. Vermont provides an ideal location to see how investments in local conservation and outdoor recreation have contributed to a thriving economy and vibrant community. 
  • Info:

April 23-28, 2018 — Virginia’s Land Conservation and Greenways Conference

April 28, 2018 — Intermediate Trail Maintenance

  • Wentworth, NC
  • Participants will learn about advanced trail maintenance techniques. The session will cover trail tread narrowing and rehabilitation, armoring, checkdams, and trail closure and reclamation. Students will also review vegetation trimming, deberming and maintaining outslope, constructing knicks and rolling grade dips, and other typical trail maintenance requirements.
  • Info: or

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at .
Working together - works! There is strength in numbers!
For over 29 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 charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.


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!