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August 2017 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
What's Hot
Join the Recreational Trails Program Council of Advisors

As a member of the Coalition for Recreational Trails, American Trails urges organizations of every size and interest to become a supporter of the Recreational Trails Program. CRT has created a Council of Advisors to help support the continuation and expansion of the Recreational Trails Program and funding for trails of all kinds in upcoming legislation. Read more about CRT and download the Council of Advisors sign-up form...
"Recreation Not Red Tape” Act introduced

The American Horse Council reports on a new bill which focuses on streamlined permitting to access public lands. The bill (S 1633/HR 3400) also encourages cooperative agreements to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance. It also authorizes the USFS and BLM to develop interagency maintenance standards for trails crossing jurisdictional lines between the two agencies. Read more...
August 31 webinar: "Reducing Crime One Trail at a Time"

American Trails hosts this webinar that will explore methods of enhancing trail security and safety perceptions through environmental design. While studies have shown that trails themselves do not generate crime, in many urban areas, perceived safety is serious, and even the perception of trail safety creates a stigma for trails as a public facility. Using a multi-disciplinary, multi-pronged approach to trail planning and design, managers, planners, and volunteers can create a climate of safety on trails. Presented by Alta Planning + Design and Texas A&M Extension this webinar is free for American Trails members or $55 for nonmembers and offers CEUs. Learn more and register today…
September 21 webinar: “Connecting Communities: Integrating Transportation and Recreation Networks"

American Trails will present this webinar with Christopher Douwes and Laura Toole with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). An extension of their presentation at the International Trails Symposium this past May, this webinar will explore how to integrate transportation and recreation infrastructure. The webinar is free for American Trails members or $55 for nonmembers and offers CEUs. Learn more and register today…
Mayor’s Bike Challenge promotes health and local trails

Redding, California's Mayor Brent Weaver launched the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge to inspire people to get out and get active. Besides encouraging healthy activity, says Brent Weaver, Mayor of the City of Redding, it’s a way to promote the unique characteristics of the region. Read more and see photos...
American Trails hikes the hill in Washington, DC

John Favro, Chair of American Trails, recounts Hike the Hill® 2017, a joint effort between the Partnership for the National Trails System and the American Hiking Society aimed at increasing congressional and federal agency leader awareness of funding and other needs that sustain our nationwide network of trails. Read more and see photos...
Jim Schmid reviews “On the Trail: A History of American Hiking”

Chamberlin attempts to explain how he could hike regularly in the late 20th century and yet be so ignorant of the vibrant culture of organized hiking. In seeking answers, he explores the fascinating story of hiking club culture in America from its rise in the mid-1800s to changes after 1968. Read more and see photos...
Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Joanna Trail, Missouri

Joanna Trail is a destination for equestrians, hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen plays an important role in keeping the multi-use trail maintained and signed, and are assisted by Scouts, students, and other volunteer groups. Read more and see photos...
Featured National Recreation Trail:
Wehle Trail System, Alabama

The Forever Wild Wehle Tract consists of 1,500 acres of rolling hill country through open pine grasslands and mature hardwood bottomlands. Besides trails for both hikers and horseback riders, it features the Robert G. Wehle Nature Center. Read more and see photos...
Featured Trail Industry Manufacturer:
Zeager Bros., Inc.

Zeager Bros., Inc. offers Bonded WoodCarpet that is a poured-in-place wood fiber that’s accessible and pervious but also natural. It’s a perfect solution for accessible trails in parks, picnic areas, gardens, forests, and historic areas. Fight runoff and washout with this firm, stable, and pervious surface. Its pleasing aesthetics fit with nature. Learn more about Zeager Bros., Inc. in the American Trails Online Business Directory...
Trail system generated nearly $1 million in revenue

The Coalition for Recreational Trails recognized the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area for its outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. Located on 6,500 acres of Pennsylvania forest and reclaimed coal land, the park has generated $982,216 in revenue since it opened in May 2014, selling a total of 38,185 passes. Read more and see photos...

Parks and greenways may help reduce crime in Chicago

When scientists analyzed crime statistics from a diverse array of Chicago neighbors both before after the construction of the Bloomingdale Trail, a 2.7-mile elevated greenway, they found a reduction in crime in neighborhoods closest to the trail. Results of the study were published in the journal Environment and Behavior. Read more and see photos...

Greenways in Indianapolis open for full 24 hour use

For several years bicycle advocates and other community groups in Indianapolis worked to eliminate closure hours for the city’s greenways. In 2015 the Indy Parks Department in collaboration with city officials opened the trail system to 24-hour use. Advocates cited that many other major cities already provided 24 hours access to their trail systems. Read more and see photos…

Accessible wildlife trail in Weymouth, MA nears completion

Construction is wrapping up at Osprey Overlook Park– a new, paved pathway and accessible overlook at the capped landfill that offers panoramic views of the Back River and a perfect lookout for bird watchers. The raptors fish and nest on the Back River, which houses several nesting poles, each topped with a large osprey nest. Read more and see photos...
International News
Development of cross-border hiking tourism along the Danube

Cross-border cooperation is the theme of a study of trails along Europe's second-longest river. "Hiking enables tourists to get to know countries and cultures in a direct way. Therefore establishing cross-border hiking along the Danube should not only support the touristic infrastructure, but also strengthen the bonds between all bordering countries." Download the 70-page report (pdf 480 kb)...

World's longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Switzerland

USA Today reports on the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which opened in Switzerland in July, "a ribbon-thin span nearly a third of a mile long that challenges hikers to proceed in places at nearly 28 stories above ground." Read more and see photos...

Australia finds rail trails attract tourism dollars

Supporters of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail in New South Wales say it will add to the community and prove to be a great attraction. They cite studies in Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, the US, and other parts of Australia that report positive economic growth for areas with regional rail trails. Read more and see photos...
Photo Gallery: Pavement markings and warning stencils for trails

In addition to signs, trail managers often use painted messages directly on the pavement. Many types of messages can be communicated to people walking, bicycling, and skating by stenciling directly on the paved surface just as engineers provide for roadway users. Read more and view photo gallery...

Management of narrow natural surface trails

This study surveyed open space managers in the San Francisco Bay Area on management of narrow natural surface trails in their parks and open space. Of particular interest was determining what uses were allowed on narrow trails, how those uses were determined and regulated, and how successful they thought their management practices were. Download the 46-page guide (1.0 mb)…

Michigan Water Trails Manual

This Water Trails Manual is intended to provide local officials, water advocacy organizations, paddlers, and visionary citizens with the resources and tools to develop a water trail in their community. The 119-page manual covers planning, regulations, facilties, signs, launch area design, mapping, and promotion. Download the Water Trails Manual (pdf 11.6 mb)...

Fall 2017 trail training opportunities

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

September 7 — Webinar: Questions and Answers on Accessibility Standards
September 13-15 — National Walking Summit
September 21 — Webinar: Connecting Communities: Integrating Transportation and Recreation Networks
September 21 —Webinar: Partnership for the National Trails System trail intern grant program
September 24-26 — Pennsylvania Greenways and Trails Summit
September 28-30 — Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium
October 2017
October 1-3 — Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit
October 2 — Colorado Bicycle Summit
October 11-12 — Sustainable Trails For All Workshop
October 16-18 — Trail of Tears Conference and Symposium
October 18-22 — National Paddlesports Conference
October 21-22 — Arizona Trail Association: Trail Design and Layout
November 2017
November 3-4 — Massachusetts Trails Conference
November 3-4 — 6th Annual NC Bike/Walk Summit
November 22-24 — Trailhead Canada 2017

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.

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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!