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Saving Trails Since 1988
November 2017 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
What's Hot
Bridging the barriers between different trail user groups

American Trails exists to help the trails community to communicate, share information, and work together. We are introducing an ongoing series called “Breaking Down the Silos,” where we discuss the happenings and ideas that help to bridge the barriers between the different trail user groups and bring all members of our trails community together to ensure positive change in our trail world. Read more...
December 7 Webinar: Build a Sustainable Trail that Lasts 100 Years

American Trails will present this webinar on December 7, 2017 with Michael Osborne of Five Rivers MetroParks. This webinar will explore the critical components and processes necessary for truly sustainable trail design and construction. Read more and register for the webinar…

Private Outfitter Needed for Recreational Hub Along the Schuylkill 

Check out this amazing new program to get an outfitter on the Schuylkill River Trail! Deadline for application is December 8. Learn more here… 

Three easy ways to support American Trails this holiday season

North State Giving Tuesday – November 14-28, 2017
Schedule your donation between now and November 28 (Giving Tuesday). Donations made at during this timeframe will be eligible for a boost from incentive pool funds and will help American Trails win additional dollars. All donations will go towards our new Trails Move People program. Donations of $50 or more during this event will receive a vintage TRAIL BOSS camping coffee mug as a thank you! Learn more about our cause this year and schedule your donation...

Amazon Smile – shop at Amazon and support AT
It’s as simple as going to and selecting American Trails as your charity! A portion of your purchases will be donated to American Trails – any time of the year! We thank you for supporting us! Start shopping and donating today…

Get your vintage TRAIL BOSS camping mug today!
These awesome mugs are available for $15 in the American Trails Online Store or you can also receive a FREE mug if you donate $50 or more to our North State Giving Tuesday efforts. Donate or purchase your mug today…
National Trails System 50th Anniversary shirts available

Just in time for the holiday season, the Trails50 team has launched a series of limited time shirts for the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. Browse the selection below and be sure to purchase by November 26. See shirt designs in the Trails50 Store...
Bikes and horses: changing attitudes

Kerry Greear, a member of the American Endurance Ride Conference’s Education Committee, writes about her experiences on multi-use trails and learning about the reactions of other users to horses. "Building relationships with other trail users is not difficult and it benefits all of us. My goals of getting along and improving safety have exceeded my expectations by far." Read more...
New trail solves accessibility problem for wildlife viewing

The accessible Silhouette Trail has made an enormous difference in visitation to Hawk Mountain. Now, the Sanctuary welcomes someone who uses a wheelchair or walker nearly every day during peak visitation. Other benefits include more families who visit with strollers, and more people who bring a senior family member. Read more and see photos...
Jim Schmid reviews The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

The second edition of Andrew Skurka's classic gives the pros and cons of various gear options with updated knowledge and advice based on decades of experience. Reviewer Jim Schmid looks back on the last 35 years of hiking technology. Read more...
Featured Recreational Trails Program-funded project: Indian Head Trail, Maryland

The Indian Head Rail Trail is located just 18 miles south of Washington, DC in southern Maryland. This multi-use trail provides walkers, runners and cyclists a serene place to enjoy recreation away from the congestion of traffic. Read more and see photos...
Featured National Recreation Trail: Eastern Shore Trail, Alabama

Since 1995 the Baldwin County Trailblazers have worked to develop a continuous trail that follows the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. The network includes trails along the waterfront, historic sights, parks, and small towns, as well as elevated boardwalks and high-rise bridges. Read more and see photos...
Huge sculptured mounds bring landscape art to Towpath Trail

Excess soil and construction debris provided the opportunity to create seven conical mounds resembling a miniature range of green volcanoes along Cleveland's Towpath Trail. The vast sculptural designs add to the mix of nature and industry along the major urban trail. Read more and see photo gallery...

Could the lure of trails salvage Alaska’s economy?

The High Country News writes about groups who believe that expanding access to Alaska’s backcountry is critical for fostering environmental stewardship. "But just as important are the opportunities that outdoor recreation can bring to isolated towns with few other options for economic development." Read more and see photos...

Schuylkill River trail guide honored by British cartographers

Brian Swisher, a Reading, PA designer and cartographer, recently won two commendations from the society for his work on “A Paddler’s Guide to the Schuylkill River Water Trail,” published in December for the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area. The project features tri-fold maps of the 18 sections of the 115-mile waterway. Read more and see photos…

Railroad bridge project is key to PA trail system

A one-third-mile trestle over the Conestoga River is the key missing link in a 63-mile greenway corridor from Harrisburg and Lebanon to Philadelphia. reports that "the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources considers the abandoned railroad bridge perhaps the most-pressing trail gap in Pennsylvania." Read more and see photos... 

FEMA is in the trail reconstruction business

A portion of the Trout Run Trail in Decorah, Iowa collapsed after flooding Aug. 20, 2016, and officials have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on solutions to stabilize and replace the trail. FEMA will cover 75 percent of the estimated $500,000 project, the state will fund 10 percent, and the city will be responsible for 15 percent. Read more and see photos...
International News
Strength in Trails: Mountain Biking Quebec

Quebec is in the midst of a trail building renaissance with a deeply rooted culture at the center of it all. The newest trail at Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of dozens built last year around Quebec City. Since 2008, trail builders have added more than 100 miles of new singletrack near the provincial capital. Read more and see photos...

Video: Tasmania’s Three Capes Track

The island of Tasmania off Australia's southern coast is the setting for a spectacular multi-day hiking route. Just completed in 2015, the Three Capes Track features walks along the sea cliffs on its 28.5-mile route. Three cabins provide comfortable and scenic overnight accommodations for trekkers. See video from Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service...

Hiking Transcarioca, the longest urban trail in Latin America

Crossing Rio de Janeiro through the Atlantic Forest, the 180 km path has been attracting both Cariocas and tourists who seek some adventure without leaving the city. Transcarioca includes 25 different stretches, distributed in seven natural parks, and passing by at least ten different neighborhoods. Read more and see photos...
Training & Resources
Sign manual for the Great Allegheny Passage rail trail

The "Graphic Identity & Sign Guidelines Manual" provides the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage with a clear, unified, and consistent plan for signs and public information. The manual includes Logo Guidelines, Graphic Specifications, Sign Location Guidelines, and Construction Specifications. Download the Sign Manual (pdf 4.1 mb)...

Model forms for conservation easement

"Model Grant of Conservation Easement and Declaration of Covenants" is a comprehensive guide to legal issues for public access to private land. It has been adapted for use in every State and covers legal language to allow for easements such as trail access and resource conservation. Download 111-page guide (pdf 1.8 mb)...

Increasing Opportunities for Access on the Appalachian Trail

There has been a growing desire among trail partners to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to enjoy the Appalachian Trail. This design guide addresses the hard part: analyzing where that might be appropriate and feasible with case studies of several areas. It also provides a thorough review of accessibility guidelines while exploring concepts of universal design for the AT. Download the 75-page design guide...

Find trail training opportunities

For more current training opportunities for trail skills across the country, s ee the Online Trails Training Calendar for details…

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at .

November 2017
November 15, 2017 — Webinar: Electric Mountain Bikes-- Who's Riding, Current Policies, and Resources
November 16, 2017 — Webinar: Recruiting, Engaging and Keeping Great Board Members
November 18, 2017 — Sustainable Trail Assessment
November 18, 2017 — Western New England Greenway Conference
November 22-23, 2017 — Trailhead Canada 2017

December 2017
December 4-7, 2017 — Sustainable Trail Design and Layout, Construction, and Maintenance
December 6, 201 —  Webinar: Electric Mountain Bike Land Manager Handbook
December 7, 2017 — Webinar: Build a Sustainable Trail that Lasts 100 Years
January 2018

January 7, 2018 — Technology on the Trail 2018 Workshop
January 24, 2018 — Webinar: Electric Mountain Bikes
January 26-27, 2018 — McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Symposium

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!