American Trails saves your trails, promotes trail access, and lets you know about trail opportunities. Get involved -- volunteer, learn, enjoy!
Saving Trails Since 1988
May 2017 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
What's Hot
June 22 Webinar: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People: Celebrating the National Trails System

The American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series is back! On June 22, join Robert and Martha Manning as they recap and expand upon their exciting keynote address from the recent International Trails Symposium and the Kickoff of the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System. Read more and register for the webinar...

July 20 Webinar: Getting to “yes” on community trails

On July 20 a group of experts will present "Getting to “Yes” on Greenway Trails in Your Community" to explore the social barriers to community support for trails. These are issues that cannot easily be engineered away because they arise out of people’s values, emotions, and perceptions. We will look at how to address fears about crime, loss of privacy, noise, and impact to property values. Read more and register for the webinar...

Syracuse, NY will host 2019 International Trails Symposium

American Trails will present the 24th International Trails Symposium in Syracuse, New York April 28 – May 1, 2019. The conference will include the Professional TrailBuilders technical training and will be an inspiring and educational conference as we come together as a trails community. Read more…

FHWA trails guru honored with Employee Spotlight series

Christopher Douwes, well known as the Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program Manager for Federal Highway Administration, is featured this month in the Careers in Motion Employee Spotlight series. Read more and see photos...

June is Great Outdoors Month® across America!

June is a special time to celebrate America's Great Outdoors. What started as Great Outdoors Week under President Clinton in 1998 has grown significantly under both the Bush and Obama administrations into a month-long celebration of the outdoors and all the benefits it brings. Read more and find events…

May 7-10, 2017 ~ Dayton, Ohio

National and International Trails Awards announced at Symposium

American Trails presented the 2017 National & International Trails Awards May 7-10, at the Symposium in Dayton, Ohio. The program recognizes the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working for the betterment of trails both nationally and internationally in both rural and urban settings. Read more about the award winners …

Visual highlights of the 2017 International Trails Symposium

Check out the highlights of the 2017 American Trails International Trails Symposium, submitted by our attendees. The presentation is over five minutes of photos in video format and can be viewed on the American Trails Facebook page. See the video...

Thanks to Symposium Sponsors and Exhibitors!

Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors who committed hard dollars and/or in-kind contributions! Be sure and visit our sponsors page to for website links to learn more about our sponsors’ products and services offered to the trails community. Meet the sponsors and partners that made it possible...

NY budgets $200 million to create Empire State Trail

New York's 2018 State Budget provides $200 million to complete the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails and creates the Empire State Trail. The 750-mile trail will provide new opportunities for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities, driving tourism and economic activity across New York. Read more and see photos...

Battery-boosted mountain bikes charge onto the trails

CNET Magazine asks: "Electric mountain bikes will help propel you farther into the wilderness and faster up the hills. But is it really bicycling? As this mountain bike innovation is debated, "E-bike sales should grow to $24.4 billion by 2025, up from $15.7 billion in 2016, analyst firm Navigant predicts." Read more and see photos and video...

Trail funds for Syracuse, IN grow, more are needed

The Goshen News reported on new trails in the Syracuse area: Conklin Bay Trail and Boardwalk needs $1.7 million in construction money. It’s coming in thanks to grants and donations, but more fundraising needs to be done. Recently, the Dekko Foundation gave the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Foundation a $100,000 grant." Read more and see photos…

Photo gallery: Signs on trails at road crossings

The biggest single hazard for trail users is safely crossing streets and roadways. A wide variety of facilities, signs, and techniques are used to improve visibility and safety where trails cross highways. Examples are gathered in American Trails' "Cool Trail Solutions" photo gallery. Read more and see photos...

Trails for an urban wildlife refuge in Wilmington, DE

The Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, located along the Christina River in Wilmington, DE includes restored wetland as well as trails and interpretive facilities for visitors. Read more and see photos...

Horsepower: where it all started

The Bob Marshall Wilderness is often times noted for its stock use. Finding and funding a crew of people that can provide the horsepower of two mules is a daunting task. It is the quiet, patient, and proud nature of both team and teamster that makes them an invaluable resource in the backcountry. Read more and see more resources…

Featured National Recreation Trail: Spotsylvania Battlefield Trail

This interpretive trail traverses Spotsylvania Battlefield, the best-preserved battlefield in the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, with miles of earthworks and space to contemplate the battle's sharp fighting and aftermath. Read more and see photos...

International News

Hiking Nepal’s forgotten trail

The Guardian writes: "A walking trail created to increase tourism in a rarely visited part of Nepal was in its infancy when the massive earthquake struck two years ago. It remains open but the brave communities en route are desperate for more visitors and investment." Read more and see photos...


Trail Maintenance Manual for volunteers

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has published the 7th Edition of its "Trail Maintenance Manual." It is intended to guide individual trail maintainers in their tasks: Patrolling the trail, Reporting trail conditions, Clearing obstructions and litter, Maintaining blazes, Protecting the trail, and Educating hikers about trail use and preservation. Download 50-page manual (311 kb)...

Natural areas recreation management strategy 

The City of Surrey, BC has a "Natural Areas: Access and Recreation Management Strategy." The scope of this strategy covers the management of natural areas that have been acquired for public use and benefit. It includes decision-making processes and recommendations for access and recreation activities. Download the 55-page study (pdf 1.7 mb)…

Natural surface trails in urban environments

Benchmark Trails, Inc. shared a presentation on "Natural Surface Trails in Urban Environments." It includes design and construction details, wetland issues, and many photos. Several case studies on several North Carolina trail systems are included. Download the presentation (3.1 mb)…

Metropolitan Branch Trail (DC) safety and access study

This trail along the Metro line is a key connector in northeast Washington, DC. However, the trail faces challenges of perceptions of safety, limited access, and poor visibility. Besides addressing safety concerns, key goals are expanding access to extend the reach, impact, and use of the trail. Download the 90-page study (pdf 9.3 mb)…

Best practices for trails crossings

Minnesota DOT produced "Best Practices Synthesis and Guidance in At-Grade Trail-Crossing Treatments." It provides guidance on safety treatment applications at trail crossings, which have frequently been the sites of bicycle, pedestrian, and snowmobile crashes. It includes principles of user-friendly trail-crossing designs and a toolbox of categorized treatments widely used in the U.S. Download the 307-page study (pdf 3.2 mb)...

Summer 2017 trail training opportunities

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

June 1-4, 2017 — Allingham Trail Skills College

June 3, 2017 — National Trails Day

June 8, 2017 — ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshop

June 9-11, 2017 — Big Bend Trail Skills College

June 21-23, 2017 — Downhill Bike Park Summit

June 22, 2017 — AT Webinar: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People: Celebrating the National Trails System

June 26-29, 2017 — Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals seminar

June 28-30, 2017 — PeopleForBikes PlacesforBikes Conference

July 8-10, 2017 — National Equestrian Trails Conference

July 12-13, 2017 — Integrating Bike-Ped Topics into University Transportation Courses

July 14-16, 2017 — COHVCO Great Trails Training Workshop

July 20, 2017 — AT Webinar: Getting to “yes” on community trails

July 21-23, 2017 — Tahoe Trail Skills College

July 22, 2017 — Advanced Trail Skills- Rock Skills

July 23-26, 2017 — Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Annual Meeting

July 27-29, 2017 — North Country Trail Alliance Celebration

July 31 - Aug. 4, 2017 — Comprehensive Bikeway Design 2.0

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 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!