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Saving Trails Since 1988
April 2017 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
What's Hot
Kickoff the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System on May 9

In 2018, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our National Trails System and a nationwide celebration is underway!  This celebration will kick off at the Intenational Trails Sympsium on May 9, 2017, in Dayton, OH. 

This anniversary is a golden opportunity for all Americans to not just celebrate trails – all trails – but to learn about them, enjoy them, and protect them. For the next two years, the anniversary celebration, Trails50, will engage the American public with lively and interactive social media campaigns and events in their local communities, and spur a new level of awareness and engagement for all generations. Find out more...

Winners announced in National Recreation Trails photo contest

American Trails sponsors the annual Photo Contest for National Recreation Trails to celebrate these great trails across the country. See several galleries of photos entered in this year’s contest, from backcountry pathways to urban greenways. We’ll sort out the winners in the coming weeks. See winners and entries in NRT photo contest…

Nominations underway for Recreational Trails Program awards

The Coalition for Recreational Trails is accepting nominations for the Tom Petri Annual Achievement Awards to recognize trails making outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. CRT is a federation of national and regional organizations that support funding through the RTP. Read more and download nomination form…

May 7-10, 2017 ~ Dayton, Ohio

Welcome 16 Emerging Leader scholarship recipients

View photos of the 16 Emerging Leaders from all over the country and internationally who are joining us for the 2017 Symposium! The Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program presents an opportunity for future trail stewards of the world to attend ITS, be paired with a mentor, and more. Donate to this amazing program today and view photos of these worthy recipients…

Tentative list of educational sessions available

Please be aware that these topics are subject to change and are intended to give attendees an idea of the depth and breadth of topics that will be discussed at the Symposium. Times, dates, and titles of presentations remain in flux as presenters confirm their participation. We anticipate a full, accurate schedule by the second week of April. View the tentative session schedule...

Sign-up for a mobile workshop by April 7!

This Symposium is offering a variety of mobile workshops for all trail user types covering new projects, problem-solving, community organizing, and funding techniques for putting trails on the ground. Get inspired on some of the best trails in the Dayton and Ohio region! We must make decisions about all of these workshops one month prior to the event – so sign-up now before workshops fill up! See mobile workshops listing and details...

PTBA Sustainable Trails Workshops highlight techniques

The Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA) and American Trails are proud to feature for a second Symposium the Sustainable Trails Workshop Series. These hands-on workshops focus on important skills and techniques for the sustainable design, planning, construction, and maintenance of trails for all types of users in a variety of environments. We must make decisions about all of these workshops one month prior to the event – so sign-up now before workshops fill up! See Sustainable Trails Workshops listing and details…

Reserve your hotel room before the block is full!

The International Trails Symposium has two host hotels – Crowne Plaza ($129/night) and Marriott University of Dayton ($97/night) – but make your reservation soon before our block is full! Reservations must be made by April 3 to take advantage of the group discount rate. The Crowne Plaza, connected via skywalk to the Dayton Convention Center, has a limited number of rooms left in the block at the government per diem rate. But the Marriott, only one and a half miles from the convention center (with complimentary transportation), is offering the government per diem rate to all attendees! View the hotel accommodations page to learn more…

Exhibitors save 5% off booth fees until April 7 

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/Partners page.

American Trail News
Eugene Ridgeline Trail
Mountain bike volunteers raise Ken Burton Trail from the ashes

For seven years, the Ken Burton trail was closed due to damage by the 2009 Station Fire which devastated the Angeles National Forest in Southern California. The Mount Wilson Bicycle Association and Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association worked with the Forest Service to rebuild and reopen the much-loved trail. Read more and see photos...

New linear parks rise under the infrastructure

Elevated projects like the High Line have been the most visible creative urban greenway projects. But many cities are finding new space for trails and parks below highways, transit trestles, and bridges. A new trend is turning underpasses into public parks and creating new pedestrian thoroughfares under the infrastructure. Read more and see photos...

Movement to complete Connecticut trails gains momentum

The Connecticut Mirror writes "For more than two decades, most of the new trails built in the state were almost entirely the work of local volunteers who had to overcome indifference, if not obstruction, on the part of the State Department of Transportation." But in the past five years, Gov. Dannel Malloy and his transportation commissioner, James Redeker, have focused on planning and making major investments in non-motorized trails. Read more and see photos…

Lafitte Greenway spurs redevelopment in New Orleans

The Lafitte Greenway carved out a path for cyclists and pedestrians through a New Orleans industrial landscape. The Times-Picayune reports that real estate investors are "pushing a wave of new development connected to the greenway— including proposals for a patio bar, hundreds of apartments, at least one coffee shop and co-working office space, all with direct access to the path." Read more and see photos...

Trail is important community asset for Oskaloosa, Iowa

The Mahaska Community Recreation Trail runs 13 miles in a loop around Oskaloosa and University Park, Iowa. It follows an old rail right-of-way through scenic woodlands and parks, and features trail tram tours. Read more and see photos…

Featured National Recreation Trail: Apalachicola River Blueway, FL

The Apalachicola River Blueway flows through the heart of one of the nation’s six hot spots of biodiversity on a 107 mile route to the Gulf of Mexico. Large tracts of public and protected lands line the water trail featuring high bluffs, abundant wildlife, rare animals and plants, making this river among the most unique in Florida. Read more and see photos...

Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Trail conditions assessment, NJ

A Recreational Trails Program grant helped the NY-NJ Trail Conference develop a Trail Inventory and Assessment program using volunteers. The data maps, photos, and trail condition reports help park partners, volunteers, and staff identify problems, prioritize trail work, and address safety concerns. Read more and see photos...

International News
New Zealand volunteers create wetland trail system

For six years a group of Westport volunteers have worked to transform a muddy wasteland area by hand into stunning trails and boardwalks. The Kawatiri River Trail was the brainchild of the Buller Cycling Club which mobilized volunteers and coordinated thousands of volunteer hours to created the 8 km network alongside the Buller River. Read more and see photos...

Elegant wood boardwalk hugs fjord in Norway

The Stavanger Boardwalk spans 850 metres along the Hafrsfjord, Norway. A modified wood product was chosen for the bridge which is exposed to sea water and ice. It hovers above the sea, around the mountain, and is fixed to the rock wall on one side only. Read more and see photos...

Route recognized as one of Scotland’s Great Trails

John Muir Way which runs between Helensburgh and Muir's birthplace of Dunbar on the east coast, joins other paths which have been honoured with the prestigious award. The 134-mile route takes in castles, historic towns, and stunning coastal scenery as well as Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Read more and see photos…

Archived webinar: "Huts for Hiking, Skiing, and Biking"

A recent webinar is available as a recorded presentation from American Trails. Sam Demas presents an overview of hut system operations around the world. This includes a wide range of accommodations such as shelters, yurts, platform tents, inns, hostels, and mountain huts of every size and kind. Read more and access archived webinar...

Economic impact of trail and greenway groups in Vermont

This study analyzes the impact of the Catamount Trail Association, the Kingdom Trails Association, the Vermont AllTerrain Sportsman’s Association, and the Green Mountain Club. It finds $30.8 million in total annual economic supported by trail use. Download 22-page study (pdf 1.7 mb)…

Best Practices: Public recreational use of utility corridors

The Pepco utility in the Washington, DC area is working with state and local agencies on planning trails in power line corridors. This presentation details the proposed design standards, drainage, costs, permitting, and management issues. Download "Recreational Use of Pepco Utility Corridors" (pdf 4.0 mb)…

Joseph Branch Trail Economic Impact Assessment

The Joseph Branch rail line in northeastern Oregon is 63 miles long. This 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)

WA State policy for use of Power-Driven Mobility Devices for accessibility 

Washington State Parks established a comprehensive policy on the use of power-driven mobility devices other than wheelchairs used by persons with disabilities. Examples of these "OPDMDs" can include Segways, ATVS, and golf carts. It is up to land management agencies to set the policies for where various kinds of devices may be used by anyone who states they have a mobility impairment. Download policy (pdf 184 kb)...

Spring 2017 trail training opportunities

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

April 1, 2017 — St. Louis Women's Bike Summit

April 6-7, 2017 — Trail Master Course

April 6-7, 2017 — Crosscut Saw Training

April 8-9, 2017 — Crosscut Saw Training

April 19-21, 2017 — California Trails & Greenways Conference

April 20-22, 2017 — Georgia Trail Summit

April 21-23, 2017 — Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training

April 21-23, 2017 — 27th Annual East Coast Paddlesports Symposium

April 22, 2017 — Trail Care 101—The Open Classroom

April 23, 2017 — ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshop

April 23, 2017 — USFS Saw Safety Training & Certification

April 25-27, 2017 — Virginia Land Conservation and Greenways Conference

  • Williamsburg, VA
  • Info: Peggy Stevens with the Northern Virginia Land Trust,

April 27-30, 2017 — Annual Buckeye TrailFest

April 27-30, 2017 — Ice Age Trail Alliance Annual Conference

April 28-30, 2017 — Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College

May 7-10, 2017 — 23rd International Trails Symposium

May 1-4, 2017 — Trail Master Course

May 4, 2017 — Wisconsin Bike 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 charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.