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Saving Trails Since 1988
May 2017 "Trail Tracks" eNewsletter
What's Hot
Pam Gluck receives Professional Trailbuilders award

The Professional Trailbuilders Association recently honored Pam Gluck, former Executive Director of American Trails. PTBA gave Pam the 2017 Roger and Harvey Bell Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service to the trails community. The award was presented at the PTBA Trailbuilders Conference in Bend, Oregon, March 15, 2017. Read the letter Pam provided in her acceptance of the award…

Positive outlook seen for outdoor recreation

Outdoor recreation contributes $650 billion to the American economy, and supports tens of millions of jobs. According to the American Recreation Coalition’s new report Outdoor Recreation Outlook 2017, those numbers are only expected to grow. Most of the recreation industry reported significant gains in 2016 and the outlook for 2017 is optimistic. Download report (pdf 258 kb)...

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

Download the brand new Symposium Mobile App!

Download our brand new Symposium App for the most up-to-date event details and these useful features:
  • Full descriptions of all sessions 
  • Speaker bios
  • Real-time updates and announcements
  • Exhibitor listings
  • Create your own custom schedule
Download the app for your mobile device using the QR code, or go to:

Read more and access online registration...

Mobile Workshops give attendees a closer look at trail projects

This Symposium is offering many 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! See Mobile Workshops listing and details...

PTBA Sustainable Trails Workshops highlight techniques

The Professional TrailBuilders Association 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. See Sustainable Trails Workshops listing and details…

Why the Dayton, Ohio area is an outdoor recreation destination

Five Rivers Metroparks is working with many regional partners and communities to expand the Dayton area’s 300+ mile paved trail network. It’s only one of the reasons Dayton is being called the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.” Download the article… (667 kb)

Check out our amazing sponsors and exhibitors! 

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 page. 

American Trail News
Eugene Ridgeline Trail
Could Greenways Help Fight Chicago Crime?

An in-depth study of Chicago neighborhoods in 2011 and 2015 suggests that parks and greenways could play a role in reducing crime. During that time, crime of all types decreased at a faster rate in neighborhoods along Chicago’s 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail – better known as The 606 – than in similar neighborhoods, according to research published in Environment and Behavior. Read more and see photos...

Six ways to stay safe on mountain hiking trails

Improvising a hiking route by going off-trail is a common reason hikers run into trouble on a mountain. And, sudden changes in weather and medical emergencies or injuries can happen to anyone. So, what should you do to avoid trouble on a mountain trail? And if you find yourself in an urgent situation, what can be done to maximize your chances of rescue? Read more and see photos...

San Jose trail bridge replacement mired in controversy

A legal battle has been waging since 2014 between San Jose and a group of residents who call themselves Friends of the Willow Glen Trestle over the historic status of the controversial structure. The Friends group challenged the San Jose City Council’s vote to replace the trestle with a new $1 million steel bridge. Read more and see photos…

New bike, walking trail would link NJ's two largest cities

The bridge over the Hackensack river is scheduled for completion in 2022 and will include bike and walking lanes. That addition will allow the bridge to connect to a Hudson-Essex trail network and serve as a vital component of a new biking and walking trail connecting Jersey City and Newark. Read more and see photos...

New technology is documenting the Dayton region’s trails

Five Rivers MetroParks has partnered with Outdoor Adventure Connection to participate in Google's Street View Trekker loan program. When completed, everyone will have access to explore the Dayton area with street view-like “treks” of hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, water and paved trails in Google Maps. Read more and see photos...

Trail Towns 101: getting started in trail tourism

American Trails hosted the webinar “Trails and Towns Together” with presenter Amy Camp. The webinar focused on how communities capitalize on trails and tourism. Participants asked a lot of questions on how to get started in creating a “trail town” program. Here’s a primer to help you in getting started. Read more and see more resources…

Featured National Recreation Trail: Backbone Trail celebrates grand opening

The 67-mile designated National Recreation Trail spans the Santa Monica Mountains, an east-west trending mountain range that bifurcates Los Angeles and tumbles down to the Pacific Ocean. The trail has just been completed after it was started in 1978. The project required acquisition of 180 parcels of land totally 6,518 acres of park land. Read more and see photos...

Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Ohio’s Great Miami River

The Dayton, Ohio area is traversed by the Great Miami River Water Trail and its companion Great Miami River Bikeway. This Recreational Trails Program-funded project, which currently runs 58 continuous miles from Piqua south to Franklin is estimated to draw 772,000 trail visits each year. Read more and see photos...

International News
Canada launches phone app for cross-continent trail

How will Canadians and visitors find and experience The Great Trail? In order to plan routes, switch trails easily and trek safely, trail users need a simple tool to navigate an immense landscape. Given the 23,922 km length, physical maps would be cumbersome and heavy. As mobile app— something digital yet transportable— is a smart solution for trail users. Read more and see photos...

Trails help economy of Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula

An initiative to involve locals in the Central American country in the tourism business is enriching the visitor experience and contributing to the economic well-being in an area of biodiverse rainforest. By developing three distinct hiking trails through the area around Corcovado visitors connecting with locally-owned accommodation and attractions. Read more and see photos...


Best Practices: accessible interpretive trails

A new design guide helps visitors with mobility and sensory disabilities to follow pathways that welcome exploration of the natural world. Mass Audubon’ “how to” manual addresses new technologies as well as physical trail development. Read more and see photos...

PCTA’s Trail Skills Colleges: A hands-on trail education

The Pacific Crest Trail Association Trail Skills College is for volunteers who would like to expand their knowledge about trails and learn how to construct, repair, and maintain the PCT to the correct standards. It is becoming harder and harder to obtain the traditional skills required for trail maintenance, but the Trail College events are keeping these skills alive and passing them down through generations of trail enthusiasts. Read more and see photos…

Making trails count in Illinois

A new report studies the runners, walkers, and cyclists who are making hundreds of thousands of visits to six regional trails around Illinois. More than 30% of trail users reported visiting the trail 21 or more times during the past year. Download 28-page study (pdf 9.8 mb)…

Trail or Rail with Trail debated in Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line runs 32 miles along the central California coastline. Rail advocates have argued for investment in railroad operation, with trails where possible. Other advocates have proposed a Trail-Only option which is detailed in the Great Santa Cruz Trail Plan. Download 40-page plan (pdf 3.1 mb)…

Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation

Federal funding for pedestrian and bicycle transportation has increased from $113 million in 1994 to $820 million in 2014. The Federal Highway Administration developed a Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation to guide planning, design, and safety resources, foster public participation, and ensure accessibility. Download policy (pdf 184 kb)...

Summer 2017 trail training opportunities

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

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

May 1-4, 2017 — Trail Master Course

May 3-5, 2017 — Tennessee Greenways and Trails Forum

May 4, 2017 — Wisconsin Bike Summit

May 5-7, 2017 — West Cascades Trail Skills College

May 5-7, 2017 — COHVCO Great Trails Training Workshop

May 10, 2017 — National Bike to School Day

May 10-11, 2017 — Friends of Verde River Greenway Conference

May 13-14, 2017 — Crew Leader Training in Trails - Eldorado Canyon

May 14-17, 2017 — National ADA Symposium

May 17, 2017 — Webinar: Complete Streets & Walkable Communities

May 18, 2017 — Alabama Recreational Trails Leadership Workshop

May 19-20, 2017 — Oklahoma Bike Summit

May 19-21, 2017 — North Cascades Trail Skills College

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

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.