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National Trails Awards

April 16, 2013 - Fountain Hills, AZ

arrow See the winners of the National Trails Awards for 2013


Photo of people with award

The National Trails Awards Program is one way American Trails recognizes the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans. The awards were announced at the American Trails International Trails Symposium Awards Banquet April 16, 2013.


Nominations for National Trails Awards

Every two years American Trails presents this fantastic opportunity to nominate an outstanding person, project, or organization that has improved the world of trails over the last two years. The 2013 award winners (see links below) were recognized for actions that took place during the period between June 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012. We will announce dates for the next National Trails Awards later in 2013.


Photo of men with awards

Awards presentations at the American Trails
National Trails Symposium

New International Trails Award

The new International Trails Award will recognize an outstanding project or partnership outside the United States that demonstrates outstanding planning, design, or implementation that enhances the worldwide trails movement. Submissions are encouraged for projects that successfully address issues such as planning, design, challenges, public participation, sustainability, economic benefits, promotion, eco-tourism, and benefits to the local and global community. The deadline for submissions was November 30, 2012. The International Trails Award is included in the Awards Nomination Form (MS Word format)...

Developers Award

The Developers Award recognizes quality, well-designed multi-use trails systems that are integrated into private developments to encourage active lifestyles, reduce reliance on automobiles, connect the development to other public and private pathways and destinations, and preserve and promote natural areas. Download the Developers Award Nomination Form (MS Word format)...


Lifetime Service Award: For an individual demonstrating longstanding, significant, and exemplary service to trails planning, implementation, and recreation.

Best Trails State Award: This award recognizes a state which is facilitating an outstanding statewide system of trails. The nomination should address any aspects that have led to the establishment of the statewide trails network including master planning, legislation, funding, and program implementation. The nomination should also include specific projects, plans, policies and/or initiatives that have furthered establishment and expansion of the trails network during the past two years. (Once a state wins, it will not be eligible for nomination again until after two successive awards cycles or a minimum of four years have passed).

Community Service Award: This award honors a trail organization that performs exceptional community service relating to but beyond trail work per se. This service could include actions or projects that contribute to making their communities better places to live, improve the natural environment, support worthy causes, and/or demonstrate in other ways preeminent volunteerism.

Corporate Award: A business or corporation must have demonstrated significant, sustained, and exemplary service to trails planning, implementation, and/or recreation.

International Trails Award (NEW AWARD): The award recognizes an outstanding project or partnership – that occurred outside the United States – that demonstrates outstanding planning, design, or implementation and enhances the overall trails movement worldwide. Submissions describing the trail or greenway (or trail or greenway system) including successful aspects such as planning, design, challenges solved, public participation, sustainability, economic benefits, promotion, eco-tourism, and benefits to the local and global community are encouraged.

Kids and Trails Award: This award honors efforts to engage children and youth in outdoor experiences using, but not limited solely to, trails. Creative interpretive, educational, and/or recreational design components are included along with innovative programs which stimulate children's imagination and promote their interest in and appreciation for the natural environment while developing healthy lifestyles.

Outstanding Media Award: The award recognizes significant and sustained efforts to provide positive public exposure and education in the field of trail use, planning, design, or implementation. The nominee must have demonstrated a willingness and receptiveness to provide free public service exposure about trails.

Outstanding Trail Sharing Award: The award recognizes innovative and successful trail sharing efforts, programs, and systems.

Partnership Award: The partnership must have benefited agencies or services within the field of trail planning, design, or implementation. The partnership can be between private organizations, public agencies, or public and private interests. The partnership must have contributed toward positive public exposure for the field of trail planning, design, or implementation.

Planning/Design Award: Nominee(s) must have demonstrated problem solving through innovative methods on a trail project. The project must have included successful aspects of public participation and/or public agency involvement and have been planned to enhance the recreational trails opportunities within the project area.

State-of-the-Art Technology Award: The award recognizes a trails-related product, process, or service that has significantly met a need, addressed an issue, or increased efficiency in trail design, development, or maintenance.

Trails and the Arts Award: The award recognizes outstanding public art projects, interpretive signs, or other creative structures associated with trail related improvements.

Trails for Health Award: The award recognizes a community’s commitment to improving access to trails and promoting their use and importance for increasing physical activity. The award is for commitment to long term change through community design, trail planning, heightened awareness of active community environments, physical activity promotion, and increased trail use.

Public Service Award: The nominee must work for an agency and may hold an elected or appointed office at the federal, state, or local level and must have demonstrated significant and consistent support of trail planning, design, or implementation through strong leadership and/or legislative efforts. The nominee may be a paid employee or a volunteer.

Trail Advocacy Awards: (One award for each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico): Nominee must have demonstrated successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.

Trail Worker Awards: One award for each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico): Nominee must have made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. This award is intended to recognize the commitment and efforts of a private or public sector individual in working for enhanced trail recreation in their local area or state.


The deadline for submitting nominations was November 30, 2012 -

We will announce dates for the next National Trails Awards later in 2013.

arrowDownload the 2013 Awards Nomination Form (MS Word format)


National Trails Awards from previous years:

If you have questions about the 2013 National Trails Awards email or call (530) 547-2060.


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