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The Greater Yellowstone Trail, a 150-Mile Pathway Connecting Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

WHERE WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT TRAILS?

Trails have always been a way of life in America, and a vital part of the American experience. From the horse and wagon trails to the West and the foot trails created by the Civilian Conservation Corps, to the development of challenging off-road trails for the mountain bike - America is a trailblazer.

Big Jim, of the Backcountry Horseman and his dog Millie on their way to bring tools and supplies to the NCC crew; photo by Liam Downs-Tepper

Today there are trails for everyone. There are trails that help us get in touch with our past, and connect us with how far we’ve come, like the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. There are trails that take us to beautiful places that no car could ever take us. There are trails that take us to and from work, not just on days like Bike To Work Day, but for many, every day of the year. There are trails that drive our economy, proven by studies showing positive economic impact of greenways and trails year after year. There are thousands of miles of trails dedicated to diverse uses such as hiking, horseback riding, motorsports, and winter pursuits. Even paddlers have water trails. No matter the use, trail users have common ground -- shared stewardship and advancement of our amazing trails.

This common ground is why it is critical to have a voice that speaks not just for the interests of one type of trail or trail user, but all of us. Imagine if there was a resource collecting data from the biking industry, alongside hiking, equestrian, and all other trail types, and turning that into a message for outdoor progress and education that benefits all of us. Oh the places we could go!

American Trails (AT) is doing just that, and we have been for the past 30 years. Since our inception, AT has envisioned the nation’s public trails and greenways as being within reach of all people wherever they live, work, and play. AT actively works with trail-focused organizations amplifying the voice of a diverse trails community. By identifying shared values, collaboration, education, and communication, AT, along with our partners and members, works to raise awareness of the economic, social, and political value of trails.

To prepare for the next generation of trail users and the growing trail industry, AT is looking forward as we reach our 30-year milestone. We see a compelling opportunity to take advantage of the national momentum around communities using trails of all kinds to improve quality of life and heighten reputations. And so, AT is embarking on a multi-year journey to renew and recommit to its vision of advancing the development of diverse, high-quality trails and greenways for the benefit of people and communities and to ensure our effectiveness representing the voice of the nation’s trails.

No matter the use, trail users have common ground -- shared stewardship and advancement of our amazing trails. This common ground is why it is critical to have a voice that speaks not just for the interests of one type of trail or trail user, but all of us.

As a first step in the journey, we are seeking to engage trail users and members of the trail and outdoor industries in meaningful discussions about trails, trail culture, and how AT can best further the advancement of trails, as well as best support those involved in developing trails.

If you would like to learn more about this initiative or share your thoughts and ideas, please email taylor@americantrails.org. Information and updates will be posted to the American Trails website (www.americantrails.org) as they are available. You can also find American Trails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to follow our progress on this journey and keep up with the latest trail news.

 

American Trails

P.O. Box 491797
Redding, CA 96049-1797
(530) 605-4395
trailhead@americantrails.org


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