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Join us in Dayton, Ohio May 7-10, 2017

“Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest”


Photo of bikers on trail


Join hundreds of trail enthusiasts from across the world at the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest


Read the article in the Spring 2016 American Trails Magazine... (pdf 473 kb)

See the top ten reasons to attend the 2017 International Trails Symposium...

View the digital version of the entire Spring 2016 American Trails Magazine... (pdf 178 kb)


The 2017 American Trails International Trails Symposium will be held in the city that’s home to the largest paved trail network in the United States: Dayton, Ohio— Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. In addition to the city’s world-class trails systems and the community’s extensive partnerships and networks, Dayton was also selected for its convenient location and ease of access.

It’s a region with small-town charm and big-city amenities, including cycling, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, equestrian, motorized, river and ADA-accessible trails, all of which will be featured during the Symposium. As a pleasant, mid-size city, Dayton is the perfect place for attendees to easily experience many of those amenities, see best practices in action, and apply lessons learned in their own communities.

“Dayton is a city full of grit and spirit, where partnering organizations and countless volunteers have made it possible for most area residents to live within 10 to 15 minutes of a trail,” said Amy Dingle, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks, one of the 2017 Symposium’s hosts.

“Attendees will learn about projects that are doable anywhere and discover creative ways to partner and leverage resources to make a difference in their own communities.”

symposium logo

Learn about the greater Dayton area with the ITS 2017 reading list.


Every two years, American Trails hosts the International Trails Symposium, the world’s premier learning and networking opportunity, when hundreds of attendees from throughout the world convene to discuss and discover the latest and greatest in all things trail-related. The Symposium is designed for trail and greenway advocates, managers, planners, and users, as well as for those in tourism and business. The Symposium is one of the largest gatherings of all trail interests in the world. We believe that our combined voices are the best way to strengthen trails for everyone.

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The indoor facilities and meeting rooms for the Symposium will be at the Dayton Convention Center, the region’s premier mid-sized event facility conveniently located right in the heart of downtown Dayton. For the Symposium’s hotel guests, the Crowne Plaza Dayton is connected to the Convention Center, and the Dayton Grand Hotel, soon to be operated by Hilton is located three blocks away.

Dining, drinks, entertainment, and arts and cultural destinations are a short walk or bike ride from the convention center. Dayton is a bronze-level Bike Friendly City and currently on its way to achieving a silver-level designation. To further increase the convenience of cycling, the hosts will provide passes to all Symposium participants for Dayton’s bike share program (“Link”) that includes 24 stations throughout greater downtown.


Key Sponsors


American Trails will present the 2017 International Trails Symposium in cooperation with the following partner organizations:


TrailBuilders will host Symposium programs


The Symposium includes numerous educational sessions covering the broad range of trail issues; nationally and internationally prominent speakers; a state-of-the-art exhibit hall; informative and interactive mobile workshops; and much more. Attendees can also earn Continuing Education Units for completing many of the Symposium workshops. The Professional TrailBuilders Association is again partnering with American Trails to present the Sustainable Trails Workshop Series. These hands-on workshops focus on the important skills and techniques involved in the sustainable design, planning, construction, and maintenance of trails for all types of users in all types of environments.

For information on programs at the 2015 Symposium, visit www.AmericanTrails.org/ee/index.php/symposium/2015.

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Opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors


Symposium will also feature an exhibit hall, which is a great opportunity to view the latest in trails technology, equipment, planning, and programs. Learn about exhibitors’ products along the indoor trails and greenways system and talk with experts in trail construction and design. Attendees can also take part in the Trail Tools Equipment Expo, which features trail building tools, technology, and techniques. This outdoor demonstration area will enable attendees to try various machines and equipment in the dirt.

For businesses in the outdoor recreation field, what better way to market your company to the worldwide trails community! The Symposium attracts over 700 attendees from across America and Canada, as well as from the international community. Sponsors will find a variety of opportunities to display products and services, provide demonstrations, show off your expertise and programs, and talk with the decision makers for trail projects of all kinds.


2017 International Trails Awards


Every two years American Trails presents the National and International Trails Awards Program. including our Developers Award, to recognize 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. The awards also recognize the contractors, corporations, advocates, media, communities, and developers who are working to create healthier communities and more accessible public lands.

View the winners of the 2015 National and International Trails Awards at www.AmericanTrails.org/awards/portland.


Watch for more information about the 2017 Symposium


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To help us develop an exciting and motivating program for the Symposium, we will be issuing a Call for Presentations to submit ideas for presentations at the Symposium. Proposals can be submitted for both national and international presentations. With your help, American Trails will again host an inspirational, educational, technical, and fun-filled conference, with a lot of networking and sharing opportunities for the national and international trails community!

New information on the 2017 Symposium in Dayton will be posted at www.AmericanTrails.org/ee/index.php/symposium.


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10 REASONS to attend the 2017 American Trails International Trails Symposium


Read the article in the Spring 2016 American Trails Magazine (pdf 178 kb)...

1. EXPLORE the intricate links between the Dayton region’s trail system, its waterways, and its outdoor lifestyle. See how your community can leverage natural resources to create new and enhance existing trail assets.

2. RIDE, ROLLERBLADE, RUN, OR WALK on the nation’s largest paved trail network, with more than 330 miles of off-road, connected bikeways to explore.

3. TAKE A HIKE on the Buckeye Trail, which circumnavigates the state of Ohio, and the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail which travels through the Dayton region. Or check out the 22-mile Twin Valley Trail and learn how volunteers created a regional backpacking trail located a half hour from downtown.

4. WITNESS THE CHANGE and see how trail and outdoor recreation amenities are helping transform a former Rust Belt center city into a vibrant place to live, work, and play.

5. KICK BACK in the Oregon District, a collection of fun, quirky restaurants, shops, and watering holes located a few blocks from the Symposium site and host hotels.

6. BE A TRENDSETTER and discover the Dayton region’s growing collection of outdoor recreation amenities which are putting it on the map as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.

7. SEE THE HISTORY of the original American trail near the Crossroads of America, where I-75 meets I-70. Traces of that original crossroads along the National Road can be seen in the ghost town of Tadmor, accessible via— what else?— a trail in Taylorsville MetroPark.

8. TAKE IN SOME CULTURE and visit the sites where the Wright brothers invented and tested powered flight at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. Celebrate Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American welcomed into the American literary canon. Stroll through the Dayton Art Institute, or take in a live performance in Dayton’s vibrant arts scene. Visit Carillon Historical Park for a dose of Dayton history and a pint from an 1850s-style brewery. Learn why “Dayton” is synonymous with “peace” to millions worldwide since the Dayton Peace Accords, ending the Bosnian War, were reached at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base in November 1995. Attendees can get a taste of much of this by visiting the National Museum of the United Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world (easily accessible from downtown via a bike ride along the Mad River Bikeway).

9. TAKE A SMALL-TOWN SOJOURN to one of the distinctive communities within a 30-minute drive of downtown Dayton and see how trails play a role in smaller cities. Say hello to your friends at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Midwest Regional Office in Yellow Springs or check out the growing outdoor assets in Troy. Both are home to their own brand of bikeways, trails, and one-of-a-kind dining and shopping.

10. RETURN INSPIRED by the Dayton region’s can-do, collaborative spirit. Dayton is a place where people with big ideas and loads of energy come together and figure out how to get things done. In Dayton, you’ll discover trail-related initiatives that can be accomplished in any community with the same tenacity toward improving access to its trails.






American Trails

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

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