American Trails presents the National & International Trails Awards Program 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.PLEASE NOTE: We have adjusted the award categories and criteria for our 2017 Symposium. We will also be adjusting the onsite Award Banquet. Additional details for onsite recognition will be available at a later date.
AWARD CATEGORIES (see nomination criteria)
National Trails Categories
International Trails Categories
Lifetime Service Award
This award recognizes and honors an individual demonstrating longstanding, significant, and exemplary service to the trails movement. Their contribution should be national in scope and submissions should describe accomplishments which have achieved lasting impact for trails. Supporting documentation and affirmations are encouraged.
Trail Planning/Design Award (Two Levels)
This award recognizes an extraordinary trail project which demonstrates innovative planning and design techniques while making a positive contribution to the community it serves. Submissions should describe special features of the trail(s), greenway(s), or blueway(s), with an emphasis on unique solutions to design challenges as well as explain the trail’s positive impact.
Trail Partnership Award
The partnership must consist of two or more entities and must have benefited agencies or services within the field of trail planning, design, or implementation. The partnership must have contributed toward positive public exposure for trails. The partnership can be between organizations, agencies, corporations, or public and private interests.
Trail Promotion and Education Award
This award recognizes innovative and successful strategies for promoting and increasing trail use and understanding. Unique signage, fun trail events, outreach to schools/elders/veterans/etc., creative use of media, modal training, story boards, specialized apps, etc. are but a few of the imaginative ways being used to engage and broaden the community of trail users.
Trails and the Arts Award
This award recognizes the integration of art with the trail experience including outstanding public art works, interpretive signs, or other creative structures, sounds or even smells associated with trail related enhancement.
Trails for Health Award
This award recognizes a community’s commitment to incorporating trails into their overall public-health-improvement plans by facilitating access, promoting use, and broadly communicating the importance of physical activity to good health. The award highlights the effectiveness of including trails in community design as a strategy for increasing citizen activity level and consequent good health.
Trail Accessibility Award
This award recognizes a trail or trail system that demonstrates excellent integration of accessibility characteristics into its design and construction. Trails must comply with the new Federal guidelines for recreation trails and provide universal design for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.
State Awards: Outstanding Trail Leaders
These awards will recognize individuals who have made compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their home states. Any area of trail excellence or achievement – advocating, designing, building, using, maintaining, promoting, decorating, adapting technologies for trail use, etc. – could be grounds for receiving this honor. Only one award per State will be made.
International Partnership Award
This award recognizes an outstanding partnership, occurring outside the United States, which enhances the trails movement within a specific country or region of the world. The partnership can be between private organizations, public agencies, or public and private interests. It should have contributed to or catalyzed a positive outcome in trail planning, design, or implementation.
International Planning/Design Award
This award recognizes an extraordinary trail project, occurring outside the United States, which demonstrates innovative planning and design techniques while making a positive contribution to a specific country or region of the world. Submissions should describe special features of the trail(s), greenway(s), or blueway(s) with an emphasis on unique solutions to design challenges and a narrative of the project’s impact on the communities it serves.
For questions on the Award Nominations, contact: