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2017 International Trails Symposium Theme

 

Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities

 

Photo of airplane statue

 

Because Dayton is where the Wright brothers developed their pioneering aviation designs, of course we think of that great advance in transportation that opened up the skies. But in many other ways, trails also evoke the idea of flight. Just as “flight” is more than just flying, trails are more than just getting people from place to place. Trails are also the most intimate way to see nature’s hidden treasures and the easiest way to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

 

Connecting people to each other and the world

Even though our world becomes more connected through news flashes and sound bites, we seek a more meaningful connection. Trails are the way to experience the life of another country, and they are a wonderful opportunity for visitors to come to America.

We’re also becoming more aware of how we can enable and encourage people of all ages, interests, and abilities to discover the benefits of trails. And effective ways to encourage volunteers are improving our trails, as well as nurturing new friendships worldwide.

 

Reconnecting with places and discovering our heritage

Photo of women hiking

In addition to new connections, we are also RE-connecting to our past: celebrating the history of a place, and sharing it with children as well as visitors. In many countries a history of bicycling is being rediscovered, and new generations are making bicycling an integral part of their lifestyle. Others are embracing the historic routes that tied communities together, long before roads and railways. And throughout the world, rediscovering rivers is a way to recover the natural world long hidden in the heart of our cities.

 

Inventing possibilities

Trails help our spirits take flight, from the delight in playing to the peace of spiritual reflection. Trails set our imaginations free as we meditate along the path, or delight in sheer physical exertion. We are constantly inventing new ideas and ways to enjoy trails. In recent years we’ve seen bicycles become a way to experience the backcountry, the evolution of all-terrain vehicles, and the popularity of boating on water trails. The future of trails is also the future of our shared imaginations. Let’s share the possibilities!

Join us in Dayton as we link our hands and ideas, country to country across the globe, to celebrate the ways that trails help us take flight!

Photo of sunset on lake
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American Trails

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