Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
July 2008

American Trails is the World's largest online resource for planning, building, funding, managing, and supporting trails and greenways.

Welcome to Trail Tracks, American Trails' e-newsletter. In each issue you can expect information on the latest news and issues in the trails world, as well as information on training, education, and new resources on the American Trails website.

In This Issue








Register online now for the 19th National Trails Symposium

Registration for the November 15-18, 2008 National Trails Symposium in Little Rock includes cutting-edge educational sessions and workshops led by experts from across the country, outstanding mobile workshops to experience the flavor of Arkansas, and unlimited networking opportunities. Act now and receive the discounted registration rate! Register for the Symposium today!

Don't miss Exhibitor opportunities: July 31 is the deadline

Sign up now to get your choice of locations in the exhibit hall at the National Trails Symposium, November 15-18. All sponsor and exhibitor contracts paid in full by July 31, 2008 will receive a 10% fee discount! Join our many sponsors to network with the nationwide trails community and maximize your visibility and message. This is a premier opportunity to display your state-of-the-art products and services to the nationwide trails community. Learn more...

ADA rule making proposed for “power-driven mobility devices”

Department of Justice published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to add a brand new category of “other power-driven mobility devices.” There is a potential impact on trails by the proposal to require public entities to allow persons with disabilities to use “any of a large range of devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines—whether or not designed solely for use by individuals with mobility impairments.” All comments must be received by by August 18, 2008. Read more...

RTCA assistance applications are due by August 1

The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program is the community assistance branch of the National Park Service. RTCA staff provides technical assistance to community groups and local, state, and federal government agencies so they can conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways. Applications are due by August 1 for assistance during October-September 2009. RTCA does not provide financial assistance to support project implementation. Read more...

Join American Trails and help us bring you news, resources, and training

American Trails advocates for trails and greenways of every kind throughout America. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well-being of Americans of all ages and abilities. As a free service, we host and provide access to the World's largest online resource for planning, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways at We connect you to state-of-the-art trails training and provide information about trails throughout the country. We are making a difference!

Please help us continue to serve you and the trails community by becoming a member or making a donation to American Trails today.



New National Recreation Trails designated for 2008

In honor of National Trails Day and the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne designated 24 trails in 16 states as National Recreation Trails. “One of my priorities at Interior is to reconnect American families to nature,” said Secretary Kempthorne. “The National Trails System, including these additions, provides an excellent link to the outdoors, particularly for children. National Recreation Trails exemplify partnerships and are providing a path to fitness and stewardship for Americans of all ages.” Read more...

American Trails celebrates 20th Anniversary

American Trails was created in 1988 by merging the National Trails Council, sponsor of the National Trails Symposium, with the newer American Trails Network. For the last 20 years American Trails has been the collective voice for a diverse coalition of trails enthusiasts, land managers, conservationists, and friends of outdoor recreation and livable cities. Read more about American Trails’ history...

Awards announced by Coalition for Recreational Trails

Seven trail projects have been chosen by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) as recipients of its 10th Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of their outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. CRT, a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests, has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the RTP, to support its implementation, and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. Read more...

ADA Beach Access Route Information Meeting to be held July 23
On June 20, 2008, the U.S. Access Board issued proposed accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas, including beach access routes, under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) affecting Federal beaches and facilities. An informational meeting on beach access routes will be held July 23 in Arlington, Virginia, to provide more information on beach access issues. Read more...

We’re looking for great trail websites and photographs

American Trails is sponsoring two opportunities to highlight your favorite trails and trail-related websites. The American Trails Website Contest seeks sites that really make trails come alive, and provide effective information, support volunteers, and engage the public. Awards will be made in a variety of categories to recognize websites of all sizes, types, and interests. American Trails is also sponsoring the 2008 National Recreation Trails Photo Contest to highlight these great trails in several categories. Photos of any activity or facility on designated National Recreation Trails are eligible. The deadline for entering both contests is December 15, 2008.


Missouri’s Ozark Trail designated as a National Recreation Trail

The U.S. Department of Agriculture designates National Recreation Trails that are located on national forests, national grasslands, and other lands managed by USDA. The newest designation is the Ozark Trail, which traverses the Mark Twain National Forest along clear streams, dry granite barrens, and panoramic mountaintops. Read more and see photos...

Junction Bridge provides new trail link across Arkansas River

The long-awaited completion of the renovation of the Junction Railroad Bridge, converting it to a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, took place May 17, 2008. Junction Bridge was constructed in 1884 as the primary railroad bridge connecting the northern and southern railway lines. In 1985 the then-owners of the bridge, Union Pacific, closed the bridge to rail traffic and in 1999 ceded the bridge to the City of Little Rock. The project will be featured at the National Trails Symposium in November. Read more...

Arkansas Trails for Life grants use state tobacco settlement funds

The purpose of the Trails for Life Grant Program is to provide an incentive to develop trail facilities in local neighborhoods and parks by encouraging active and healthy life styles as a part of a regular routine. The Trails for Life Grant Program uses funds made available to the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services through the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act. Read more...

Shannon Region of Ireland promotes a world-class trails system

The Shannon Region Trails Programme is a Shannon Development-led initiative which aims to establish the Region as a world-class destination for walking, cycling, water-based, and other outdoor activity pursuits during the period 2007-10. This will be achieved by developing, upgrading, and branding a fully integrated network of trails to the highest international standards. Read more…

Trail work helps Colorado youth unplug

It’s 3:30 in the afternoon at the top of 7,000 foot Flagstaff Mountain overlooking Boulder, Colorado. 88 people gather for ice cream and water—lots of water. They are tired, sweaty, caked with dirt, and many will have sore muscles tomorrow. But to a person they feel good; there is a pervasive sense of pride, accomplishment and camaraderie. Read more...

Read more articles, studies, and resources…


The state of Georgia sponsors series of trail skills courses

Anyone is welcome to register for courses on trail design, construction, management, and crew leader training. Four courses will be offered during August 2008 at Gainesville State College in Oakwood, Georgia. Out of state participants are encouraged to come, there will be a $200 fee per person (full course) or $50 per session. SORBA members attending all four sessions will receive one free class. See the schedule and how to register...

Skills used in trails work provide links to resources and training providers

A new area on our website categorizes and defines the wide range of skills used in trails and greenways work. The skill topics link to resources, publications, and training providers for: Trail Design; Construction, Maintenance and Management; Laws, Regulations, and Policies; Planning; Program Administration; Organizational Development; Partnerships; Funding; Resource Protection; Information Management; and Public Outreach. Read more...

Marshall University's "Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation" starts August 25

Marshall University is offering the following online course (no travel required): PLS 450/550 - "Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation." The course begins Monday, August 25, 2008 and ends Monday, December 15, 2008. Three semester hours for either graduate or undergraduate credit. The course is designed to introduce the student to the subject of off-highway vehicle recreation in terms of areas, facilities, vehicle types, use, demand, professional organizations, legislation, and legal issues. Read more...

Summer and fall training opportunities and conferences

See more 2008 opportunities for training on trails and greenways topics. See the Online Training Calendar for details.

  • July 31-Aug. 2: Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference - Charleston, SC
  • Aug. 3-6: National Park Maintenance and Resource Management School (NRPA) - Colorado Springs, CO
  • Aug. 3-8: Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Design and Planning - Portland, OR
  • Aug. 5-9: Oregon-California Trails Association Convention - Nampa, ID
  • Aug. 7-10: American Endurance Ride Conference Trail Master Course - Glenville State College, Glenville, WV
  • Aug. 22: Transition Plan Development for Accessibility - Norman, OK
  • Aug. 25-Dec. 15: Marshall University’s “Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation"
  • Sept. 2-5: ProWalk/ProBike 2008 - Seattle, WA
  • Sept. 4-7: National Institute on Recreation Inclusion (NRPA) - Eugene, OR
  • Sept. 8-11: Retrofitting for Accessibility - Gatlinburg, TN
  • Sept. 10-12: Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop - Phoenix, AZ
  • Sept. 16-18: Water Trails Conference - Port Townsend, WA
  • Sept. 21-23: International Urban Parks Conference - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Oct. 3-4: Washington State Trails Conference - Spokane, WA
  • Oct. 3-7: American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting & EXPO - Philadelphia, PA
  • Oct. 4-7: Virginia Governor's Conference on Greenways and Trails - Richmond, VA
  • Oct. 6-10: Trail Management: Plans, Projects and People - Shepherdstown, WV
  • Oct. 14-18: National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exposition – Baltimore, MD.
  • Nov. 15-18: 19th National Trails Symposium – Little Rock, AR

Training workshops available for local sponsorship from American Trails

We are expanding key elements of the National Trails Training Partnership to better serve the needs of the nationwide trails community, both motorized and nonmotorized. We are working with the State Trails Programs to help bring more training and expertise directly to them. In support of the Recreational Trails Program goals to help local trail managers build better and more cost-effective trails, American Trails is making several workshops available to local or state sponsors. Read more...

State and national conferences are great training opportunities

Here are some great 2008 educational events with workshops and seminars on important trails and greenways topics. See the Online Training Calendar for details.

  • April 15-17: Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) training - Wakulla Springs State Park, FL (by invitation only)
  • April 17-19: Montana State Trails Conference - Missoula, MT
  • April 24-27: Student Conservation Association - Washington, DC
  • April 25-27: Statewide Outdoor Education Conference - Malibu, CA
  • April 28-May 1: Universal Approach to Interpretive Planning, Programs and Design - Bloomington, IN
  • May 8-11: Historic Trails Workshop - Phoenix, AZ
  • May 13-15: National Association of Recreation Resource Planners Conference - Missoula, MT
  • May 15-18: Hike, Bike and Walk Conference 2008 - Stateline, Lake Tahoe, NV
  • May 16-18: Trails Training Conference - Galena Creek Park, NV
  • May 20-22: Designing the Parks, Part 1: The History of Park Planning and Design - Charlottesville, VA
  • May 22-25: New Mexico Crew Leader Training - Golden, CO
  • May 29-31: California Trails and Greenways Conference - San Diego, CA
  • June 7: National Trails Day 2008 - Sponsored by American Hiking Society
  • June 9-13: Great Outdoors Week - Washington, DC
  • June 11-15: International Snowmobile Congress - Boise, ID
  • June 14: National Get Outdoors Day - Everywhere across America
  • June 18-21: IMBA World Summit - Park City, Utah

Check out the online training calendar for more trainings throughout the year…

National Trails Training Partnership: your link to training and education

If your organization or agency sponsors trail-related trainings or has other resources available, we'd like to encourage you to share your information with the nationwide trails community. Help us make training and resources more available to trail managers, volunteers, agency staff, and nonprofit groups across America. Read more...


NEW: Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds

Why write another book on planning and designing trails, trailheads, and campgrounds? The answer is simple. Very few of the references now available address the needs of equestrians. This guidebook addresses their needs. It is written with a specific audience in mind—planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, land managers, equestrian advocates, and private developers who want to create successful recreation opportunities for riders. The emphasis is on highly developed recreation facilities and programs, such as those in urban, rural, and some wildland areas. This guidebook provides practical guidelines for developing recreation environments that are sensitive to the needs of riders and their stock. To keep the size and scope of this guidebook manageable, the focus is limited to equestrian elements—such as corrals, tread width, horse-friendly surfaces, and so forth— and a few closely related subjects. The information presented can be adapted to a variety of settings and levels of development, as well as to different jurisdictions. This book is authored by Jan Hancock and produced in cooperation with the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Read more…

Art & Community Landscapes

Our first report on public art projects that creatively engage communities and national park visitors in addressing their relationship to the environment. The majority of these projects were supported by a multi-year partnership between the New England Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance. "What really unifies these 18 projects—12 in communities and 6 in units of the National Park Service—is a deeper engagement with the environment: through site-specific art, the artists invited, inspired and sometimes challenged communities and individuals to consider how they relate to their environment. The artists and their work have influenced the stories these communities tell about themselves and the places which are important to them." Read more...

Geosynthetics for Trails in Wet Areas: 2008 Edition

Improperly constructed trails in wet areas lead to erosion, soil compaction, sedimentation, the creation of multiple unnecessary trails, and unhappy trail users. Traditional trail construction methods for wet areas include turnpike or puncheon. These methods have worked well where rock or wood materials are readily available. However, geosynthetics can increase the effectiveness of construction methods and offer additional alternatives. Read more...

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety has released a new publication: “A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities.” The Guide offers a user-friendly resource with ideas and references on issues that affect walking conditions, finds ways to address or prevent these problem, and promotes pedestrian safety. It provides several community success stories along with fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials. Read the guide...

New NRT Marketing Tool ~ Hot off the Press

Download the new National Recreation Trails (NRT) brochure from the American Trails website. This new marketing resource highlights the significance of the 1051 National Recreation Trails. It was designed and authored by American Trails under contract with the National Park Service and funded by the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Download the pdf (1.5 mb)...

Kansas State Trails Plan 2008: A statewide analysis of issues for trails

The general intent of the 2008 version of Kansas State Trails Plan is to guide providers of trail use recreation opportunities, their partners, and other decision makers in their efforts to provide the public with high quality and beneficial trail-use experiences. The Kansas State Trails Plan is also intended to bring Kansas into full compliance with the intent of statewide planning requirements outlined in the Recreational Trails Program, which is administered in Kansas by the Department of Wildlife and Parks, Division of State Parks. Read more...

Understanding Equestrian Use of Highways and Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities

A summary of federal transportation laws and regulations relating to horses on transportation facilities. The author, Denise Maxwell, notes that “Federal transportation laws and regulations do not prohibit the use of shared use paths or trails by equestrians.” Read more...

National Recreation Trails Program Spring 2008 Newsletter


The new issue of the NRT NEWS for National Recreation Trails managers and supporters is available for Spring 2008. Download the pdf (543 kb)...

Read more articles, studies, and resources…



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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
July 2008