Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
October 2008

American Trails is the World's largest online resource for planning, building, 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 American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium

Register online now for the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium! Registration for the November 15-18, 2008 American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium includes all concurrent sessions and posters, several meals, opening reception, “Happy Trails” hours, admission to the largest Trails Exhibit Hall ever, and unlimited networking opportunities! Join us in Little Rock, Arkansas for all of this, as well as optional mobile workshops and seminars. Read more about Symposium registration...

Don’t miss Richard Louv’s closing keynote at the Symposium

The recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal and author of Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv is the closing keynote for the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium. Don’t miss your chance to hear this leader in the trails community speak! The closing luncheon is included with all full registration packages or tickets may be purchased separately for $35. If you prefer, you may purchase attendance to the presentation without a meal for $10. Read more about Richard Louv online…

Sponsor and Exhibitor opportunities are still available

Showcase your products and services as a Sponsor and Exhibitor at the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, November 15-18. Join our many Sponsors to network with the nationwide trails community and maximize your visibility and message. This is the premier opportunity to connect with managers and decision makers from the nationwide trails community. Learn more...

Show off your great photos of National Recreation Trails

Enter your pictures of designated NRTs in our annual photo contest sponsored by American Trails. We pick winners in several categories and showcase all the entries on the NRT website. Our goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. The deadline for entries is December 15, 2008. We're looking for good photos of trail users, as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. We also want to see entries that cover the many types and uses of National Recreation Trails throughout America. Read more...

Join American Trails and help us keep you connected

Our mission is to bring you news, resources, training, and to keep you connected to the nationwide trails community. 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, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways at www.AmericanTrails.org.

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



National Trails System: A grand experiment began in 1968

This month we are celebrating 40 years of progress towards a nationwide system of trails. Virtually every trail in the country has benefited from the Act, and many trail initiatives over the last 40 years can find their roots in it. We’d like everyone to learn the significance of this milestone and how you and your trails fit into this national system of trails. Read more...

Next challenge for trail advocates: Federal transportation funding

The current financial turmoil, plus an upcoming crisis in transportation funding will bring even greater challenges for advocates of trails and greenways. At the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium, we will explore strategies to increase funding for trails in the next transportation bill, to stop the ongoing cuts to our federal land-managing agency budgets, and to successfully secure additional funding sources and find new partners. Read more about our efforts...

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy releases "Active Transportation for America"

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy just released "Active Transportation for America: A Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking." This report makes the case and quantifies the national benefits—for the first time—that increased federal funding in bicycling and walking infrastructure would provide tens of billions of dollars in benefits to all Americans. The premise is that active transportation is a viable option for everyday travel and will cost-effectively reduce oil dependence, climate pollution and obesity rates while providing more and better choices for getting around town.

Read the report to learn more about how adequate federal investment in bicycling and walking will create healthier places for healthier people.

The 19th National Trails Awards will recognize leaders and volunteers across America

American Trails received over 200 nominations for the 2008 American Trails 19th National Trails Awards program! Our supporters and partner organizations are all proud to celebrate the great people who are working to create our national system of trails. For more information about the 19th National Trails Awards Banquet, read more...

We’re looking for the best websites in the world of trails
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, provides effective information delivery, supports volunteers, and engages the public. Awards will be made in a variety of categories to recognize websites of all sizes, types, and interests. The deadline for entering the website contest is December 15, 2008.

For a healthier America: RTCA celebrates 20 years

Understanding the need to build, preserve and protect our rivers, greenways, and trail systems through creative public/private partnerships is paramount to a healthy future. As the community assistance arm of the National Park Service, the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program is a major resource for communities working on these issues. However, RTCA is facing significant federal budget cuts for 2009 that will require the organization to close offices and reduce staff. Read more...


"Dangerous trails:" Accessible trail evaluation and repair in Duluth, MN

Wheels-On-Trails realized that some of Duluth's spectacular natural trails were also dangerous—not because of the trail features alone, but because of years of little maintenance and repair. The group took on an accessible trail evaluation project with state matching funds, and worked with the City of Duluth to repair five of the eleven trails that were evaluated by the project. Read more and see photos...

Going long: Nurturing the long-distance trails movement

Networks of long-distance trails, as they expand and tie together, are creating a new outdoor realm of landscape experience across our continent. The corridors are linking places and people together in a new way. They put small forgotten places on the map, and they bring tourism dollars to communities that have been struggling. Read more...

Closing gaps in the East Coast Greenway

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is completing detailed blueprints for future trail development in all 15 states the route traverses. For the past four years, we have begun to sharpen our focus and take a more business-like approach to achieving our goal: an off-road trail corridor along the majority of the planned route. Read more...

Why host the Symposium? The long-term benefits to a community

By far, the more important benefit is having national attention focused on the trails efforts in your community and region. The relationships fostered during the planning and implementation of the Symposium created the catalyst for accelerating the development of two of our regional trails programs. Read more…

Trail horse users: A perspective on progress

Equestrian trail users are awakening to the fact that we are recreating largely on public lands owned by more than 300 million citizens. As a fraction of the 1.9 million Americans that own horses, we as trail riders must take stock of our situation. The future will be only as bright as our commitment to articulate, understand, and follow a land ethic. It is crucial for us to be more aware of how we behave on trails, as well as how we design, build, and maintain trails. Read more...

Read more articles, studies, and resources…


Education opportunities abound at the American Trails National Trails Symposium

Take advantage of the wealth of training possibilities at the National Trails Symposium, which is held every two years by American Trails. In-depth seminars, mobile workshops, exhibits, and meetings cover many important topics across the trails community. The 2008 Symposium will be held November 15-18 in Little Rock, Arkansas with the 2010 conference scheduled for Chattanooga, Tennessee. See the schedule and programs...

Trails Training Partnership will meet at Symposium

All attendees of the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium are invited to join us for an in-depth discussion on training and education for the trails community. The National Trails Training Partnership will meet from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on November 18 and from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on November 19. Read more at TrailsTraining.net.

Marshall University updates course offerings on OHV recreation

A new area on our website categorizes and defines the whole 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...

Winter and spring training opportunities and conferences

See details on these and many more 2008-2009 opportunities for training on trails and greenways topics on the Online Training Calendar.

  • December 5-8, 2008 — Public Land Acquisition & Management Partnership Conference - Jacksonville, Florida
  • December 8-11, 2008 — Universal Approach to Interpretive Planning, Programs and Design - Indianapolis, Indiana
  • December 11-14, 2008 — American Endurance Ride Conference Trail Master Course - Croom State Park, Forida
  • December 12, 2008 — Designing Sidewalks For Access - University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • January 26-29, 2009 — Kansas Recreation and Park Association Conference - Hutchinson, Kansas
  • February 17-19, 2009 — CGA Excavation Safety Conference & Expo - Orlando, Florida
  • March 6-7, 2009 — Alabama Hiking Trail Society Annual Conference - Spanish Fort, Alabama
  • March 15-20, 2009 — Trailbuilders 2009 Conference - Asheville, North Carolina
  • March 26-29, 2009 — National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Conference - Houston, Texas

Connect with your region at state trails conferences

See details on these and more statewide conferences and meetings on the Online Training Calendar.

  • January 7-11, 2009 — Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society 2009 Annual Conference - Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • January 21-23, 2009 — Indiana Park & Recreation Association State Conference - Bloomington, Indiana
  • January 21-23, 2009 — Texas Trails Network State Conference - Waco, Texas
  • January 26-29, 2009 — Kansas Recreation and Park Association Conference - Hutchinson, Kansas

We'd like to promote your training and education opportunities

The role of the National Trails Training Partnership is to help trails supporters across America 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 non-profit groups across America. Read more...


Logansport Memorial Hospital becomes an Indiana town’s trail advocate

In 2000, Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH) began to recognize the impact that unhealthy lifestyles were having on their community. The hospital was determined to positively impact the community and set out to be the resource for optimal health. A taskforce of healthcare leaders and community members was formed to analyze the health status and identify solutions that would positively change the direction of the community. Read more...

National Geographic features Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail

The Ozark Highlands Trail ranks among the longer of the country's more than a thousand official National Recreation Trails. Created by the National Trail System Act of 1968, this network of routes has grown to include segments in all 50 states (see pages 138-39 of National Geographic). Yet despite the federal designation, Ozark Highlands and many other trails depend largely on volunteers, who often struggle to create, fund, and maintain their adopted pathways. Read more...

New Riverway Bridge spans the scenic Colorado River

The Colorado Riverway Bridge, located in Moab, Utah, was conceptualized 9 years ago and opened on May 16, 2008. The new bridge represents an attitude of the people who live in Moab: that they care about their community, they acknowledge the future, and that they have incredible respect for their home. Read more and see some great photos...

Citizens’ campaign promotes trail funding bill in Arkansas

There is no doubt the visibility of hosting the American Trails 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas has helped ignite a wave of enthusiasm for trails and trail development in the state. One result is proposed legislation to establish a $2 million permanent annual trail grant fund. Read more...

Read more articles, studies, and resources…



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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
October 2008