A wide variety of training is available during 2009 for volunteers and professionals working to develop trails of all kinds. American Trails and the National Trails Training Partnership are working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related trainings. See dozens of offerings for 2009 on the online calendar of training events.

Join the movement for better skills and better trails!

Training available this year covers the full range of trail activities, and all types of trails from primitive backcountry routes to urban greenways. Training formats include one-day workshops to week-long trail schools, and from basic introductions to trail work to specialized technical skills. A random sample of training topics would include geographic positioning systems, trail adoption, grant writing, advocacy, volunteer management, noxious weed control, land acquisition, and trail design for general and specific uses including equestrians, snowmobiles, mountain bikes, and designated wilderness.

See the online trails training calendar

Some courses are sponsored by ongoing training programs and are held several times during the year and in different parts of the country. The following examples are only a selection of what is available. See details and links to training providers on the Online Training Calendar or search the Online Training Database by state, topic, keyword, or training provider:

  • Don't miss the Professional TrailBuilders Association’s 2009 Trailbuilders Conference! The largest trails conference this year will be the 2009 Trailbuilders Conference March 15-20 in Asheville, NC. Supported by the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program, 40 informative sessions will be taught by experts in trail construction, maintenance, planning, and design, and more. The Trailbuilders Trade Show includes both indoor booths and an outdoor area where you can try out equipment in real soil. Register Now ~ Early registration ends February 27.
  • Trail Management: Plans, Projects and People (March 30 - April 3, 2009) is a week-long interagency course sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and Federal Highway Administration. The Trail Management Process includes planning, design layout, construction, maintenance, monitoring, crew leadership, interpretation, operations, and safety with both classroom and field exercises. More…
  • IMBA Trailbuilding Schools are sponsored by Subaru of America and directed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association to help bike clubs, land managers, and other trail groups to build and improve trails, solve trail management challenges, and teach the art of sustainable trailbuilding with interactive learning and hands-on trailwork. More…
  • Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation is covered at several state workshops and national conferences by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) and local groups. Marshall University offers online courses on several aspects of off-highway vehile recreation planning, facilities, and management.
  • Trail Skills for Volunteers are taught by national, state, and regional groups such as the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, American Hiking Society, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
  • Tread Lightly! Train-the-Trainer Workshops and other courses in outdoor ethics, wilderness management, and "Leave no Trace" camping are available from a variety of organizations. More...

Host your own training programs

You can also bring in a program or a trainer to your own location. See a list of Featured Training Providers for organizations that can provide training tailored to your needs for a fee. The Professional Trailbuilders Association maintains a roster of experts who provide training in trail design and construction.

Workshops offered by American Trails cover several topics:
- Understanding Accessibility and Building Better Trails
- Universal Trail Assessment Process with Beneficial Designs, Inc.
- Trail Crew Leadership Training with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute
- Creating a State Trails Training Program
- Greenways and Trails Forum for Development Professionals

Try a "webinar"

More people are using the "webinar" format. It's a web-based seminar that you access online from your own computer. Attending a webinar is like meeting in a virtual conference room on the web. You register in advance, receive sign-in information, and join the event. There is a presenter with visuals that you listen to over a phone line or through your computer speakers, and there is a way to ask questions. It's just as interactive as it is informative.

Here are samplings of webinars listed on the Online Training Calendar:

  • On February 26, the National Recreation and Park Association will offer an online webinar titled Public/Public Partnerships: Making Your Resources Go Further. An ever-tightening economic climate requires that your agency get creative in funding programs and services. This webinar will discuss the critical need for collaboration between public sector organizations. This interactive forum will also allow for participants to ask questions and receive answers from an industry expert. More…
  • The Greenway Collaborative, Inc. is offering several one-hour sessions on trail and transportation issues during the year.
  • On February 18, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals will offer an expert, online system to help you articulate and evaluate bicycle and pedestrian safety solutions and streamline the adoption and implementation process in your community. The PEDSAFE – BIKESAFE system includes case studies that illustrate treatments implemented in communities throughout the United States. More…

The National Recreation and Park Association offers Pyxis – an Online Learning Center

NRPA's Pyxis Learning Center is an online learning system designed specifically for the park and recreation community. Pyxis is built to train and educate professionals, part-time employees, volunteers and citizen advocates - anytime, anywhere and at a low cost! Through Pyxis Learning Center, you’ll have access to a catalog of courses, which you can purchase anytime - for yourself or others. You’ll be able to track the courses you’ve purchased and your status for each, through your own personal homepage. A sampling of topics include: Advocacy, Developing Friends Groups, Developing Inclusive Recreation, Step up to Health…It Starts in Parks, Maintenance Management, Risk Management.  More…

Funding for trails training

States may use Recreational Trails Program funds for a variety of trail-related training, education, and trail assessments for improving accessibility. See the article Funding Trails Training with State Resources for more details.

We'd like to publicize your training opportunities

To promote the training opportunities your organization or agency provides, send information to NTTP@AmericanTrails.org. Courses and events will be posted on the continuously updated Online Training Calendar and the Online Training Database by state, topic, keyword, or training provider. The Trails Training Calendar is hosted by another great resource for trails advocates, AmericanTrails.org, which provides hundreds of articles, studies, and resources on the full spectrum of trails and greenways.

Your link to training: the National Trails Training Partnership

The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies."

American Trails is the lead organization for developing NTTP, with funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program, and support from many other groups. You're invited to join us at the next NTTP Partners Meeting March 19-20 at the 2009 Trailbuilders Conference. Visit the National Trails Training Partnership online at TrailsTraining.net.

Skills and Competencies list for trails training

The NTTP has compiled a Skills and Competencies list that categorizes and defines the wide range of skills used in trails and greenways work. The goal is to comprehensively identify the range of competencies and knowledge used by staff and volunteers engaged in every kind of trail work. Web pages for the 12 topics provides a catalogue of skills, plus links to resources, publications, and training providers. This area is compiled and maintained by Stuart Macdonald from resources provided by members of the National Trails Training Partnership. Many of the specific skills were identified by the task force for the National Scenic and Historic Trails Training Needs Assessment. More…

We hope that you and your organization or agency will join us. Here's how:




Do you need trails training?
Visit TrailsTraining.net

National Trails Training Partnership:
Featured training
Training by state
Search the training database


Cool Trails Cool Trail Solutions:
View galleries of  trail projects, enhancements, and facilities to give you ideas and see how others solved typical trails and greenways problems.

Trails Training Resources
Resources for building trails and greenways




More Resources:

Products & services
Book reviews
Wildlife and trails
Health & trails
Federal funding
Federal programs
Trail management
Use and impacts


Online Store




Trails Training
Winter 2009