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SPRING 2002 issue of NRT NEWS

Also available as a pdf file (234 kb) with photos and graphics in Adobe Acrobat format.

ARTICLES:

2002 NRT nominations cover wide range of trails: On National Trails Day, June 1, 2002, a new group of trails and greenways will be given official designation as National Recreation Trails by the Secretaries of the U. S. Department of the Interior and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. More...

NRT logo available for use on Websites: If you would like to add a National Recreation Trail logo to your trail's Website, you are welcome to copy it from the NRT website. More...

Trails, health, and dollars: make the connection: There is a nationwide campaign to increase physical activity among Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "more than 60% of American adults do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits."

Do your trails provide a safe, attractive place for exercise? Nationally, there is increased funding for promotion of physical activity, such as the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 2003 proposal for a $20 million Healthy Communities Innovation Initiative. In addition, 12 states are receiving CDC funding for Physical Activity and Nutrition Programs.

One state funding example is the South Carolina Division of Cardiovascular Health, which offers mini-grants for projects that address physical activity, among other efforts. A number of the projects involve creating walking and bicycling trails, as well as other programs that encourage walking and bicycling. The Texas Department of Health is promoting the Texas Trail Registry to encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles: www.tdh.state.tx.us/trails. Active for Life is a four-year initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that seeks to increase the number of American adults age 50 and older who engage in regular physical activity. A bill currently in the California Senate would add four dollars to traffic tickets to help fund $10 million in "information and technical assistance needed for local communities to increase levels of physical activity," according to Senate Bill 1555. For more on Trails and Health...

Improving the accessibility of your recreation trails: Accessible trails aren't just for people in wheelchairs. Many will benefit from simple improvements to your trails. The movement for health and fitness is encouraging people who don't think of themselves as trail users to get acquainted with places to walk, jog, or bicycle. For a variety of articles and resources on trail accessibility, see the Accessible Trails area at www.AmericanTrails.org. Access also means making it easier to get on the trail. Trail managers emphasize these key elements:

  • Clear trailhead signs and maps showing the route visually
  • Road signs to the trailhead or park
  • Printed maps and brochures available to visitors
  • Easy to navigate websites
  • Front desk personnel who can provide information or suggest trails

A good resource to learn more about the functioning of trails is the Universal Trail Assessment Process. Developed by Beneficial Designs, this process involves simple tools to measure accurately the basics of trail accessibility: the slope (steepness), cross slope, width, height of obstacles, and surface stability. Several training sessions are being offered in 2002; click on Calendar at www.AmericanTrails.org.

FHWA book reviews trail design for accessibility: Two Federal Highway Administration books are excellent resources for improving the accessibility of trails. Part I of Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access is available on the FHWA Website at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ bikeped/access-1.htm. Part II, Best Practices Design Guide, can be ordered from FHWA on the same site. The two books provide a wealth of detailed information of value to trail managers. They clearly illustrate all of the physical parameters which affect accessibility, along with the trail design elements and facilities which should be considered for improvement.

Princeville Heritage Trail links all major historic and cultural sites in Princeville, North Carolina, the oldest U. S. town chartered by freed slaves. The three-mile fully accessible trail is located on the crest of the Princeville dike, offering scenic views of the Tar River and the Town of Princeville. The project is the first phase of a continuous citywide trail system that was begun as part of community redevelopment after disastrous floods in 1999.

National Trails Day theme is "Hike for Health": Saturday, June 1, 2002, is National Trails Day. The message is "when you work for trails you are not only helping the environment, you are improving your community's health." The Piney River National Recreation Trail is hosting one of several "Hike for Health" events sponsored by the Cumberland Trail Conference and Tennessee Trails Association. These easy and scenic guided hikes will raise funds for the 283-mile Cumberland Trail State Park from Chattanooga to Cumberland Gap. Registration for the National Trails Day events is available on the Cumberland Trail website: www.cumberlandtrail.org. For information on National Trails Day events in your state, or for help with organizing an event, visit www.americanhiking.org or call (301) 565-6704 ext. 212.

The Catwalk National Recreation Trail in New Mexico

More resources:

 

 


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