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NEWS and New Resources for Trails Training

June 10, 2009

"From Goals to Action" discussion paper for June 12 NTTP meeting: Trail Professionalization, Sustainability, and Educational Outreach

February 24, 2009

Email newsletter on trails training sent by American Trails: Join the movement for better skills and better trails! A wide variety of training is available during 2009 for volunteers and professionals working to plan, build, maintain, and manage trails of all kinds.

January 21, 2009

Minutes of NTTP meetings are available to provide more details of current and past efforts and Partner organizations: November 18-19, 2008 in Little Rock, AR, at National Trails Symposium.

November 21, 2008

Minutes of NTTP meetings are available to provide more details of current and past efforts and Partner organizations: November 18-19, 2008 in Little Rock, AR, at National Trails Symposium

November 19, 2008

College-level course currently offered online from Marshall University: PLS 451/551 "Planning and Design of OHV Trails" starts January 12 and runs through May 1, 2009.

October 13, 2008

Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments is the first in a series of Certification Maintenance-eligible online courses from the American Planning Association. Through examples and activities, this how-to guide explains the value of health impact assessments and outlines the steps involved. APA developed the course in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. It is offered free of charge through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

August 20, 2008

National Recreation and Park Association provides a wide range of educational opportunities. Professionals looking to maintain certification levels can earn CEUs.

August 7, 2008

The University of Oklahoma’s Community Training and Resource Institute will offering several courses this fall about Designing Trails for Access, Designing Sidewalks for Access, and Transition Plan Development in compliance with ADA standards (see online Calendar for current schedule).

July 10, 2008

Marshall University online course currently offered beginning August 25 through December 15: PLS 450/550 "Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation" (3 semester hours). A course designed to guide students through the process of planning, designing, and construction off-highway vehicle trails utilizing state-of-theart procedures and technology.

April 27, 2008:

Defensive Horse Safety: Online training course presents valuable information on remaining safe while performing such tasks as catching, leading, tying, grooming, bridling, and saddling stock. Short video clips augment the text. From USDA Forest Service - Missoula Technology & Development.

April 25, 2008:

National Scenic and Historic Trails Training Needs Assessment: This report presents the survey findings from 232 respondents who ranked 77 trails tasks by importance, time spent, and their skill levels. These federal, state, and organizational members also provided valuable information on the types of training delivery methods they prefer, and how they would like to be notified of training opportunities in future. A significant part of this project was the development of 244 trails tasks. This will be handy when developing trails competencies, performance standards, position descriptions, and project management tasks.

April 24, 2008:

University of Oklahoma Outreach is offering three ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) instructional courses focusing on providing communities guidance on designing compliant sidewalks and trails

March 31, 2008:

Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails: Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook has been updated. The primary author is Hugh Duffy of the National Park Service, which is making the Sketchbook available digitally: see link. A valuable aspect of the 163-page, large format book is the clear explanation of process for each topic. Checklists, charts, and drawings are used to convey much of the information. Tools and techniques in use along Colorado's Front Range are featured among the 300 photos used to illustrate the concepts. Details of sustainability criteria and site analysis are also included.

February 18, 2008:

USFS Trail Bridge Catalog to help select bridge types, decks, rails, abutments, and materials

February 12, 2008:

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands provides online courses and onsite programs designed for those in the parks, recreation and tourism professions.

January 12, 2008:

A new article to encourage folks in the trails community to take advantage of the many opportunities for training and education. Help us promote training by including this article, or a link to it, in your newsletter, emails, or website. See Your New Year's resolution: learn new skills.

October 17, 2007:

An updated Case Statement paper for NTTP is now available. It is intended to provide a summary of NTTP principles and emphasize the importance of our mission in promoting cooperation on trail-related training.

September 29, 2007

Minutes of NTTP meeting held June 15, 2007 in Washington, DC, hosted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service

September 21, 2007

Outdoor Stewardship Institute is the "new COTI." Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative (COTI) and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) have merged to create the Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI).

August 3, 2007

A new area for skills used in trails and greenways work includes specific competencies as well as 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.

July 31, 2007

Greenways and Trails Forum for Development Professionals is a new workshop presented by American Trails. The workskhop is available for States, communities, or trails organizations to host in their own locale. The goal of the Forum is to stimulate an inspiring, achievable vision for a partnerships that will catalyze action for trails and greenway corridors on the ground. The workshop brings together a "roundtable" of key decision makers representing developers, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and conservationists.

July 26, 2007

An updated PowerPoint presentation on the goals and accomplishments of the National Trails Training Partnership is available. The 30-slide show is illustrated with photos and graphics from the website. Download the file (MS ppt 4.92 gb). You are welcome to use the presentation for any non-commercial purpose, but please don't use text or photos in other contexts without checking with us. Contact American Trails for help with this or any other public information need about NTTP and trails training.

July 19, 2007

Marshall University online course currently offered beginning August 20 through December 11: Planning and Design of OHV Trails (3 semester hours). A course designed to guide students through the process of planning, designing, and construction off-highway vehicle trails utilizing state-of-theart procedures and technology.

July 16, 2007

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released its University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, which is designed to help prepare the next generation of professionals meet the challenges necessary to create healthy, sustainable, and livable communities. The University Course contains modular resource material that is intended for use in university courses on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The student workbook contains 24 lessons that span a wide range of topics including an introduction to bicycling and walking issues, planning and designing for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and supporting elements and programs. Scripted slideshows for all 24 lessons are available to facilitate course development and delivery. An overview lecture and scripted slideshow also is provided when a one- or two-lecture overview is needed for existing undergraduate or graduate courses.

May 25, 2007

The popular Trail Crew Leadership course was developed by the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative (COTI) to grow a larger pool of skilled volunteers for basic trail construction and maintenance. Several states have taken advantage of the partnership between COTI and American Trails to offer the course locally. COTI is currently developing additional courses on other trail-related topics:

Weed Management
Trail Maintenance Skills Workshops
Project Management
Sustainable Mountain Trails: Assessment, Planning

May 19, 2007

Recreational Leadership Training is a course being offered by email from instructor Del Albright. The course focuses on learning how to lead volunteers to victory. Subjects include basic supervision of volunteers; public speaking; dealing with bureaucracy; facilitation; land stewardship; NEPA; safety; trail project planning; Recreational Incident Command System and meeting management. For information, visit

March 19, 2007

Introduction to OHV Recreation Course offered online from Marshall University The course covers History, evolution, diversity, and equipment for OHV recreation; Participation, use and demand; Areas and facilities; Legal, legislative and use issues. This is the first course in the OHV series and there are no prerequisites. This course (PLS 450/550) is offered by Marshall University Recreation and Park Resources curriculum. It will be offered online beginning May 14 and ending August 6, 2007.

March 1, 2007

Management Guidelines for OHV Recreation has been published by NOHVCC. One of the efforts of the National Trails Training Partnership is to encourage different interest groups to learn from each other. A great example is the new publication by Tom Crimmins. Hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers should all read this book for its approach to creating and sustaining trail systems for effective management.

January 29, 2007

American Trails will offer a one-day workshop called Understanding Accessibility and Building Better Trails during 2007. It is designed to teach the basics of accessible trails while highlighting sustainable trail-building techniques.

January 15, 2007

American Trails is offering workshops on several important trails topics: Understanding Accessibility and Building Better Trails, Universal Trail Assessment Process, Creating a State Trails Training Program, Working with Developers Forum.

January 5, 2007

The Forest Service Accessibility Guidebook on Outdoor Recreation and Trails will help users integrate accessibility into planning, design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor recreation facilities and trails while maintaining the natural setting. It provides detailed information about accessibility requirements in an easy-to-use format, with photos, illustrations, design tips, hotlinks, and sidebars.

November 30, 2006

Minutes of NTTP meeting held October 23, 2006 in Davenport, Iowa in conjunction with National Trails Symposium

October 30, 2006

Two new publications will help you develop or improve your own trails training program, from local to statewide. Developing a Statewide Trails Training Program is a case study of the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative. It covers the issues, growth, and future of the organization which provides training for the full spectrum or agencies and organizations across Colorado.

A Checklist and Brainstorming Guide for Trails Training may be used as a tool for brainstorming, developing a questionnaire, or creating a work plan to improve training. Both publications were developed by American Trails, in cooperation with the National Trails Training Partnership and the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative.

August 2, 2006

The new Florida Discovery Bicycling Center will roll out its first five-night, six-training and touring program this November. The Center combines adult bicycle safety training and touring into vacation-like packages along the St. Johns River region. FDBC is sponsored by the Florida Bicycle Association, the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor, and the City of Lake Helen.

July 31, 2006

June 12, 2006 NTTP Meeting Notes: the minutes of the National Trails Training Partnership meeting held in Washington, DC in conjunction with the 2006 Great Outdoors Week.

July 22, 2006

Introduction to OHV Recreation course will be offered by Marshall University from Aug. 21 - Dec. 8, 2006.

July 21, 2006

Green Mountain Club provides workshops on trail design, layout, construction and maintenance, chainsaw and crosscut saw use and safety, backcountry waste management, outdoor leadership, trail tool use, safety, and maintenance, backcountry campsite and shelter site selection, design, construction, and maintenance, land stewardship and corridor monitoring, Griphoist use, safety, and maintenance, wilderness medicine, outdoor travel skills, and much more.

July 20, 2006

Appalachian Trail Conference Backcountry Sanitation Manual addresses the management of human waste in the backcountry. Resolving problems of backcountry sanitation is a continuous challenge for Trail clubs and land managers; all remote recreation areas will benefit from an expanded discussion of backcountry sanitation. This manual introduces a new, simpler and often safer method of composting human waste in the backcountry: the moldering privy. It is a design that saves money and, even more importantly, labor. Download the 220 page manual (pdf 1.6mg).

July 3, 2006

NOHVCC launches Adventure Trail interactive CD-ROM for kids

June 28, 2006

February 17, 2006 NTTP Meeting Notes: the Minutes of the National Trails Training Partnership meeting held in Reno in conjunction with the 2006 Trailbuilders Conference.

June 8, 2006

Safe Routes to School National Course is available (fee required) from the SRTS Clearinghouse. The course goal is to identify barriers and create action plans that use a combination of strategies such as teaching pedestrian and bicycle safety, building sidewalks, working with law enforcement to slow traffic and initiating walking clubs and contests.

May 23, 2006

A new publication, Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails, is available online from the USDA Forest Service.

April 1, 2006

Help promote trails education and the National Trails Training Partnership! A new article is available that you can copy to publish in your newsletter, website, or email bulletin. Feel free to highlight your own organization's training and add your own message. See Learning New Skills in 2006: Connect with trails training for every educational need.

December 18, 2005:

"Trail Taming Techniques" classes, held by the Central Texas Trail Tamers, were recognized by the Austin American-Statesman in an article December 10, 2005.

July 15, 2005:

The National Trails Training Partnership Calendar is a new searchable database of trail training opportunities nationwide. Search by event date by entering values into the event month and date fields. This is an easy way to return a list of all national events for a given month. If you are looking for training from a specific provider, select their name in the provider field. To retrieve a complete list of events from that provider you'll want to be sure that all the other fields are left blank. You can click the "Reset this form" button to quickly clear all fields.

The concept is the same with the training topic and event state fields. To find all the volunteer training events nationwide, clear the form and select "volunteer training" in the training topic pull-down menu, and click the search button. Finally, for searches of specific words or phrases, enter the word or words into the keywords field.

April 10, 2005:

Federal Agencies Join Together to Support Trails Training: an article you are free to reprint with credit to Steve Elkinton, National Park Service, Program Leader, National Trails System Program.

April 2, 2005:

Two new trail design books cover "how to think" and "how to do it": Natural Surface Trails by Design focuses on trail design. It puts a firm foundation under most other trail design, construction, and maintenance publications. IMBA's Trail Solutions is a "how-to-do-it" book that tells you how to do it quite well in the relatively limited context of mountain bike use on sloping sites. Read complete reviews of the two books.

March 5, 2005:

Recommended Standardized Trail Terminology for Use in Colorado was compiled by a committee of representatives from all trail user groups in Colorado with the intent to provide a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of trail terms and tools specific to trail work. All trail user groups can use this document as a method for increasing communication through the use of common terms. Produced by Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative, a NTTP supporter. Download the pdf (116 kb) or view web page.

March 11, 2004:

Linking Planning and NEPA is a two-part course to mold Planning and NEPA into a seamless, coordinated decision-making framework Length: Executive Seminar: 1 Day Manager's Workshop: 3 Day. Download the details on making this course available (Word 37 kb).

American Hiking Society's new crew leader manual is now available. This manual was written as a step-by-step guidebook and covers leadership skills, pre-trip responsibilities, meal planning, orientation, and post-trip responsibilities. Although designed for AHS Volunteer Vacations, the information can easily be adapted to other organizations' volunteer trail programs. To order online, visit or contact Shirley Hearn at (301) 565-6704, ext. 206.

October 28, 2003:

Handbook for Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course: The Student's Guidebook for this course (U.S. Forest Service) is available as PDF files on the ATC Trails Training pages:

September 10, 2003:

Thanks to Kathie Snodgrass, Project Leader at the Missoula Technology and Development Center the USDA Forest Service Washington Office Engineering's Trails Specs and Plans Site is now online at


The National Trails Training Partnership

American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 • (530) 605-4395 • Fax: (530) 547-2035 •

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.



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