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American Trails publications

FALL 2008 edition
40 years of the National Trails System: making the connections

See articles below or download pdf (4.8 mb) - 40 pages


cover photo of bikes


Supporting trails and greenways

Recognition for trails

Health and economic benefits of trails

Improving our community trail systems

Long Distance Trails

Stewardship and trail improvement

Training and resources

Last Child in the Woods author will be featured at Symposium

In preparation for our Closing Keynote, Richard Louv, at the upcoming National Trails Symposium, we’d like to encourage you to purchase your copy of Last Child in the Woods in our online store. In his book, Mr. Louv proves that children need nature just as much as nature needs children, and identified a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn’t quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder.

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The American Trails Magazine is the only nationwide publilcation covering the needs of all trail users, planners, managers, agencies, and activists. American Trails Magazine includes articles on current events, funding ideas and grants programs, legislation in Congress, new technology, trail and greenway planning, tools for advocacy, trail benefits and economic impacts, accessible trails, environmental issues, training opportunities, news from the federal agencies, state trail programs, publications and resources, and training opportunities.

Next challenge for trail advocates: Federal transportation funding

A message from the Executive Director

WITH THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY of the National Trails System Act we should also reflect on how a vision can shape the future. Should we revisit Trails for All Americans and strengthen our vision for trails into the next decade? At the 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.

In this fascinating political time there is one thing that rises above politics: our mutual commitment to trails. Trails are for all Americans, and Americans care deeply about their trails.

American Trails received 191 nominations for the 2008 National Trails Awards program! After reading these inspiring stories, my heart is overflowing as we plan to celebrate these wonderful people and their projects at the Symposium. Think of all the healthy communities and happy memories that are being created because of them! Our work is so important and impacts so many lives. Most of these projects are the result of transportation dollars.

Reauthorization should facilitate active transportation improvements Americans need to improve their daily lives. We need to redouble our efforts to document the value of trails and bike/pedestrian facilities as transportation infrastructure, and we must be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process.

Other ways to promote the value of your trails and open space are to invite your elected officials to walk, ride, or celebrate a new section of trail or a new project. Thank your Members of Congress for supporting funding through Transportation Enhancements and the Recreational Trails Program.

Politics may be “business as usual” inside the Beltway, but for trails to grow to meet the needs of all Americans we need to be even more creative. We hope you will join us at the Symposium! We need your input and involvement— for the future of trails…

Read more about the mission of American Trails, our board members, and supporters:

Star-Spangled National Historic Trail is newest in system

Map of ArkansasWHEN WE CELEBRATE THE bicentennial of the War of 1812 in four years we will have the newly-designated Star-Spangled National Historic Trail to help us chart the events of the war.

Sites along the trail will mark some of the most important events of the War of 1812, which is often referred to as our nation’s Second War of Independence. The trail will also feature maritime-related interpretation, and will encourage private boaters, as well as commercial tour boats to retrace these water routes. Chesapeake Bay Gateways & Watertrails Network has awarded the Maryland Office of Tourism Development $100,000 to develop an access plan for the water portion of the trail.

The trail moves through Maryland and Washington, DC, and ends at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, site of the defeat of the British and where Francis Scott Key wrote what was to become our National Anthem.

See the index of American Trails Magazines

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