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Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to www.AmericanTrails.org, one of the world's most comprehensive online resources for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, and enhancing trails, greenways, and blueways. We also bring you news from the halls of Congress, new studies and resources, interesting articles, events, training opportunities, and the latest in trail products and services. Check out the topics below for what's new in the trails world!
Special thanks to the sponsor of this issue:
Jan. 30 Webinar: Effective Fundraising for Trails and Greenways
American Trails presents a timely webinar on strategies for raising funds and garnering resources to move a trail or greenway project from vision to reality. Three seasoned professionals will share key lessons from their decades of experience on key steps to take, partnerships to build, classes of resources to pursue, and leadership models and implementation strategies. Read more and register for the webinar...
Learn more in 2014 with American Trails Webinars
American Trails continues the dynamic online Advancing Trails Webinar Series to help trail planners, supporters, and managers learn about focused topics of special interest. Our webinar rates have changed and are only $35 for members and $55 for nonmembers!
CEUs: Our webinars are eligible for CEUs through the Texas Recreation and Park Society, an authorized independent CEU provider through IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training). Our 75 minute webinars are worth 0.10 CEUs and are an additional $20 fee.
Check out upcoming American Trails webinars for early 2014:
JANUARY 30: Effective Fundraising for Trails and Greenways (presented by The Greenway Team, Conservation Partners LLC, and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation) REGISTER TODAY!
- FEBRUARY (date TBD): Managing User Conflicts ~ Part 3 of 3 (presented by Steve Sherwood, Chinook Associates LLC)
Details coming soon
- MARCH (date TBD): Sustainable Mountain Trails (presented Hugh Duffy, National Park Service) Details coming soon
Read more and see current Webinar schedule...
International Trails page links you to trails around the globe
We've updated our webpage for trails in countries around the world. Greenways and trail systems are a growing interest in many countries: from mountain bike systems to urban river corridors to long-distance pathways. As America learned from the European tradition of footpaths and dedicated bikeways, other countries are learning from our explosion of community trails and rail-trails. Asian countries are also finding that trails benefit both tourism and transportation. We also welcome your suggestions to add to this page. Visit the new International Trails index page...
American Trails National and International Trails Awards for 2015
American Trails presents the National and International Trails Awards Program to recognize organizations, agencies, businesses, and individual leaders who are working to create trails around the world. Nominations for the various categories of awards are now available, with the winners to be announced at the 22nd American Trails International Trails Symposium in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Three new awards for international trails will be featured. Read more and download Nomination Form...
Awards for Recreational Trails Program funded projects
We invite you to nominate an outstanding project funded with a Recreational Trails Program grant for the Coalition for Recreational Trails 2014 achievement awards. Project award categories include: construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; education and communication initiatives; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management or "corridor sharing"; environment/wildlife compatibility; and use of youth conservation/service corps. Read more and download Nomination Form...
See 160 photos entered in National Recreation Trails Photo Contest
American Trails sponsors the annual contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails across the country. You can view 160 entries in our online galleries. We'll be giving awards in several categories. Our goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. We'll be announcing the winners next month! See eight galleries of photos...
Winter hike becomes annual social event in Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch reports on the 49th annual Winter Hike, which drew more than 3,000 people to southeastern Ohio's Hocking Hills State Park. "Three miles into the six-mile trek, at Cedar Falls, participants found dozens of volunteers waiting, using canoe paddles to stir steaming cauldrons of soup." Friends of Hocking Hills State Park were joined by volunteers from local Kiwanis clubs, high schools, and Boy Scout Troop 99. Read more and view photo gallery...
Trail users want Amtrak roll-on/roll-off service for bikes
Amtrak is testing "roll-on/roll-off" services on the Capitol Limited Line between Washington and Pittsburgh. Amtrak currently requires bikes to be disassembled and shipped in a baggage car. Trail advocates are campaigning to make the service available for people cycling the C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage. This would encourage more people to bike sections of the 330-mile route, say business leaders. Read more...
More bikes = more bike theft in DC area
The Washington Post reports on increasing bike theft: "There's more people biking, there's more bikes on the street, and there are more people riding who may not know the best way to lock up their bikes," said Greg Billing, the advocacy coordinator at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. "There are definitely professional bike thieves seeking high-end bikes that aren't locked properly and will sell them for a lot of money." There are also, he said, "dumb kids looking to do something." Read more and see photos...
Railroad history preserved on New York trail
The Livingston County News reports on a 19th Century railroad bridge preserved on the Erie-Attica Trail, that connects the village of Avon, NY with the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail. The 260-foot structure was the key to opening another branch of the region's rail trail system. "Avon is such a railroad-rich town," said Mayor Tom Freeman, "This is now our second bridge that we have stewardship of." Read more and see photos...
Creating the best process for reroute on The Colorado Trail
Volunteers are the key to rerouting 30 miles of The Colorado Trail in the southwest part of the state, where the single-track trail turns into miles of logging, jeep, and ranch roads. Volunteer crews consisted of six field workers and one person providing transport and resupply. To locate the planned reroute, GPS receivers were loaded with maps and the approximate trail line from earlier scouting. A major focus of the crews was to anticipate and eliminate potential problems for trail builders. Read more and see photos...
Featured National Recreation Trail: High Desert Trail System, NM
The three mountain bicycling loops go from beginner to intermediate to technical, connecting communities of Gamerco and Mentmore, adjacent to Gallup, New Mexico. Designed specifically for mountain bikes, the 11-mile trail system is great for an afternoon loop mountain bike ride with the family or all-day epic ride. Adventure Gallup & Beyond, a local nonprofit, helped create the system as an economic driver through adventure tourism. Read more and see photos...
Best Practices: hotels and restaurants see customers on trails
As trails become a familiar part of our urban landscapes, more businesses see opportunities. Places to eat and places to stay overnight are found along trails and greenways across America. While some adjacent land uses have concerns about trails being developed along their properties, hotels and restaurants see potential business. Our photo gallery shows examples of how hotels, motels, restaurants, and cafes are promoting their business to trail users. See commentary and gallery of photos...
New park emerges from Japanese earthquake and tsunami
At the Asia Parks Congress in November, a new national park was announced for the region of Japan devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Sanriku Fukko National Park includes restoration of natural features such as seagrass areas and tidal flats, and will contribute to ecotourism, a long distance nature trail, and education efforts. It will also reconnect the region's forests, rivers, and sea coast. Read more and see photos...
| TRAINING & EDUCATION|
Archived Webinar: Trails and New Federal Accessibility Guidelines
An archived presentation of this webinar is now available free from American Trails. It covers the trails portion of the "Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines; Outdoor Developed Areas." These new accessibility guidelines for federal lands cover new or altered trails, picnic and camping areas, beach access routes, and related recreation facilities. Hosted by American Trails and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the presentation is by Janet Zeller, U.S. Forest Service National Accessibility Program Manager. Read more and access the archived webinar recording...
"Categorical Exclusion" may apply to more transportation-funded projects
Amendments to the Federal Highway Administration (and Federal Transit Administration) joint procedures that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) add new Categorical Exclusions (CE) for certain projects. Any project that receives less than $5 million of Federal funds, which would include most trail projects, would be eligible for exclusion. The CE also applies to projects "within an existing operational right-of-way." Read more and download Final Rule...
Economic Impact Analysis of Orange County Trails, Florida
Florida's Office of Greenways and Trails joined with partners in studying the economic impact of trails on downtown Winter Garden and Orange County. Trail user surveys and business surveys were conducted along the Cady Way and West Orange Trails, the Little Econ Greenway, and in downtown Winter Garden. It was determined that in 2010 in Orange County, theses trails supported 516 jobs and had an estimated economic impact of $42.6 million. Read more and download study...
Designing Shared Use Trails to Include Equestrians
Anne M. O'Dell shared a presentation on ways to include horse riding in multi-use trail projects. She covers horse behavior, space needs for trailers, signs and courtesy, trail tread design, surfaces and water crossings, and other facilities. The 56 slides are illustrated and make a good starting point for examining ways to include equestrians in a variety of trails and recreation facilities. Download a pdf of the presentation (pdf 5.3 mb)...
Calendar of trails training and educational opportunities
Here are some of the trail-related training opportunities coming up in 2014. See the Online Trails Training Calendar for details...
February 1 - Phoenix, AZ
* Arizona Trail Association Annual Meeting and 20th Anniversary Celebration
February 1 - Elon, NC
* Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail Annual Meeting
February 6 - Online Webinar
* Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals Webinar: International Outdoor Recreation Planning Perspectives
February 8 - New Brunswick, NJ
* New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit
February 10-11 - Denver, CO
* Colorado Bike Summit EXPO
February 18-21 - Corpus Christi, TX
* Texas Recreation & Park Society Institute & EXPO
February 19 - Online Webinar
* Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Webinar: Design for Cyclist and Pedestrian Comfort
February 23-27 - Albuquerque, NM
* Partners for Public Lands Convention
March 3-5 - Washington, DC
* National Bike Summit
March 4 - Sacramento, CA
* California Land Conservation Conference
March 4-7 - Ontario, CA
* California & Pacific Southwest Recreation & Park Training Conference
March 21 - Newark, DE
* Heels & Wheels: Delaware Walk & Bike Summit 2014
March 25-26 - Washington, DC
* NRPA National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK|
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For over 25 years, American Trails has been a collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities. American Trails strives to enrich the quality of life for all people and the sustainable development of communities by advancing and promoting the development, preservation, and enjoyment of diverse, high quality trails and greenways. We envision a network of trails within 15 minutes of every home, school, and workplace.
American Trails will continue to keep you informed on both trail know-how and issues critical to the future of trails. 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, including our children.
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Header photo: Clear Creek Trail, Colorado; photo by Stuart Macdonald