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Table of Contents




Registration for the Symposium is now open!


Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Application is due December 19!


The Call for Presentations for the International Trails Symposium is now available!


International Scholarship Program Application is now available!


Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities


 FEATURING the Professional TrailBuilders Association Sustainable Trails Workshops and Outdoor Trade Show 





There is still time to give to the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program as part of our End of Year Giving Campaign!


USGS will show mountain bike trails on new topo maps

Search the Recreational Trails Program Database for great trail projects!

Learn More with American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series




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Like us on Facebook 


Follow us on Twitter 


Visit our blog 






Atlanta's Westside Trail is a $43 million dollar project


The economic case for a new Chicago - area trail


Rangers clear 2,428 miles of Idaho trails


Interactive OHV maps from Utah State Parks


Riverfront parks in Iowa address flooding issues 




Art for the Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte, NC


Best practices for trail tourism: the importance of hospitality


Building sustainable trails to Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks


Bike Chattanooga celebrates its 100,000th trip


Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Ash Canyon Creek Bridge, NV


Featured National Recreation Trail: Willimantic and Quinebaug Rivers





Guardposts and gardens: walking the Berlin Wall Trail


Saskatoon, Canada explores legalizing Segway use on trails


The Sandstone Way is new 120-mile mountain bike trail in England





Guidebook for developing universally accessible trails


Health and economic assessment tool for cycling and walking


New Arizona National Scenic Trail publication for Junior Explorers


Fall 2014 trails training and educational opportunities





Join American Trails and receive a gift of an 18-ounce Klean Kanteen water bottle! 






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December 2014 


Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to, 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:

  • Voss Signs



May 17-20, 2015 ~ Portland, Oregon



Symposium Deadlines Coming Soon!


Registration is now open! 


Emerging Leaders Scholarship Applications due TOMORROW, December 19 by COB Pacific Time 


Call for Presentations due January 9 


International Scholarship Applications due January 9 


Exhibitor discount deadline ends January 15 





American Trails hosts the next International Trails Symposium in Portland May 17-20, 2015.


The Symposium addresses every aspect of trails, greenways, and blueways. Learn from dozens of educational sessions and mobile workshops and network with experts and enthusiasts from across the globe. The theme for this year's Symposium is "Solutions for Success."


Thank you to our major partner, the Professional Trailbuilders Association and our local host and major planning partner, Metro, as well as to our major sponsors to date:


Oregon State Parks and Recreation, REIMIG, Inc., The Intertwine AllianceNorthwest Youth Corps, Alta Planning + Design, the Bureau of Land ManagementNational Park ServiceUS Fish & Wildlife Service, and the USDA Forest Service. 



a1Registration for the Symposium is now open! Registration

Click here to begin your registration and see details...

Early registration goes through March 20. Don't forget that American Trails members save on registration fees. You can join the American Trails network when you register for the Symposium. 

In the Registration system, you have the opportunity to sign up for:

All workshops are on a first come basis - sign up today to secure your spot! 


Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Application is due December 19! HuletScholarship

Through funds provided by generous sponsors, American Trails is proud to offer scholarships for the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program to young adults between the ages of 19-25 to attend the 22nd International Trails Symposium in Portland, OR. 

Deadline for Scholarship applications is TOMORROW, December 19.


Recipients will:

  • Receive a full registration to the Symposium
  • Spend on entire day in the field, visiting various trails and talking to experts about trail design, construction, and maintenance, as well as opportunities for visitor use and engagement.
  • Work together on a trail-based service project
  • Network with Symposium participants
  • Be paired with a mentor already established in the field
  • Deliver a group presentation on their Symposium experience to an audience of 30-50 conference attendees 

Visit the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders webpage to download the scholarship application


Thank you to our major sponsors of the Scholarship Program to date:


The Call for Presentations for The International Trails Symposium is now available! CFP

To help us develop an exciting and motivating program for the Symposium, we invite attendees to submit ideas for presentations in support of the Symposium's theme, "Solutions for Success." Proposals can be submitted for both national and international presentations. 

The deadline for proposal submissions is January 9. 

You can submit a proposal for:
  • Concurrent Sessions (1.25-hours)
  • Core Tracks (3 or 6 hours)
  • Posters
  • Trail Talks (1 hour)

Visit The Call for Presentations webpage to download BOTH documents for complete instructions on how to submit your proposal. 



International Scholarship Program Application Available!InternationalScholarship


Deadline to submit an application is January 9.


American Trails is proud to initiate its inaugural International Scholarship Program. International presenters have diverse insight, innovations, and success stories from around the globe to offer at the Symposium. This new scholarship program will provide partial funding for our international presenters at the Symposium. Scholarship recipients will attend and present on a topic that enhances the overall Program of the conference, making this scholarship not only a benefit for recipients, but a benefit for attendees as well!


Visit the International Scholarship webpage to download the application and view details of the program...




Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities ExhibitorDeadline


The Sponsorship & Exhibitor Packet is available online! Exhibitors get to choose their booth location in the order they send in their contract and payment (some exceptions apply). If you are interested in more recognition, we have larger sponsorship levels available with some excellent benefits to boost promotion for your organization. Download the Sponsorship & Exhibitor Packet now...

Exhibitors save 10% if you send in your contract and payment by January 15. 


Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors to date:

Learn more about the upcoming and past Symposiums...


Contact Candace Mitchell, Sponsor & Exhibitor Coordinator, if you have any questions at 



FEATURING the Professional Trailbuilders Association Sustainable Trails Workshops  


The Professional Trailbuilders Association (PTBA) and the American Trails International Trails Symposium (AT ITS) are proud to announce an exciting new partnership program -- the Sustainable Trails Workshop Series. 


Click here to learn more about the workshops being offered. You can register for PTBA workshops through the Symposium online Registration system...



PTBA logo 


  whatshotWHAT'S HOT 

b1There is still time to give to the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program as part of our End of Year Giving Campaign! 
The Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program brings young adults to the International Trails Symposium to cultivate their interest in outdoor recreation and/or conservation. 

Thanks to generous donors, we've reached our goal of funding one full scholarship! But it's not too late to show your support--we're still raising funds for additional young leaders. Make your gift by the end of the year to take part in our Giving Campaign!


Giving can come in all sizes:
  • Give what you can ($10 and up) and we will put your name on our Hulet Hornbeck Scholarship webpage as a supporter!
  • Give $35 and attend our upcoming webinar on Jan. 22 for free: "Protect What You Love: Water Trail Ambassador and Stewardship Programs"
  • Give $75 or more and receive the free webinar AND a 25 year anniversary commemorative American Trails water bottle
 Visit our donate page to help support future trail leaders.  

USGS will show mountain bike trails on new topo maps


As part of its ongoing maps revision and improvement cycle, the USGS will be including mountain bike trails to upcoming quadrangles. The 2014 edition of US Topo maps covering Arizona will be the first maps to feature the trail data, followed by more than a dozen others. During the past two years, the International Mountain Biking Association has been building a detailed national database of mountain bike trails with help from members and the public. Read more...

b3Search the Recreational Trails Program Database for great trail projects!

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Database serves as a central repository for RTP data for the use of policy makers, administrators, project managers, and the general public, as well as the FHWA. It currently includes over 21,000 projects, can be searched by multiple categories, and displays individual project information. The Image Library includes photos from all 50 States and DC highlighting RTP-funded projects. The RTP Database and the Image Library can be found at


Learn more with the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series


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 webinars are eligible for CEUs through the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS), an authorized independent CEU provider through IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training). Our 75 minute webinars are worth 0.10 CEUs which are available for an additional $20 fee. 


Check out the upcoming American Trails webinars and register today!

  • JANUARY 22, 2015: Protect What You Love: Water Trail Ambassador and Stewardship Programs (presented by Amy Camp, American Trails Board Member and Pennsylvania Water Trail Partnership Representative). Read more and register here...
    • Special discount! ~ When you purchase the January 22 webinar you can also purchase the archived webinar: Water Trail Accessibility - Assessing and Creating More Accessible Facilities and Programs for a discounted rate of $15 (member) or $20 (non-member). Once you purchase the Jan. 22 webinar, an email will be sent to you with a special discount code to purchase the archived webinar. Read more about the webinar here...

Read more and see current Advancing Trails Webinar Series schedule...  




Atlanta's Westside Trail is a $43 million project


An abandoned and overgrown rail corridor will become, thanks in part to an $18 million federal grant and $10 million from private donors, a 14-foot-wide well-designed trail with lighting, benches, and art. Ramps and stairs will connect to adjacent streets and historic neighborhoods, linking growing communities. New residents could fill affordable and empty houses, convincing retailers to revive vacant storefronts. See photo gallery of existing and proposed trail corridor...


The economic case for a new Chicago-area trail


"After almost a decade of planning, the largest trails project in the Midwest was finally becoming a reality," reports the Atlantic Monthly. The 26-mile Cal-Sag Trail will eventually connect the Des Plaines River in Lemont, Illinois, to the Burnham Greenway on the Indiana border. It follows the channel called Calumet-Saganashkee, managed by the Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which owns a 100-foot corridor along both sides of the channel. Read more and see photos...



Rangers clear 2,482 miles of Idaho trails


Idaho Parks and Recreation's trail maintenance programs are funded by registration stickers for off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Every spring, Parks and Recreation crews help federal land managers, with no cost to the agencies. The Trail Rangers include crews who ride motorcycles and carry common tools, such as shovels, axes and chainsaws, to clear and maintain trails. Read more and see photos...



Interactive OHV Maps From Utah State Parks


The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation has put a new set of interactive maps online that make it easier to find trails for off-road vehicles across the state. The new maps cover about 2,500 miles of the state's 80,000 miles of designated ATV trails. Additional trails will be added to the maps every month or so. Work for the future will include adding routes for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Read more and listen to audio story...



Riverfront parks in Iowa address flooding issues


The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported on a $93 million greenways concept to be developed as part of flood-protection systems. Three greenway parks will be connected by a riverfront trail system. Many park facilities are included in the recently-approved plan, such as a bike park or pump track, an ice rink and ice trail, and adventure park. Read more and see photos...



Art for the Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte, NC


Environmental restoration and an alternative transportation route spurred the revitalization of this area of Charlotte, but it is the site details that are artfully woven throughout the linear corridor that creates a memorable place worth revisiting. Read more and see photos...



Best practices for trail tourism: the importance of hospitality


"To maximize the potential of trails, it's no longer enough to say 'Come use our fabulous trails.' We must take the additional step of curating an experience for both our visitors and area residents." American Trails board member Amy Camp hosts trail tourism advocates from Atlantic Canada and shares best practices along four Mid-Atlantic trails: the Appalachian Trail, C&O Canal Towpath, Virginia Creeper Trail, and Great Allegheny Passage. Read more and see photos...



Building sustainable trails to Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks 


The nonprofit Colorado Fourteeners Initiative has constructed 26 summit routes on 24 Fourteener peaks to facilitate hiking access while protecting rare and fragile alpine tundra ecosystems. CFI's Sustainable Trails Program is a way to systematically inventory and manage this high-altitude trail system to ensure that funding for capital construction and maintenance work is invested in the highest priority projects. Read more and see photos...


d6Bike Chattanooga celebrates its 100,000th trip

Chattanooga's bike share system has reached a major milestone. On November 5th Bike Chattanooga reached its 100,000th trip since the program launched on July 23, 2012. Annual members and visitors have traveled 416,850 miles, burned 17.9 million calories, and saved 288 million lbs. of CO2 while commuting to work, riding to lunch, and enjoying bike rides using the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System. Read more...


Featured Recreational Trails Program Project: Ash Canyon Creek Bridge, NV


The Carson City, Nevada project included the construction of a bridge over Ash Canyon Creek to connect two existing trail segments of the Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon Trail. The project also included purchase and installation of kiosks and signs at the trailhead. Many volunteers assisted with construction of the bridge. See photos of the project and view time-lapse construction video... 


d8Featured National Recreation Trail: Willimantic and Quinebaug Rivers, CT


Thanks to the work of the Willimantic River Alliance and The Last Green Valley, a national heritage corridor in northeastern Connecticut includes two paddling routes. The Quinebaug and Willimantic Rivers have been made more accessible with detailed paddle guides and National Recreation Trail designation. In 2014, the groups hosted dozens of on-the-water events to acquaint more people with the beauty along the river trails. Read more and see photos...


Guardposts and gardens: walking the Berlin Wall Trail


Opened in 2004 following a decade-long campaign, the trail is built along the path of the former patrol roads used by East Germany's border guards. The Berlin Wall Trail is a 155 km walk of history and remembrance which, as well as taking in key points across the city, also leads into its less well known areas. Read more and see photos...



Saskatoon, Canada explores legalizing Segway use on trails


The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reports on discussions over whether the Manitoba city's bylaws should be changed to allow Segways on city trails. A proponent stated that "guided Segway tours are popular tourist attractions in many municipalities-including Halifax, Edmonton, and Calgary-and said the trend could "absolutely" take off in Saskatoon." Issues of trail suitability and use of park land were debated. Read more and see video...



The Sandstone Way is a new 120-mile mountain bike trail in England


A brand-new, 120-mile mountain bike trail has been announced for the 2015 tourist season linking Berwick and Hexham. The Sandstone Way, taking cyclists via Northumberland's most spectacular coastal and countryside scenery, will create opportunities for tourism services along its route in the way that long-distance walking trails have done for the area in recent years. Read more and see maps and photos...



Guidebook for developing universally accessible trails


"Universal Access Trails and Shared Use Paths: Design, Management, Ethical, and Legal Considerations" is a new publication of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association. The goal is to help trail groups, local governments, and land trusts plan, develop and operate trails that are accessible by all people, including those with limited mobility. The 145-page book includes best management practices as well as legal requirements in a clear and attractive format. Download the Universal Access Trails design guide (pdf 6.6 mb)...



Health and economic assessment tool for cycling and walking


The promotion of cycling and walking for everyday physical activity not only promotes health but can also have positive effects on the environment. The World Health Organization has updated tools and guidance for the economic assessment of transport infrastructure and policies in relation to the health effects of walking and cycling. It also includes reviews of the economic and health literature.



New Arizona National Scenic Trail publication for Junior Explorers


The Arizona Trail Association's Seeds of Stewardship program encourages youth participation in the Arizona Trail through a three-tiered approach: experience, education, and service learning. The objective is to inspire the next generation to take an active role in the enjoyment, development, and protection of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, as well as other parks, trails, and public lands throughout the state. The Arizona Trail Junior Explorer Handbook is now available online. The Bureau of Land Management created and printed the handbook, and funds for printing the first 36,000 copies were provided by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service. The guide provides environmental education materials for Arizona Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Audubon Arizona, Desert Botanical Garden, several zoos, and junior high school teachers statewide who are and will be involved in this program as well.

Download the 20-page handbook (pdf 2.5 mb)...


Winter 2014 trails training and educational opportunities  


Here are some of the trail-related training opportunities coming up this winter. See the Online Trails Training Calendar for details... 


January 22 - Online Webinar hosted by American Trails

*Protect What You Love: Water Trail Ambassador and Stewardship Programs


January 30 - Redding, CA

*Building Connections: Trails, Playborhoods, and Safe Routes ~ hosted by Shasta Safe Routes to School, Healthy Shasta, Shasta Living Streets, and the California Convergence Far North Region


February 3 - Online Webinar hosted by Institute of Traffic Engineers

* Focus on Pedestrians: Sidewalks and Crosswalks


February 7-12 - Washington, DC

* Hike the Hill


February 8-11, 2015 - Washington, DC

* The Corps Network National Conference

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at



Join American Trails and receive a gift of an 18-ounce Klean Kanteen water bottle!


Klean Kanteen moss  

American Trails is excited to announce a new co-brand partnership with Klean Kanteen! Members who join at the Trail Professional level or higher will receive a gift of an 18-ounce stainless steel Klean Kanteen commemorative water bottle celebrating American Trails 25 year anniversary!


Water bottles are also available for purchase in our Online Store.  


Klean Kanteen introduced the first hydration bottle made from stainless steel to give people a safe and healthy alternative to plastic. Their mission, like American Trails, promotes sustainability and healthy lifestyles for everyone. You can learn more about them at


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Working together - works! There is strength in numbers!


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.


American Trails is a tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.


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Header photo: Snow trails in Salt Lake City's Sugar House Park; photo by Stuart Macdonald