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July 2016 e-Newsletter

Advancing trails for those who build, maintain, use, and dream of trails...

  whatshotWHAT'S HOT 

Free webinars for American Trails members

If you are an American Trails member at the Trail Professional ($75) level or higher, you can attend our webinars for FREE. This new member benefit only applies to webinars that take place during the period that your membership is current/active. Read more and become a member...
Upcoming webinar: Engaging Realtors in the trails debate
Join us on August 11, 2016 for our next webinar in the American Trails' Advancing Trails Webinar Series titled "Rail-Trails, Smart-Growth, and....Realtors? Engaging Your Local Real Estate Professionals into the Debate." Dates and titles for webinars for the remainder of 2016 and early 2017 are now available on the webinar series index pageLearn more and REGISTER for this webinar...


A bike path spanning the entire East Coast
Since 1991, the East Coast Greenway Alliance has been working to link the entire East Coast with a connected bike path. The greenway currently consists of 850 miles of trail and winds through wooded hills, rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches, crossing through 450 communities in 15 States. Read more...

Safety tips for summer hiking
With summer in full swing, hiking is a popular activity for individuals and families to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you have been hiking for your entire life or are just starting out, taking proper action to prepare will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Read more...

New trail brings accessibility to Easthampton, Massachussets
The Pascommuck Conservation Trust recently opened the Mutters Field Accessible Trail in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The accessible, non-invasive trail loops around the scenic Mutters Field meadow and connects to the conservation trust's existing Brickyard Brook Conservation Area trail system. Read more...

Manayunk Bridge is Philadelphia's newest trail link
Philadelphia trail enthusiasts celebrated the opening of the over half-mile trail on the Manayunk Bridge over the Schuylkill River. To many, the massive bridge has always been the symbol of Manayunk, a historic community six miles north of Philadelphia's downtown. Read more and see photos...

Illinois Trail Corps aims to build better trails for less money
The Illinois Trail Corps model, presented by Trails for Illinois, seeks to counter the shrinking funding for trail projects by creating jobs for young adults who earn scholarships building trails. The goal of the program is to create a locally administered alternative to existing Federal and State trail grant programs at a cost that is affordable to public agencies with available funds. Read more...

Featured National Recreation Trail: Shetucket River Water Trail, Connecticut

The Shetucket River flows through The Last
 Green Valley National Heritage Corridor in Windham and New London Counties. The water trail offers 20 miles of paddling within an hour's drive of three of New England's largest urban and metropolitan regions. The major tributaries of the Shetucket River, the Quinebaug River to the east and Willimantic River to the west, have previously been designated National Recreation Trails. Read more and see photos of this NRT...

Shetucket River Water Trail, Connecticut
Featured Recreational Trails Program project: Cochran Mill Park Trail, Georgia
The Cochran Mill Park Trail, located in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, offers trail users 18 miles of sustainable muti-use trails featuring stunning waterfalls, large boulders, wildflowers, and the ruins of three historic mills. The project began in 2013 and was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program, with the majority of the work being done by community volunteers. Read more and see photos of this RTP-funded project...

Volunteers on the Cochran Mill Park Trail, Georgia

Featured Online Business Directory advertiser: MAADI Group, Inc.
The MAADI Group designs bridges for pedestrian, bicycle, and light vehicle use, plus cantilevered bridges, floating bridges and docks, marine gangways, aerial and floating platforms, and more for recreational, commercial, industrial, institutional, and maritime applications, indoors and outdoors. Learn more about MAADI Group in the American Trails Online Business Directory...

May 7-10, 2017 ~ Dayton, Ohio

American Trails hosts the next International Trails Symposium in Dayton, Ohio May 7-10, 2017!
For the second Symposium, we will feature the Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA) who will offer Sustainable Trails Workshops (including work on the Legacy Trail), provide a technical track, as well as showcase trail equipment that attendees can test out at the Outdoor Trade Show.
The Symposium addresses most aspects of trails, greenways, and blueways. Learn from dozens of educational sessions and mobile workshops, visit a state-of-the-art exhibit hall, and network with experts and enthusiasts from across the globe. The theme for the 2017 Symposium is "Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities."
Thank you to our Honorary Partners to date: 
Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities 
20% exhibitor discount deadline October 15, 2016
The Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Packet is available! Exhibitors can receive a 20% discount until October 15, 2016. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS include choosing their booth location in the order their contract and payment is received (some exceptions apply) and adding your logo or name link on our Meet Our Sponsors page online once we receive your contract and payment! Learn more...
Thank you to the additional sponsors and exhibitors to date (including the list of our honorary partners above):
New Dayton trails invite cyclists of all ages and abilities
Three new mountain bike trails are now open at Huffman MetroPark's mountain biking facility. The trails feature a "Tot Track" for younger children, "The Hilltop Flow" for all skill levels, and the most challenging trail offered called "The Talon." In addition to the new trails, the facility has a bike repair and cleaning station at the trailhead. Read more...

Interested in hosting the 2019 International Trails Symposium?
The deadline for proposals is September 15, 2016 and we anticipate making a decision by January 31, 2017. All of the details on what is requested of the host community and required in a proposal are outlined in the bid packet that is now available. Read more and download the bid packet...

Scotland introduces new snorkel trail
The Scottish Wildlife Trust recently created a snorkel trail in the North West Highlands, an area rich in marine life. The trail is currently self-led, with the hopes of creating a training program for locals to become qualified snorkel instructors, as well as a club to connect youth with marine wildlife. Read more and see photos...

Mega trail to connect ancient routes in the Balkans
Mountain enthusiasts, NGO's, and private companies from the Western Balkans are planning a 2,000 km trail along the Dinaric Alps through a series of hiking, biking, and rafting routes. One of the goals of the project is to reopen ancient communication routes used by shepherds and merchants, which will in turn boost tourist potential and develop rural areas. Read more and see photos...

Cool Trail Solutions: Mile markers and distance signs along trails
Mile markers and distance signs along trails are important aspects to urban and backcountry trails. Being able to state accurate locations along the trail can help with emergency response, as well as identifying maintenance needs. Read more and see photos in the American Trails Cool Trail Solutions Photo Gallery...

A vision for trails overlooking the Golden Gate
A comprehensive trails and bikeways plan was developed for the Presidio, a former military base which is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The plan aims to provide park visitors, neighbors, and Presidio residents with an interconnected, safe, and enjoyable trails and bikeways system, while protecting and managing the Presidio's natural and cultural resources. Read more...

Bike Network Mapping Idea Book
The Federal Highway Administration recently e-published the Bike Network Mapping Idea Book, which highlights the various ways in which different cities have mapped their existing and proposed bicycle networks. Read more and download the 57-page book... (pdf 13.1 mb)

Safe Routes to School National Conference presentations available
Presentations from the April 2016 Safe Routes to School National Conference are now available online. The presentations highlight common challenges and best practices from across the country for providing safe pedestrian and bicycle routes to school for children. Read more and download presentations...

NHTSA Primer on Advancing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety available
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new publication, titled "Advancing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: A Primer for Highway Safety Professionals," to illustrate infrastructure treatments and behavioral programs for addressing specific bicycle and pedestrian issues. Read more and download the 101-page report... (pdf 2,375 kb)

Smart Growth America releases "Foot Traffic Ahead 2016"
On June 14, Smart Growth America released a new report titled "Foot Traffic Ahead 2016" which provides insights on which cities will be well-positioned to address a growing demand for walkable neighborhoods. Read more and download the 48-page report... (pdf 5 mb)

Upcoming Summer 2016 trail training opportunities

Current training opportunities for trail skills across the country. See the Online Trails Training Calendar for details...

July 25-29 - Portland, OR 
Comprehensive Bikeway Design 2.0

July 29-30 - Grand Junction, CO 
* Old Spanish Trail Conference 
August 1-3 - Dickinson, ND 
North Dakota State Trails Conference

August 11 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
Webinar: Rail-Trails, Smart-Growth, and....Realtors? Engaging Your Local Real Estate Professionals into the Debate   REGISTER TODAY

August 14-17 - Anaheim, CA
Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting and Exhibit 
August 16-21 - Portland, OR
International Open Streets Summit

August 27-28 - Hike for the NPS 100th
* On trails across America! 

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at


Working together - works! There is strength in numbers!


For over 28 years, American Trails has been a collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, builders, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities.


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 organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.


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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 above for what's new in the trails world!

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Header photo: REI - Ridge Trail Service Day, California; photo by Bay Area Ridge Trail Council