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August 2016 e-Newsletter

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

  whatshotWHAT'S HOT 

Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service! 
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and they are inviting visitors of all ages to join in the celebration throughout the month! With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28. The National Park Service is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark for the centennial!

Learn 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. Read more and download the bid packet...

FREE webinar September 8: "Understanding the National Recreation Trails Program and National Water Trails System"
Join us on September 8 to find out how your local trail efforts can shine in the national spotlight! This webinar is FREE to the public, thanks to a partnership with the National Park Service. It is presented by staff from the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Florida Office of Greenways & Trails. Learn more and REGISTER for this webinar.... 

September 22 webinar: "Engaging the Next Generation of Trail Stewards: Increasing Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity"
Join us for our second webinar in September in American Trails' Advancing Trails webinar series. Learn how to engage the next generation of trail stewards and learn best practices from successful case studies. This webinar is presented by The Corps Network, Mobilize Green, Greening Youth Foundation, Southwest Conservation Corps, and Northwest Youth Corps. Learn more and REGISTER for this webinar...


A farewell from Pam Gluck

After serving for over 19 years as American Trails' Executive Director, Pam Gluck is retiring and moving along the path to the next healthful and happy chapter of her life. Read Pam's farewell message as she reflects on her experiences, recognizes how critical our work is, and celebrates the importance of trails in all of our lives. Pam also expresses gratitude to the trails community for all of their support throughout the years. Read more and see photos...

A World of Trail Magazine summer edition now online
The World Trails Network's latest edition of their magazine is now available! Get the latest information on the 2016 World Trails Conference, learn how countries around the globe are pursuing a larger trails network, and more. Read more...

Pittsburgh building converting to The Highline
McKnight Realty Partners has purchased the Terminal building in Pittsburgh, PA with plans to develop "The Highline," one of the largest riverfront development projects in Pittsburgh's modern history. The Highline will contain 500,000 square feet of creative office space, 100,000 square feet of supporting retail and over an acre of public riverfront green space. Read more...

Access to information for hikers with disabilities
Portland based Access Recreation is pushing for better access to information on trails for hikers with disabilities. While many trails are marked by their trail surface type, Access Recreation is helping hikers with disabilities by providing more information on trails, such as bathrooms, benches, or Braille on the signs. Read more and see photos...

Trail-oriented development creating livable cities
A recent National Association of Realtors article considers a new trend: Trail-Oriented Development. According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Trail-Oriented Development (TrOD) is a planning tool that combines the active transportation benefits of a trail with the revitalization potential associated with well-designed and well-managed urban parks to help create more livable communities. TrOD aims to provide a network of local business and housing choices within a web of safe and enticing trails. View the pdf (488 kb)...

A kayak share service blossoms in Minneapolis
Residents and visitors in Minneapolis will soon have access to 32 kayaks available for rent at two stations in and around the city if the city's Parks Board gives its approval. The so-called "paddle share" will allow users to travel up to four miles along the 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation area, reports Shannon Prather in the Star-Tribune. Users can pick up a kayak, paddles, and personal flotation device at one of the paddle share stations. Read more...

Artistic renovation for Gainesville's Depot Trail Overpass

The City of Gainesville in Florida imagined an artistic landmark that acknowledged the past and reached for the future. The new Depot Trail Pedestrian Overpass proves it's on the right track. This project was nominated for a Trails and the Arts Award as part of the National Trails Awards, hosted by American Trails.
Read more and see photos...

Why you should support other recreational trail users' trails

Karen Umphress, American Trails Advisory Board member, writes "if we want a lot of great, quality, and sustainable trails systems that get us all into nature, we need to focus more on cooperating with the people with whom we have the most in common, other trail users."

Featured National Recreation Trail: Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida
The legacy of William Bartram's extensive travels and writings during the late 1700s continues to resonate with today' s modern explorers. Visitors can follow in the footsteps and river wake of John and William Bartram by bike, kayak or canoe, boat, on foot, or by car, on Florida's newest National Recreation Trail, the Bartram Trail in Putnam County. The trail utilizes a well-developed trail system, offering enticing journeys for all types of explorers, enriched by a wealth of online resources. No matter your means of transport, discover a slice of pristine rural Florida made richer by the colorful history of Bartram's legacy and enduring natural wonders. Read more and see photos of this NRT...

Featured Recreational Trails Program-funded project: Dolan Springs Trail, Arizona
The 2016 award for Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing was given to the Dolan Springs Trail in Arizona, recognizing the cooperative effort of the Dolan Springs Trail System Committee, Mohave County Parks, Arizona State Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management to improve this important trail system. The Dolan Springs Trail System connects the community of Dolan Springs to the wilderness area through a trailhead located on 13th Street, just one block away from the main street to this community. Several loops include access for the school and residential areas. The trail system supports pedestrian, equestrian, and mountain bike use bisecting existing off-highway vehicle routes. Read more and see photos of this RTP-funded project...

Featured Online Business Directory advertiser: Right-Way Trail Systems LLC
Right-Way Trail Systems brings you the only engineered load bearing plastic surface & trail bed product. Designed to distribute the weight of an 8000# groomer or OHRV over a large surface area in bogs, mud, and low weight bearing soils to allow driving over the unstable area. Learn more about Right-Way Trail Systems 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):
Top 12 hiking trails in Dayton, Ohio and nearby
Take a look at the top hiking trails around the location of the 2017 International Trails Symposium. There is a wide variety of trails for all ages and abilities, from equestrian trails and mountain biking trails, to hiking trails for the whole family. Read more...

A new era of long-distance cycle commuting?
In December 2015, the first portion of a bicycle super highway opened from Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen, the first stretch of what will be the biggest bicycle highway in the world. With the first portion of the bicycle highway being built, many other German towns and cities are noticing the positive affect it can have. Read more and see photos...

Planned 400-mile U.S. to Canada trail
The 400-mile trek of a radio-collared moose named Alice is the inspiration for a proposed hiking trail from Ontario's forested Algonquin Park to the heart of New York's Adirondack Mountains. The goal is to create a trail system that is not only a destination, but also elevates the concept of wildlife corridors and connectivity of landscapes. Read more and see photos... 

Great walks in Wales
Trails in the stunning scenery of Wales include a circuit through Cwm Idwal, Wales' first National Nature Reserve and where Charles Darwin discovered the impact of glaciation on our landscape. The River and Railway Walk features the Gyfylchi tunnel, designed by the innovative 19 century civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Every route is waymarked and takes you through either a woodland or a National Nature Reserve. Read more and see photos...

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 for webinars during the same time that your membership is current/active. Read more and become a member...

Cool Trail Solutions: Accessible floating boardwalks

Floating boardwalks can solve waterfront trail problems while improving accessibility. Typical boardwalk trails are supported by piers or posts sunk into the ground. Another type of boardwalk actually floats on the water and is generally used along river banks or across marshes.
Read more and see photos in the American Trails Cool Trail Solutions Photo Gallery...

Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition Summit

The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition is collaborating across four state lines to connect a system of over 1,400 miles of shared-use trails, with benefits ranging from health and wellness to environmental conservation and economic prosperity. The goal at the Summit is to encourage trail groups and managers to use the IHTC structure, vision, and network to advance the implementation and visibility of the network.

Mass Audubon Accessible Trails Project

In 2010, Mass Audubon was awarded a $102,065 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to add multi-sensory interpretive content on existing ADA-accessible nature trails at eight wildlife sanctuaries across the state. The goal of this project is to create a richer experience for visitors with a wide range of vision, hearing, and mobility levels. You can download Audio Tours for several trails to play on any MP3 player, such as
this one for Broad Meadow Brook Sensory Trail.

Georgia Trail Summit presentations available
Presentations from the April 2016 Georgia Trail Summit are now available online. The presentations highlight best practices for greenways and blueways, connecting trail networks, and more. Read more and download presentations...

Sky Lane trail vision study
The Three Creeks Trail in San Jose, California, is a challenging trail segment due to the lack of public right-of-way along most of the length, several street crossings, and intersection with major elements surrounding it. This study evaluates the possibility of an elevated trail, and develops a vision for what that elevated trail structure could look like. View pdf (6.4 mb)...

Upcoming 2016 trail training opportunities

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

August 27-28 - Hike for the NPS 100th
* On trails across America!
September 7 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Understanding the National Recreation Trails Program and the National Water Trails System (FREE TO ALL -  REGISTER TODAY)

September 7-9 - Denver, CO
* Advancing Safe Transportation Systems to Enhance Economic Development and Quality of Life
September 11-16 - South Fork, CO
* Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium
September 12-15 - Vancouver, BC
* Pro Walk/ Pro Bike/ Pro Place
September 22 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Engaging the Next Generation of Trail Stewards: Increasing Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (REGISTER TODAY)
October 3-7 - Hong Kong
* Walk 21
October 5-8 - St. Louis, MO
* National Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference
October 6-10 - Gilbert, WV
* Hatfield-McCoy National TrailFest
October 20, 2016 - Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Economic Impact of Livable Communities with Active Transportation Options
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at nttp@americantrails.org.


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.


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Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to   
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Header photo: Fern Canyon Trail in Van Damme State Park, CA; photo by Stuart Macdonald