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19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 15-18, 2008


You won't want to miss these keynote addresses and special presentations!

BUILDING PUBLIC AWARENESS FOR TRAILS Discover, Learn, and Celebrate Trails!

photo of speaker

Lewis & Clark Outfitters is the event sponsor


Date: Saturday, November 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free - Open to the Public

The local community is invited to visit exhibitors and learn about the Symposium. The Exhibit Hall will be open to attendees, guests, and local trail enthusiasts free of charge. In addition, dozens of trail-related user groups from around Arkansas will provide information booths, presentations, and workshop activities for all ages in the Exhibit Hall and on the Arkansas River Trail. The public will be encouraged to visit the renovated Junction Railroad Bridge that connects the two cities across the river for pedestrians and bicyclists; the famous “Medical Mile” trail section, art along the trail, and a new adventure playground. There will be a repeat of the large labyrinth from the last Symposium, as an innovative and transformative trail form becoming increasingly more popular across the nation. Be sure and bring your family and friends! The Opening Reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and remaining tickets may be purchased at the Registration Desk for $20.00 each.

Health Walk to Hapy Trails Hour

Date: Saturday, November 15
Time: Meet at 4:30 p.m. @ Duck Pond in Peabody Hotel lobby
Cost: Free - Open to the Public

Take a 40 minute walk along Little Rock’s cutting edge Medical Mile on the Arkansas River Trail.

Opening Reception

photo of speaker
Buddy Villines, Judge of Pulaski County opening the Big Dam Bridge

Date: Saturday, November 15
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with Registration ($20.00 for guests

Expect a warm welcome from Bob Searns, Chair of American Trails; Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock; Patrick Hays, Mayor of North Little Rock; and Buddy Villines, Judge of Pulaski County, at the kick-off event for the 19th National Trails Symposium!

Join us as we celebrate the 40-Year Anniversary of the National Trails System Act. Surprises are in store for you! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres as you visit with past acquaintances, meet new friends, and check out the extensive Exhibit Hall!

Take advantage of two evening presentations from 7:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
1) More than a Ride Around the Block ~ Long Distance Trails for Fun and Discovery
2) The Water Trail Experience





Sponsors of the Opening Keynote Luncheon ~ Trails: Prescription for Better Health

Opening Keynote Luncheon ~ Trails: Prescription for Better Health

Date: Sunday, November 16
Time: 11:40 a.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Cost: Included with Registration ($25.00 for guests)

American Trails Welcome, Meeting of the Membership and Board Election ~ Chair Bob Searns

Welcome by Mike Beebe, Governor of Arkansas

Presentation: Arkansas River Trail Medical Mile

Keynote Address: Dr. Richard Jackson

Terry Eastin, representing the City of Little Rock and trail creator and innovator for the nation’s first outdoor linear health museum, the Medical Mile, will introduce the major sponsors and give an overview of the project. The Keynote for the afternoon will be Dr. Richard Jackson, an internationally recognized environmental health expert who in recent years has focused on the links between urban sprawl and human health.

Read more about the Arkansas River Trail Medical Mile
Read more about Keynote Speaker Dr. Richard Jackson, author of Urban Sprawl and Public Health!

"Trails Rock" Party at the Clinton Presidential Library

clinton library
Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

Date: Sunday, November 16
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Cost: Included with Registration ($35.00 for guests)

Come enjoy great food, friends, dancing, and a Live Auction at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum! This will be an excellent time to network with many other trail enthusiasts as well. The Party will be held in the Great Hall, located on the 2nd floor of the Library, showcasing exceptional nighttime views of downtown Little Rock through floor to ceiling, windows!

Attendees will be able to take a self-guided tour of the museum from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.— the first two hours of the Party— on Sunday, November 16. For more information on the Library, visit And for your listening and dancing pleasure, the Cate Brothers will entertain us with their unique style of rock and soul music! Through the 20 years that the Cate Brothers have been writing and performing, they have developed a sound that is truly their own, both soulful and unique. Learn more about them at Don’t forget your wallets as you bid for great items provided by generous donors during the Live Auction— you will be supporting American Trails at the same time!

Read more about the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

General Sesion: What is the Future of Trails?

clinton library

Date: Monday, November 17
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Cost: Included with Registration

This in-depth session will address the future of trails. We will explore strategies to be successful in increasing funding for trails in the next Transportation Bill. How can we stop the ongoing cuts to our Federal land-managing agency budgets? We will also discuss additional funding sources, partners, and approaches you might not have considered. We need to be creative as we move into the future – come help us develop strategies. We need your input and involvement!

American Trails 19th National Trails Awards Celebration Banquet
~ "On the Path of Excellence"


Date: Monday, November 17
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with Registration ($35.00 for guests)

“Celebrating 40 Years of the National Trails System Act

The National Trails Awards program is one way American Trails recognizes the exemplary people across the landscape of America who are working to create a national system of trails to meet the recreation, health, and travel needs of all Americans. American Trails will honor outstanding efforts made by agencies, trail professionals, the private sector, corporations, media, and others in this evening’s awards program. Please join us for this gala affair (business or dress attire) and help celebrate the worthy recipients of these awards:

Read more about the American Trails National Trails Awards program
Read more about the 40-Year Anniversary of the National Trails System Act

Closing Keynote Luncheon ~ Getting Kids Out on Trails!

magazine cover
Youth on trails: featured in the American Trails Magazine

Date: Tuesday, November 18
Time: 12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cost: Included with Registration ($35.00 for guests)

Closing Keynote, Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Join us for a rousing and inspirational conclusion to the Symposium as we reminisce about where we’ve been over the past four days. You’ll also get a sneak peek at the excitement in store for the 20th National Trails Symposium that will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 14-17, 2010.

Then sit back and absorb the inspirational words of our Closing Keynote, Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.

Read more about Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Trail Talk - Continental Breakfast with an Expert

Dates: Sunday, November 16, 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Monday, November 17, 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Location: Dining Hall

Trail Talk is a great opportunity to informally connect and network with other attendees. Enjoy coffee and pastries before the formal sessions start, join a round-table discussion on a variety of topics, catch up on news from the previous night’s social events, meet old friends, or make a point of making new friends. The name says it all... talk trails!

Poster Sessions

Beautiful and educational posters will be displayed in a designated area in the Exhibit Hall throughout the Symposium. A poster is a smaller scale format that displays information about a program, project, or issue to a wider audience. Individuals displaying posters will have an opportunity to share their “story” and to meet with interested attendees at designated times during the Symposium. Check the schedule for exact dates and times. For more information, please contact the Poster Chair, Diane Banta at (312) 863-6287 or

General sessions
Featured workshops
Mobile workshops
Concurrent sessions

Keynote speakers
More things to do

Exhibit Hall
Be a sponsor
Sponsorship levels

National Awards
Be a volunteer

Volunteer signup
Planning team


Logistics + contacts

Quad Cities 2006
Austin 2004
Chattanooga 2010

2006 Awards
2008 Awards

The "Medical Mile" project

Art and Health on the Medical Mile

More photos: Cool Trail Solutions

The "Big Dam Bridge" project

Little Rock's Arkansas River Trail

Arkansas conquers a trails funding crisis

Little Rock Parks & Recreation

The Mississippi River Trail

Arkansas Trails page

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

Ouachita National Forest


Join American Trails


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