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20th American Trails National Symposium

Chattanooga, Tennessee ~ November 14-17, 2010


Map of ArkansasThe American Trails National Symposium is your best opportunity to network with the nationwide trails community and learn state of the art trail planning, development, and management techniques. The Symposium addresses both non-motorized and motorized issues and our vision for trails and greenways nationwide. Dozens of speakers and keynote presenters will join us from the trails community across America, November 14-17, 2010. We also provide great opportunities for Sponsors as well as Exhibitors.

arrow Download the full Symposium Program (pdf 14.75 mb)

arrow Download the Symposium Attendee Contact List (pdf 440 kb)


Trails: The Green Way for America


This symposium's theme evokes the benefits of trails to America’s economy and environment. As we evolve toward a green economy, trails are the way for outdoor recreation and alternative transportation. Trails provide access to our most incredible green spaces: parks, forests, waterways, and wildlands. Trails are a critical component of green infrastructure within communities, tying homes to businesses, schools, and workplaces, and empowering clean human-powered mobility. Trails support the new American dream which is built upon environmental and economic efficiency.

arrow Read more about our theme from American Trails Board Member Roger Bell

arrow See Eco-friendly Initiatives at the Chattanooga Convention Center

arrow See meeting room locations in the Marriott and Convention Center



Our Host City: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo of river boat and bridge

Trail bridge over the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga

Chattanooga will be the Symposium location in the late fall of 2010. The city has a beautiful location on the Tennessee River with surrounding mountains. A variety of trail connections are within easy walking distance of the conference facilities including the Tennessee Riverpark Greenway (0.6 miles), the University Greenway (0.23 miles), and the Tennessee River Blueway (0.8 miles).

The southern terminus of the Cumberland Trail, Tennessee’s only linear State Park is a 15 minute drive from downtown Chattanooga. A world class mountain biking system is also available on Raccoon Mountain, a short 20 minutes from downtown. The Cherokee National Forest lies one hour east, and there you can find the Ocoee Whitewater Center, home of the paddling events at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. To learn more about Chattanooga & Tennessee visit: and and

Three major interstates (I-75, I-59, I-24) enable over half the nation's population to reach Chattanooga in one day's drive. The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport provides direct or one-stop service to over 1,000 cities. Current air service is provided by US Airways, Northwest Link, Delta, Continental and American Eagle.

The Symposium has three host hotels in downtown, convenient to the Convention Center: Marriott Hotel, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, and Staybridge Suites Downtown.

Host Organizations

Photo of people on paved traile

Along the Tennessee Riverwalk

American Trails would like to recognize and thank our federal agency partners for their ongoing sponsorship of the Symposium:

• US DOT Federal Highway Administration
• USDA Forest Service
• US DOI Bureau of Land Management
• US DOI National Park Service – RTCA Program
• US Fish & Wildlife Service

Visit our Symposium Sponsors page for the full list of sponsors. The Symposium is also supported by many local volunteers.

Partners in bringing the American Trails National Symposium to Chattanooga include:

• American Trails
• Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau
• City of Chattanooga Parks & Recreation Department
• Hamilton County
• Outdoor Chattanooga
• Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation
• Tennessee Greenways & Trails


Photo of bridge and boat on river

the Tennessee Riverwalk and
Market Street Bridge

Local partners in bringing the American Trails National Symposium to Chattanooga include:

• Trust for Public Land
• Tennessee Council on Greenways & Trails
• Cumberland Trail Conference
• Chattanooga Hiking Club
• North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
• Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association
• Tennessee River Gorge Trust
• South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance
• Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition


Trails and outdoor opportunities near Chattanooga

Cave Trek: Led by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, enjoy an educational exploration of one of Chattanooga's area caves. Learn about how these caves were formed, their important habitat for rare species, and how the conservancy is protecting our caves from abuse and development.

Raccoon Mountain by Mountain Bike: Take a mountain bike trek on one of Chattanooga's newest Mountain Bike Trails, built by SORBA Chattanooga on a Tennessee Valley Authority pump storage power facility reservation.

Booker T. Washington State Park is a beautiful park along Lake Chickamauga with several miles of trail that winds through the trees and shows off stunning water views. See more at SORBA Rallies to Make Chattanooga a Trails City.

River Rocks Outdoor Festival October 1-10, This year a new celebration of active lifestyles, including activities for children, promotes the health benefits of outdoor recreation and Chattanooga’s commitment to environmental stewardship and land conservation. The 10-day festival will include hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing, running, hang gliding, and bouldering, and features local foods that can contribute to healthier diets. River Rocks embodies the message that American Trails believes in and we are happy to promote such a great outdoor recreational opportunity!

The Guild Trail: Take a five-mile bike ride on Chattanooga's first rail trail along Lookout Mountain. Partnerships are in place with utilities and the National Park Service to keep it open. The route also is highlighted by scenic overlooks of the City.

Braille Trail at the Pot Point House: Take a trip to the scenic Pot Point House, owned by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust on the banks of the Tennessee River. Enjoy a leisurely walk along a boardwalk refurbished in 2006 to encourage visitors, including the visually impaired, to interact with nature. Listen to a CD of bird calls found along the Cumberland Trail. See how your organization can better accommodate persons with disabilities on trails.

Ocoee Whitewater Center: Take a scenic drive through the Ocoee River Gorge to the home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games Whitewater Venue. Learn how the Ocoee River was structurally transformed to accommodate whitewater competitions. See the new 20+ mile network of mountain bike trails.

Pigeon Mountain Equestrian Ride: Enjoy horse trails on Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area while learning how local land managers wrestle with the demands of various user groups and work in harmony with equestrian volunteer groups to maintain riding opportunities.

Cumberland Trail: Learn how this public/private partnership has achieved success with the help of Americorps, AHS Volunteer Vacationers, and college students on spring and fall breaks to build 150 miles of trail. Challenges include balancing backcountry and frontcountry trail management.

Photo of big buildings and plaza on river

Downtown Chattanooga riverfront park

Enterprise South: Learn about a new regional park partnership between the City and County to transform the former Volunteer Army Ammunition Site into a first-class recreation park with multi-use trails.

Blueways Hands On: Grab a paddle and enjoy a leisurely float down the Tennessee River to see first hand what it takes to make a water trail a reality.

Tennessee Riverwalk: Learn first hand from Trust for Public Land staff how they pieced together a challenging trail acquisition program through industrial sites to high-dollar homes to create a 10-mile trail.

Chickamauga-Chattanooga NMP: Civil War Trail History— Walk back in time to the Civil War and learn about the Battles for Chattanooga that ultimately led to the Union victory over the South.

South Chickamauga Creek Greenway: Tour the greenway with opportunities for education on the ecology, history, and challenges of watching over and improving the water quality of the creek.

Trail of Tears: Learn about how thousands of Cherokee and Creeks were forced to leave their homelands and travel to Oklahoma and how the National Park Service provides opportunities for interpretation of this event as part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

Photo of bridge and museum

The glass bridge leading to the Hunter Art Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee









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