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Visit the Creative Crossings Photo Gallery now online at AmericanTrails.org.

"The Emerging Role of Trails in American Lifestyles"

logo: the emerging role of trails in American lifestyles

Looking for the best opportunity in 2004 to network with the nationwide trails community? Join American Trails, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, City of Austin, Texas Trails Network, and a host of supporters for the 17th National Trails Symposium, to be held in Austin, Texas, October 21-24. Our host hotel is the Hyatt Regency Austin on the shores of scenic Town Lake, directly adjacent to the 11-mile Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

The Symposium Planning Team has identified and invited speakers from around the country and internationally to bring their state-of-the-art expertise for over 80 Educational Programs and 35 Poster Sessions. The Symposium programs officially end at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday. October 24. Several events are open to the public. Besides the educational opportunities found at this biennial symposium, networking with a wide variety of knowledgeable people working on trails today, including advocates, agencies, land managers, designers, planners, technicians, vendors, builders, developers, and enthusiasts, is one of the best benefits of attending this conference. See speaker bios. Come to Austin to hear the latest trails information and some of the latest in great music in the "Live Music Capital of the World!"

photo of old railroad bridge
Town Lake National Recreation Trail in downtown Austin

Field trips, venturing out in all directions from Austin, will give delegates a taste of the Texas Hill Country, Colorado River riparian areas, magnificent rock formations, and a flavor of the Austin urban life. All the trips have been selected to enhance the delegate's time in Austin and to carry home valuable ideas. The Trails Exhibit Hall this year will hold over 150 exhibitors featuring products and services that support the trail industry.

Don't miss the wonderful American Lifestyles Trail & Greenway layout and meeting area within the Exhibit Hall. Spend time visiting with vendors, networking, eating, listening to music, or enjoying photo of paved city trailAustin's trails system.

The National Trails Awards Celebration Banquet will honor those who excel in the trail industry from around the country. Everyone who attends this conference deserves recognition, but we especially want to show our appreciation to those who have gone above and beyond. Join us for this special banquet and presentation event. We'll also be presenting the winners of the 2004 American Trails Website Contest.

We want to thank our generous sponsors without whom we could not provide the many wonderful elements of this conference. Come, learn, participate, have fun, and take The Emerging Role of Trails in American Lifestyles back to your hometown and share it!

Creative Crossings

Another new feature of the 17th National Trails Symposium will be the opportunity to share the beauty of your trail bridge or overpass in the Creative Crossings Photo Gallery.

Be a Symposium Sponsor/Exhibitor

There's still time to "get your oar in the water" and become a Symposium exhibitor. But hurry— space is filling up fast! Contact the American Trails office by calling (530) 547-2060 or send a message to Symposium@AmericanTrails.org to request a Sponsorship/Exhibitor packet. A packet can also be downloaded from the American Trails website at www.AmericanTrails.org.

Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in meeting fun people working together for trails? Lots of volunteers are needed to help with registration, program sessions, transportation, information desk, and during mobile workshops. If you can help a little or a lot, please contact Holli Swick, (512) 912-7129, Texas Parks and Wildlife, holli.swick@tpwd.state.tx.us.

2004 National Trails Symposium Theme: The Emerging Role of Trails in American Lifestyles - see the complete list of session topics that explore this theme

Trails are no longer the exclusive domain of the solitude-loving wilderness seeker or the dedicated fitness enthusiast. Whether facilitating transportation alternatives, providing recreational and educational opportunities, encouraging well being, exploring history and heritage, or bringing together people of all ages and connecting communities, trails have become a prominent factor in how and where we choose to live our lives. The prominent role of trails in the American lifestyle contributes significantly to its phenomenal popularity and growth. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that President Bush is proposing $125 million for a new "healthy cities" initiative that would provide money for trails and other programs to combat a national crisis of obesity and associated health problems. Communities are already "walking the walk" and leading the way in demonstrating the correlation between trails and healthy minds, bodies, spirits, and communities.