21st American Trails International Trails Symposium

April 16, 2013

On the Path of Excellence


American Trails' 21st National Trails Awards Program honors people and programs at the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium. The awards celebration was held at Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona, April 16, 2013.

arrow See the previous Award Winners from 2010 - 2008 - 2006 - 2004 - 2002, and 2000.


2013 Outstanding Media Award

This award is given to an organization or individual that has demonstrated significant and sustained efforts to provide positive public exposure and education in the field of trail use, planning, design, or implementation.


Michigan Department of Natural Resources


Michigan is home to one of the largest interconnected trail systems in the country. With more than 12,000 miles of designated state trails, our trails and the outdoor recreation, health, and economic benefits the trails bring to our state is driving the recognition of Michigan to be known nationally not only as the Great Lakes State, but also the #1 Trail State.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has made efforts to:

Some examples of these efforts to provide free positive public exposure and promote trail use in Michigan:

Pure Michigan (Michigan’s travel bureau) and Michigan DNR - Partnership

To generate awareness of Michigan’s thousands of miles of trails, and to take advantage of one million monthly web visitors, the Michigan Department of Natural has entered a partnership with Pure Michigan to highlight the different types of trail uses on the travel website, www.michigan.org .

For example, visiting www.michigan.org/hiking, will provide an enticing description of Michigan trails, links to backpacking clubs, the Michigan Trails Finder map and a searchable database of the DNR trail and pathway locations.  Pure Michigan has created a landing page for a variety of trail user interests, including biking, equestrian, off-road vehicles and snowmobiling.

MI Camping and Recreation Locator—Mobile Application

To generate awareness of Michigan’s thousands of trail miles, and to take advantage of new technology and audiences on new media, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources developed a mobile application called “MI Recreation Locator.” This mobile app was launched in June 2011 and had 45,000 downloads in the first year.

This award-winning mobile app allows anyone to search for trails based on location or interest from their mobile phone.
Link to MI Camping and Recreation Locator mobile app


Welcoming Waters of Ocqueoc Fall - Promotional Video and Social Media

On June 29 2012, Michigan DNR held a rededication ceremony at Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway to celebrate the universal accessibility design work that had been constructed over the previous year.  The accessibility design features made Ocqueoc Falls the only waterfall in Michigan, and possibly the nation, that provides a natural outdoor rock climbing experience and waterfall swimming experience for people of all abilities.

In order to highlight the site work that was accomplished, and to invite guests of all abilities to visit the park, the Michigan DNR created a video “Ocqueoc Falls: Welcoming waters with universal appeal” and promoted it through the media, email lists, and social media. 

Promotional/media strategy:

Michigan Trails Week - Collaboration and Promotion

The first Michigan Trails Week held September 23-29, 2012 was designed to highlight summer season trail use, and promote opportunities for winter trail use.  Trails week was a collaboration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, and ended on National Public Lands Day in an opportunity to promote stewardship through events and volunteer activities taking place on Michigan’s amazing trail network while encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed Michigan Trails Week as an official event, and more than fifty businesses and organizations participated statewide to host 44 separate events throughout the week, contributing to the 33,169 miles of trail covered by 1,332 participants; Foot=1,850 miles, Paddle=252 miles, Bike=2,157 miles, Equine=28,910 miles (19 of the 44 total event hosts reported numbers at the time of this recap, so final numbers are likely nearly double this report). 

Promotional/media strategy:

American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797(530) 547-2060
Fax: (530) 547-2035Symposium@americantrails.org www.AmericanTrails.org

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