Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
Winners of the Annual Achievement Awards are recognized for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. The award winners were recognized in Washington, D.C. on June 15, 2011 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building, during the annual celebration of Great Outdoors Week. The awards are sponsored by the Coalition for Recreational Trails.
Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program
Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing
Crew working on trail
The White River Valley Trail is a 10.25-mile, natural-surface hiking and mountain biking trail located just outside the city limits of Branson and Hollister, Missouri. This joint land-use project with Missouri State Parks/Table Rock State Park and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Table Rock Project Office, which received $72,300 in Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding, includes the first designated mountain biking trail system in the area.
The White River Valley Trail will help preserve some of the area’s trademark scenic attractions and offer a much-needed recreational trail for hikers and mountain bikers alike. This trail also offers a great opportunity for interpretation as there are multiple habitat types, homestead ruins, and many relics of the Table Rock dam construction from the 1950’s along the trail.
The White River Valley Trail will also help to boost the local economy in Branson and Hollister by drawing new guests to the area. In years to come, Table Rock State Park will host various events that can now include mountain biking and adventure races. The trail is supported by the Branson and Hollister Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus as well as local city governments.
The community support for the White River Valley Trail is also exemplified by the volunteer groups that helped construct the trail. A large contingent of youth volunteers was involved with the trail construction, along with their families, and put in over 1,000 volunteer hours— in addition to the more than 2,500 hours put in by Table Rock State Park staff. The State Park Youth Corps also hired youth ages 17 to 24 who contributed nearly 2,500 hours.
The partnership between Missouri State Parks and the Corps of Engineers that led to the development of the White River Valley Trail has been very beneficial for local communities. Working on the trail has helped to teach youth about the benefits of volunteering, not only for the local communities, but for their own benefit as well. Volunteers and staff left each day knowing they helped to build a sustainable trail that will be enjoyed by thousands of hikers and mountain bikers each year for many years to come.
For more information:
Bonnie Higdon, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 5272 State Highway 165, Branson, MO 65616. Phone: 417-224-4704
The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests, has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, to support its implementation and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. The Annual Achievement Awards are part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). See the FHWA website for more information. Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
See the roster of all Annual Awards for Recreational Trails Program projects since 1999, sorted by State and by Award Category