Once again trail leaders in Korea hosted an outstanding World Trails Conference. It was informative, productive and just plain fun! The event was held on Jeju Island, a sub-tropical province of Korea off that nation’s south coast. More than 17 nations participated from Uganda to Canada. This was the second year that American Trails was honored to participate.

One of the outstanding features of the conference was the poster session where each nation displayed their favorite trail information and each participant gave a five-minute  presentation. This was incredibly informative. In addition there were plenary sessions including presentations ranging from wayfinding in Switzerland to the Appalachian Trail to Melbourne, Australia’s system for assessing user markets. Bernard Olliver, a French journalist give an inspiring talk about his walk from Istanbul to China– after age 60!

The icing on the cake was walking for many km along the outstanding Jeju Olle Trail, a spectacular trail network that rings the island province. This trail system, the vision of the Jeju Olle Foundation, is a must visit! On the last day of our visit, we all got to participate in the annual Walking Festival where over a thousand of trail lovers from Korea, China and other nations walked the coast, enjoyed music, dance, food, fellowship and fun! What an event!

In addition Dr. Hui Jung, Executive Director of Korea Trails, presented motivating ideas for continuing to build a powerful international trails movement. After her inspiring talk, a number of us formed a working committee now pursuing strengthening the the World Trails Movement and the World Trails Network. Stay tuned, more to come.

— Bob Searns, Chair, American Trails

See more about the Second World Trail Conference in 2011

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