Author: Stuart Macdonald

How trails benefit the environment

In many places trails are a key ingredient in preserving open space and encouraging public interest in habitat and natural landscapes. In southern California, trails are especially important in preserving public access to stream corridors and the coast. We wanted to share a concise and well-written explanation of how trails are good for our environment. This is from San Diego’s “County Trails Program Objectives:” Trails promote natural resource management strategies that ensure environmental preservation, quality of life, and economic development: • Providing a “buffer” between the built and natural environments • Allowing passive recreational use and educational access to...

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Thanks for a great Trails Symposium!

We would like to thank everyone who joined us in Arizona for the American Trails International Trails Symposium. It was a remarkable gathering of trails enthusiasts from across America and beyond. We especially want to recognize our guests who came from several countries across five continents. We were all impressed by the projects, people, and organizations who are creating a new culture of trails in many lands. American trails will be bringing you more ideas and endeavors from our allies in trails across the globe. We also want to thank the many people who gave their effort and enthusiasm to make...

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Connecting youth with nature… on a trail

An important trend has been documenting the benefits of trails, not only in the arena of jobs and the economy, but also health and fitness. American Trails has been a leader in conveying the physical, social, and spiritual benefits of trails in our increasingly harried world. Trails have become the souls of our communities— landmarks that define character and meeting places that beckon outdoor enthusiasts. They also serve as highly effective means to burn calories and combat unhealthy lifestyles among adults. Now in light of emerging data, American Trails has broadened its lens to focus on children and the...

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Inspiring children to become lifelong stewards of our great outdoors and trails

We are proud to announce that American Trails Board member Jenny Rigby was honored for contributions to the field of environmental education by the North American Association for Environmental Education. Receiving the group’s Outstanding Service Award, Acorn Naturalists and The Acorn Group were recognized for their accomplishments, green business practices, and dedication to advancing the field. The companies have managed development of California’s Master Plan for Environmental Education, played a key role in developing California’s Education and the Environmental Initiative, and produced over 150 master plans for park visitor centers and trail systems. The reach of Jenny’s two organizations...

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Success or chaos: attitude makes the difference

The bicycle and pedestrian facilities of European cities are often cited as examples of an enlightened future. It is certainly fascinating to see how many people are walking, cycling, and riding transit– but the streets are still thronged with cars and every sort of wheeled conveyance. On a recent trip to France and Belgium I was interested to see how all this transportation interaction works out. One point that struck me is the difference in attitudes between Americans and Europeans. Drivers in the US are not accustomed to obstacles on the road except for other cars. You’ll hear a...

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About Us

American Trails strives to enrich the quality of life for all people and the sustainable development of communities by advancing and promoting the development, preservation, and enjoyment of diverse, high quality trails and greenways. Learn more at

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