Author: Staff

The longest trail starts here

We usually set out on on a trail knowing how far we’ll go and where it ends. However, the journey to secure reliable funding for our trails and public lands is the trail that never ends. If you look back at all the alerts and action items we’ve sent out, it seems like funding has become a perpetual crisis. Maybe that’s an accurate description for the years since the last funding bill for transportation and trails expired in 2009. Even the military is under pressure to justify its expenditures and find ways to save money. We’re in the same...

Read More

Trails are linking our world

We usually think of trails as an American concept, an outgrowth of our vast landscape, mountains, and public lands. However, greenways and trail systems are a growing interest in many countries: from mountain bike trail systems to urban river corridors to long-distance pathways. Just as technology is shared around the world, we are exporting our trail concepts as well as learning from other countries. As we have learned from the European tradition of footpaths and dedicated bikeways, other countries are learning from our explosion of community trails and rail trails. England has served as our example for public rights...

Read More

Great photos of America’s Trails

In 2003 somebody came up with the idea of a photo contest for pictures of National Recreation Trails. It has become a fascinating annual event for those of us who watch the entries come in, and then try to sort out some winners from the remarkable collection of images. [That’s Jonathan Voelz at left on the Tunnel Hill National Recreation Trail, IL.] Because American Trails is the lead nonprofit for promoting and nurturing the NRT recognition program, we’re always looking for ways to make more people aware of these great trails. We’re also involved because of our role in...

Read More

OPDMD: coming to a trail near you?

It has been almost a year since the Department of Justice (DOJ) created a stir in the trails community about “other power-driven mobility devices” (OPDMD). While the rules had been open to public comment during the previous year, many of us shared the same thought: “do they really mean what I think they mean?” And yes, the DOJ rules mean that anything with a motor that can be driven, regardless of size or horsepower, is allowed on your trails and open areas if it is driven by a person who says they have a mobility related disability. You may...

Read More

Working together: taking the long view of funding

The current crisis in funding for trails and other bicycle-pedestrian programs has created another big partnership problem. Why is one trails program funded but Enhancements are not? At American Trails our goal is to build common ground among a wide array of interests, even those who don’t have much to do with trails. Why? Because we believe we are all part of an important movement to create healthier communities, to improve accessibility, to reduce dependence on cars, to promote freedom as well as safety for children, and to conserve public lands and linear parks. The new House transportation bill...

Read More

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

Subscribe to our newsletter