Author: Staff

Trails in a transportation world

We suddenly have a brave new world for federal funding of bicycling and walking facilities. Most people thought the programs we depend on would just keep getting renewed. The good news is there is still broad eligibility for trails and  bikeways. The bad news is there is more potential competition for less money, and the States can simply opt out of the programs. The Recreational Trails Program is specifically funded at $85 million a year for two years. But again, individual States can choose to spend their money on other eligible projects. It will be very interesting to see...

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Sustaining communities with trails and open space

By Roger Bell The Redlands Conservancy recently held the first of this spring’s “Trails at Ten” events.  Over 100 people, including a lot of kids, attended to learn more about the flora and fauna of Oakmont Park and Trail, hear about the importance of “leave no trace” from an Eagle Scout, and to hike several miles on a beautiful day in a scenic, preserved environment. It was a special day indeed.  As a Board member of the Conservancy and one of the founders of the Redlands Sustainability Network, I came back from the event asking myself a pertinent question: ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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