Author: Staff

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...

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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...

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Spiritual journeys: the light on the trail ahead

This is the time of year that most of the world celebrates life, the passing of the old, birth and rebirth. In our country, amid the holiday hoopla, we also seek the spiritual connection that is at the heart of our religious traditions. For many of us, that includes a brisk walk under the bare trees in the wan winter light, or braving the slopes to feel the crunch of snow and a glimpse of distant hills. From frozen meadows to salty sandscapes, this season is a time to be with people we love while savoring our beautiful natural...

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Trails are making a difference

We had a great conversation with Nancy Desmond of Cleveland Metroparks, who told us how trails had made a difference in her life and career. Nancy is Partnership & Planning Assistant with the park district: “I’ve been a mountain biker and trail runner for years but I worked in park interpretation and education. I came from a history museum background, so didn’t think much about trails, I just used them. “A few years back our park planner asked me to substitute for her presenting at the American Trails Symposium in Little Rock. Not knowing what to expect, I quickly...

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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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