Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
March 2011

Trail Tracks is the monthly e-Newsletter from American Trails. Check the topics below for links to the world's most comprehensive online source for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways.

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In This Issue


Federal budget fight will affect funding for trails

With the changes brought by last November's elections, as well as the focus of both parties on the deficit, all of the "discretionary" programs in the federal budget are open to major cuts. Watch for upcoming news on how the debates will affect programs and agencies that fund trails and other bicycle/pedestrian facilities. The message for trail advocates: be ready to tell your members of Congress why funding for these programs is important. Read current news, opinions, and alerts about federal funding issues...

Sign on as a supporter of the Recreational Trails Program!

Add your voice to the hundreds of groups and communities supporting funding for trails and greenways. This is the most important year ever to get Members of Congress to know why RTP is important. Invite your elected officials to visit a trail, see volunteers at work, or celebrate a trail opening. Tell the media, and send news clips to your Congressional offices. Read more about how you can support funding for trails and greenways and download the sign-on form to join the Recreational Trails Council of Advisors...

March 31 deadline for Recreational Trails Program awards

The Coalition for Recreational Trails seeks nominations for the 2011 Annual Achievement Awards. Each year trails making outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds are recognized. Several categories of awards showcase the important contributions that RTP grants make to trails for all Americans. The Coalition for Recreational Trails is a federation of national and regional organizations that support funding through the RTP. Learn how to nominate an outstanding project for the 2011 CRT awards...

Learn how you can support trails by joining the American Trails network

American Trails is committed to bringing you all the vital news about funding and policies that affect you. Watch for our ongoing alerts about the budget process, and breaking news on federal transportation funding. Please join our efforts to document the value of trails and bicycle/pedestrian facilities as transportation infrastructure, and be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process, economic stimulus proposals, and Federal land management agency budgets. Learn how you can help support trails and share the latest information with your networks…

Volunteer or intern with American Trails!

American Trails is looking for volunteers or interns to assist us in a variety of ways. You do not have to be local to volunteer— you can work from the convenience of your own home, on your schedule. We are looking for assistance with web-based research, data entry, project assistance, and more. Interested? Email Candace Mitchell with your areas of interest and computer skills.


March 15: motor vehicles may be used by disabled on trails

On March 15, 2011 a new Department of Justice rule takes effect, allowing “other power-driven mobility devices” on trails. People with disabilities will have every right to expect to be able to use their own vehicle— whether it's an electric scooter, a Segway, or an all-terrain vehicle. Trail managers should assess trails and potential use by various devices and vehicles, and make policies available to the public. Read the requirements of the rule and what options trail managers have...

Second webinar to be held on trail policies responding to rule

Another webinar will be held following the March 15 deadline that will show examples of how land managers are implementing the new rule. Watch for more details to be sent in the coming weeks. Contact American Trails to have your email added to the mailing list…

Updated Questions & Answers on “power-driven mobility devices”

What ARE “other power-driven mobility devices”? Who does the new DOJ rule apply to? How do trail managers determine what mobility devices are appropriate? Does this mean that rules prohibiting ATVs are no longer valid? We have compiled 10 pages of questions that trail managers have been asking, along with explanation and clarification of each issue. Read updated Questions and Answers on “other power-driven mobility devices”...

Free on-demand Feb. 23 webinar recording on OPDMD

American Trails hosted a webinar on February 23 to discuss the DOJ rule on “other power-driven mobility devices.” The program was moderated by Stuart Macdonald, and Janet Zeller of the US Forest Service discussed the rule and answered questions. The hour-long program is available with audio in wmv format. Download the Feb. American Trails webinar (large file)...

Complete DOJ text and background from Federal Register

This Department of Justice rule revises the regulation that implements title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), relating to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in State and local government services. This was published in the Federal Register September 15, 2010. Excerpts relating to Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices and Wheelchairs include a section-by-section analysis of the rule and responses to public comments on the proposed rule. Read the text of the rule from the Federal Register...



America’s Great Outdoors: action could depend on LWCF funding

The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative encourages land and resource conservation, as well as greater public access to these natural areas. A specific proposal is for a "National Recreational Blueway Trails Initiative" to facilitate recreational access to the nation’s waterways. The AGO report also includes the goal of full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. A Texas writer discusses the impacts on water trail proposals. Read more...

Photographers spend a year on Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Gigi Muir and Kay Wuske spent virtually all of 2010 along the hike-and-bike trail from Cleveland through Akron to New Philadelphia. Together they snapped 80,000 photographs of the trail, wildlife, and nature along the historic canal. Still under construction, the trail will eventually extend 100 miles through scenic Ohio countryside. The two have published many of their photos and trip descriptions online. Read more…

Bikeville, SC: Scenic Swamp Rabbit Trail gets Greenville moving

Ever since the latest portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail opened last spring— creating a 13.5-mile-long asphalt trail between the downtown and Travelers Rest— organizers, politicians and businesses have been pleasantly surprised by the hundreds of people who use it on fair weather days. The route twists through Greenville's most scenic parks and then follows an old railroad bed. Read more…

Fresno canal trail project wins engineering award

“The structure sits at the convergence of two waterway-side trails built by the City of Clovis, so a concrete deck was integrated into the flume structure to allow pedestrian and bicycle traffic to cross the canal and creek,” said Ronald Samuelian, vice president at Provost & Pritchard and principal engineer on the project. Read more…

Paddlers propel plan for water trail along Cuyahoga River

''It's been talked about for a long time but the river crosses so many political boundaries that it's been hard to find anyone to champion a water trail,'' said paddler Jeff Kerr of Bath Township, who is co-chairing the grass-roots effort with Marsh. ''A water trail would be a great addition to the regional trail network... and the initial response has been overwhelming.'' Read more…

Winning websites in American Trails annual website contest

American Trails continues our annual contest to seek out the best websites in the cyberworld of trails and greenways. Our goal is to recognize the diversity of the trails community, including urban trails and bikeways, greenways, wilderness hiking trails, motorized routes, and winter trails. Non-profit, government, and commercial sites may all be considered for awards. Read more...

Following are the 2010 winning websites:


American Trails partners with PlayCore on Pathways for Play program

Working with PlayCore, we hope to encourage active lifestyles for children, families, and communities. Discover a whole new way to get children and families outdoors on the trail by increasing outdoor play opportunities and promoting community health through play! PlayCore and the Natural Learning Initiative have partnered to develop Pathways for Play, a comprehensive program that provides solutions for creating attractive, playful pathways for children, youth, and families. The Pathways for Play guidebook is a valuable education tool for integrating play— critical for children’s health— into walkable, bikeable shared-use community pathway networks infused with “play pockets,” providing opportunities for play along the way and encouraging continuous movement. Learn more about the program and how to request the guidebook…

National Trails Training Partnership will meet March 17-18

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of federal and state agencies, organizations, colleges, and businesses working to publicize trail training programs and providers and promote cooperation on training efforts. Led by American Trails, NTTP also hosts an online clearinghouse of training and a wealth of technical resources. We invite anyone interested to join us at the next Partnership meeting in Asheville, NC, March 17-18, 2011, where many NTTP supporters will be taking part in the Sustainable Trails Conference. Read notes from past NTTP Partnership meetings and read about the March 17-18 meeting in Asheville...

Fleming College offers Sustainable Trails Certificate Program

Canada's Fleming College is offering a Sustainable Trails Certificate. The part-time program is being offered at the Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ontario. Seven foundation courses teach planning for the development and construction of individual trails and trail systems, as well as construction and maintenance. Other course topics include Management of Trail Users & Volunteers, Motorized Trail Recreation, Marketing & Promoting Trails, as well as trail business, risk management, education and interpretation, and ecological sustainability. See details and course descriptions…

Check out more courses, workshops, and conferences: see details on these and many more opportunities for training on trails and greenways topics in the Online Training Calendar at

  • March 29-30 ~ Oregon Active Transportation Summit • Salem, OR
  • April 1-3 ~ Alabama Trails Conference • Fairhope, AL
  • April 2 ~ Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Course • Fresno, CA
  • April 9 ~ Volunteer Trail Crew Training • Trail Tread Skills Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • April 11-13 ~ California Trails and Greenways Conference • Contra Costa County, CA
  • April 11-15 ~ Leave No Trace Stock Master Educator Course • Murphysboro, IL
  • April 13-16 ~ Tracks and Trails Conference • Sydney, Australia
  • April 14-16 ~ Tennessee Greenways and Trails Forum • Murfreesboro, TN
  • April 15-16 ~ Tread Lightly! Master Tread Trainer Course • Sherman Oaks, CA
  • April 15-17 ~ Alaska Trails Rondy • Palmer, AK
  • April 28-29 ~ Utah's Bike Summit • Sandy, UT
  • May 23-26 ~ NAARP 2011 Conference • Breckenridge, CO
  • October 2-5 ~ Mid-America Trails & Greenways Conference • Fort Wayne, IN

Help American Trails fight for funding and support for trails

Now is a great time to join American Trails to help us advocate for trails and greenways of every kind. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well being of Americans of all ages and abilities. Please help us continue to serve you and the trails community by enlisting a new member or renewing your own membership today. Give the gift that makes a difference ~ an American Trails membership…

Thank you for supporting American Trails and America's trails!

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Photo at top: Bayshore Bikeway, Coronado, CA, March 4, 2011 (photo by Stuart Macdonald)

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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
March 2011