Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
January 2010

Welcome to Trail Tracks, American Trails' eNewsletter, with links to the world's most comprehensive online source for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways.

The American Trails website brings you thousands of photos of trails of all kinds, from urban greenways to backcountry tracks. This month we are highlighting the “Cool Trail Solutions” area that illustrates key trail issues with photos. See topics below for links to a variety of galleries and project pages.

Special thanks to the sponsor of this issue:
MaxiForce Traffic Control Bollards

In This Issue

ALERTS

WHAT'S HOT

FEATURES

TRAINING & EDUCATION

NEW RESOURCES

QUICK LINKS


ALERTS

Jan. 15 deadline for 20% exhibitor discount ~ American Trails National Symposium

The 20th American Trails National Symposium, to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 14-17, 2010 is your best opportunity to network with the nationwide trails community and maximize your visibility and message. January 15 is the deadline for exhibitors to get a 20% discount off fees! Download the exhibitor packet now…

Arizona Trail Founder Dale Shewalter passes away

Dale Shewalter, the “Father of the Arizona Trail” and guiding spirit for the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), died on Sunday, January 10. After a many year fight against cancer Dale succumbed to the disease in his hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona. With a vision of a continuous path across Arizona, in 1985 Dale walked across the state. After that experience, Dale began sharing his trail idea throughout Arizona to many people and agencies. The idea quickly took hold and within a few years the Arizona Trail idea was born. Today the 819 mile Arizona Trail is nearly complete and was congressionally designated a National Scenic Trail in 2009. Dale’s positive spirit, sense of cooperation, and refusal to give up are still the Arizona Trail Association’s operating style. Visit American Trails' "In Memoriam" section to learn more about Dale's endless contribution to Arizona and our country's trail heritage…

See 240 photos entered in 2009 National Recreation Trails Photo Contest

American Trails sponsors an annual contest for photographs of designated National Recreation Trails across the country. We’ll be reviewing the entries and picking winners by the end of January. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. View all the photo contest entries…

Check out dozens of trail-related sites in the American Trails Website Contest

American Trails continues our annual contest to seek out the best websites in the cyberworld of trails and greenways. Awards will be made in a variety of categories to recognize websites of all sizes, types, and interests. Discover new sites that bring trails to life, provide effective information delivery, support volunteers, and engage the public. See links to dozens of great trail-related website…

Learn how you can support trail funding and programs

Get the facts on current issues and debates and the ongoing efforts of American Trails to continue its 20 years of support for positive policies and funding for trails and greenways. You can keep up to date with bills in Congress, the status of trails and transportation funding, federal budgets, new agency policies, and much more. Visit the American Trails Advocacy page…

Start the new decade with an American Trails membership ~ and receive a special gift!

Start the year out right by joining American Trails to help us advocate for trails and greenways of every kind. Join or renew your membership with American Trails through the end of January, and you will receive a signed copy of Trail Tales (a $15 value), compliments of our Vice-Chair, Roger Bell. 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. We’ll connect you to state-of-the-art trails information about trails throughout America. Join or renew your American Trails membership and learn more about this special offer…


 

WHAT'S HOT

National Trails Awards nominations will be open soon

American Trails will honor outstanding efforts made by agencies, trail professionals, the private sector, corporations, media, and others at the American Trails National Symposium in Chattanooga, TN this November. Nomination forms will be available soon. See award categories for 2010 and see photos and details of the 2008 winners...

House and Senate passed extensions of trail and bike/ped funding

The House and Senate have both passed extensions of SAFETEA-LU transportation funding. A Department of Defense bill included a continuing resolution to continue funding under the terms of the 2005 surface transportation act until Feb. 28, 2010. The extension gives the Senate time to consider a jobs bill that directs $75 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), with two-thirds of the total going to the Department of Transportation for infrastructure programs. Read more about issues with reauthorizing federal Transportation funding…

Read comments on proposed Accessibility Guidelines for federal lands

About 80 organizations, individuals, and agencies made formal comments on the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines of the Architectural Barriers Act for Outdoor Developed Areas from the U.S. Access Board. Many interesting issues were raised about how compliance would affect planning, use, construction costs, and maintenance of trails on federal lands. See all comments submitted to regulations.gov…

Read the most recent issue of the American Trails Magazine online

The American Trails Magazine, now in digital format, brings you timely, state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. We cover news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, the latest resources, information on products and services you need, and much more! The theme of this issue is "Trails Without Borders." Read the Fall issue now…

American Trails Online Store is your source for the best trail books

Purchase books and memberships through the American Trails Online Store. You’ll find a variety of publications that are the best in the trails industry that will help your organization successfully build and maintain sustainable trails of all types. Visit the Online Store today…

 

FEATURES

“Cool Trail Solutions” bring you illustrated features on hot trail topics

This area is devoted to photos and graphics of SOLUTIONS to a wide array of trail-related problems. Our goal is to enhance our resources for trails planning, development, and management with visual ideas from across the country. See dozens of galleries and hundreds of photos…

Changing demographics and reaching new visitors to National Forests

Reaching out to a continuously changing population through education and engagement, as well as cultivating mutual respect and understanding are key ways to preserve and share forest resources. The Forest Service has studied participation rates and experiences of ethnically diverse groups and developed research, theory, and practices for managing outdoor recreation areas. Read more…

Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge Trails is an urban oasis

One of many featured U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Recreation Trails is the trail system in Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge. It is just one of the trail corridors in the Denver Metro area that provide habitat as well as recreation opportunities. Residents of the Mile High City come outdoors for bird watching and enjoying the sun after a snowstorm. Read more and see photos of the Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge…

Six years and 1,010 photos in National Recreation Trails Photo Contests

We have been really pleased with both the quality and quantity of entries in the annual contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails. For six years American Trails has been sponsoring the events to let more Americans know about these great trails, and to showcase the efforts of photographers across the country. Entries in each year’s contest are arranged in galleries. See links to all the entries and winning photographs…

Comments by American Trails on Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines

The American Trails Board wrote detailed comments on proposed Accessibility Guidelines in December. Concerns include definitions of “trail alteration and maintenance,” “conditions for departure” from the requirements, and the definition of “maximum extent feasible” when determining if accessibility is appropriate to the terrain, environment, and the trail experience. Read more…

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

 

TRAINING & EDUCATION

American Trails National Symposium: Your top training opportunity in 2010

Dozens of speakers and keynote presenters will join us from the trails community across America, November 14-17, 2010. The Symposium addresses both non-motorized and motorized issues and our vision for trails and greenways nationwide. The theme is “Trails: The Green Way for America,” highlighting the benefit of trails to America’s economy and environment. Read more…

Host workshops on key trails topics in 2010 with American Trails

Educational workshops offered by American Trails are available for your agency or nonprofit organization to host locally. Each workshop can be coordinated with a state trails conference or other training event, held as a single event, or held as a series in different locations. Learn about workshops available from American Trails…

Training goals: Professionalization, Sustainability, and Educational Outreach

Priorities for training research and development have been identified at recent meetings of the National Trails Training Partnership. The key topics are: Trail Professionalization, Sustainability, and Educational Outreach. Read more about these training priorities…

National Trails Training Partnership: Your link to training and education

The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies." See more resources for training and education…

Find classes and conferences for learning new skills in 2010

A wide variety of training is available in 2010 for volunteers and professionals working to develop trails of all kinds. American Trails is working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training.  See details on these and many more 2010 opportunities for training on trails and greenways topics in the Online Training Calendar.

2010:

  • January 29-30, 2010 — 2010 Iowa Bicycle Summit: Des Moines, IA
  • February 3-6, 2010 — Texas Trails Network 2010 Conference: Austin, TX
  • February 7-10, 2010 — Annual Youth & Conservation Corps Forum: Washington, DC
  • February 9-11, 2010 — Active Living Research Annual Conference: San Diego, CA
  • March 8-12, 2010 — A Universal Approach to Interpretive Planning, Programs, and Design: San Antonio, TX
  • March 9-11 — National Bike Summit: Washington, DC
  • March 26-28, 2010 — Florida Trail Days & 2010 Annual Conference: Haines City, FL
  • March 29 - April 2, 2010 — Trail Management: Plans, Projects, and People: San Rafael, CA
  • April 2-3, 2010 — Colorado Mountain Bike Summit: Salida, CO
  • Nov. 14-17, 2010: 20th American Trails National Symposium – Chattanooga, Tennessee - Read more...

 

NEW RESOURCES

Accessible trails: Boardwalks provide firm footing along wetlands

A common feature for crossing wetlands or river margins is the boardwalk. Boardwalks are often used for interpretive facilities in habitat areas such as swamps. Enabling access by wheelchairs, strollers, and people with difficulty walking is another benefit where the trail must cross wet or rough terrain. See photos and project examples…

Trail neighbors: Homes and residential landowners along suburban greenways

People want to live near parks, and many trail corridors are indistinguishable from parks. Single-family homeowners are generally less accepting of trails than people who live in multi-family developments. While some residents fear the loss of privacy or presence of strangers, others are avid trail users. See photos and project examples…


Designing trails and greenways crossing under road bridges

Trails along streams are often crossed over by highway and railroad bridges. The first challenge is to design a trail that goes under the bridge with enough headroom. The second challenge is to provide a bench for the trail on a narrow, steeply sloping riverbank. Retaining structures and vertical concrete walls are typical solutions. See photos and project examples…

Signs with safety messages and alerts for trail and greenway users

Signs may caution trail users about unexpected conditions or potential hazards. Risk management concerns are a big factor for trail managers to determine when to provide signs for changes in trail surface, grade, or curvature. People are used to constant warnings on roadways, so many trail managers adopt highway standards for providing signs. See photos and project examples…

Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails: Assessment, Planning, and Design

The Guide is a highly graphic landscape architectural and interdisciplinary tool based upon professional project management principles. It echoes the American Society of Landscape Architects policies for protecting, respecting, enhancing, and restoring visual resource, open space, wildlife habitat, native species wetlands, and water quality values. It encourages partnership with nonprofit agencies for training and trails implementation. See link to download the Sketchbook…

 

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

 

QUICK LINKS

 

Send news and calendar items to trailhead@americantrails.org.


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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
January 2010