Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
July 2010

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.

We are celebrating National Recreation Trails this month. This year we are proud to announce the addition of 31 trails in 15 states to the National Trails System.

In This Issue

20th AMERICAN TRAILS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: November 14-17, 2010 ~ Chattanooga, TN

ALERTS

NEWS

FEATURES

TRAINING & EDUCATION

NEW RESOURCES

JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK

QUICK LINKS

20th AMERICAN TRAILS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: November 14-17, 2010 ~ Chattanooga, TN

Register online now for the American Trails National Symposium!

Recognizing that budgets are tight, the American Trails Board has once again decided to keep the registration rates the same as the last two Symposiums (and lower in some categories), and will not be raising the rates this year. Remember, American Trails members receive a substantial discount on the registration package. Not an American Trails member yet? Now is the perfect time to join! Join now and view the Registration page for rates…

July 13 is the NEW deadline for nominations for National Trails Awards

The National Trails Awards celebrate the exemplary people across the landscape of America who are working to create a national system of trails to meet the recreation, health, and travel needs of all Americans. American Trails will honor outstanding efforts made by agencies, trail professionals, the private sector, corporations, media, and others at the American Trails National Symposium. The extended deadline for nominations is July 13, 2010. See all the award categories and download the nomination form...

Developer Recognition Award: deadline is July 31 for nominations

In addition to the National Trails Awards, American Trails also recognizes quality, well-designed multi-use trail systems that are integrated into private developments to encourage active lifestyles, reduce reliance on automobiles, connect the development to other public and private pathways and destinations, and preserve and promote natural areas. Download the 2010 Developer Recognition Award criteria and application (pdf 100 kb) and view photos and details of the 2008 Developer Recognition Award winners…

Exhibitors: save 10% on your contract until July 31

Exhibitors can save 10% if they send in their contracts by July 31, 2010. Benefits of coming in early as an exhibitor include choosing a booth location in the order your contract is received (some exceptions may apply) and being linked immediately to our sponsors web page. See extensive details of exhibitor levels and benefits…

Sponsorship opportunities for the American Trails National Symposium

Being a sponsor of the 20th American Trails National Symposium is your best opportunity to network with the nationwide trails community and maximize your visibility and message. Sponsorship opportunities are available for an event or Symposium item. We expect to sell out, so get in early for the best recognition opportunities! Please support our Symposium Sponsors and learn about sponsorship opportunities...

Chattanooga hotel and travel options are available… make plans now!

Three convenient and comfortable hotels will host the Symposium in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Chattanooga Marriott Hotel is connected to the Convention Center and the Staybridge Suites hotel is located right next door. The other host hotel, the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, is within walking distance and there is a free electric shuttle that will take you to the Convention Center. We encourage you to make reservations early, and check on flight options and ground transportation for your trip. See hotel details and reservation information and check on Chattanooga travel options…

 

ALERTS

Sign on as a Supporter of the Recreational Trails Program!

It is urgent to expand the voices supporting funding for trails and greenways. What will happen in your state if the Recreational Trails Program disappears? It is essential to get the thousands of trail advocates and project sponsors to think about that very real possibility. This is the most important year ever to get Members of Congress to know why RTP is important. Tell your Congressmembers! Invite them 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 sign-on as a member of the Recreational Trails Council of Advisors…

ATTENTION: “America's Great Outdoors” Listening Sessions scheduled!

Last April, at the White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors, President Obama signed a memo establishing the “America's Great Outdoors” initiative to develop a conservation plan for the 21st century. Listening Sessions to discuss conservation, recreation, and reconnecting people to the outdoors are being held around the country. Find a Listening Session near you and learn how you can submit comments through the “America’s Great Outdoors” website...

Traveling this summer? Take your camera!

American Trails sponsors an annual contest for photographs of designated National Recreation Trails across the country. We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. Take your camera out on the trail and share your pictures! Read all about the contest and find designated NRTs…

Stay up to date on issues in Congress, new bills, and policies affecting trails

American Trails “SUPPORTING TRAILS” pages provide 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. 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. We continuously add news and action items to these pages. Check back often and forward this link on through your networks…

NEWS

Recreational Trails Program is making a difference: see 2010 Awards

The Coalition for Recreational Trails each year announces the winners of its "Annual Achievement Awards." Seven great projects were recognized for their outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. The award winners are introduced at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. during the annual celebration for Great Outdoors Week. See award winners and more about CRT…

$23 million in federal stimulus money for PA-NJ trail networks

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, officials from six counties, and agencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey cooperated to secure funding from the Federal government’s TIGER program. A total of $23 million in federal stimulus money is headed to Delaware Valley pedestrian and bicycle trails – plans that have been in the works for years. Read more…

The Greenway Revolution: decades of advocacy are turning the tide

The Valley Advocate reports on current efforts with pedestrian connections and rail trails. The vision of connecting our cities with nature goes back many generations. Frederick Law Olmsted “developed the idea of connecting parks throughout a city by a network of landscaped routes, or what he dubbed greenways. Buffalo, N.Y. had one such system built, but the most famous is the park system Olmsted designed for Boston, which became known as the Emerald Necklace.” Read more…

Vermont wins “Outstanding State Trail Program Award”

Among the awards given this year by the Coalition for Recreational Trails is the “Outstanding State Trail Program Award.” Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation was recognized for “its strong working partnerships and careful, accountable administration.” The Annual Achievement Awards recognize outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. Read more…

21st Century chain gang: county jail inmates building trails

Inmate work crews have cut more than 14 miles of trail in the rugged hills west of Port Angeles, Washington. The "adventure route" is a spur of the mostly paved Olympic Discovery Trail. According to Clallam County Chain Gang Officer Jon Beltrami,  “Most of the inmates glean a sense of accomplishment from working in some of Clallam County's most unforgiving terrain and seeing a trail take shape.” Read more…

FEATURES

National Recreation Trail designations announced for 2010

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of 31 trails in 15 states as National Recreation Trails. "From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Salazar. "These new National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren.” Read more…

Featured National Recreation Trail: Three Rivers Heritage Trail

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a wonderful pedestrian trail and greenway system in the Pittsburgh region running for 22 miles along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. It is an almost complete public route for cyclists, walkers, runners, and in some places in-line skaters. Read more and see photos… 

River Mountains Loop Trail is multi-jurisdictional success

River Mountains Loop Trail is a paved multiple-use, 35-mile trail connecting Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley. Fifteen miles of the route include a parallel equestrian trail.  Because the trail travels through several communities and overlapping jurisdictions, collaboration and community involvement were instrumental to the Loop Trail’s success. The River Mountains Trail Partnership is an association of agencies, community groups, and businesses working for the trail. Read more and see photos…

Universal Trail Assessment Process helps fund Georgia trails

The Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) helped Cornelia, Georgia receive Recreational Trails Program funding for trail improvements. UTAP was used to assess Cornelia Park Trail, a primitive trail that had been built as an Eagle Scout project in the 1980’s. The assessment identified current and potential sources of environmental impact, maintenance needs, and improvements needed to prevent erosion and ensure sustainability. See photos and read more…

Plans for New York State Canalway Water Trail announced

The New York State Canal Corporation has announced plans for the New York State Canalway Water Trail, a coordinated trail with boat launches, landings and campsites along the 524-mile New York State Canal System. There are more than 100 launch and landing sites currently available to both motorized and non-motorized boaters along the Canal System. A new interactive map will enable Canal users to better understand the launch options and amenities available to them, as well as offering assistance for planning their trips. Learn more about the water trail effort…

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

TRAINING & EDUCATION

Mobile workshops: learn from great trails at the Symposium

We’ll be showcasing trails and parks in the Chattanooga area for biking, paddling, horseback riding, caving, hiking, and recreation vehicles— plus art, interpretation, and family fun. The leaders and people of Chattanooga are enthusiastic about their trail projects and are looking forward to sharing them with you at the 2010 American Trails National Symposium. Join us to experience the trails firsthand, and learn while you enjoy a wide variety of field trips. Learn about all the great options for mobile workshops…

Skills for trails work catalogued by National Trails Training Partnership

A sizeable area of the NTTP website categorizes and defines the wide range of skills used in trails and greenways work. The goal is to comprehensively identify the range of competencies and knowledge used by staff and volunteers engaged in every kind of trail work. Web pages for the 12 topics provide a catalogue of skills, plus links to resources, publications, and training providers. Read more about trail skills…

Marshall University offers OHV Recreation Management Course

The fall semester OHV Recreation Management course is PLS 450/550: Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation. The Recreation and Park Resources program at Marshall University offers a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in parks and conservation. The course is taught online. Marshall University students will now be able to obtain a minor in off-highway vehicle recreation. Read more about the OHV courses offered…

Universal Design: Applying the Principles in Park Settings

Pushing park planning and design beyond minimum accessibility guidelines toward universal design requires a comprehensive approach that considers the needs and abilities of all visitors. This satellite broadcast was produced for the National Park Service and presented by the National Center on Accessibility. Play videos on specific topics from the broadcast including exhibits, indoor environments, and outdoor park settings. Read more and see the list of online videos...

Find workshops and training opportunities for trail skills across America

The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. 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:

  • July 15-17, 2010 — Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference - Norcross, GA
  • July 22-25, 2010 — Subaru/IMBA Trailbuilders School - Durango, CO
  • July 29, 2010 — Northeastern Pennsylvania Trails Forum Workshop - Scranton, PA
  • August 1-6, 2010 — Backcountry Packing, Camping & Stock Handling Course - Huson, MT
  • August 1-20, 2010 — Three-Week Teen Trails Leadership Crew - Appalachian Mountain Club - Berkshire Mountains, NH
  • August 2-6, 2010 — Outdoor Industry Association Trade Show - Salt Lake City, UT
  • August 4-8, 2010 — Leave No Trace Master Educator Course - Appalachian Mountain Club - White Mountains, NH
  • August 5-8, 2010 — Subaru/IMBA Trailbuilders School - Jackson, WY
  • Nov. 14-17, 2010 — 20th American Trails National Symposium - Chattanooga, TN - Read more...
NEW RESOURCES

Find new trails with National Recreation Trails online database

Try out the redesigned database of the National Recreation Trails! The Online NRT Database contains information on 1,087 National Recreation Trails in all 50 states. Discover new trails in your own area or across the country. You can search for all designated trails in any state or look up a specific trail by name. Other search functions enable you to display trails by land manager, trail type, or trail activities. Visit the National Recreation Trails online database…

Basic elements of trail design and trail layout

"Pathways to Trail Building" by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is a great resource for the beginning trailbuilder. “Planning and responsibility are the keys to success. The trail designer/constructor learns over time the nuances of the forest, rocks, and streams and how important it is to build a sustainable trail that is easy to maintain and becomes a natural part of the landscape. Sustainable trails minimize environmental impacts, are easy to travel, and reduce future maintenance costs.” Read more…

Low water concrete stream crossings for trails and greenways

Photo Gallery: low water crossings are designed to allow normal flow under the trail, and to be over-topped during seasonal floods. Concrete is the normal material used to withstand flooding and scouring from flowing water. Bridges are typically raised well above the waterway and at least above the 100-year flood level. Similar structures are used to carry trails over streams and under road bridges. Read more and see this Cool Trail Solutions photo gallery…

Saranac River Trail Feasibility Study: Plattsburgh, New York

The Saranac River Trail is a project to create a non-motorized facility for transportation and recreation from the shoreline of Lake Champlain along the river through Plattsburgh, NY. This feasibility study reviewed existing conditions, connections to nearby destinations, available public lands, other opportunities and constraints, and considered a series of alternatives. Read more…

New Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will travel Canada

According to IMBA Canada, Deanne and Chad Lazaruk, IMBA Canada’s first Trail Care Crew, hit the road in eastern Canada to kick start the 2010 building season. The professional trailbuilding team from Victoria, BC, will be traveling across the country in a 2010 Subaru Outback promoting trails and educating Canadians on how to build and maintain sustainable trails. Read more…

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK

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 joining as a new member or renewing your membership today. Give the gift that makes a difference ~ an American Trails membership…

QUICK LINKS

Header photo: Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, MN. This 2,100-foot-long granite and limestone bridge was built in 1883 in downtown Minneapolis, the only stone arch bridge to cross the Mississippi. Rehabilitation of this National Historic Engineering Landmark began in 1993, and it now accommodates pedestrians and cyclists." Photo by Stuart Macdonald.

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

2010 symposium

20th American Trails National Symposium
Chattanooga, Tennessee
November 14-17, 2010

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NRT Database

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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
July 2010