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American Trails presented "Trails and Towns Together: How Communities Capitalize on Trail Tourism" on May 19, 2016 as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"




"Trails and Towns Together: How Communities Capitalize on Trail Tourism"

Photo of Trail Town


American Trails presented this Webinar on May 19, 2016. This webinar was presented by William Prince with The Progress Fund's Trail Town Program, Rita Hennessy with the National Park Service, and Amy Camp with Cycle Forward (and American Trails Board member).

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WEBINAR PRICES: American Trails Members only pay $35 and Nonmembers pay $55. These prices are the same for our future webinars as well as our past webinars in which you can access recordings to. To receive the member discount, be sure and select “YES” for this question and the $20 will automatically be deducted from your total. If you are a new or renewing member, you can add a membership to your order at the same time. View our membership levels and benefits.



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graphic showing cross section of trail on hillside

Updated and renovated Caboose Visitors Center in Foxburg along the Erie to

Pittsburgh Trail (Photo Credit: Trail Town Program®)


Efforts to link “trail-to-town” have played a part in remaking communities. This webinar will include a case study of the first known “trail town” initiative - the Trail Town Program® along the Great Allegheny Passage. Now in its 10th year of operation, the program has set an example for trail community programs throughout the United States. Program Manager William Prince will speak about the history of the project and recent expansions.

Rita Hennessy, National Trails System Program Leader for the National Park Service, will talk about how better connecting trails to communities makes long-distance trails relevant at the local level, bolstering residents’ pride in and sense of connection to the trails. She will share stories from along the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Florida trails, all designated National Scenic Trails.

Amy Camp of Cycle Forward will tie it all together by talking about the importance of fostering a culture of hospitality in trail communities and expanding the view on how trail visitors can be invited into our places. This webinar will appeal to trail and community advocates who are interested in launching their own programs, as well as to managers of existing programs who want to hear about how they can take their programs to the next level. Examples will be drawn from rail trails and single-track hiking trails.


Key Learning Points—Trails and Towns Together: How Communities Capitalize on Trail Tourism:




William Prince

William Prince is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he received his Bachelors of Arts in Humanities in 2009 and a Certificate in Historic Preservation in 2010. He began his career interning with Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the StudentConservationAssociation (SCA). The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program® Trail Town Program logosince January 2012. Here hisduties include regional initiatives including a mix of marketing, research, business and technical assistance, and real estate development.

William also volunteers in his hometown of Elizabeth, PA with activities towards downtown revitalization, and since March 2014, he has served as a board member of the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh. Email:



Rita Hennessy


Rita Hennessy is the National Park Service Program Lead for the National Trail System. Previous to this position, Rita served as the Assistant Superintendent for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, as well as positions at Zion, Bryce Canyon, Rock Creek and the National Mall. Throughout her 27 year career, Rita has focused on partnerships with agencies, volunteers, and local communities to increase the relevancy of national parks and trails, and promote cooperative management of these unique resources. Rita holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Montana, and a Master of Arts in Community Change and Civic Leadership from Antioch McGregor. Email:




Amy Camp

Amy Camp, owner of Cycle Forward, is a trails and tourism consultant, a placemaker, and a professional coach. She helped launch the nationally-recognized Trail Town Program® in 2007, and now consults communities on how they can expand the way they approach trails and tourism. A list of consulting projects is available atAmy is also a certified professional coach who offers nature-Cycle Forward logobased coaching, helping clients to gain clarity aroundtheir careers. Many of her coaching clients are in thetrails, tourism, and community development fields. Amy is on the Board of American Trails, serving as Board Secretary and Chair of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. Email:




More Resources


American Trails “Resources & Library” webpage

The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program® 

The Great Allegheny Passage

Cycle Forward Homepage

Cycle Forward Facebook


Appalachian Trails Conservancy (ATC) Trail Communities

American Hiking Society - Hiking Trails in America, Pathways to Prosperity

Outdoor Industry Economic Report

Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Trail Communities

Conservation Fund Gateway Communities


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