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2005 American Trails Website Contest

We are pleased to announce the Winning Websites for the 2005-06 American Trails Website Contest. American Trails launched the first-ever contest to seek out the best websites in the cyberworld of trails and greenways. We looked for sites that really make trails come alive, and provide effective information delivery, support volunteers, and engage the public. In short, we want to showcase ways that advocates and agencies are making a difference for trails. See how to enter this year's website contest.

We are pleased to bring you the Winning Websites as well as 75 other nominated for the 2005 American Trails Website Contest. Visit these great sites for information, ideas, and inspiration. And take a look at the previous winners and nominees for 2002 -- 2003 -- 2004 -- and 2007.

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Award winners are entitled to use the "Winning Website" logo on their own sites

WINNING WEBSITES for 2005:

STATE AGENCY site (state trail or state program):

  • South Carolina's State Trails offers hundreds of scenic trails with maps, searchable database, and program information: http://sctrails.net/trails/

Trails on FEDERAL LANDS:

COMMUNITY trails system site (town or county or other local jurisdiction):

  • Trailnet promotes bike/ped activites and trails through events, education, and public-private partnerships for the bi-state St. Louis region: www.trailnet.org

Trail organization or club website:

  • Florida Trail Association's website has also undergone a major overhaul in the past year, expanding information on hiking the Florida Trail and related trails, plus new information on safety and trail maintenance issues: www.floridatrail.org
  • Honorable Mention: Saco Bay Trails is working to acquire permanent public access to recreational hiking trails in the Saco Bay, Maine, area: www.sacobaytrails.org/

PERSONAL site (for an individual who has developed a site on his or her own):

  • Bike To Beach is Jim Rucquoi's vision of a bike route from Orlando to the ocean, rideable today in both on and off-road segments. The hope is to generate interest in the dream through the website: http://biketobeach.tripod.com/

Designated NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL website:

  • Rivanna Trails Foundation works to create and protect natural footpaths, which follow the Rivanna River and its tributaries (VA): http://www.rivannatrails.org/

TRAILS TRAINING and education site:

  • Backcountry Trail Patrol Association is an education and assistance organization that provides services to all trail users in Minnesota through x-c ski and snowshoe patrol in winter, and mountain bike patrol in summer: www.trailpatrol.org

Graphics and site design:

  • Northwest Woodland Services website (designed by Natureshape LLC) provide an illustrated education in what trail contractors do and what is involved in trail planning, design, and construction: www.nwwstrails.com

Best use of PHOTOGRAPHS:

  • The "Trails" area of Jefferson County Trail System includes nicely organized photos of historic buildings, bridges, interesting reatures, and trail sections: www.jeffersoncountytrails.org
  • Honorable Mention: The Huron River Greenway uses an interesting grid of photos to illustrate an extensive look at the trail and many related points of interest: www.milanarea.com/hrgreenway.htm

TRAIL TOUR or virtual visit:

  • The San Francisco Bay Trail includes photos of every section of the trail, both built and proposed, as well as some 360 degree views: http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov/vtour/
  • Honorable Mention: Miami Valley RailTrails has maps of every trail in Ohio's the Miami Valley, plus 3,400 images for a virtual tour of each trail: www.miamivalleytrails.org

Recognition and promotion of VOLUNTEERISM:

  • "An American treasure needs your help" reads the banner on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website which covers maintenance, environmental, and conservation issues, as well as trail information for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail: www.appalachiantrail.org/

Best site for KIDS and FAMILIES:

  • Utah Mountain Biking has trail guides with maps and photo; they'll arrange to get kids on a new trail to check it out, and "if they don't think it sucks too bad, it will be added to our Family Ride section: www.utahmountainbiking.com

Trail-related BUSINESS or PRODUCT:

  • Cedar Valley Nature Trail is owned and maintained by Webworks7, a computer services company, and provides a complete guide to the 52-mile linear park: www.cedarvalleytrail.com/
  • Honorable Mention:klimb.org provides free software to plan bike and trail routes interactively on topographical maps and understand their distance and topography: http://klimb.org/

TRAVEL and TOURISM site for trails:

Promotion of Trail ACCESS:

  • The Access Project of Illinois Paddling Council promotes safe, legal, and adequate access for watercraft to the waterways of Illinois: www.illinoispaddling.org/

Promotion of trails for HEALTH and PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

  • Four Seasons Trail Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of healthier lifestyles for the people of Madawaska, Maine: www.fourseasonstrail.org/

Nominated Websites for 2005:

~ Indy Greenways has taken a leadership role in Central Indiana in focusing public attention on trail development and the benefits that derive from them: www.indygreenways.org

~ Crankfire.com is a community, nonprofit hub for mountain biking with a central data repository for cycling information such as trails, gps data, gpx files, and maps: www.crankfire.com/

~ The Assabet River Rail Trail (Massachusetts) website includes 12 years of newsletters, the entire 42 page state design plans, photo galleries, and customized maps: www.ARRTinc.org

~ A Guide to Bed, Breakfast and Biking provides information on 250 trails in 23 states as well as links to lodging facilities along featured trails: www.bbbiking.com

~ Thames Valley Trail Association maintains and develops walking and hiking trails in the London, Ontario, area: www.thamesvalleytrail.org

~ Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is working to develop a 25-mile trail through several Massachusetts communities: www.brucefreemanrailtrail.org

~ Friends of the Madison County Parks and Trails supports trails and parks in the County Park and the City of London as well as the critical link of the Ohio to Erie Trail on its way from the Ohio River to Lake Erie: www.fmcpt.com

~ BIKEIOWA is a portal for anything trail or bicycling related and the top source for rides and bicycle related events in Iowa: www.BIKEIOWA.com

~ Veloteers Bicycle Club is located in Nashville and Middle Tennessee: www.veloteers.org/

~ New Jersey Trails Association works with state, county, local, and non-profit land preservation groups and parks agencies to plan more trails: www.njtrails.org

~ River School is on-the-water learning about rivers, stewardship, environmental science and quality of life during a River School trek. High school students: www.river-school.org

~ Oak Ridges Trail Association supports the 250 km trail along the Oak Ridges Moraine that runs parallel to and about 60 km north of Lake Ontario: www.oakridgestrail.org/

~ Is this the world's most entertaining hiking website? It's undoubtedly the strangest: www.birdheadstudios.com/

~ Illinois Trails Conservancy works with agencies and trail organizations to promote trails throughout Illinois: http://www.illtrails.com/

~ Windham Rail Trail Alliance in NH is a citizens group working on the Windham link in the Salem to Concord trail without the use of state or federal funds: www.windhamrailtrail.org

~ Friends of the Ouachita Trail help maintenance and enhancement the Ouachita National Recreation Trail in Arkansas and Oklahoma: www.friendsOT.org

~ Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission developed a website showing over 250 miles of paved, multi-use trails in a six-county area of Ohio: www.mvrpc.org/recTrails/

~ Bragg Creek: Gateway to Kananaskis (Alberta) covers outdoor activities, trail guides, photos and maps, and hosts the Bragg Creek Trails Association: www.braggcreek.ca

~ Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association represents off road cyclists in New Jersey, and to coordinate and promote volunteer efforts: http://jorba.org/

~ Greater Des Moines Recreational Trails provides online maps of 300 miles of existing trails and parks: www.greaterdesmoinestrails.org/

~ The mission of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway is to create a 116-mile trail from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake in Nevada: www.tpbikeway.org/

~ Along the Air Line... documents a rail-trail in Hebron, CT, with 1,500 photographs and a month-by-month narrated description of the trail over a full year: www.performance-vision.com/airline

~ Delphi Historic Trails, a National Recreation Trail, is one of the best small town trail systems in America, with 10 miles of trails on canal towpaths, streamside walks, and rail trails, managed by volunteers: www.wabashanderiecanal.org

~ Illinois Trail Riders is an advocacy organization dedicated to helping horse people keep existing equestrian trails and camping facilities in Illinois: www.illinoistrailriders.com

~ Biking in New Jersey, County Facilities, maps, and trails: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/countymaps.shtm

~ UtahTrails.com provides dozens of trail descriptions while marketing Utah's Favorite Hiking Trails and Canyonlands National Park Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails: www.utahtrails.com/

~ Jim Allshouse's Katy Trail personal site: www.wyokies.com/katymemories.htm

~ Canals of New Jersey has information and links to hiking, history, and preservation of several canals in New Jersey: http://www.canalsocietynj.org/njcanals.html

~ Mountain Mojo: mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest with trail news, info and reviews, and articles relating to trail access in the Seattle region: www.mountainmojo.com

~ Jim Foreman's Favorite Stories: the colorful writing style engages the reader in the sights, tastes, smells, and emotions and instill a desire to go ride the places where he's been: www.jimforeman.com/Stories/stories_home.htm

~ Wandering The World .com is a personal website of bicycling adventures across the globe: www.wanderingtheworld.com

~ Bike Washington has maps and points of interest for trails in the DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland area: www.bikewashington.org

~ Greater Boston Chapter of the New England Mountain Biking Association: www.gbnemba.org

~ OaklandParks.com brings the issues and public debate to light on Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland: www.oaklandparks.com/

~ Trails of Anchorage covers the interesting trails and greenways of this Alaska city: www.trailsofanchorage.com

~ Lawrence Hopewell Trail is over 20 miles of multipurpose, recreational trails through public and private lands in Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, NJ: www.lhtrail.org/

~ The Cross Vermont Trail is proposed to be Vermont's first east-west, long-distance, multi-use trail spanning 75 miles from the Connecticut River to Lake Champlain: www.crossvermont.org/

~ San Diego County Trails Council: www.SDCTC.come

~ TriangleMTB serves as a vital, positive influence for the benefit of offroad bicycling in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill (Triangle) area of North Carolina: www.trianglemtb.com

~ BlueRibbon Coalition: information on responsible user ethics and on current trail access issues for all types of trail users: www.sharetrails.org

~ Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail runs 11 miles along one of Ohio's Nationally Designated Scenic Rivers: http://www.bicycletrail.com/ghome.htm

~ Moonville Rail Trail extends through the picturesque Ohio hills of Vinton and Athens counties: http://www.moonvillerailtrail.org/

~ Edison Greenways Group works to preserve open space and make pedestrian and bicycling improvements in Middlesex County, NJ: http://www.edisongreenways.org/

~ Simon Kenton Trail (Ohio) connects Urbana and Champaign County with a developing network of statewide multi-use trails: http://www.simonkentontrail.org/

~ The C&O Canal Virtual Tour: an independent site, made by some one who just really likes that rail and has spent years hiking it: http://canal.mcmullans.org

~ Chicago Area Mountain Bikers: working and protecting the trails and preserves, and educating the trail users: www.cambr.org

~ National Oregon/California Trail Center cover the trans-Mississippi emigrant trails

~ Plants of Southern California: Trail Guides: http://tchester.org/plants/lists/guides.html

~ Northern California chapter of Toyota Territory Off-Roader's Association: www.norcalttora.com/

~ The Jane Addams Trail is named for the internationally famous social work pioneer and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, born and raised in nearby Cedarville, IL: www.janeaddamstrail.com/

~ Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee works to support Kittatinny Valley State Park (NJ) rail trails: www.pvtc-kvsp.org/

~ The Fox River Trail is used for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and jogging and stretches from Algonquin to Aurora: http://www.co.kane.il.us/Forest/frtrail.htm

~ The Bay Trail is "An Endeavor to Encircle the San Francisco Bay": http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov/

~ Prairie Riders provide Safety Education Classes, and maintain 50 miles of snowmobile trails in Boone County: www.prairieriders.com/

~ Shawnee Trail Conservancy is a grassroots nonprofit corporation which advocates multi-use of the Shawnee National Forest trails: www.shawneetrailconservancy.com/

~ Shawangunk Ridge Coalition is dedicated to creating a continuous, protected corridor along the entire 50-mile length of the Shawangunk Ridge: www.shawangunkridge.org/

~ Rail trails in northwest New Jersey: www.njskylands.com/odhikerail.htm

~ New Jersey Off Road Vehicle Park near Chatsworth: http://www.njorvp.org/

~ South Jersey Wheelmen serves the needs of recreational and touring cyclists, based in the Vineland area: http://www.sjwheelmen.org/

~ Maryland Running Guide: http://www.marylandrunning.com/

~ Holmes County Trail is completed and open from Fredericksburg to Millersburg, OH (12 miles): www.holmestrail.org/

~ Huron River Greenway is in Erie County and will eventually reach the City of Norwalk in Huron County: http://www.huronrivergreenway.org/

~ Ten Mile Coastal Trail on Northern California's Mendocino Coast provides one of the longest unbroken whale watching locations on the West Coast: www.mcn.org/1/10milecoastaltrail/

American Trails would like to thank John Ansbro for his extensive research on the dozens of nominated websites for this contest. He has helped out every year with the website contest. John, who is a city planner in Evansville, Indiana, has also provided us with news items and websites to check out for many years.

What is the American Trails Website Contest?

Are you proud of your trail-related website? Every year American Trails sponsors the only contest to seek out the best websites in the world of trails and greenways. The deadline was January 31, 2006. For information on contest rules and procedures see the nominations page.

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