Where Would You be Without Trails?

It is a simple question, but we find it to be one worth pondering. If any of you are like us, the longer you sit with this question, the more you will discover the overwhelming impact that trails have on our lives. Often in very unexpected ways.

We are betting most of you can relate. Trails are irresistible and indispensable to the physical and mental well-being of everyone and form the basis of basic transportation in most areas of our world.

American Trails is working hard to establish trails as quality of life infrastructure essential to every community’s success, to elevate the trail industry into an influential national role, and help its industry constituent organizations solidify their relevance among the communities they serve.

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American Trails is the collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities. As a national nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, American Trails advocates for the cooperative establishment and support of hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVing, snowmobiling, water, and all other trail types.

American Trails strives to enrich the quality of life for all people and the sustainable development of communities by advancing and promoting the development, preservation, and enjoyment of diverse, high-quality trails and greenways. Promoting best practice among all stakeholders and promoting specialty products and services in the trails community is a vital aspect of American Trails’ mission.

Here are 3 great ways to get involved:

30 Miles for 30 Years Challenge - Explore 30 miles of our nation's trails, track and share your progress on social media, and help raise funds for American Trails. Click below to create your own page to share on social media so your friends and family can track your progress. Even if you don't fundraise, we would love you to track your miles and help celebrate our 30th anniversary.

Become a Member - Since 1988, our members have become the unified, collaborative, diverse voice for America's network of interconnected trails, which we consider to be vital to our national well-being. Join this growing group of dedicated supporters. We have levels ranging from $19 per year and up, so you can choose a membership level that suits your needs. Click below for details.

Donate - Support this new website and all of American Trails' exciting programs by making a tax-deductible donation. Any amount you can give will help. Click on the link below to begin this simple process, and thank you!

Join the 30/30 Challenge

Become a Member


Awesome Work We Are Doing

Featured Projects

Trails Move People Initiative

Trails Move People creates a strong, cooperative, and unified voice for a diverse trails community.

By identifying shared values, collaboration, education, and communication, we raise awareness of the economic, health, social, and political return on investment of trails.

Join the Movement

Emerging Trail Leaders

American Trails Magazine

Trail News

More news and features...

Trails Are Irresistible and Indispensable

"A national trail is indeed a portal to the past. But it is also an inroad to our national character. It tells us how we got where we are. Our trails are both irresistible and indispensable... It is up to all of us who care so deeply for the future of this great country to join in this uniquely American undertaking of building, maintaining and protecting these unique treasures. I hope you will join me, for the sake of the generations to come."

-- Stewart Udall, "The National Trail System: A Grand Experiment" (2008), Mr. Udall represented Arizona in the U.S. House from 1953 until President Kennedy appointed him Secretary of Interior in 1961.

One of the greatest overland migrations in history followed a trail. During the mid-1800s nearly 400,000 emigrants walked or rode over the Platte River Road, the dusty thoroughfare formed by the convergence of the Oregon, California and Mormon trails. The first drafts of American history are recorded in the diaries of the people who followed frontier trails. They also can be read in the crude inscriptions and epitaphs scrawled on rocks and grave markers along the way.

Much of that history would have passed into oblivion, ploughed under or paved over, were it not for the National Trails legislation signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

Supporting our national trails is more than an exercise in nostalgia. Think of how much richer a child's knowledge of history might be after a few days spent along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Imagine how a student's grasp of our constitutional liberties might benefit from a drive along the
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, where civil rights marchers braved billy clubs and tear gas in 1965 to campaign for voting rights for African American citizens.

Please join American Trails in Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Trail System!

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We are only as strong as the people that support us. Remain a part of the conversation. Sign up today!

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