2017 NRT Photo Contest Winners

American Trails sponsors the annual Photo Contest for designated National Recreation Trails. In celebration of these great trails we are presenting awards in several categories to highlight the diversity of NRTs, from backcountry trails to urban greenways. Here are our picks from the 275 entries for 2017.


by American Trails Staff

Trail Use Categories

Hiking and Walking — Fisher Towers Trail, Utah

Halloween hikers on the Fisher Towers Trail near Moab managed by Bureau of Land Management. photo by Ashli Murdock, Moab BLM

Bicycling — Great Miami River Trail and Waterway, Ohio

Bicycling along flood wall murals in Dayton. photo by Jim Crotty for Miami Conservancy District

Water Trails — Three Rivers Greenway, South Carolina

Boaters viewing the solar eclipse on the West Columbia Riverwalk section of the Three Rivers Greenway in West Columbia, SC. photo by Kelli Ricard

Winter Trails — Montour Trail, Pennsylvania arrow

The National Tunnel accumulates great mounds of ice in the winter unless the tunnel is closed off. A trail group designed a solution based on the plastic strip curtains used on commercial coolers. At each end of the tunnel, two strip doors about 10’ apart create a temperature buffer that keeps the tunnel interior above freezing. photo copyright © 2017 by Mary Shaw

Equestrian Trails — Holland Falls Trail, Montana

Riding out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the Swan Lake Ranger District; the horse’s name is Lucky and he’s been working for the USFS for over ten years. photo by Fischer Gangemi

Accessible Trails — Chief Ladiga Trail, Jacksonville, Alabama

Inclusive cycling trip on the Chief Ladiga Trail where individuals with and without disabilities can ALL participate and enjoy physical activity. photo from Lakeshore Foundation/NCHPAD

Trail Management

Youth and Volunteers — Mon River/Caperton Trail, West Virginia

An ad-hoc volunteer work party of passing cyclists cuts up and removes a tree that had fallen, blocking the trail north of Morgantown, WV. photo copyright © 2017 by Mary Shaw

Trail Work — South Kaibab Trail, Arizona

Conservation crew members from the American Conservation Experience at work on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon. photo copyright © Jessica Plance 2017

Training and Education — Chewacla State Park Trail System, Alabama

A school class on a guided hike to the waterfall at Chewacla State Park. photo by Tasha Simon, Alabama State Parks

Trail Sharing —Metolius-Windigo Trail, Oregon

An equestrian and a hiker do a "meet and greet" on the multiuse backcountry trail. photo by Kim McCarrel

Health and Fitness — Ridgeline Trail, Eugene, Oregon

New stairs on the trail to the top of Spencer Butte have made the summit accessible for more families. photo by Chris Pietsch

Trail Features

Flora and Fauna — Wacissa River National Recreation Trail, Florida

Purple gallinule, one of the most beautiful birds along our rivers and not often seen; along the paddling trail in the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area. photo by Doug Alderson, FL Office of Greenways and Trails

Scenery and Natural Features — Medina River Greenway, Texas

Switchbacks on the Medina River Greenway in San Antonio. photo by Adelyn Alanis, San Antonio Parks & Recreation

Historic Features — Sackets Harbor Battlefield Trail, New York

Ten discovery stations along the trail, staffed by interpreters teach visitors the chance to learn more about War of 1812 soldiers at the NY Historic Site History Trail. photo by Constance Barone

Rail and Canal Trails — Youghiogheny River Trail, Pennsylvania

A tunnel of trees on the trail running north to northwest of Ohiopyle, PA. photo by Julie A. Zeyzus

Urban Trails and Greenways — Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Texas

A young angler along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Ladybird Lake in downtown Austin. photo by Chris Sheffield

Arts and Interpretation — Big Dry Creek Trail, Colorado

New mural underway along the greenway in Westminster, CO. photo by Hans T. Reichgelt, Westminster Parks, Recreation, Libraries, and Open Space

Innovative Facilities — Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Iowa

A real rest stop on the 63-mile rail trail through scenic southwest Iowa. photo by Jim Schmid

The trail as photographic inspiration — Poudre River Trail, Colorado

The trail bridge over the Cache la Poudre River at Lions Open Space in Laporte, CO. photo by Hailey Groo, Poudre Heritage Alliance

Related Links

Learn more about the NRT Photo Contest

We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. We also want to see entries that cover the many types and uses of National Recreation Trails throughout America.

Learn More