A Look Ahead With American Trails

As American Trails celebrates 30 years of service, we're looking towards the future of trails as well the goals of our organization.


Mike Passo and Candace Gallagher in 2006 at the Quad Cities Symposium

by Mike Passo, Executive Director, American Trails

Trails are irresistible and indispensable. In many ways, it feels like trails and the trails industry are stronger and more influential than we have ever been. Our strength lies in our collaboration with every kind of interest and activity in the trail community.

With your support, American Trails has become the collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities.

We’ve also engaged a remarkable variety of communities and organizations across America in hosting the trails symposium every two years since 1971. We look forward to seeing new trails and new faces in the future.

As we look forward to the next 30 years and beyond, we are embarking on a multi-year journey to renew and recommit to American Trails’ vision of advancing the development of diverse, high-quality trails and greenways for the benefit of people and communities.

The goals of American Trails are to work with all of you, to celebrate the diversity of the trails world, and to lead the trails industry into a sustainable future, while increasing our organization’s effectiveness and impact.

The future of trails has never been brighter. Join us in making sure that everyone has access to a great trail.

About the Author

Mike Passo is the Executive Director of American Trails. Mike has also served as the Executive Director of the Professional Trailbuilders Association and the owner and operator of a sea kayak outfitter called Elakah Expeditions. Mike has led groups of all backgrounds, ages and abilities on sea kayak expeditions in the San Juan Islands of Washington, Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Mike has conducted an extensive study of outdoor developed areas nationwide to determine the cost implications of construction according to proposed Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and a Congressional study on improving access to outdoor recreational activities on federal land. He has a B.S. in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, including three years’ coursework in Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering. He has presented on Universal Design and Programming at several national conferences and served on the Board of Directors of American Trails since 2000. His love of the outdoors and his own paraplegia has given him a great interest in the creation of an accessible outdoor environment that does not ruin the characteristics and value of that environment.

Contact: mikepasso@americantrails.org

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