The Advancing Awards Program is one way American Trails recognizes the tremendous contributions and successes of exemplary people across the globe who are working to advance trails. These awards are presented every two years during the International Trails Symposium and Training Institute.

American Trails Advancing Trails Award Winners will be announced at the 24th International Trails Symposium and Training Institute in Syracuse, New York on April 29 to May 1, 2019

2019 Hulet Hornbeck Lifetime Service Award

Rory Robinson

During his 36 year career with the National Park Service (NPS), Rory worked in five different NPS units, primarily in the fields of interpretation and cultural resources management.

2019 Chairman’s Award

Gary Vernon (The Walton Family Foundation)

Gary joined the Walton Family Foundation in 2015, supporting Steuart and Tom Walton full-time with cycling and trail building projects.

2019 Trail Accessibility Award

Willie Wildlife Marsh

The Willie Wildlife Marsh Interpretive Trail is a wonderful example of an accessible trail that blends into the natural environment.

2019 Trail Planning & Design Award, Level One

Western Piedmont Trail

This project demonstrates the impressive range of expertise of Montgomery County Parks’ staff in not only providing exceptional service to park patrons, but also in restoring and re-connecting a highly functional segment of stream within one of the most pristine and biologically unique watersheds in the County.

2019 Trail Planning & Design Award, Level Two

Three Creeks Trail

The Three Creeks Trail is a milestone project. It marks the 60th mile of the City’s growing urban trail network.

2019 Trail Partnership Award

Tahoe East Shore Trail Alliance

Ultimately, the Tahoe East Shore Trail will circumnavigate the entire Lake Tahoe perimeter; connecting communities, parks, overlooks, beaches, and businesses.

2019 Trail Promotion and Education Award

The Georgia Mountains Children’s Forest Network

By enhancing and expanding successful programs offered through strong Forest Service partnerships, this Children’s Forest Network cultivates an understanding of public lands and fosters participation in the care of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and its surrounding lands and forests.

2019 Trails and the Arts Award

Major Taylor Trail Mural

An example of public art that does much more than improve aesthetics, it gives trail users a chance to interpret cultural history and thus a reason to stop and appreciate the Little Calumet River.

2019 Trails for Health Award

Trails for Health Award: City of Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge Health District consists of a series of new roads and a Health Loop trail lined with parks that will improve pedestrian access, add exercise paths, and promote outdoor activity and fitness.

2019 International Planning & Design Award

Hidden Lakes Trail Network, Perito Moreno National Park, Argentina

Tompkins Conservation and Imagen de Chile launched an initiative to promote Chilean Patagonia’s scenic 1,700-mile route, located between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn, and its 17 national parks and more than 60 surrounding communities. The Route of Parks was opened at the end of 2018.

2019 State Award

Alabama: Adam Dasinger

Through his tireless determination to affect positive change, and his dedication to making his community a better place to live, Adam is an outstanding example of a citizen turning passion into action to make a difference in the lives of others through recreational trails.

2019 State Award

California: Erik Pritchard

In 2017, Erik Pritchard was elected president of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA®) and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

2019 State Award

Colorado: Kriste Peoples

Kriste is the founder of Black Women’s Alliance (BWA) of Denver and is a co-leader for Outdoor Afro Colorado.

2019 State Award

Florida: Jill Lingard

Jill is President of the Florida Paddling Trails Association and a level 2 ACA- certified kayak instructor.

2019 State Award

Illinois: Diane Banta

Diane is an Outdoor Recreation Planner in the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service (NPS).

2019 State Award

Indiana: Angie Pool

Thanks to Angie’s leadership, the Cardinal Greenway has received well-deserved recognition as a major community asset.

2019 State Award

Louisiana: Damon Robison

Damon gives testament to what can be achieved by a small community when a diverse range of individuals and organizations work collaboratively to create something very special.

2019 State Award

Maryland: Bonnie Bell

Bonnie’s leadership in park stewardship has impacted and inspired hundreds of people over the years in the value and fun of conservation service and is a significant reason why the Great Seneca Creek Watershed is in the excellent condition it’s in today.

2019 State Award

Minnesota: Anne Gullion

Anne Gullion was a driving force behind bring horse trails to Duluth as a tourism attraction, which led to the opening of the new Magney Snively-Ely's Peak Equestrian Trail and Ski Loop.

2019 State Award

Missouri: Josh Adams

Josh Adams is the sole member and project leader for the Missouri Trails Project.

2019 State Award

North Carolina: Tim Johnson

For two decades, Tim Johnson has been that champion for sustainable trails in North Carolina. His leadership, knowledge, and vision of many significant projects with incalculable impact has created dozens of miles of new sustainable trail on the ground.

2019 State Award

New York: Erik Mickelson

Eric is a consummate trail professional whose technical skill and artistic vision have contributed greatly to the trails in New York State.

2019 State Award

Ohio: Andy Niekamp

Andy is the chief adventure officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection, and founder and leader of Dayton Hikers, which has more than 3,300 members.

2019 State Award

Oregon: Wayne Chevalier

Wayne is a champion of promoting and maintaining the use of traditional skills in trail work. He teaches, and is, a certifier of crosscut saws and is experienced with rigging, dry stone masonry, and woodworking.

2019 State Award

Virginia: Sean Gobin

Gobin and Warrior Expeditions have successfully taken the spirit of what Earl Shaffer was talking about when he declared he was going to “walk off the war,” and extended that opportunity to those who, for either physical and financial limitations, would otherwise never be able to undertake it.

2019 State Award

Wisconsin: Gary Werner

A resident of Madison, Wisconsin, Gary worked for 12 years for the Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation organizing volunteers, coordinating trail planning and construction projects with the National Park Service, Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation, and negotiating right of way purchases with landowners.