Trail Worker Award

This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.


Illinois: Brian Bourne

Brian Bourne leading a work crew

As a self-confessed "trailoholic," whether as an equestrian, backpacker, mountain biker, trail runner, volunteer, crew leader, or whatever, Brian spends most of his time on trails.

Brian has thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, and served as a founding member of the Southeast Endurance Riders Association as well as the War Eagle Trail Association. A longtime member of the American Endurance Ride Conference, Brian co-managed the War Eagle Endurance Ride in southern Alabama for 10 years.

Over a period of years he accumulated nearly 4,000 hours of volunteer trails service with the US Forest Service, culminating in his being presented with the Individual Volunteer Service Award for trail work by the USDA Forest Service. That passion led to Brian’s employment with the US Forest Service, and currently he serves as the Trails Specialist for the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois where he is in charge of the creation of a designated trail system consisting of 223 miles of equestrian and hiking trails through both wilderness and non-wilderness areas. Brian and his trail crew have been awarded the prestigious "Traditional Wilderness Skills and Minimum Tool Leadership Award" by the US Forest Service’s Region 9 in both 2006 and 2007 for their exceptional work constructing trails within the Lusk Creek Wilderness.