The awards were presented on Nov.17, 2008 at the 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, AR.

American Trails is pleased to announce the winners of the Advancing Trails Awards for 2008. Every two years American Trails presents the awards to recognize the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans. The awards were presented on Nov.17, 2008 at the 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, AR. You can download a PowerPoint with photos of the award winners, or click on the individual awards below.

Winners of Advancing Trails Awards for 2008

2008 Hulet Hornbeck Award

Ronald G. Strickland

Trail development requires patience, gumption, and inventiveness. Ron began the Pacific Northwest Trail project in 1970.

2008 Best Trails State Award


Under the leadership of the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT), Florida is facilitating the establishment of an outstanding statewide system of trails through a multi-faceted approach reaching throughout the Sunshine State.

2008 Community Service Award

Jim Meyer, Trails4All

Since the cleanup of Trabuco Canyon in 1995 Jim has helped clean the canyons.

2008 Developer Award

Lakewood Ranch, Summerlin, Woodlands Edge

The first ever American Trails Developer Awards were given to three American communities at the 2008 National Trails Symposium.

2008 Hulet Hornbeck Award

Leff Moore

O. L. “Leff” Moore was the “father” of the Hatfield-McCoy Recreation Area, the most innovative motorized trail system in the eastern United States.

2008 Trails for Health Award

Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation is a community organization created as a result of the sale of the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center to Community Health Systems.

2008 Partnership Award - Level 1

Adventure Cycling Association & The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Minority Health

With the help of countless people, thousands of Africa Americans escaped from slavery by following various paths to freedom, hiding in the outbuildings and homes of sympathetic Americans along the way.

2008 Community Service Award

Senator Tom Torlakson

Senator Torlakson represents California’s 7th Senate District which includes most of Contra Costa County, portions of which are within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

2008 Outstanding Media Award

The Tennessee Conservationist

This nomination recognizes the tremendous contributions of The Tennessee Conservationist magazine to significantly demonstrate sustained and exemplary positive public exposure and education in the field of trail use, planning and construction.​

2008 Trails and the Arts Award

Pinellas County Environmental Lands Division

The Division’s immersive and experiential approach to environmental education will hopefully inspire the residents of Pinellas County to adopt an ethic of individual stewardship, becoming active conservation stewards for Real Florida.

2008 Planning and Design Award - Level One

Judge "Buddy" Villines

Buddy Villines was elected Pulaski County Judge in 1990, after having served six years on the Little Rock Board of Directors as Director, Vice-Mayor, and Mayor.

2008 Corporate Award

John and Annette Schnatter, Evergreen Real Estate LLC

John Schnatter has always had the ability to take an idea and turn it into a global reality.

2008 State of the Art Technology Award

Chris McNeil

Wyoming develops All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety simulator

2008 Trail Sharing Award

Bill Manning

Bill Manning, the Administrator of the Colorado Trail Foundation, administers one of the premier trails in all the Americas— The Colorado Trail, a trail that runs for some 500 miles, from the outskirts of Denver, Colorado to Durango, Colorado.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Alabama: Sammie K. Danford

Sammie has personally assisted small communities in rural areas of the county by writing grant proposals for various recreational needs and has received numerous sources of grant funds.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Arkansas: Greg Butts, Director - Arkansas State Parks

Arkansas State Parks strives to provide trails which satisfy public demand for recreation yet are consistent with wise use of natural and cultural resources.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Arizona: Dale Shewalter

The vision of a continuous border-to-border trail traversing Arizona's unique landscapes and historic areas had been on the minds of trail users through the years.

2008 Trail Advocacy

California: The Redding Foundation, Brent Owens and Kimberly Hawkins

Brent Owens and Kimberly Hawkins are principals in the philanthropic Redding Foundation, and have been volunteering for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) the last two years.

2008 Trail Advocacy

District of Columbia: Julie Childers

Julie Childers isn’t shy, nor is she quiet about her love for trails; first as a hiker, trail runner, then as a mountain biker and now as a mother.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Delaware: Paul H. Morrill, Jr.

Paul Morrill has a remarkable ability to forge partnerships with the most unlikely people for the good of trail projects statewide.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Florida: Linda Crider

A leading trails advocate in Florida for many years, Linda is the Project Director for the FL Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program and is a research associate for the University of Florida, Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Illinois: Kandee Haertel

Kandee is nationally known as a trails advocate, especially among the equestrian groups.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Kentucky: Mike Dulin

Mike is a champion of sustainable trail design and multi-use trails.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Louisiana: John Tarver

John Tarver, his late brother, Donald Tarver, both of Baton Rouge, and Robert Hopkins of Shreveport organized the L&A Trail, Inc.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Massachusetts: Craig Della Penna

Craig Della Penna works tirelessly to promote rail trail development, share information among different groups, and advocate for changes in policy to make rail-trail development easier and faster in Massachusetts.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Montana: Bill Howell

While Bill is nationally recognized as a leader in development and maintenance of snowmobile trails, he has also served as a local and state promoter of cross country ski trails and other non-motorized trails.

2008 Trail Advocacy

North Carolina: Jeff D. Brewer

Jeff Brewer was the first president of The Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and has held the position of leadership ever since.

2008 Trail Advocacy

New Hampshire: Tom DiMaggio

Tom’s primary love and dedication for trails comes through his passion for dog sledding. Through a variety of organizations, committees, and positions Tom is a man of many trail hats.

2008 Trail Advocacy

New Jersey: Wally Tunsion

Wally Tunison is a long-standing member of the New Jersey Trails Council representing mountain biking interests.

2008 Trail Advocacy

New Mexico: Deirdre Monroe

Deirdre Monroe fits this description as she continually promotes and gives voice to the 67,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest called the Caja Del Rio.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Nevada: Elise McAllister

Elise has been an enthusiastic OHV user, and advocate for enhanced recreational opportunities.

2008 Trail Advocacy

New York: Irene Szabo

Irene Szabo is currently the Program Director of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC).

2008 Trail Advocacy

Oregon: Gary Chapman - Corvallis to the Sea Trail Partnership

The Corvallis to the Sea Trail Partnership began as a coalition of individuals and groups sharing a common vision for a 60+ mile trail for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians stretching from the Willamette Valley and over the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Pennsylvania: Ron Steffey

Ron Steffey is Executive Director of the Allegheny Valley Land Trust.

2008 Trail Advocacy

South Carolina: Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District

As one of South Carolina’s 46 conservation districts, the BSWCD was chartered in 1943 and is committed to the conservation, stewardship and wise use of our abundant natural resources.

2008 Trail Advocacy

South Dakota: Kim Raap

Kim Raap has served as Park Manager in various parks in South Dakota as well as State Trails Coordinator in both South Dakota and Wyoming.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Texas: Howard Peak

During his time as Mayor of San Antonio (1997-2001), Howard Peak initiated policy directives that helped to form the basis for the San Antonio Greenway System.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Utah: Sandy and Geoff Freethey

Sandy serves as the Trail Mix Chairperson and Geoff serves as the Trail Mix hiking representative.

2008 Trail Advocacy

Virginia: Sally Aungier

Sally Aungier, a dedicated leader of the Virginia Horse Council, has worked for many years to change state policy regarding equestrian accommodation in Virginia state parks.

2008 Trail Advocacy

West Virginia: Kathleen Panek

In 2003 Kathleen was appointed Executive Director of West Virginia Rails-to-Trails Council (WVRTC) and spearheaded a project with the help of the National Park Service, other WVRTC members, and the State Tourism Division to print a Rail-Trails of West Virginia brochure.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Alabama: Thornton Clark

Clark's knowledge of the river, boating in general, and his cooperation with others enabled the Alabama Scenic River Trail to progress from a vision to reality in only 18 months.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Arkansas: Bert Turner

Mr. Turner is a Certified Master Naturalist and retired employee of Rytheon.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Arizona: Dale Shewalter

Shewalter, the first Arizona Trail Steward Coordinator under the sponsorship of the Kaibab National Forest.

2008 Trail Worker Award

California: Ted Schofield

Ted is Vice President of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association (SGWA).

2008 Trail Worker Award

Colorado: Kym Williams

Kym is intimately involved with and knowledgeable about all the trails in the Larimer County system.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Delaware: Thomas "Chip" Kneavel

Chip Kneavel lives his passion for trails each and every day as Trail Crew Chief for Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Connecticut: Ann Colson

For the past 10 years Ann has been the Trails Coordinator for the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), the oldest conservation organization in the state.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Florida: Renee Blaney

As member and past President of the Ocala Mountain Biking Association (OMBA), Renee is an active, energetic leader of a vital group of volunteers who contributed 2,874 volunteer hours in 2007 to the development and maintenance of the very popular biking trails on the Cross Florida Greenway.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Illinois: Brian Bourne

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.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Louisiana: Richard Kittok

Richard "Spike" Kittok is president of the South Louisiana Trailblazers. The Trailblazers is a riding club which volunteers their time to maintain the riding trails in the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Massachusetts: Colleen Abrams

Wachusetts Greenways, founded by Colleen Abrams, is Massachusetts' premier citizen trail development organization.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Montana: Gary Vodehnal

Gary serves as the Trails Program Coordinator for the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) in Bozeman, Montana.

2008 Trail Worker Award

North Carolina: Jim Horton

Volunteer Jim Horton Has led the local chapter of International Mountain Bicycling Association, Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club, (BMCC) in Wilkesboro, North Carolina to construct over 25 miles of multi-use trails on the Overmountian Victory National Historic Trail and the Dark Mountain National Recreational Trail.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Nebraska: Lynn Lightner

Lightner is a retired construction engineer and re-designed plans for 12 bridges on the Homestead Recreational Trail.

2008 Trail Worker Award

New Hampshire: Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson, Jericho Mountain State Park Trail Master

2008 Trail Worker Award

New Jersey: Janice Elsishans

Over the course of the past 15 years, Janice introduced the sport of Competitive Mounted Orienteering to NJ.

2008 Trail Worker Award

New Mexico: Dr. Richard Kozoll

Dr. Kozoll is the founder of the Nacimiento Foundation in the village of Cuba.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Nevada: Steve Hale

Steve Hale, Recreation Specialist on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is continually "turning dirt" to creatively develop new trail opportunities in the northern Nevada area around Lake Tahoe.

2008 Trail Worker Award

New York: Edward Holmes - Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway

The Genesee Valley Greenway is a 90-mile public, multi-use trail and natural and historic resource corridor that follows the route of the Genesee Valley Canal and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Pennsylvania: Jim Holden

Jim Holden is the President of the Allegheny Valley Trails Association, an all volunteer, non-profit organization, whose mission is: "the acquisition of abandoned railways in the Allegheny River watershed and their rehabilitation into multipurpose, non-motorized recreational trails."

2008 Trail Worker Award

Tennessee: Robert Richards

In his professional position as the TN Greenways and Trails Coordinator Mr. Richards has been responsible for the creation of a statewide Geographic Information System for Greenways and Trails.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Texas: Mike Cox

Over the last two years, Mike has picked up well over 200 bags of trash and he continues to monitor the area around Jacob’s Ladder in Waco.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Utah: John Knudson

John has been a constant and committed force for trails in Utah for the last 16 years.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Virginia: Brian Detweiler

Since joining the staff at Occoneechee State Park, Brian Detweiler has made great strides in adding new trail to the park, while maintaining almost 15 miles of existing trail.

2008 Trail Worker Award

Washington: Tom Mix

Tom is a volunteer who works with every public agency on the Olympic Peninsula to construct and maintain trail, plan trail work, and recommend trail use and policy changes.

2008 Trail Worker Award

West Virginia: Bill Queen

When Bill Queen learned no agency in West Virginia had the authority to designate a stream as a water trail, he got the WV Division of Natural Resources to give them a letter acknowledging the Walhonde Water Trail existed.