Trail Advocacy

This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.


Louisiana: Scott Schilling

Scott Schilling has done remarkable trail advocacy work in founding and serving as president of TRAIL.

TRAIL (Transportation Recreation Alternatives In Louisiana), a trails advocacy group based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Scott Schilling founded this organization nine years ago in order to improve the recreation and transportation options in our community.

Although rich in natural resources for outdoor activities and great year around weather, the Lafayette area has limited facilities to encourage individuals to get outside and enjoy their environment. TRAIL has been a leading organization in our community. TRAIL’s efforts range from funding a marketing program to promote safe road cycling, purchasing properties to add to existing parks for the development of hiking trails, and providing the matching portion of grant requests submitted by other organization.

TRAIL has a bright future ahead as it grows to include more community leaders and complete projects that engage the community in outdoor recreation or simply help cyclists get to school and work safer.

TRAIL produces several bicycle rides and runs each year to encourage people to get outside and be healthy. Cycle Zydeco, formerly produced by Lafayette Convention & Visitors Center, is our largest event that brings cyclists from across the United States and other countries to Acadiana for a four day cycling tour that celebrates the Cajun and Creole music and food.

Some of TRAIL’s milestones include the purchasing of property and the building of four miles of primitive trails to add to the Acadiana Park & Nature Station and the funding an online “Share The Road” safety campaign targeted around the Acadiana area.

TRAIL has been a leading proponent of the Atakapa-Ishak Trail, a pedbike trail traversing the length of the Lafayette metro area, and has been a party to four successful grants for the construction of the Trail. TRAIL has worked with Hospice of Acadiana to develop a cycling fund raiser and partnered with Alzheimer’s Association to put on several bicycle rides, runs and other fund raisers.

TRAIL has received a grant from the Rotary District 6200 to install an information and map kiosk along Johnston street to promote safe routes for cyclists in Lafayette.

Through the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization, TRAIL has spear-headed the addition of the bicycle lane on Johnston Street improving the safety for cycling commuters to the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and to businesses in that area.

TRAIL has helped promote the installation of Share The Road signs along popular cycling routes in Lafayette and St. Landry Parishes and is currently working with a group in Acadia Parish. TRAIL’s current annual list of events include:

  • Carencro Mardi Gras Run & Ride
  • Lundi Gras Fun Run
  • Cycle Zydeco
  • La Randonnee du Festival
  • Giant Omelette Celebration
  • Cajun Courtry ½ Marathon, 10k & 5k