2021 NRT Photo Contest

American Trails sponsors the annual Photo Contest for designated National Recreation Trails. In celebration of these great trails we are presenting awards in several categories to highlight the diversity of NRTs, from backcountry trails to urban greenways. Here are our picks for 2021.

NOTE: you may link to these pages and photos but unauthorized copying is forbidden: all rights reserved to the photographers who provided these photos.


View all entries from 2021 in our Flickr gallery.

Trail Use Categories


Staunton Ranch Trail in Colorado
photo by Dale Specht, Colorado Parks and Wildlife


Island Line Trail in Vermont
photo by Molly Tobin, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports

Equestrian Trails

Southern New England Trunkline Trail in Massachusetts
photo by Annamaria Paul, Bay State Trail Riders Association

Hiking and Walking

Rogue River National Recreation Trail in Oregon
photo by Kyle Sullivan, Bureau of Land Management

Paddling and Water Trails

Trinity River National Water Trail in Texas
photo by Teresa Patterson, Trinity Coalition

Skiing, Snowshoeing, and Dogsledding

Long Path through Mine Kill State Park in New York
photo by Mark Traver, Long Path North Hiking Club

Trail Management Categories

Training and Education

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve in Alabama
photo by Lauren Sanderson, Shoot My Brand

Trail Work

Ouachita Trail in Arkansas
photo by Danny Owens

Youth and Volunteers

Ouachita Trail in Arkansas
photo by Matthew Friant, Arkansas State Parks

Health and Fitness

Sheltowee Trace in Kentucky
photo by David Kravetz, Sumoflam Productions

Trail Features Categories

Urban Trails and Greenways

Platte River Greenway Trail in Colorado
photo by Scott Stark

Rail and Canal Trails

Iron Ore Heritage Trail in Michigan
photo by Nick Jensen, Floline Media

Historic Features

Mineral Belt Trail in Colorado
photo by Scott Stark

Scenery and Natural Features

Twin Arches Loop Trail in Tennessee
photo by Chuck Sutherland

Arts and Interpretation

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail in Pennsylvania
photo by Sherri Flohr

Innovative Facilities

Tuxachanie Hiking Trail in Mississippi
photo by Trey Cranford

Environmental Features, Flora, and Fauna

Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) in Maryland
photo by Robert B. Kauffman

Artistic Merit Categories

Trail as Photographic Inspiration

Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois
photo by John O'Connell