The International Trails Summit (ITS) in Reno, Nevada April 17-20, 2023 was a rousing success, with over 900 attendees and more than 130 informational sessions representing 20 countries and 47 states, making it the largest Summit ever!
The purpose of the Summit is to bring together trail and greenway advocates, managers, planners, and users, as well as tourism and business interests. It is the most inclusive gathering of all trail interests— professionals, managers, and trails users who believe their combined voices are the best way to strengthen trails for everyone.
Co-hosted by American Trails and the Professional TrailBuilders Association, the ITS featured a number of notable speakers for the plenary sessions. Herman Fillmore of the Washoe Tribe opened the Summit with a land acknowledgement. Keynote speaker Ku Stevens spoke about how trails connect us to our shared cultural history, and Jackson, Wyoming County Commissioner Luther Propst shared examples of how outdoor recreation can transform small and rural communities. Ryan Chao of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy moderated a panel of experts who discussed how the trails world has changed in the past several years, and the opportunities and challenges this represents. Finally, Pedro da Cunha e Menezes, the Director of the Brazilian Trails Network presented an exciting vision for the Pan American Trail and associated network of trails that will protect critical habitat and local economies while connecting the entire South, Central, and North American continents.
The Summit featured two full days of concurrent sessions in the classroom and an extended pre and post-event schedule with hands-on workshops in the field, as well as an offsite field day on Thursday featuring demonstrations of heavy machinery, adaptive bicycles, trail auditing using digital platforms, horse and goat-packing demonstrations, and more. In addition, the World Trails Film Festival had its North American premiere as part of the Summit's evening offerings.
Published June 2023