Korea Hosts Another Outstanding World Trails Conference

The Second World Trails Conference took place November 7-9, 2011 in the Seogwipo area of Jeju Island, South Korea.

by Robert Searns, founding owner, Robert Searns & Associates


Jeju Olle Walking Festival 2011

Once again trail leaders in Korea hosted an outstanding World Trails Conference. It was informative, productive and just plain fun! The event was held on Jeju Island, a sub-tropical province of Korea off that nation’s south coast. More than 17 nations participated from Uganda to Canada. This was the second year that American Trails was honored to participate.

One of the outstanding features of the conference was the poster session where each nation displayed their favorite trail information and each participant gave a five-minute presentation. This was incredibly informative. In addition there were plenary sessions including presentations ranging from wayfinding in Switzerland to the Appalachian Trail to Melbourne, Australia’s system for assessing user markets. Bernard Olliver, a French journalist give an inspiring talk about his walk from Istanbul to China– after age 60!

The icing on the cake was walking for many km along the outstanding Jeju Olle Trail, a spectacular trail network that rings the island province. This trail system, the vision of the Jeju Olle Foundation, is a must visit! On the last day of our visit, we all got to participate in the annual Walking Festival where over a thousand of trail lovers from Korea, China and other nations walked the coast, enjoyed music, dance, food, fellowship and fun! What an event!

Jeju Olle Walking Festival 2011

Jeju Olle Walking Festival 2011

In addition Dr. Hui Jung, Executive Director of Korea Trails, presented motivating ideas for continuing to build a powerful international trails movement. After her inspiring talk, a number of us formed a working committee now pursuing strengthening the World Trails Movement and the World Trails Network. Stay tuned, more to come.

— Bob Searns, Chair, American Trails

About the Author

Bob Searns is the founding owner of The Greenway Team, a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO that has specialized for three decades in greenways, trails, and conservation. He was Project Director of Denver's Platte River Greenway, one of the nation's benchmark urban trail projects, and produced 10,000 Trees, an eight-mile river corridor restoration project involving 3,000 volunteers. He has authored a greenways and trails plan for the 43-square-mile area west of Denver International Airport, as well as trail and greenway projects across the nation including Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, Louisville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Portland.

Bob was a development consultant for the Grand Canyon Greenway, a precedent-setting 72-mile system of multi-use trails along the canyon rim. Bob has conducted workshops throughout North America, China and Europe. He co-authored Greenways: A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development (published in the U.S. and. China), Trails for the 21st Century, and contributed to Greenways, The Beginning of an International Movement. He has served as Chair of the American Trails Board of Directors and written numerous articles and editorials for theAmerican Trails Magazine.

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