filed under: international trails


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 (Bob) Searns, Owner, Robert Searns and Associates, Inc.

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

Published November 2012

About the Author

Robert Searns is a trail and greenway planner/designer/developer and has a four-decade award-winning history in trail planning and implementation. He has worked with communities to visualize concepts, win support and get projects built. He co-authored Greenways: A Guide to Planning Design and Development (Island Press)—Published in the U.S. and China and contributed to Greenways: The Beginning of an International Movement (Elsevier Press). He has written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines.

Bob has authored a number of trail management and sustainability articles and reports including recently serving as a principal author of a trails management and sustainability guidelines report for The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area (U.S. Forest Service).

He served as Chair for American Trails and helped found the World Trails Network. He has produced and moderated Webinars, policy guidelines and other products for American Trails.

Bob holds a Master of Architecture from The State University of New York.

Contact: [email protected]

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