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.

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

Robert Searns has a four-decade history of visualizing, planning, and getting trails and greenway projects built. He was Project Director of Denver’s Platte River and Mary Carter Greenways—both national-award-wining projects. He helped plan the Grand Canyon National Park Greenway, played a key role on the Memphis Wolf River Greenway, and authored the Commerce City, CO Walk, Bike, Fit plan. He has written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Trails and Beyond Magazine. He chaired American Trails and was a founder of The World Trails Network as well as being a delegate to the America’s Great Outdoors White House conclave. His current book is Beyond Greenways: The Next Step For City Trails and Walking Routes, published in 2023 by Island Press. He resides, writes, hikes, and bikes near Denver, Colorado.

Contact: [email protected]

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