Best Management Practice Goal: The water trail actively engages local communities and trail users, who provide support and advocacy for the maintenance and stewardship of the water trail.
The National Water Trails System is a network of water trails open to the public to explore and enjoy. The system also serves as a community of water resource managers that benefit from information sharing and collaboration. National Water Trails are a sub-set of the National Recreation Trails Program. National Water Trails have been established to protect and restore America’s rivers, shorelines, and waterways; conserve natural areas along waterways; and increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways. The Trails are a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained.
The National Water Trails System connects Americans to the nation’s waterways and strengthens the conservation and restoration of these waterways through the mutual support and cooperation of federal, state, local, and nonprofit entities. In establishing a national system of exemplary water trails, these trails have become a catalyst for protecting and restoring the health of local waterways and surrounding lands. They are building a community that mentors and promotes the development of water trails and shares best management practices with other water trails.
These seven BMPs are explored in the attached PDF.
Key questions and examples of community support best management practices.
Key questions and examples of conservation best management practices.
Key questions and examples of education best management practices.
Key questions and examples of maintenance best management practices.
Key questions and examples of planning best management practices.
Key questions and examples of public information best management practices.
Key questions and examples of recreation best management practices.
Published June 15, 2020
The Adopt-a-Trail manual addresses the work accomplished in the Adopt-a-Trail program. This manual is meant to acquaint the maintainer with park procedures, duties involved in adopting a trail, and methods for safely performing those duties.
On average, the majority of survey respondents disapprove of e-bikes being allowed on the trail. This remains true across the board for each of the major user groups; however, mountain bike rider respondents are less likely to disapprove of allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails and equestrian respondents are more likely to disapprove.
In August of 2020 American Trails held a webinar called "Balancing Recreational Area Use with Homelessness and Vagrancy." This webinar discussed how the city of Modesto, California dealt with the challenge of homelessness and vagrancy in their parks and trails. These are some key takeaways from the webinar.
Responsible equestrians should actively protect trees and other park structures when out on the trail. Equine expert Lora Goerlich gives her take on this topic.