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 2020
This updated Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned report documents how the state of the practice, perspectives, and context for rails-with-trails have evolved since 2002 and includes updated effective practices.
Evaluating Effectiveness of Visitor Use Management
Estimating visitor numbers and collecting information on visitor attitudes in Alaska national forests is especially challenging because of the dispersed access to the forests by a relatively small number of visitors.
As the summer unfolds, park and trail managers across North America are preparing for yet another recording breaking season. While it is too early to make definitive calls about the state of pandemic trail boom and future volumes on trails and in parks, early analyses suggest the boom is alive and well. During this unprecedented time, automated count data serves as a crucial tool to track changes, understand use, and make the work of trail managers just a little bit easier.