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posted Mar 27, 2024

OSI Guide to Independent Stewardship for Trails

by Outdoor Stewardship Institute

This training was developed to teach the fundamentals of basic trail maintenance to volunteers working independently in groups of three or less people. Local, state and federal land management agencies will benefit from this training because participants will gain skills that allow them to perform needed routine trail maintenance with minimal supervision and coordination.

posted Mar 27, 2024

Wilderness Stewardship Plan Handbook

by National Park Service

The purpose of the Wilderness Stewardship Plan Handbook 2014 is to provide direction for creating wilderness stewardship plans, driven by the concept of preserving wilderness character. The Handbook focuses on how to incorporate wilderness policy and wilderness character into a wilderness stewardship plan and also offers a general overview of planning and compliance to be useful for those with and without a professional background in planning.

posted Mar 27, 2024

Ice Age National Scenic Trail: Trail Stewardship Notebook

by Ice Age Trail Alliance

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail (NST) is a thousand-mile footpath highlighting Wisconsin’s renowned Ice Age heritage and scenic beauty. The Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) and its partners can shape users’ experiences. As stewards of the land and the Trail, we can help users develop a connection with the land and create a sense of wonder — even pique their curiosity enough to further explore the Trail.

posted Sep 22, 2023

Foundations of Sustainable Trails: A Trail from Start to Finish (Online Training)

This five-part course discusses what it means for a trail to be sustainable. It describes the lifecycle of sustainable trails and includes lessons on hydrology, structures, tools, tread and alignment. ​​

posted Sep 19, 2023

Career Pathways Portal

The Career Pathways Portal is a centralized hub of career information. Emerging and established trails professionals can explore career development options, find learning opportunities and jobs. Click the infographics below or keep scrolling to learn more.

posted Sep 13, 2023

The Trail Fund Programs

The Trail Fund has now morphed into two programs. The Trails Capacity Program fills the role of what the "Trail Fund" was in 2021, and the Legacy Trails Program now offers Legacy Roads and Trails funding to projects on U.S. Forest Service lands.

posted Sep 11, 2023

Hand Tools for Trails

by USDA Forest Service

The tools shown here are those used most often by Forest Service trail crews. They are categorized into tools for sawing, chopping, grubbing, digging and tamping, pounding, and hammering, lifting and hauling, peeling and shaping, and sharpening and rehandling. Each tool is described along with helpful techniques for use and maintenance.

posted Jul 24, 2023

Trail Competency Framework

by The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University

A group of nationwide trail professionals representing federal agencies, trail nonprofits, and the private sector initiated this project to develop a common trail competency framework, focusing on enhancing professionalism as well as a higher level of skill.

posted May 9, 2022

Hub for Information on Trail Users

Everything you need to know about trail counters, trail user surveys, and other information to better understand and engage your trail users.*

posted Apr 11, 2022

Impact of Trails Hub

Everything you need to know about the positive impact of trails on health, environment, economics, and more.

posted Feb 14, 2022

Trail Planning and Design Hub

Everything you need to know about trail planning and design for long lasting trails.

posted Jan 18, 2022

Shared-Use Trail Hub

Everything you need to know about planning, building, and managing shared-use trails.

posted Nov 9, 2021

Trail Accessibility Hub

Everything you need to know about planning, building, and maintaining accessible trails.

posted Sep 13, 2020

12 Resources for Building Trail Stewards

by American Trails

Use this library of resources, articles, and trainings to create an army of effective trail stewards.

posted Aug 8, 2020

United States Access Board - Outdoor Developed Areas

by U.S. Access Board

The Access Board is responsible for developing accessibility guidelines for the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968.

posted Aug 5, 2019

Planning Trails With Wildlife in Mind - Wildlife and Trails Primer

by American Trails Staff

The Primer provides discussion of broad wildlife topics, plus key concepts and rules of thumb to help with trail planning and management.

posted Jun 24, 2019

Volunteer Stewardship Tools

by American Trails

Managing volunteers to achieve high quality trail stewardship work for land managers is not easy. Explore the tools and resources available to you that will help you start, expand or enhance your outdoor stewardship volunteer program, achieving your goals, and providing exceptional service to land managers.

posted Apr 13, 2019

USFS Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails

by USDA Forest Service

This guidebook was written to help designers and managers apply FSORAG and FSTAG to their work and to pro- vide guidance for integrating accessibility into outdoor recreation site and trail projects.

posted Aug 14, 2018

Fort River Birding and Nature Trail, Massachusetts

The one-mile trail provides a chance to enjoy the natural world at Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

posted Aug 14, 2018

Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail, Delaware

This designated National Recreation Trail runs 4.18 miles through northern Delaware and includes Recreational Trails Program funding.

posted Mar 13, 2018

Active Transportation and Parks and Recreation

by National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

A national study on Active Transportation and Parks and Recreation.

posted Aug 8, 2014

U.S. Access Board Issues Final Rule on Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines

The Access Board has published new guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) that address access to sidewalks and streets, crosswalks, curb ramps, pedestrian signals, on-street parking, and other components of public rights-of-way.

posted Jun 21, 2024

The Trail Partnership Research Project Final Report

by USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Virginia Tech

This project applied a research-based approach to examine and assess existing trail stewardship partnerships and to provide on-the-ground managers with knowledge and practical strategies to increase capacity and improve their ability to engage in effective partnerships for trail work.


posted Jun 21, 2024

Increasing the Health and Physical Activity Youth from Under-Resourced Communities through Trail Programs

by National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research

This program brief involved a search and review of gray literature (websites, government or organizational reports, success stories) to identify programs promoting trail use among youth that are accompanied by process or outcome evaluation data. A full scientific review is also provided.


posted Jun 17, 2024

Trail Tracks Newsletter

American Trails sends out two monthly eNewsletters to the trails community: our beloved Trail Tracks eNewsletter and our new Pathways Professional Development eNewsletter.


posted Jun 12, 2024

Trail User Survey and Business Survey Report

by The Trail Town Program

In 2014 the Trail Town Program® conducted a trail user survey along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP Trail runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, spanning 150 miles. This trail is visited by almost a million users every year generating economic impact along the way. The trail itself is owned and operated by several local trail organizations and merge under one coalition known as the Allegheny Trail Alliance.


posted Jun 10, 2024

The Latest From Our YouTube Channel

From our webinar archive we bring you: Mechanized Trailbuilding A Primer


posted May 31, 2024

Secretary Haaland Designates Four New National Recreation Trails 

by American Trails Staff

Four new National Recreation Trails in four states add 33.5 miles to the National Recreation Trails System.


posted May 21, 2024

The Freedom Trail®, Massachusetts

The Freedom Trail® is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.


posted May 20, 2024

The Outdoor Recreation Economy

by Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor recreation is among our nation's largest economic sectors, representing the lifeblood of thousands of American communities and providing livelihoods for millions of American workers.


posted May 3, 2024

2024 Trails Capacity Program Awardees Announced

American Trails is excited to award funding to seven more trails projects in our Trails Capacity Program.


posted May 3, 2024

Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, Louisiana

Bayou Teche Paddle Trail is a 135-mile-long paddle trail through four parishes and 13 towns along this historically and culturally significant bayou in Louisiana.


posted May 1, 2024

Pathways Newsletter

Our Pathways eNewsletter is a summary of the professional development opportunities American Trails and others offer.


posted Apr 25, 2024

Sign-On Letter and Congress Outreach: Join the Trails Community in Support of FY25 Federal Funding for Trails!

by American Trails Staff

Your organization's support is needed to secure funding for our nation's trails in the Fiscal Year 2025 Appropriations legislation. Please take the two actions below and sign-on to the letter of support for trails funding and submit these funding requests with your House and Senate office websites. Please share widely with other trail organizations and user groups!