Submit your National Recreation Trail (NRT) Photos by December 15th

Submit your photos for the NRT photo contest that highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails.

by Taylor Goodrich, Communication and Media Specialist, American Trails

American Trails sponsors the annual contest for photographs of designated National Recreation Trails across the country. Our annual contest provides awards in several categories and shows off entries (and previous winners) on the NRT website.

The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. We also want to see entries that cover the many types and uses of National Recreation Trails throughout America.

The 2017 winning photo for the Equestrian Trails category. photo by Fischer Gangemi.

The 2017 winning photo for the Equestrian Trails category. photo by Fischer Gangemi.

Award Categories

We will give awards in the following categories. Photos will be considered for all relevant categories.


  • Accessibility
  • Hiking and Walking
  • Equestrian
  • Paddling and Water Trails
  • Bicycling
  • Off-Highway Vehicle riding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Skiing, Snowshoeing, and Dogsledding


  • Trail Sharing
  • Training and Education
  • Trail Work
  • Youth and Volunteers
  • Health and Fitness


  • Urban Trails and Greenways
  • Rail and Canal Trails
  • Historic Features
  • Scenery and Natural Features
  • Arts and Interpretation
  • Innovative Facilities
  • Environmental Features, Flora, and Fauna


  • The Trail as Photographic Inspiration

View Past Winning Entries

Winning photos are selected not just for visual appeal but for the aspects that make up a trail: the volunteers, the ingenuity of design, and a the varieties of users. Take a look at the winners we've selected over the years and you'll see we why we work to celebrate this vital part of the National Trails System.

Browse Photos

How to Enter

Step 1: Make sure your photos qualify

Step 2: Record the follow details for each of your entries

  1. Name of the NRT where photo(s) taken
  2. State and general location of trail
  3. Caption or brief description of the subject
  4. Your name
  5. Photographer's name, if different
  6. Organization, if any
  7. Mailing address
  8. Email
  9. Website address

Step 3: Send your photos to us

1. You can email photos as attachments to [email protected] if under 15 mb per email

2. Upload via an online site such as the following resources:

These are free resources so long as you send one file at a time under 100 mb in size (HighTail has a limit up to 250mb).


By entering the contest you are giving us permission to use the photos for publicity and promotion of National Recreation Trails. This includes use on the websites of the NRT Program, American Trails, and cooperating agencies and organizations, as well as their non-commercial publications. You retain all other rights to your photos.

Published November 2019

About the Author

Taylor Goodrich started with American Trails in January 2018 as Communication and Media Specialist. Taylor has worked with the National Recreation Trail (NRT) Ambassadors since the beginning of the program and has helped shape the program to where it is today. Taylor currently lives in Dallas, Texas, which is also where she grew up and where she attended the University of North Texas receiving her degree in History. While in college she started doing freelance work editing and writing, and also got into graphic design and discovered she loves the creativity and craft of digital arts. After college she traveled quite a bit, and lived in both the Pacific Northwest and in New Mexico, and while in both of those places took full advantage of what the outdoors had to offer. After moving back to Texas she started moving towards doing graphic design, social media, and communications work full time, and she has contracted with several companies from tech startups, to music festivals, to law firms, to grow their social media and digital communications presence. Taylor loves hiking and kayaking especially, and is glad to be working with an organization that fights for further accessibility and stewardship of our nation’s trails. She feels very lucky that in this position she will be able to use her professional skills and passion for something she is also very personally passionate about, and in helping to grow American Trails.

Contact: [email protected]

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