The Trail Partnership Research Project Final Report

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.

by USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Virginia Tech

Prepared by: James Freeman, Dr. Michael Sorice, Dr. Jeremy Wimpey Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

For: The US Forest Service and National Park Service

The Trail Partnership Research Project was a two-year research project in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS) and Virginia Tech (VT). 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. Planning for this research began in June 2021 and execution of the study began in January of 2022. This report summarizes the full results and recommendations from the research project.

Attached document published December 2023

About the Authors


To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.


The National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916 and today manages over 390 units found in all 50 states and some of the U.S. territories. NPS supports and operates trails in three interlocking arenas: trails in parks, technical assistance to States and communities, and administration of much of the National Trails System.


At Virginia Tech, we're reimagining how education and technology intersect. This approach transforms the ways we teach and learn, perform research, and engage with communities around the world.

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