Unifying the Trails Community

For the Benefit of All Trails We Must All Work Together

By recognizing the common goals that all trail user types share, and fighting for those goals together, it is possible to create a real and positive impact on the trails world.

by American Trails Staff

In 2018 American Trails created the Trails Move People (TMP) coalition to bring together a diverse cross section of the organized trails community. Currently the coalition includes the following organizations:

  • American Council of Snowmobile Associations
  • American Hiking Society
  • American Trails
  • American Motorcyclist Association
  • Applied Trails Research
  • Back Country Horsemen of America
  • International Mountain Bicycling Association
  • National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
  • National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance
  • Partnership for The National Trails System
  • Professional Trailbuilders Association
  • Rails-To-Trails Conservancy
  • Tread Lightly!

Though each of the individual organizations have some of their own priorities, this coalition represents the shared goals that are important to all outdoor recreation users, rather they be hikers, cyclists, equestrians, snowmobilers, paddlers, or more. TMP uses collaboration, communication, and education to ensure that the benefits of trails are rightly considered by recreationists, industry, decision-makers, and the general public. We already know that outdoor recreation has a massive positive impact on our nation’s economy and that much of the impact is generated via trails.

Free Trails Move People Webinar

American Trails will be holding a free webinar in partnership with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) on March 19th to delve further into building broad support for trails through amplifying the united strength of the trails community.

Sign up for the free webinar!

The member organizations of TMP represent millions of Americans who spend their time, money and energy to get out on trails for fun and to volunteer. TMP hopes to elevate the recognition of trails by developing funding and research resources so that everyone irrespective of geography, mode of recreation, socio-economic status, or experience will have access to more and better trail opportunities and in turn more fulfilling personal experiences.

The first in-person meeting of the Trails Move People (TMP) coalition in Syracuse, New York. Photo by Andy Williamson

The first in-person meeting of the Trails Move People (TMP) coalition in Syracuse, New York. Photo by Andy Williamson

Why is this important? As American Trails Executive Director Mike Passo said in his two-part series Breaking Down the Silos (part one and part two), we all “vested interest in preserving, maintaining, and strengthening the trails infrastructure of our country.” Passo went on to point out there are many things we can all agree on, including:

  • More trails, serving all of the different types of users, in environments that are appropriate and protected.
  • Trails that are well built, enjoyable, and well maintained.
  • Common understanding of the needs of each trail user type.
  • All Americans to realize the value of trails to the human experience.
  • Adequate funding and political support for trail infrastructure.
  • Enough resources to keep our organizations, agencies, and clubs active and thriving.

Put simply, our voices are stronger together than they are apart. When there is an equestrian trail in danger of being closed, rather than having only the equestrians fighting for that trail, if the hikers, cyclists, OHV users, and others amplified those voices they would be more likely to be heard. When an OHV trail is fighting for more funding, if all trail users joined that fight, that plea would be more likely to be heard. This is true for all trail user types, for all trails, and at all levels, whether it be a city town hall or the halls of congress.

Sign up for the free webinar!

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

The Trail Partnership Research Project

Jun 20, 2024

This webinar reviews the findings from a study with the Forest Service and National Park Service discussing the factors that make partnerships more or less successful and provides recommendations to improve current and future partnerships.

Community Driven: How Engagement Guides the Vision and Planning of a Community Wide Trail Network

Apr 25, 2024

With an emphasis on community wide trail networks, the best practices explored in this session will better equip professionals and community members toward creating vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities through trail development.

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