Advancing Trails Awards

24th International Trails Symposium and Training Institute

American Trails presents the Advancing Trails Awards Program to recognize the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working for the betterment of trails both nationally and internationally in both rural and urban settings.

Rory Robinson was presented the Hulet Hornbeck Lifetime Service Award at the 2019 awards ceremony in Syracuse, New York

Congratulations to winners of the 2019 Advancing Trails Awards.

The Advancing Trails Awards were announced at the 24th International Trails Symposium and Training Institute in Syracuse, New York April 28 - May 1, 2019

Explore the winners

Award Categories


Hulet Hornbeck Lifetime Service

This award recognizes and honors an individual demonstrating longstanding, significant, and exemplary service to the trails movement. Their contribution should be national in scope and submissions should describe accomplishments which have achieved lasting impact for trails. Supporting documentation and affirmations are encouraged.

See past winners of this award.


Trails and the Arts

This award recognizes the integration of art with the trail experience including outstanding public art works, interpretive signs, or other creative structures, sounds or even smells associated with trail related enhancement. See past winners of this award.

2019 Trail Accessibility Award Winner,Willie Wildlife Marsh

2019 Trail Accessibility Award Winner,Willie Wildlife Marsh


Trail Accessibility

This award recognizes a trail or trail system that demonstrates excellent integration of accessibility characteristics into its design and construction. Trails must comply with the new Federal guidelines for recreation trails and provide universal design for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities. See past winners of this award.


Trail Partnership

The partnership must consist of two or more entities and must have benefited agencies or services within the field of trail planning, design, or implementation. The partnership must have contributed toward positive public exposure for trails. The partnership can be between organizations, agencies, corporations, or public and private interests. See past winners of this award.


International Partnership

This award recognizes unique and outstanding collaboration between trail partners spanning international borders. It can be focused on a specific trail project or can reflect a broader joint approach that contributed to or catalyzed a positive outcome in trail planning, design, implementation, or promotion. The partnership can be between or among private organizations, regional and local agencies, national governments, or any mixture of participating parties. See past winners of this award.


Trail Planning/Design (Two Levels)

This award recognizes an extraordinary trail project which demonstrates innovative planning and design techniques while making a positive contribution to the community it serves. Submissions should describe special features of the trail(s), greenway(s), or blueway(s), with an emphasis on unique solutions to design challenges as well as explain the trail’s positive impact.

(Your application should indicate which level applies to your project.)

2019 Trail Planning & Design Award, Level One Winner, Western Piedmont Trail

2019 Trail Planning & Design Award, Level One Winner, Western Piedmont Trail


Trail Promotion and Education

This award recognizes innovative and successful strategies for promoting and increasing trail use and understanding. Unique signage, fun trail events, outreach to schools/elders/veterans/etc., creative use of media, modal training, storyboards, specialized apps, etc. are but a few of the imaginative ways being used to engage and broaden the community of trail users. See past winners of this award.


Trails for Health

This award recognizes a community’s commitment to incorporating trails into their overall public-health-improvement plans by facilitating access, promoting use, and broadly communicating the importance of physical activity to good health. The award highlights the effectiveness of including trails in community design as a strategy for increasing citizen activity level and consequent good health. See past winners of this award.


State Awards: Outstanding Trail Leaders

These awards will recognize individuals who have made compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their home states. Any area of trail excellence or achievement – advocating, designing, building, using, maintaining, promoting, decorating, adapting technologies for trail use, etc. – could be grounds for receiving this honor. Open to US nominations only. Only one award per State will be made. See past winners of this award.


Contact Kayla Robinson, Awards Coordinator, at [email protected] or (530) 605-4395 with any award related questions.

Also See

Browse the National and International Trails award winners since 2000.