Resource Library:

Subcategories • Funding and PlanningFederal FundingGuidelines and HandbooksPrivate FundingState & Local FundingWildlife and EnvironmentFAQsDesign and BuildingAccessible TrailsBest PracticesBridges and BoardwalksSigns & InterpretationMulti-use TrailsSurfacingTrail Amenities / StructuresTrail ConstructionTrail DesignTools & Tool UseFAQsManagement and MaintenanceBest Management Practices (BMPs)CrimeE-bikes & Emerging TechnologiesManaging WaterTrail CapacityTrail InventoryTread Surface Erosion ControlUser ConflictsVolunteersYouth CorpsFAQsAdvocacy and PromotionMaking the Case for TrailsCommunity Case StudiesCommunity DevelopmentFederal LegislationPartnership DevelopmentState and Local LegislationTravel and TourismValue of TrailsFAQsAction AlertsBenefits of TrailsActive LivingCase StudiesEconomic BenefitsHealth BenefitsSocial BenefitsFAQsIndustry News and FeaturesAmerican Trails UpdatesTrail Honors & AwardsTraining and EducationFunding OpportunitiesFeatured trailsMemorialsBook Reviews

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posted May 20, 2020

How COVID-19 is Affecting the Trails Community

by Taylor Goodrich with American Trails

Recently American Trails conducted a survey of the trails community to find out how this pandemic has impacted trail projects, funding, volunteer work, and more. We also talked to trail users and medical professionals to get their perspective on what they would like to see from the outdoor recreation industry in response to COVID-19.

categories: , Management and Maintenance
tags: covid-19, health

posted Mar 10, 2020

Unifying the Trails Community

by American Trails Staff

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.

categories: , Industry News and Features, American Trails Updates
tags: trails move people (tmp), editorial

posted Mar 2, 2020

Trails Community Appropriations Recommendations

by Tyler Ray with American Hiking Society

On behalf of the thousands of diverse trail users our collective organizations represent, we urge appropriators to adequately invest in our nation’s trails.

categories: , Funding and Planning, Federal Funding, Advocacy and Promotion, Federal Legislation
tags: action alerts, federal, funding, advocacy, maintenance backlog

posted Jan 16, 2020

Ten Examples That Show Trail Tourism Works

by American Trails Staff

These ten stories show that trail tourism is invigorating communities throughout America.

categories: , Benefits of Trails, Case Studies, Economic Benefits
tags: benefits of trails, economic, case study, travel & tourism, businesses

posted Oct 10, 2019

Choosing the Right Tools for Trail Work

by Jim Schmid

A wide variety of tools are available to layout, construct, and maintain trails. Local and individual preferences often dictate the kinds of tools which are chosen for various tasks.

categories: , Design and Building, Tools & Tool Use
tags: tools for trail building, safety

posted Oct 2, 2019

ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Grant Program

by American Trails Staff

This program will provide eligible groups the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund their next trail improvement related project, which could range from trail clean-up, trail restoration, trail expansion, to name a few.

categories: , Funding and Planning, Private Funding
tags: grants and grant writing, funding

posted Aug 13, 2019

Evidence of Many Varieties of Economic Benefits Linked to Trails

by Stuart Macdonald

Trails and greenways impact our economy through tourism, events, urban redevelopment, community improvement, property values, health care costs, jobs and investment, and general consumer spending.

categories: , Benefits of Trails, Economic Benefits
tags: travel & tourism

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.

categories: , Funding and Planning, Federal Funding, Wildlife and Environment
tags: wildlife and habitat

published Aug 1, 2015

An Economic Argument for Water Trails

by River Management Society

This report is a summary of findings from existing studies, which provide examples of the economic impact of water trails in their respective communities. It is meant to provide a helpful resource to communities interested in learning about the economic benefit water trails have provided for cities and towns in the US.

categories: , Benefits of Trails, Economic Benefits
tags: water trails

published Feb 1, 2014

National Trail Surfaces Study

by U.S. Access Board, National Center on Accessibility

In 2007 the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) entered into an agreement with the U.S. Access Board and National Park Service to investigate natural firm and stable surface alternatives when creating accessible pedestrian trails, including crushed stones, packed soil, and other natural material.

categories: , Design and Building, Accessible Trails, Best Practices
tags: accessibility and accessible trails

Related Pages and Dedicated Sections

posted Jun 18, 2020

1,028 Trail Projects Can Put Americans To Work

COVID-19 has created an economic downturn. Over 1,000 trail projects are waiting for funding to help put Americans back to work.

tags: crt

posted Mar 9, 2020

Trails Awards

These awards honor the contributions of leaders who are working for the advancement of trails across the country and around the world.

tags: awards

posted Mar 5, 2020

Action Alerts

Are you worried about the future of our trails and public lands, but not sure what you can do? Calling your congressional delegation about trails issues is one of the most powerful things we can do as individuals.

tags: action alerts

posted Feb 28, 2020

Issues and Policy

Coordinated advocacy efforts will benefit all Americans through increased influence via strong, coherent, and coordinated messaging on legislation and policy.

tags: action alerts

posted Feb 28, 2020

Policy Positions and Guidance

Bringing together the collective force of American Trails members, partners, and allies

tags: policy, federal, advocacy, legislation

posted Feb 28, 2020

Organizational Governance

posted Feb 27, 2020


American Trails knows you are passionate about trails and the positive impact they bring to your community.

tags: membership, american trails membership, support

posted Feb 27, 2020

For Trails Professionals

posted Feb 26, 2020

NRT Ambassador Program

American Trails is seeking motivated volunteer Trail Ambassadors that are willing to visit as many of the National Recreation Trails in their region as possible to gather data and identify issues on these great trails.

tags: nrt ambassador program, national recreation trails (nrt), ambassadors, trail ambassadors

posted Feb 26, 2020


TRAILSNext™ Series - High energy, 18-minute presentations on trail innovation.

tags: trailsnext videos, training

posted Feb 25, 2020

Trails Move People

Creating a strong, cooperative, and unified voice for a diverse trails community

posted Feb 25, 2020

Jobs & Networking

Find volunteers, jobs, trail-related businesses and stay in touch with the world of trails and trail professionals.

posted Feb 24, 2020

Emerging Trail Leaders

The Emerging Trail Leaders Program immerses young leaders in learning best practices and trends in the trails profession to help pave the path to careers in natural resource management.

tags: emerging trail leaders (etl), scholarships

posted Feb 24, 2020

About Us

American Trails celebrates decades of working on behalf of all trail interests. Our website is one of the world's most comprehensive online sources for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blueways.

posted Feb 20, 2020

Trail Tracks Newsletter

The electronic newsletter from American Trails provides updates on legislation, funding, new resources, events, and people and trails in the news.

tags: trail tracks e-newsletter (enews)

posted Feb 20, 2020

Mental Health Benefits of Trails

Beyond the physical health benefits of trails, the mental health benefits of trail access is also invaluable.

tags: benefits of trails

posted Feb 20, 2020

Health Benefits of Trails

Does access to trails really lead to healthier communities? According to research the answer is a resounding yes.

tags: benefits of trails, health, healthcare

posted Feb 20, 2020

Ask a Trail Expert

Search answers to common trail-related questions. Or, email us a question and we'll put you in touch with the resources and people to find the answers you need.

tags: ask a trail expert

posted Feb 20, 2020

Trails Are Transportation

Trails are critical infrastructure and, as such, they should receive the financial and human resource allocations necessary to maintain their critical role.

tags: active mobility and active transportation, benefits of trails

posted Feb 19, 2020

Trails Make Economic Sense

The benefits of expanding and improving the outdoor recreation economy are clear and compelling.

tags: benefits of trails, economic

posted Feb 19, 2020

Trails Are Inclusive

Trails, by their very nature, promote social, racial, gender, and economic equity. They are almost always free to use, are available 24/7/365, and provide transportation alternatives no matter what mode of travel you use.

tags: benefits of trails

posted Feb 19, 2020

Why Trails?

Where would we be without trails? It is a simple question, but it is worth pondering. The longer you sit with this question, the more you will discover the overwhelming impact that trails have on our lives. Often in very unexpected ways.

tags: why trails, benefits of trails, health, healthcare, economic

posted Feb 18, 2020

Board of Directors

We'd like to introduce the Board of Directors of American Trails and tell you more about these committed trails activists. Click on a board member's name to read their bio.

posted Jan 23, 2020

Resource Library: Studies

posted Nov 21, 2019

Trail Stewardship Academy - Skills Training

A well trained workforce is better equipped to work more efficiently, more safely, and more effectively.

posted Oct 7, 2019

Trails Training - Dev

posted Sep 10, 2019

Photo Database

posted Jul 25, 2019

Earn Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails offers learning credits for our Advancing Trails Webinar Series, our International Trails Symposium and Training Institute, and other trail-related conferences, workshops, and webinars.

tags: ceus, learning credits

posted Jan 24, 2019

Resource Library

Search thousands of articles, studies, trainings and projects on every aspect of trails and greenways.

posted Jun 19, 2018

RTP - About

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.

tags: funding, federal, recreational trails program (rtp)

posted Jun 13, 2018

Advertise with American Trails

Reach the nationwide trails community!

posted Jun 7, 2018

Resources by User Type

Select a user type to browse resources

posted Apr 18, 2018

State by State Resources

Explore training, articles, organization, and authors by state.

tags: state by state resources

posted Mar 27, 2018

National Trails System - Overview

Congress passed the National Trails System Act in 1968, establishing a nationwide system of scenic, historic, and recreation trails.

tags: national trails system (nts), national trails system act, historic, national historic trails (nht)

posted Mar 27, 2018

National Historic Trails

National Historic Trails follow as closely as possible and practicable the original trails or routes of travel of national historical significance. They celebrate many aspects of our past.

tags: national historic trails (nht), national trails system (nts), national trails system act, historic

posted Mar 27, 2018

National Scenic Trails

National Scenic Trail is a designation for trails that consist of trails of particular natural beauty. They are among America's most iconic trails.

tags: national trails system (nts), national scenic trails (nst), long-distance trails, thru-hiking, backpacking, national trails system act

posted Mar 27, 2018

National Trails System - History

The National Trails System is the network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the Act in 1968.

tags: national trails system act, national trails system (nts), national historic trails (nht), historic

posted Mar 27, 2018

NRT Photo Contest

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

tags: nrt photo contest, photo gallery, national recreation trails (nrt)

posted Mar 27, 2018

NRT Program - How to Apply

Is your trail a good candidate for National Recreation Trail designation? This page will tell you the requirements and how to nominate your trail.

tags: national recreation trails (nrt), apply to the nrt program

posted Mar 27, 2018

NRT Program - Featured Trails

The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.

tags: national recreation trails (nrt), featured trails

posted Mar 27, 2018

NRT Program - ApplicationProcess - DOI

For trails on private, city, county, or state land, or on Federal land NOT overseen by the Department of Agriculture

tags: apply to the nrt program, nrt contacts, national recreation trails (nrt)

posted Mar 27, 2018

NRT Program - About

The NRT program works to preserve and celebrate our nation's pathways.

tags: national recreation trails (nrt), nrt map

posted Mar 21, 2018

CRT - Nominations

Nominate Award-winning trail and greenway projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program

tags: awards, crt awards

posted Mar 21, 2018

CRT - About

Dedicated to the protection and enhancement of everyone's right to health and happiness through recreation.

tags: coalition for recreational trails (crt), crt awards

posted Mar 19, 2018

Advancing Trails Webinar Series

​American Trails brings agencies, trailbuilders, advocates, and volunteers the latest in state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. Our webinars focus on very specific trail topics and usually include one to three presenters skilled on the topic.

tags: training, advancing trails webinar series, free webinar

posted Mar 19, 2018

Advancing Trail Awards

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. American Trails honors the contributions of leaders who are working for the advancement of trails across the country and around the world.

tags: awards, advancing trails awards, international trails symposium (its)

posted Mar 19, 2018

Job Board

Trails and greenways employment, careers, and seasonal work for conservation corps, bicycle pedestrian advocacy, trail organizations, state parks, and federal agencies.

tags: seasonal, crew, employment

posted Mar 19, 2018

American Trails Magazine

The American Trails Magazine delivers state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. We cover news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, the latest resources, information on products and services you need.

tags: american trails magazine (atm), advertising

posted Mar 19, 2018

State Contacts Directory

Trail agencies and program contacts for all 50 States.

tags: state contacts

posted Mar 19, 2018

International Trails Symposium

Every two years American Trails sponsors the International Trails Symposium to bring together trail and greenway advocates, managers, planners, and users, as well as tourism and business interests.

tags: international trails symposium (its), 2021

posted Mar 16, 2018

Training Center - Calendar

Trails training, workshops, and conferences on trail building, planning, management, land protection, organization development, leadership, tools, GIS data, parks, bike/ped facilities, nonmotorized transportation, funding, and stewardship.

posted Mar 16, 2018

Coalition for Recreational Trails Awards

This awards program, established in 1998, recognizes outstanding uses of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds, showcasing excellent projects made possible by RTP funding and enhancing awareness and appreciation of the RTP among Members of Congress and other key officials.

tags: crt awards, coalition for recreational trails (crt), awards, recreational trails program (rtp)

Results from the Business Directory

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance

San Marcos, Texas

Since August 12, 1998, the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance has been working to protect the quality of life for the people of San Marcos through the creation of interconnected parks and natural areas. Today, in the midst of...

107 E Hopkins St., Ste 121A, San Marcos, Texas 78666
[email protected]

Arizona State Parks and Trails

Phoenix, Arizona

Managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners.

23751 N 23rd Ave #190, Phoenix, Arizona 85085
(602) 542-6942 • [email protected]

FlowRide Concepts

Wheat Ridge, Colorado

FlowRide Concepts is a one-stop-shop specializing in the planning, design and construction of sustainable and premiere bike park and trail riding.

4205 Garrison St, Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033
(630) 667-6319 • [email protected]


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