Trails Move People

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


There are no opportunities for outdoor education if diverse, high-quality trails don’t exist. The Trails Move People (TMP) program is intended to serve ALL people, throughout the nation, with a special focus on developing the funding and support of trails on the national, state, and local levels that will more effectively allow trails to connect urban centers with spine trails connecting entire regions. Our goal is to put a trail within 10 minutes of every doorstep, so that all people can start to think of trails as a way to connect with nature straight out of their front door, and to dispel the notion that you must load up the car and drive to a trailhead far away in order to enjoy the trail and park experience.

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.

Where would you be without trails?

Our goal is to help the Outdoor Recreation Industry and all Americans to realize that trails form the basis of the human experience and create the solid foundation upon which a multi-billion dollar outdoor industry can thrive. This is true of non-motorized and motorized trails alike. Together, our Trails Industry improves the health and happiness of people, communities, organizations, and corporations alike.

Trails Move People is a coalition of trail-focused organizations amplifying the voice of a diverse trails community. By identifying shared values, collaboration, education, and communication, we raise awareness of the economic, health, social, and political value of trails. This initiative promotes interaction between and understanding of trail communities that are typically unfamiliar with each other.

photo credit: Brian Erickson, Unsplash

Our Guiding Principles

Trails are the Foundation of the Outdoor Economy

Access to trails, more than any other single factor helps establish quality of life in communities and creates a growing psychographic of outdoor people that buy bicycles, ATVs, running shoes, etc.

Trails Promote Rural Economic Development

Demonstrate to rural community leaders that trails can create more attractive, safer communities, increase property values and tax revenues, enhance marketability, and increase home sales or leases faster than conventional development.

Trails Improve Urban Community Health

Highlight how trail activities promote health and well being. Ensure that the benefits of trails are understood by our diverse communities, institutions, and decision makers.

Trails Provide Opportunities for All

Ensure that the needs of all trail user groups are heard and understood by land managers, developers, politicians, and fellow trail advocates.

Trails Increase Transportation Alternatives

This initiative will increase the political and community understanding that trails provide effective transportation options throughout any urban area suffering from congestion or poor community health.


Your support of the Trails Move People initiative will raise revenue for direct action in trail advocacy to a huge group of current and potential trail supporters. Your company will be co-marketed in all materials developed through this initiative, and ensures trail enthusiasts will be around to support your company for years to come.

We believe that access to trails, more than any other single factor helps establish quality of life in communities and creates a growing psychographic of outdoor people that buy bicycles, ATVs, running shoes, etc. Recent studies have shown that people want to live in active, authentic communities that provide a true vibrancy of life, based on unique cultural assets and environment. If you look closely at communities that are winning in today’s economy, they provide residents and visitors with fantastic access to the outdoors, connected walkable urban design, healthy active living, and a growing economy that thrives in exciting environments. Trails are core to these winning strategies.

Trails are one of the most potent tools in maintaining urban viability and appealing to a broad range of demographic groups to which quality of life is paramount when choosing where they live, work and play. This active lifestyle culture is very attractive to both retiring boomers and upwardly moving millennials. Key to creating and sustaining this culture and rich set of community amenities are trails and the connectivity and vibrancy they provide.

This initiative has the opportunity to establish trails as quality of life infrastructure essential to every community’s success, elevating the trail and outdoor recreation industry into an equally important national role, helping its industry constituents solidify their relevance among the communities they serve.


The Coalition Members include the best trail advocacy organizations in America, like:

  • American Council of Snowmobile Associations
  • American Hiking Society
  • American Motorcyclist Association
  • American Trails
  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Applied Trails Research
  • Back Country Horsemen of America
  • Conservation Legacy
  • Continental Divide Trail
  • Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps
  • Equine Land Conservation Resource
  • Greening Youth Foundation
  • International Mountain Bicycling Association
  • National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
  • Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project
  • Partnership for the National Trails System
  • Professional TrailBuilders Association
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • Trailhead Consultants
  • Tread Lightly!, Inc.
  • Wilderness Stewardship Alliance
  • World Trails Network
  • U.S. Forest Service

photo credit: Mike Bullington

Phase 1: Take the shared trails message to the outdoor industry

The Trails Move People Coalition will meet to plan out an effective strategy for helping to elevate the perception of trails in the American experience. It is anticipated that this coalition will develop a consistent shared set of messaging. This messaging can subsequently be turned into a professionally designed traveling display. This coalition will work together to register and staff a large booth at strategically chosen large expos across the country (estimate 167,000+ person exposure) throughout the course of the year. The Coalition will then evaluate the effectiveness of the program, make any changes needed, and work toward planning and implementing future phases of the initiative. These future phases could include developing a fund or foundation dedicated to supporting trail maintenance and construction, developing a trails research institute, or developing a large-scale trails conference.

Future Phases Include:

Explore Developing a Trails Research Institute or Fellowship Program

Develop and implement a trails research institute to identify, fund, and conduct research in needed and underrepresented topics around the country. There is a strong need for research and research funding that addresses the key questions that arise whenever a trail or greenway is proposed in a community

Explore Developing a Trail Fund

In the US, trail funding comes in large part from the federal government. As we have recently seen, this funding source is not consistent. There is a need to develop a more consistent fund for trail development, maintenance, and planning that groups around the country can apply for and utilize. The difficult balance becomes the offing of this fund without the resulting decrease in federal funding.

Explore Developing a Unified Trails Training Program

Develop and implement an effective training program that could include skills certification, publications, best practices, and other resources that ensure consistent, high-quality training opportunities are available across the country.

Where would you be without trails?

13,058 views • posted 02/25/2020