How to Create and Cultivate a Trail Alliance for Success

Learn the steps to take to form a trail alliance in your own community, as well as what it takes to cultivate an existing one with tips for success.

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Event Details

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August 04, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Outline

If you’re considering forming a trail alliance and wondering how to get started, or have years under your belt and want to take away some new ideas, this webinar will be of interest. We welcome a discussion amongst other trail alliances as we all can learn from each other. The presenters, both from trail alliances that only have a few years under their belts, will go over how their trail alliance came to be and will explain what drives their success year after year.

The groups highlighted will include Homer Trails Alliance out of Homer, Alaska, formed in 2020, with an approximate size of 400 square miles. They focus on hiking and walking trails, but partner with various groups including ski clubs, snowshoe clubs, and city government trails and parks, as well as some equestrian groups. With a board size of eight and no staff, Homer Trails Alliance has 25 as of mid-2022. As Executive Director Charles Barnwell says, “This is Alaska, and things are still developing with regard to trails organizations (and trails themselves!). The Homer Trails Alliance is a relatively new group (about two years), but we've made great strides.”

Redding Trail Alliance, which will also be highlighted, was formed in 2016. They serve and have partnerships with various government and NGO's in Trinity and Shasta County in northern California and serve all trail users of multi-use trails including hikers, runners, equestrians, and mountain bikers. Executive Director Nathan Knudsen says, “Love of our home trails and a desire to see them develop into a world class trail system lead to the formation of Redding Trail Alliance. With over 200 miles of available trails in the greater Redding area, our planning and development of new trails has been focused on quality and diversity. We believe in smiles, not miles.” Redding Trails Alliance has a paid staff of four with five board members and 250 volunteers, 100 of which were active in the last year (2021-2022).

Learning Objectives:

  • What drives success of a trails alliance
  • Lessons learned from year one to now and how to move forward to be bigger and better
  • Communication assets between staff, board, and volunteers
  • Partnership outreach of different trail types
  • Understanding that smaller groups can also have a large impact

Webinar Resources

  • Video: Salt Creek Trail Project - West Redding, CA

    Webinar Partners


    Charlie Barnwell, Board Member, Homer Trails Alliance
    Homer, Alaska

    Charlie was elected to the Homer Trails Alliance board in April, 2021. He is a lifelong Alaskan, raised in Anchorage. Charlie was on the Alaska Methodist University (now APU) ski team in the 1970s, a nationally recognized Nordic ski team. Charlie and his wife moved to the Homer area in 2015. While in Anchorage he was a Board member and Vice-President of Anchorage Junior Nordic. Charlie mapped and produced the first published map of Anchorage nordic ski trails, focused on Kincaid Park; and led a project to build a lighted ski trail connection between Service High School and Hillside Park, a community funded trail now heavily used by Anchorage skiers. Charlie’s daughters are nordic skiers having been part of Junior Nordic, Winter Stars, and one on the Alaska Junior National Team. Charlie also was a board member of the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, and Alaska Huts Association where he led the project to restore the Manitoba Cabin, now a successful operation for Alaska Huts. Charlie currently serves on the City of Homer Planning Commission. He is a GIS Manager with Kinney Engineering LLC.


    Nathan Knudsen, Executive Director, Redding Trail Alliance
    Redding, California

    Proud husband of Camille and dad of fur baby Owen, Nate has traveled the Western States and Canada, with the two of them, seeking out epic trail experiences. As much as he loves doing this, he firmly believes his home town Redding can have a trail system every bit as good as those he has visited.


    Closed Captioning

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    Learning Credits and CEUs

    American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

    • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
    • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
    • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
    • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

    Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


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    4,116 views • posted 07/25/2022