The National Digital Trails Project

Increasing Access and Opportunities

This webinar discusses the National Digital Trails project accomplishments, future steps, and provides a demonstration of the TRAILS tool.

Presented by:

Event Details

** This event has passed **

November 17, 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


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits
are available for this webinar.


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Webinar Outline

Our Nation is home to thousands of miles of trails maintained by many different land management agencies and organizations. Since January 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Digital Trails (NDT) project has been supporting the U.S. Department of the Interior’s priority of improving access to our nation’s public lands. The first objective was to help improve connectivity between existing trails and trail networks by developing a trail planning support tool for assisting land managers in identifying and prioritizing candidate trails. Utilizing geospatial analysis, the web-based Trail Routing, Analysis, and Information Linkage System (TRAILS) enables land managers to visualize optimal connector routes between existing trails based on slope, land ownership, transportation, surface water, and user-defined custom areas. Secondly, the project was tasked with the creation of a nationwide, public domain, geospatial trail dataset which includes trails from key federal land management agencies and many states. A robust trail network supports increased access and expands recreational opportunities over public lands. This presentation discusses project accomplishments, future steps, and provides a demonstration of the TRAILS tool.

Learning Objectives:

  • Overview of the National Digital Trails (NDT) project.
  • Benefits of the National Digital Trails project.
  • How you or your organization can help build the nationwide trails dataset.
  • Introduction to the trail planning support tool (TRAILS).


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Questions & Answers

Webinar Resources

  • National Digital Trails Project website
  • Trails Explorer (view trails in the USGS trails database)
  • The National Map Viewer
  • The National Map Data Download Site
  • The National Map – Data Services
  • The National Map Staged Products Directory (trails are a feature class in the transportation dataset)
  • US Topo Maps
  • Topo Builder
  • Federal Trail GIS Schema
  • FGDC Federal Trail Data Standard
  • Video “How trail designers build good hikes”
  • Resources and trainings by Jeff Marion

    Webinar Partners


    Elizabeth McCartney, Cartographer, U.S. Geological Survey
    Rolla, Missouri

    Elizabeth McCartney is a cartographer with the US Geological Survey (USGS), National Geospatial Program, in Rolla Missouri. Currently Elizabeth serves as the Project Manager for the National Digital Trails Project. Her past roles include Applied Research at the USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, team leader for the USGS Volunteered Geographic Information project known as The National Map Corps, and regional Point of Contact for the USGS National Hydrography Dataset.


    Tatyana DiMascio, Technical Lead, U.S. Geological Survey
    Denver, Colorado

    Tatyana DiMascio is a cartographer with the US Geological Survey’s National Geospatial Technical Operations Center in Denver, Colorado. She received her MS in Environmental Management from Duke University and has dedicated the last 15 years as a GIS professional in environmental planning, hydrography, and recreation in both private and public sectors.


    Closed Captioning

    We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

    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.


    While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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    1,206 views • posted 07/18/2022