Trails and Towns Together

How Communities Capitalize on Trail Tourism

Efforts to link “trail-to-town” have played a part in remaking communities. This webinar will include a case study of the first known “trail town” initiative - the Trail Town Program® along the Great Allegheny Passage.

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Event Details

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May 19, 2016

10:30 AM to 00:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


$19 for members (Trail Professional level or higher)
$39 for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost:

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    Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
    Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

    Webinar Partners


    Webinar Outline

    Efforts to link “trail-to-town” have played a part in remaking communities. This webinar will include a case study of the first known “trail town” initiative - the Trail Town Program® along the Great Allegheny Passage. Now in its 10th year of operation, the program has set an example for trail community programs throughout the United States. Program Manager William Prince will speak about the history of the project and recent expansions.

    Rita Hennessy, National Trails System Program Leader for the National Park Service, will talk about how better connecting trails to communities makes long-distance trails relevant at the local level, bolstering residents’ pride in and sense of connection to the trails. She will share stories from along the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Florida trails, all designated National Scenic Trails.

    Amy Camp of Cycle Forward will tie it all together by talking about the importance of fostering a culture of hospitality in trail communities and expanding the view on how trail visitors can be invited into our places. This webinar will appeal to trail and community advocates who are interested in launching their own programs, as well as to managers of existing programs who want to hear about how they can take their programs to the next level. Examples will be drawn from rail trails and single-track hiking trails.

    Key Learning Points—Trails and Towns Together: How Communities Capitalize on Trail Tourism:

    • How trail town programs have been implemented throughout the U.S. and varying approaches to such programs
    • The economic and other benefits of connecting trail-to-town
    • Examples of how existing trail community programs make both literal and figurative links to nearby trails to improve the trail experience
    • The importance of regional collaboration and efforts to connect communities via trails
    • How to foster a culture of hospitality that embraces both visiting and local trail users of every ability
    • How to offer immersive experiences that go “beyond the trail” and address visitors’ interest in trips that involve more than just time spent on the trail


    William Prince, The Trail Town Program

    William Prince is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he received his Bachelors of Arts in Humanities in 2009 and a Certificate in Historic Preservation in 2010. He began his career interning with Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the StudentConservationAssociation (SCA). The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program® since January 2012. Here hisduties include regional initiatives including a mix of marketing, research, business and technical assistance, and real estate development.

    William also volunteers in his hometown of Elizabeth, PA with activities towards downtown revitalization, and since March 2014, he has served as a board member of the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Rita Hennessy, National Park Service

    Rita Hennessy, longtime trails administrator and National Park Service veteran, is the new program manager for the Service’s National Trails System. Hennessy’s signature project at the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, or the AT, as it is called, was the cooperative management system. Within this system, she engaged with hundreds of partners and thousands of volunteers. Most recently, she led development of the trail’s foundation document and business plan.

    Hennessy holds an undergraduate degree in recreation resource management from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in community change and civic leadership from Antioch McGregor. She has 26 years with the National Park Service. In addition to her service on the Appalachian Trail, she has been stationed at Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and at Rock Creek Park and the National Mall, both in Washington.


    Amy Camp, Owner, Cycle Forward

    Amy Camp, owner of Cycle Forward, is a trails and tourism consultant, a placemaker, and a professional coach. She helped launch the nationally-recognized Trail Town Program® in 2007, and now consults communities on how they can expand the way they approach trails and tourism. A list of consulting projects is available. Amy is also a certified professional coach who offers nature-Cycle Forward logo based coaching, helping clients to gain clarity around their careers. Many of her coaching clients are in the trails, tourism, and community development fields. Amy is on the Board of American Trails, serving as Board Secretary and Chair of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Webinar Resources

    The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program®

    Cycle Forward Homepage
    Cycle Forward Facebook Park Service, National Trail System
    Appalachian Trails Conservancy (ATC) Trail Communities
    American Hiking Society - Hiking Trails in America, Pathways to Prosperity
    Outdoor Industry Economic Report
    Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Trail Communities
    http://continentaldividetrail.... Fund Gateway Communities

    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.


    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.

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