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 12:00 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)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


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


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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


Webinar Partners


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.


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, Founder and Owner, Cycle Forward

Amy Camp founded Cycle Forward in 2013 with the plan to help communities better connect to and benefit from their trails. She is a trails and tourism consultant, a placemaker, and a certified coach. She helped to launch the nationally recognized Trail Town Program® in 2007. She has since offered her consulting services throughout Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and other locations in the U.S. and Canada. Her book, Deciding on Trails: 7 Practices of Healthy Trail Towns, was published in December 2020. Amy served on the Board of American Trails from 2012-17, acting as Board Secretary and Chair of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. She is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and firmly believes that her coaching certification makes her a better consultant. Amy lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she first grew to love communities and began her work to help improve them.


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. 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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