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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

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The Vision of the Great American Rail-Trail

Picture yourself … pedaling across the entire country on a safe, seamless and scenic pathway—or walking a local trail that connects along historic routes. Imagine the incomparable experience of exploring America’s heritage by trail—its potential, its beauty and bounty, its people and places. Consider the economic opportunities and the benefits for communities along the route of a multiuse trail that stretches more than 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C., and Washington State.

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What is a Rail-Trail?

Rail-trails are multipurpose public paths created from former railroad corridors. These paths are flat or gently sloping, making them easily accessible and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Rail-trails are ideal for many types of activities--depending on the rules established by the local community--including walking, bicycling, wheelchair use, inline skating, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.

History of the Movement How a Rail-Trail is Made

RTC tells the story of the impact that trails have on our communities through the Rails to Trails Magazine and our TrailBlog.

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Rosendale Trestle along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New York

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Latest on TrailBlog


Rails-to-Trails' President Ryan Chao on Connecting America by Trail

Rails-to-Trails' President Ryan Chao on Connecting America by Trail

Thank you for welcoming me into your community. I’m delighted to join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) as its third president and to partner with you...

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Florida’s Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail

Florida’s Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail

Two hours north of Disney World, Palatka serves as something of a Magic Kingdom for outdoor recreation with a handful of scenic, long-distance trails...

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The Longleaf Trace Is a Beautiful Beacon for Health, Revitalization in Mississippi

The Longleaf Trace Is a Beautiful Beacon for Health, Revitalization in Mississippi

Lined with a diverse array of foliage, the 43-mile Longleaf Trace takes trail users from Prentiss to Hattiesburg, connecting three counties and...

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2000+

No. of rail-trails in U.S.

24,000+

Miles of rail-trails in the U.S.

34,000+

Miles of multiuse trail in the U.S.

50

No. of states with rail-trails