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Katie Test, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
202.974.5152 (office)

Families Across America Turn to Rail-Trails for Cheap, Healthy Fun

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As gas prices lean toward $4 a gallon this summer, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy encourages families to turn to rail-trails as an alternative way to vacation. Rail-trails, pathways converted from old railroad lines, span America, connecting the nation in the same way that that railroads once did. With more than 15,000 miles of rail-trail in America connecting rural landscapes, suburban communities and major metropolitan areas, families can explore the nation without ever having to hop in a car.

"With gas prices at an unprecedented high, vacationers need alternative ways to travel, and rail-trails are a fun, healthy and affordable way to see different parts of the country," says Keith Laughlin, president of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Travelers looking for an urban vacation can turn to rail-trails that showcase cities from unique vantage points, like the Minuteman Bikeway in Boston, the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, or the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle. The Monon Trail, for example, begins at in the heart of Indianapolis and ends in the small and eclectic town of Carmel. Along the 15-mile trail tourists can visit cafes, the State Fairgrounds and community staples such as Bubs Burgers and Ice Cream shop—and all without ever needing a car.

More rural trails, such as the Prescott-Peavine Trail in Arizona, provide families with a more outdoors-focused vacation. Rural rail-trails offer plenty of activities to do along the trail, from canoeing to picnicking and fishing, and can tailor accommodations from tent-camping to bed-and-breakfasts to suit their needs or interests.

Rail-trails are also ideal for the family looking for an affordable but fun and easy get-away. Tucked into many suburban towns around the country, trails like the Washington & Old Dominion Rail-Trail Regional Park in Virginia allow vacationers to hit the trail with minimal effort. Families can explore their own backyard and create vacation memories without the standard vacation hassles.

To start planning your vacation around a rail-trail, visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Users can search by state, zip code or county to discover rail-trails in their area. Trail profiles feature descriptions, photos and user reviews. Register for free and access detailed trail maps when available. Nearly half of the more than 1,500 rail-trails have been mapped and more are being added every day.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037