September 2013
Report produced by Rails-to-Trails
Kelly Pack, Director of Trail Development
Pat Tomes, Program Manager,
Northeast Regional Office
Barry Bergman
Patrick Donaldson
Andrea Ferster, Esq.
Eli Griffen
Tracy Hadden-Loh, PhD
Carl Knoch
Yee Ting Lee
Eric Oberg
Tom Sexton
About Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has
helped develop more than 21,000 miles
of rail-trail throughout the country and
provide technical assistance for thousands
of miles of potential rail-trails waiting to
be built. Serving as the national voice
for more than 100,000 members and
supporters, RTC has supported the
tremendous growth and development
of rail-trails since opening our doors on
February 1, 1986, and remains dedicated
to the creation of a nationwide network
of trails and connecting corridors. RTC
is committed to enhancing the health of
America’s environment, transportation,
economy, neighborhoods and people—
ensuring a better future made possible by
trails and the connections they inspire.
Orange Heritage Trail, N.Y. (Boyd Loving)
The team wishes to recognize and thank RTC staff who contributed to the accuracy
and utility of this report: Barbara Richey, graphic designer, Jake Lynch, editor, and Tim
Rosner, GIS specialist.
The team is also grateful for the support of other RTC staff and interns who assisted
with research and report production:
Priscilla Bocskor, Jim Brown, Jesse Cohn, Erin Finucane, Eileen Miller, Sophia Kuo
Tiong, Juliana Villabona, and Mike Vos
RTC extends its gratitude to the trail managers and experts who shared their
knowledge to strengthen this report. A complete list of interview and survey
participants is included in the Appendix, which is available online at www.
RTC and trail planners and advocates across the country are very appreciative of the
support of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and
share its vision to increase and improve trail development in Pennsylvania and across
the United States.
While this report provides information about legal and design issues relating to rails-
with-trails and describes how the trails surveyed in this report addressed these issues,
this report is not intended to provide specific legal or design advice or guidance. Each
trail project should be viewed in its unique context, as the legal and design issues
vary depending on the jurisdiction and the unique facts of each situation.
Cover photo: D & L Trail, Pa. (Peter Treiber)