Photo by Jon Lowenstein

The Trailblazer Society plays a transformational role in the growth of America’s trail networks, and the creation and preservation of rail-trails everywhere. Your generous annual gift of $1,000 or more will help people around the country safely enjoy the outdoors, connect to their communities and build healthy lifestyles.

At RTC, we recognize the tremendous commitment of Trailblazer Society members with special events, trail information and reports that connect you to the impact of your support.

Please feel free to call the Trailblazer Society team at 202.974.5118, or email us at Trailblazers@railstotrails.org.

Exclusive Benefits

In addition to all the benefits of standard membership, including our quarterly membership magazine, Rails to Trails, Trailblazer Society members receive a number of other exciting benefits, including the following:

  • An invitation to participate in yearly Trailblazer Society excursions with RTC’s president, board members and staff (Past destinations include rail-trails in Wisconsin, Missouri, Washington, Virginia, West Virginia, Idaho and Pennsylvania.)
  • Advance notices and invitations to special events, bike rides, receptions and conferences
  • Complimentary Rail-Trail Calendar
  • Updates detailing RTC's work and recent accomplishments
  • Personal calls and briefings from RTC staff and board members when they visit your local area

An RTC Trailblazer is an individual who helps accelerate our core trail-building efforts with personal commitments of $1,000 or more each year (or a monthly contribution of $84 or more).

Ride Schedule

Photo by Ken Bryan/RTC

Join us for Trailblazer Society rides across the country!

Especially for our Trailblazer members, we’re producing a series of locally guided tours around the country and connecting you to great achievements in the trails movement. Our small group rides bring Trailblazers together with RTC leadership and local trail champions so they can share the history and stories behind the rail-trails and greenways that connect our communities.  

Events include our free half-day Trailblazer rides and our annual multi-day Trailblazer Tour supported by acclaimed tour operators Wilderness Voyagers.

Our half-day Trailblazer rides are free and accessible to a wide range of ages and abilities. Typical routes are between 15 and 30 miles and primarily take place on protected trails with minimal ascending and descending (unless otherwise noted).

For more information on these events and to RSVP today, please visit the links below.

RTC’s Sojourn Series

Don’t forget to visit RTC’s Sojourn Series page for more ways to experience trails. Trailblazer Society members get special early access to registration for these popular rides that support local trails and trail networks.

Multi-day Tours

2016 Trailblazer Tour
TrailBlazer Tour


— Explore Route of Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes —

Exclusively for Trailblazer Society members, our 2016 Trailblazer Tour will travel along the spectacular Route of Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in the Idaho panhandle.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Trailblazer Tours are fully-supported, hotel-based multi-day trips. Anticipated cost is $2,000, including lodging, bike rental, meals, and ground transportation. Airfare not included.

Dates: July 25-30, 2016
Location: Route of Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in the Idaho panhandle
Duration: Multi-day tour
RSVP and event details: www.railstotrails.org/RideIdaho

RSVP Now!


Half-day Rides and Events

Discover Austin’s Newest Rail-Trail with RTC and Bike Texas

Opened in the fall of 2014, come see why 10 years in the making was worth the wait for the Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail in Austin. Ring in spring with a 16-mile jaunt in new territory. With RTC and Bike Texas, you’ll learn how this new connection came to be, how it’s raising the quality of life in the capital, and what’s coming next for Texas trails.

Date: March 26, 2016
Location: Austin, TX
Duration: Half-day ride
RSVP and event details: Coming soon.

Philadelphia: Opening Day on The Circuit Trails

This year on Opening Day for Trails, join the Trailblazer Society in Philadelphia to take part in an exciting celebration of the region’s new trail network: The Circuit!

Date: April 16, 2016
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Duration: Half-day event
RSVP and event details: Coming soon.

Pre-Mother’s Day ride on the Great Allegheny Passage

Join in as we drop in to the RTC Sojourn for a day on the Great Allegheny Passage near Pittsburgh, and learn how this hub of trails is driving our national movement.

Date: May 7, 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Duration: Half-day event
RSVP and event details: Coming soon.


Past Rides

Rail-Trails Leadership in San Diego

Our event began on a picturesque morning with a visit from San Diego County Supervisor and Rail-Trail Champion Greg Fox, who gave us an overview of the Bayshore Bikeway trail project, a vision more than 20 years in the making. Transportation Planner Stephan Vance then led us on a ride that provided a close-up look at how San Diego is implementing the exciting undertaking. Visits from the Knickerbikers, ferry rides and a macaroni and cheese festival spiced up our tour of the bay.

Date: Nov. 7, 2015
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Duration: Half-day tour

New Trail Connections in Cleveland

RTC’s vision for a nationwide network of trails is building steam in Cleveland! As a focal point of regional trail development efforts, trails in and around Cleveland are gaining a headlining roll in the future of the region. RTC Midwest Director Eric Oberg and Marty Cader of the City of Cleveland Planning Commission led members on a colorful ride from the heart of the city to Independence, OH, highlighting new segments of the Ohio and Eerie Canal Towpath, a critical artery of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition’s network.

Date: October 4, 2015
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, area
Duration: Half-day tour

Waterfront Cruising in Providence, RI

With Hall of Fame trails like the East Bay Bike Path, emerging projects in nearby Newport and Aquidneck Island, and the Blackstone River Greenway leading into the heart of New England, Providence is a growing hub for trails. While enjoying ocean breezes during the height of summer, ride participants learned about future bike/ped projects in the region and got the inside scoop on the impact of these valuable trail projects.

Date: July 18, 2015
Location: Providence, R.I.
Duration: Half-day tour

Biscayne-Everglades Greenway

RTC’s staff, board members and fellow Trailblazers gathered in Homestead, Fla., to tour the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway. An active RTC project site, this is a key path in the off-road network of trails making pedestrians and cyclists safer in south Florida. It’s also the only trail in America linking two national parks (Biscayne and Everglades)!

Date: March 7, 2015
Location: Homestead, Fla.
Duration: Half-day tour

Trailblazers’ Ride around Washington D.C. for Opening Day!

Ride participants launched into spring with a 25-mile loop around Washington, D.C.’s business district as part of RTC’s Opening Day for Trails. RTC’s Kevin Mills, senior vice president of policy and trail development, joined local partners and fellow Trailblazers on a ride from Silver Spring, Md. The morning tour covered the "bicycle beltway" within the District’s world-class trail system, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Capital Crescent Trail.

Date: March 28, 2015
Location: Washington, D.C., Metro Area
Duration: Morning tour

Santa Clara County Loop

RTC and our trail-building partners explored new projects in the Bay Area, including a 25-mile loop through the evolving trail network in Santa Clara County. Participants were connected with the trail projects and dedicated people raising the quality of life and creating transportation alternatives in communities like Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and many more. This guided ride had something for everyone, including visits to the Guadalupe River Trail, the SF Bay Trail, Stevens Creek Trail and more.

Date: April 18, 2015
Location: San Jose, Calif.
Duration: Half-day tour

Trailblazers’ Site Tour on the Route of the Badger

Our premier multi-day tour for Trailblazers included top-class accommodations and dining. RTC President Keith Laughlin, board members and fellow Trailblazers enjoyed a tour of the Route of the Badger trail network—in development by RTC in southeastern Wisconsin.

Date: June 8-12, 2015
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Duration: Multi-day, supported tour


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Pennsylvania Sojourn

Join us on the PA Sojourn for a three-day excursion on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), one of the nation’s premiere rail-trails.

Get Details