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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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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

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

How You Can Help

Your support helps Rails-to-Trails Conservancy bring more trails to more people.

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Latest on TrailBlog


USDOT Awards Over $120 Million to Benefit Trails and Active Transportation Around the Nation

USDOT Awards Over $120 Million to Benefit Trails and Active Transportation Around the Nation

On Nov. 12, 2019, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded substantial grants to support several trail and active transportation...

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A Q&A With Ryan Chao: Connecting Communities from Coast to Coast

A Q&A With Ryan Chao: Connecting Communities from Coast to Coast

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is forging ahead with a new focus: to connect critical walking and bicycling infrastructure across the country, and...

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The Great American Rail-Trail Experience: Connections to Our National Scenic and Historic Trails

The Great American Rail-Trail Experience: Connections to Our National Scenic and Historic Trails

The Great American Rail-Trail’s own unique journey through 12 states and the District of Columbia, combined with its ties to both National Scenic...

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More Posts

2000+

No. of rail-trails in U.S.

24,000+

Miles of rail-trails in the U.S.

36,000+

Miles of multiuse trail in the U.S.

50

No. of states with rail-trails