Above: Holli, Keith and Anamaria share their trail moment. Read their stories below.

VIEW STORIES   SHARE YOUR STORY

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, millions of people have flocked to the outdoors. Spending time outside is one of the safest things we can do. As people seek out spaces near their homes to be active at a safe physical distance, trails have proven to be so important to so many—spaces to play, commute, walk, bike, run and explore.

At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we want to capture these moments—moments of joy, moments of solitude, moments for exercise and self-care. We hope these … your stories … will inspire others to explore trails and the outdoors close to home, while helping our local leaders understand how important trails are to the health and well-being of our communities.

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Share Your Trail Moment

Have you recently discovered trails, or are you a long-time trail enthusiast? Either way, we hope you’ll share your “Trail Moments”—and the stories of how trails have impacted your life during COVID-19. Take the survey below, or share using #TrailMoments on social media. Toma la encuesta en Español.

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Story Gallery

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Amy on Ohio's Roberts Pass Trail | Amy Collins-Warfield
Amy on Ohio's Roberts Pass Trail | Amy Collins-Warfield

“Trails are a literal escape from the monotony and existential angst of 2020. I am grateful to have rail-trails nearby, and thankful for our park staff and volunteers for keeping them in such nice condition.”

—Amy Collins-Warfield, Columbus, Ohio

READ AMY'S STORY

Courtesy Quest Skinner
Courtesy Quest Skinner

“We take for granted these public spaces and the impact they can have … just to be able to take a run and connect with nature and back into your own mind is priceless.”

—Quest Skinner, Washington, D.C.

Hollie S. | Courtesy Hollie S.
Courtesy Hollie S.

“We stopped at several rail-trails and went on some of the most beautiful runs I've experienced in a decade …. Running on trails was one of the best and most enjoyable ways to see the country safely.”

—Hollie S., Napa Valley, California

READ HOLLIE'S STORY

Vincent Viars completing his first 5K trail run | Courtesy Vincent Viars
Vincent Viars completing his first 5K trail run | Courtesy Vincent Viars

“This is where I’m going to get emotional, because I feel like running saved my life …. If I hadn’t gotten into exercise … [t]here’s no doubt I would have had a heart attack.”

—Vincent Viars, Morgantown, West Virginia

READ VINCENT'S STORY

Joel and Linn Kring near the Kissel Hill Commons Trail in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania | Courtesy Joel Kring
Joel and Linn Kring near the Kissel Hill Commons Trail in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania | Courtesy Joel Kring

Back at the end of 2019, my wife and I set a goal to ride 150 trails in 2020, and we were able to reach our goal thanks to lots of short trails around Lancaster and Philadelphia, PA.

Joel KringWernersville, PA

Kasia Martin | Photo by Josh Lawrey
Photo by Josh Lawrey

“The countless hours spent on the trails have helped propel me through tough times. The awe-inspiring scenery and peacefulness of them provides such a gift!”

—Kasia Martin, Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania

Morgantown Man Gets a Running Start to a Healthier Life on Trails

READ VINCENT'S STORY

Vincent Viars' marathon finish | Courtesy Vincent Viars

 

The Mom Squad | Courtesy Brandi Horton
The Mom Squad | Courtesy Brandi Horton

“When the weight of it all is crushing, those moments outside have given us freedom and time to breathe.”

—Brandi Horton, Arlington, VA

READ BRANDI'S STORY

Anamaria Spiteri | Courtesy Anamaria Spiteri
Courtesy Anamaria Spiteri

“Riding these trails has been so impactful; it has brought me a healthy way to work out the stresses of life—and a peace of mind.”

—Anamaria Spiteri, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

READ ANAMARIA'S STORY

Daiquan Medley | Photo by India Kea
Photo by India Kea

“It’s kind of like another way of therapy for me due to my growing up getting in trouble. I get on that road and feel that wind touch my face ... it makes me happy.”

—Daiquan Medley, Washington, D.C.

Katie Fullenkamp | Courtesy Katie Fullenkamp
Courtesy Katie Fullenkamp

“Having that daily mile walk really helps him be happier and healthier.”

—Katie Fullenkamp—on her son’s daily walk to school on the Met Branch Trail, Washington, D.C.

Stealing Moments of “Me Time” on the Trail as a Mom During COVID

READ BRANDI'S STORY

The Mom Squad on the W&OD Trail in Northern Virginia | Courtesy Brandi Horton

Reclaiming My Health and Community Connection on America’s Rail-Trails During the Pandemic

READ ANAMARIA'S STORY

Anamaria Spiteri on the Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail | Courtesy Anamaria Spiteri

Kayla Walker | Courtesy Kayla Walker
Courtesy Kayla Walker

“When Oregon’s stay-at-home order was issued ... I was seven weeks pregnant. For me and many others, it’s been an isolating and anxious six months. To cope, I’ve been walking on ... Oregon’s beautiful trails. It's been essential to my physical and mental wellness.”

—Kayla Walker, Portland, Oregon

Jorge Brito and son | Courtesy Jorge Brito
Courtesy Jorge Brito

“During these times of uncertainty, it is reassuring to have trails as a constant. My local trail has never been so important to me.”

—Jorge Brito, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

READ JORGE'S STORY

Keith Russell | Photo by Rene Thomas
Photo by Rene Thomas

“I’m always so thrilled that you have such diversity; birding doesn’t just attract one section of the community or one type of person.”

—Keith Russell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

READ KEITH'S STORY

Dr. Sam Zizzi | Courtesy Cole Smith
Courtesy Cole Smith

“It's as important as ever for people to know that when everything is out of control, one thing you can control is [going outdoors and taking] advantage of natural resources.”

Dr. Sam Zizzi, Morgantown, West Virginia

READ DR. ZIZZI'S STORY

Keith Russell: Philly Birder Takes Fledgling Bird Enthusiasts Under His Wing

READ KEITH'S STORY

Birdwatching in Tacony Creek Park | Courtesy Tookany-Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership

From Father to Son—A Beautiful Life on a Bike Seat

READ JORGE'S STORY

Jorge Brito and son on the W&OD Trail in Northern Virginia | Courtesy Jorge Brito

Share Your Trail Moment on Social Media

Have you recently discovered trails, or are you a long-time trail enthusiast? Either way, we hope you’ll share your “Trail Moments”—and the stories of how trails have impacted your life during COVID-19 using #TrailMoments on social media.

VIEW SOCIAL WALL

TrailLink on Android screenshots

Find Your Next Trail Moment

Find your next trail moment and new close-to-home trail experiences. TrailLink, RTC's free trail-finder website and mobile app (iOS and Android), has information on more than 40,000 miles of multiuse trails nationwide, including trail maps, walking and biking directions to get to the trail, and contact information for local trail management organizations.

EXPLORE TRAILS

 

Share the Trail and Recreate Responsibly

RTC has long urged everyone to learn and practice good trail etiquette to ensure safe experiences for all trail users. But as more and more people flock to the trails, and as individuals and families continue to look to trails for outdoor activity during the pandemic, sharing the trail and recreating responsibly have never mattered more. Do your part to Share the Trail and follow the #RecreateResponsibly guidelines anytime you head outdoors. It’s up to all of us to protect each other and the places we love.

GET GUIDELINES

How Trails and Outdoor Access Provide Important Mental Health Benefits

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Three Rivers Heritage Trail | Photo by Healthy Ride, Pittsburgh Bike Share

Taking Care of Our Trails and Parks in the Midst of COVID-19

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Wissahickon Trail in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Photo by Patrick Wittwer | CC by 2.0


Read More Trail Moment Stories


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