How Trails Are Transforming America

Rails to Trails magazine is pleased to present our 2018 Green Issue, featuring a collection of amazing videos and slideshows highlighting America’s trails.

In this issue, we explore how trails and trail networks are transforming the country—generating transportation, economic, social, environmental and health benefits that resonate across communities and entire regions of the United States.

Learn how these vital community assets are serving as catalysts for revitalization, growth and the preservation of our culture and our history.

Inside the Green Issue

FEATURE story

Bayou Greenways 2020: A Story of Community Revitalization

Learn how Houston's ambitious citywide Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative, a 150-mile linear park project along the city's bayous, is revitalizing and bringing new hope to underserved East Houston neighborhoods.

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FEATURE story

Building Bridges: Washington's Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail

Explore how revitalizing the historic Beverly Bridge along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail would unite Washington and create new connections for active transportation, recreation and economic development.

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Guest Feature

From Above: Nebraska’s Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail

Experience the beauty and grandeur of Nebraska’s Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail, one of the longest rail-trails in the country, which features more than 200 bridges.

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Guest Feature

City Parks: America’s New Infrastructure – Transportation

This video by City Parks Alliance showcases the powerful role of “linear parks” in spurring mobility, active transportation, recreation and healthy lifestyles through some of America’s favorite urban pathways.

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DESTINATIONS

San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway

The 16-mile-and-growing Bayshore Bikeway connects and showcases some of the San Diego region’s most beautiful natural and cultural treasures.

View Photo Essay
destinations

Utah’s Golden Spoke Trail Network 

Explore some of the natural wonders and unique infrastructure along Utah’s newly minted Golden Spoke trail network connecting Ogden to Provo.

View Photo Essay

Trailnation Summit

Voices from the TrailNation™ Summit

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s inaugural TrailNation Summit in June brought together hundreds of community leaders and trail builders to discuss the transformative power of trail networks.

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A View From

Scenes From the Ohio to Erie Trail

Experience the developing 300-mile Ohio to Erie Trail in the Buckeye State, which links more than a dozen trails and Ohio’s three largest cities.

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Rail-Trail            Hall of Fame

Cardinal Greenway Inducted into Hall of Fame!

Explore this 61-mile greenway, the newest Hall of Fame inductee, which is celebrating 25 years as a flagship community connector and recreational gem.  

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COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Trail Expert Network Spotlight

See how trails and linear parks are creating connectivity, as well as cultural, recreational and natural connections, in American communities.

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FEATURE STORY

Bayou Greenways 2020: A Story of Community Revitalization

A unique public-private partnership of Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Bayou Greenways 2020 is a developing 150-mile system of linear parks that is fast becoming a model for urban trail networks—maximizing the city's natural assets to connect neighborhoods and people, and generating both economic opportunity and places to play for everyone who lives there.

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine in partnership with DS Simon Media. Special thanks to the Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

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FEATURE STORY

Building Bridges: Washington’s Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail

At 3,000 feet long and 85 feet above the water, the Beverly Bridge over the Columbia River represents a spectacular piece of railroad history and human ingenuity along the former Milwaukee Road railroad corridor in Washington State. Learn how revitalizing this landmark would help complete a critical gap in the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail—formerly known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail—seamlessly linking eastern and western Washington by rail-trail and creating vital connections for recreation, active transportation and outdoor tourism.

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine in partnership with DS Simon Media. Special thanks to the Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the Cascade Rail Foundation and the office of Gov. Jay Inslee (Washington).

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guest feature

From Above: Nebraska’s Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail 

The developing Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail currently stretches for nearly 195 miles between Valentine and Norfolk in Nebraska, making it one of the country’s longest rail-trails. This video explores the majesty and grandeur of this beautiful gem, which crosses through seven counties and features more than 200 bridges.

Produced by the Nebraska Park and Game Commission. Created by Alyssa Baldridge. Drone footage courtesy Long Face Media. Used by permission. 

Read Trail of the Month Feature

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Guest Feature

City Parks: America’s New Infrastructure – Transportation

This video, part of a five-part series by the City Parks Alliance titled "City Parks: America's New Infrastructure," showcases the powerful role of “linear parks” in spurring mobility, active transportation, recreation and healthy lifestyles in America’s cities. Video features some of America’s favorite urban pathways, including the Fairmount Park System in Philadelphia, The 606 in Chicago and The Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans.  

Produced by the City Parks Alliance. Used by permission. 

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San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway Photo Essay | Story and photos by Cindy Barks
San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway Photo Essay | Story and photos by Cindy Barks
destinations

San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway

The Bayshore Bikeway is a growing 16-mile trail encircling the San Diego Bay and connecting the region’s most beautiful natural and cultural treasures. Part of the larger 515-mile San Diego Regional Bike Plan as well as the southern terminus of the 1,200-mile planned California Coastal Trail, the bikeway is also playing an important role in a statewide effort to create new avenues for health, recreation and active transportation.

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine. Story and photos by Cindy Barks.

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destinations

Utah’s Golden Spoke Trail Network

Utah recently celebrated its completion of the Golden Spoke trail network, which comprises more than 100 miles of connected, paved trails linking Ogden, Salt Lake City and Provo. This photo essay showcases the natural wonders and unique infrastructure that make this urban trail network a rail-trail destination to behold. Featuring the Legacy Parkway Trail, Provo River Parkway, and Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail.

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine. Story and photos by Cindy Barks.

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Utah’s Golden Spoke Photo Essay | Story and photos by Cindy Barks
Utah’s Golden Spoke Photo Essay | Story and photos by Cindy Barks

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trailnation summit

Insights + Impact: Voices from the Inaugural TrailNation™ Summit

In June, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy gathered hand-picked leaders from across the country for the inaugural TrailNation Summit—a convening designed to harness the energy and knowledge fueling the national movement to connect communities and regions by trails. One key takeaway: When trail networks are embraced as vital community assets, they bring powerful solutions for addressing issues as far ranging as chronic disease, resiliency, mobility, social equity and economic growth. Check out the highlights here.

Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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A View From

Ohio to Erie Trail

Experience the Ohio to Erie Trail, as told through the eyes of four friends who pedaled more than 350 miles on the pathway, which spans Ohio from the shores of Lake Erie to the mighty Ohio River. Although still a work in progress, most of the expansive project is complete, linking more than a dozen trails and Ohio’s three largest cities on a rolling tour through the state’s quintessential landscapes.

Produced by Rails to Trails magazine. Photos by Eric Oberg, Eli Griffen, Willie Karidis and Marty Cader. Edited by Laura Stark.

View Photo Essay

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HALL OF FAME

Indiana’s Cardinal Greenway Inducted Into Rail-Trail Hall of Fame

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is pleased to announce Indiana’s Cardinal Greenway as this year’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee, chosen by national vote. Stretching nearly 62 miles between Marion and Richmond—and featuring shaded woods, running rivers, urban centers, small towns and bucolic farmland—the Cardinal Greenway is the longest rail-trail in the state, and makes up a core segment of an even longer system with sights to link up with trails in Illinois and Ohio.

Learn more

rail-trail report

2018 New England Guidebooks: Sneak Peek!

Take a look at a few highlights from our latest Guidebook Series: Rail-Trails: Northern New England and Rail-Trails: Southern New England—comprising a collection of 112 multiuse trails across six states—featuring beautiful waterways, wildlife areas, the hustle and bustle of the states’ urban centers and the famous foliage the northeastern United States is known for.

Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Get your Guidebook

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Community Connections

A special shout-out to the members of our Trail Expert Network, who submitted these great videos highlighting the unique pathways they maintain in their communities! Learn more about the Trail Expert Network.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Building Community: Lexington’s Town Branch Trail

This 8-mile trail will connect downtown with Lexington's world-famous Bluegrass landscape, celebrating historic Town Branch of Elkhorn Creek, enriching the trail network and highlighting important landmarks. Town Branch Commons and Park will create dynamic public spaces.

Produced by Town Branch Trail Inc. and Keeneland Broadcast Services. Used by permission.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Autumn Homage: Somerville Community Path

An homage—in Autumn color—of some of the sites along the Grove-to-Willow Streets section of the Community Path in Somerville, Massachusetts, featuring community gardens, urban wildlife, guerrilla art and more.

Produced by Lynn Weissman and Friends of the Community Path, with assistance from Dale Smoak. Used by permission.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Community Centerpiece: The Dark Island Trail

Connecting Central City to Marquette in central Nebraska, the 8.4-mile Dark Island Trail—created with support by the Nebraska Trails Foundation and the Merrick Foundation—showcases the state’s rural heritage and iconic landscapes, featuring small towns, verdant farmland and—at its center—a 1,072-foot-long wooden bridge offering sweeping views of the Platte River.

Produced by Jason Buss and the Platte PEER Group.

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Best Of

Opening Day for Trails 2018

On April 8, thousands of people from coast to coast celebrated Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s sixth annual Opening Day for Trails through more than 175 special events across 30 states. Although the country was a mix of sunshine and snow, trail users came on foot, wheel, hoof, ski and everything in between to kick off the spring season! Check out more Opening Day memories.

Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Previous Green Issues

 

We want to hear from you!

We'd love to hear your feedback on the Green Issue of Rails to Trails. Post to our Facebook page, give us a tweet @railstotrails, or send us an email.

Green Issue Staff

Vice President of Communications: Brandi Horton
Editor-in-Chief: Amy Kapp
Digital Content Editor: Laura Stark
Video Production: Anthony Le, DS Simon
Graphics/Web Design: Anthony Le
Distribution: Ryan Cree

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Rails to Trails magazine is dedicated to exploring America’s remarkable rail-trails and trail-networks, with a focus on the opportunities they provide and the impact they have in communities nationwide.