Green Issue 2020

Trails in the Moment

This all-multimedia issue of Rails to Trails magazine explores how trails are playing important roles as America endures the challenges of the moment, and the potential of trails—as seen through a diverse variety of voices, places and innovative projects—in leading the way for a vibrant and inclusive economic and transportation future for communities nationwide.

In this moment, we are reminded that trails are essential to healthy, vibrant communities—providing vital space for recreation and transportation, while delivering much-needed moments of respite and exercise. We hope you will be inspired, as are we, by these stories and snapshots from America's trails, which offer hope and opportunity for a brighter future ahead.

FEATURE
Trails in the Moment

As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable and unprecedented ways—it has also brought to the forefront the vital role trails, now more than ever, serve in providing safe places for us to walk, bike and move in the outdoors. While access to our nation’s social hubs, places to be active and transportation systems has been limited, trails have remained open and trail use has surged, drawing into sharp focus the need for trails in every community in America.

Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

COVID-19 RESOURCES

FEATURE
Great American Rail-Trail One-Year Anniversary

On May 8, 2020, RTC along with partners across the United States celebrated the first anniversary of the Great American Rail-Trail—and what a year it’s been. Watch our virtual celebration with the latest updates on projects along the 3,700-mile route, and what’s on the horizon for this epic cross-country trail.

Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

GREAT AMERICAN RAIL-TRAIL

Maggie Reckers Gif
Feature
A VIEW FROM ... OHIO'S MIAMI VALLEY TRAILS WITH MAGGIE RECKERS

Artist Maggie Reckers spends much of her time creating in the outdoors—her inspiration coming “from the feelings and emotions she receives when she experiences the boldness and gentleness of nature.” Take a virtual trip in this interactive StoryMap with Reckers as she pedals and paints her way along four trails in Ohio’s Miami Valley region.

Story by Laura Stark. StoryMap by Derek Strout. Produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

EXPLORE STORYMAP

IMPACT REPORT
Ryan Chao: Building a Brighter Future

Each year, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has the privilege and duty to report the progress we’ve made in support of our mission to connect trails nationwide. We’re pleased to present our latest Impact Report—a chance for us to take stock of our collective impact and recognize how our efforts, collectively with partners and trail advocates across the country, propel the trails movement forward.

As we reflect on the impact of our work in FY 2019, Ryan Chao looks forward to the role trails will play as America continues to manage a pandemic and the recovery that will follow, and what it will take to build a brighter future.

READ BLOG

Ryan Chao addressing the crowd at the Great American Rail-Trail preferred route reveal in Washington, D.C., May 2019 | Courtesy RTC
Ryan Chao addressing the crowd at the Great American Rail-Trail preferred route reveal in Washington, D.C., May 2019 | Courtesy RTC
Msgs of Thanks video thumbnail
FEATURED LETTERS
MESSAGES FROM THE MOVEMENT

We've heard from so many people about how important trails have been during this period. Here are some inspiring messages of gratitude we received for the pathways that are helping us get through these extraordinary times. Thank you trails!

WATCH VIDEO

Photo by Cindy Barks
a view from ...
NEVADA'S HISTORIC RAILROAD TRAIL

Between the fascinating railroad history, the stellar Lake Mead views and the Hoover Dam, the Historic Railroad Trail in southern Nevada packs quite a punch into its 3.7-mile route. Get a stunning look at the trail in this photo essay.

VIEW PHOTO ESSAY

Best Of
AMERICA's MOST UNIQUE Trailside Attractions

You never know what you might find out on the trail! Check out this list of 28 cool, unique and, in some cases, bizarre trailside attractions that help encapsulate the diverse history, cultures and natural wonders of America.

VIEW PHOTO ESSAY

Vanessa Garrison at 2018 TrailNation Summit | Photo courtesy RTC
SPOTLIGHT
VANESSA GARRISON: INSPIRING ACTION 

Vanessa Garrison, co-founder of GirlTrek, the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States, and an RTC board member, discusses how to inspire movement and mobilize women and People of Color in the outdoors.

WATCH VIDEO

RTC Rail-Trail Hall of Fame logo

Rail-Trail Hall of Fame Voting Opens Soon

Since 2007, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has been recognizing exemplary trails in our Rail-Trail Hall of FameVoting for this year's inductee starts on Aug. 3, 2020. Sign up for email alerts to receive voting and other Hall of Fame announcements.

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS
The Role of Trails, Walking and Biking in COVID-19 Management screenshot
RAIL-TRAIL REPORT
THE Role of Trails, Walking and Biking in COVID-19

In our latest webinar, RTC spoke with a cross-sector panel of experts in public health and transportation equity on what we need to do now to ensure trails can serve as fundamental assets in building a healthy, safe and equitable post-pandemic future.

WATCH WEBINAR

RAIL-TRAIL REPORT
MORE SAFE PLACES TO WALK AND BIKE

It’s clear that every American needs safe, close-to-home and immediate access to the outdoors—trails in every neighborhood, right now. Nearly 10,000 people have signed a pledge calling for more space in their community. Our country’s local elected officials have the power to make this happen.

LEARN MORE

Celebrate Trails @Home
RAIL-TRAIL REPORT
CELEBRATE TRAILS @HOME

On April 18, 2020, RTC and people around the nation kicked off the trail season with a virtual, home-based celebration that brought together voices from the movement to share stories of hope and community resilience in response to COVID-19, and appreciation for trails everywhere.

WATCH VIDEO

Share the Trail by RTC
SAFE TRAIL USE
SHARE THE TRAIL & #RECREATERESPONSIBLY

Good trail etiquette has never been more important than it is right now. Learn more about safe trail use and the latest guidelines on how to #RecreateResponsibly, and what we can all to do keep people, places and communities safe when we're out on the trail this summer.

LEARN MORE

Trails Transform America
RAIL-TRAIL REPORT
Trails Transform America

The main federal law—the FAST Act—currently governing funding of America’s surface transportation programs, including for trails, walking and bicycling, is set to expire in September 2020. With the clock ticking, now is the time for Congress to take bold steps to transform America with safe, connected trail and active transportation networks.

LEARN MORE

EMERGING RAIL-TRAILS
RECONNECTING MILWAUKEE

This interactive StoryMap presents findings of RTC’s previously released BikeAble™ study, “Reconnecting Milwaukee”—exploring current access for bicyclists and pedestrians to employments centers and schools, and the impact that potential trails and biking facilities could have on connectivity for neighborhoods of inequality.

LEARN MORE

Montour Trail | Photo by Milo Bateman
EMERGING RAIL-TRAILS
CONNECTING CLEVELAND TO PITTSBURGH BY TRAIL

In this newly released study, RTC outlines the blueprint for the 200-miles-plus Cleveland to Pittsburgh (C2P) Corridor, a key mega corridor of the 1,500-mile Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition. Learn how this corridor could be a new economic and tourism driver for the region.

LEARN MORE

Corry Junction Greenway Trail | Photo by TrailLink user Vicki Schooley
Community Connections

Learn how three innovative trail projects in Corry, Pennsylvania, Dallas, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio, are creating safe, equitable walking and bicycling connections, and generating new economic, transportation, health and environmental benefits in their regions and beyond.

WATCH VIDEOS

TRAILLINK BY RTC

A flagship program of RTC, TrailLink.com is the nation’s foremost trail-finder website, with a collection of more than 4,100 trails covering 37,000+ miles across the United States. Join the millions of trail lovers who use the interactive website and companion iPhone and Android apps to find new and favorite trails for safe, fun experiences in the outdoors.

TrailLink.com  iPhone App  Android App

Other 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.

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Green Issue Staff

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

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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.

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