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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
a view from ...
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.
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.
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.
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 Fame. Voting 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
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.
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.
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.
SAFE TRAIL USE
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
We want to hear from you!
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