Our Work

Since 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has served as the national voice for the rail-trail movement. As the country’s largest trails organization, it’s our job to speak up for trails, showcasing the incredible impact that trails have on strengthening and transforming communities, and elevating the passionate work of trail supporters and advocates.

Imagine what’s possible with a trail that connects the country

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TrailNation Projects

Our TrailNation projects are redefining what it means to build trail networks and what trail networks can mean for people and places.

RTC tells the story of the impact that trails have on our communities through the Rails to Trails Magazine and our TrailBlog.

Subscribe to Magazine Read our TrailBlog

Rosendale Trestle along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New York

Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award

Since 2011, the Doppelt family has funded the Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award, which honors supporters who have made significant contributions to the rail-trail movement through their work, volunteerism or support.

Learn more about the Rail-Trail Champions Award

Rail-Trail Hall of Fame

Since 2007, RTC has recognized rail-trails around the country through the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame, honoring scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and community connections.

Learn more about the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame

Since 2008, we have awarded more than $1.7 million to trails projects and provided technical assistance to trail managers, operators and friends groups.

Learn more our Trail-Building work

Photo courtesy West Virginia State Parks

Research Into Practice

RTC's research program conducts original research that advances our understanding of trail networks and the overall effects on communities, including connectivity, health, equity, environmental sustainability and economic outcomes.

Learn more about our Research work

GIS and Mapping

RTC has developed a first-of-its-kind suite of research and analytics tools—including online geographic information system (GIS) modeling tools, economic impact surveys, trail count programs and forecasting tools.

Learn more about our GIS and Mapping work

Since 1992, RTC has helped advocate for more than $15.6 billion in funds to support more than 54,000 trail and active transportation projects.

Learn more our Policy work

Trails Transform American

The Trails Transform America campaign has this message for Congress: Trail networks are as fundamental to America’s transportation systems as roads and rail lines and deserve robust federal investment. Explore trail network projects that are bringing transformative benefits to communities nationwide. Learn more about the campaign.

For over 30 years, RTC has helped shape the legal framework around rail-trails in an effort to protect and advance rail-trail development in the United States.

Learn more our Legal work


Through our grant programs, RTC emphasizes strategic investments that support significant regional and community trail development goals. Nearly $2 million in grants has been awarded since 2008.

Learn more about Our Grants

Ozaukee Interurban Trail | Photo by TrailLink user lixunz

Rail-Trail Stats and Info by State

Use our map to find rail-trail stats, funding levels and related info such as trail networks and blogs by state.

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How You Can Help

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

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