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

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

Learn more about TrailNation

San Francisco Bay Trail | Photo by Cindy Barks

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

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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

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

Building Communities

Building stronger, healthier, more connected communities is at the heart of RTC’s work—through trail programs, and walking and biking projects that bring people together in the community space that trails make possible.

Learn more about we Build Communities


RTC establishes strong, critical connections at the national, regional, corporate and community level—all of which play an important role in ensuring trails and trail programs are supported and promoted across America.

Learn more about Partnerships

Launched in 2015, the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund supports organizations and local governments that are implementing projects to build and improve multi-use trails.

Learn more about the Fund

High Trestle Trail | Photo by David V. Johnson

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About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

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Explore the History of Rail-Trails 

Check out our interactive timeline below to browse important moments in the history of RTC and trail development in America.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Illinois’ Trail

Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Illinois’ Trail

Roll the windows down, turn the music up, and meander through dry deserts and rolling hills—the iconic journey of Route 66, the most famous road in...

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Iowa’s Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Iowa’s Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Depending on who you ask, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail is either 52 miles long (the original length) or about 67 miles thanks to extension projects...

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From Dream to National Treasure: The Great American Rail-Trail

From Dream to National Treasure: The Great American Rail-Trail

When complete, the Great American Rail-Trail will span more than 3,700 miles across 12 states and the District of Columbia—connecting Washington,...

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