Our Work

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization. Learn more about our work below.

Capital Crescent Trail | Photo by Barbara Richey

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. View our latest interactive Impact Report to learn how we’re turning vision into reality.

Great American Rail-Trail
Warrior Expeditions Great American Rail-Trail Ride | Photo by Albert Ting
Warrior Expeditions Great American Rail-Trail Ride | Photo by Albert Ting

The Great American Rail-Trail is RTC's flagship initiative to create a multiuse trail that stretches more than 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C., and Washington State. View the preferred route map or take action to support the trail.

TrailLink by RTC
Find Your Trail on TrailLink.com | Graphic courtesy TrailLink
Find Your Trail on TrailLink.com or use the TrailLink App.

RTC's TrailLink website and mobile app is the premier trail-finder website in the nation, which to date has documented 40,000+ miles of multiuse trails around the country. Find a trail near your using the search below.

TrailNation

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) visionary TrailNationTM initiative is redefining how we build trail networks nationwide and the impact these equitable trail systems can have on people and places.

RTC’s TrailNation initiative encompasses model trail network projects that connect across city, county, multi-county and multi-state lines.

RTC’s TrailNation™ Playbook curates case studies, best practices and tools developed alongside partners on our TrailNation projects to stimulate trail network development nationwide. 

Join the TrailNation™ Collaborative: a multi-disciplinary learning community that offers proven tools and methods to establish and grow trail networks across the country.

Advocating for Trails and Funding

Since 1992, RTC has helped advocate for more than $20 billion in funds to support more than 54,000 trail and active transportation projects.

Learn About Advocacy | Federal Funding Tools | State Policy Tools

Trail Stories

Our Trail Blog shares trail stories about the transformative power of trails, encouraging their use and generating demand. View Trail of the Month features, Top 10 Trails by State features and more.

Our Trail Moments initiative lifts up the voices and experiences of diverse trail users across the country, centering on real people and their stories of how trails add value to their lives. Since its September 2020 launch, more than 2,000 people have shared their stories in English and in Spanish.

Rails to Trails magazine is published four times a year—three in print, one digitalby RTC. Subscribe now to get special features on remarkable rail-trails and trail-networks while also supporting RTC's work.

Celebrate Trails Day logo by RTC

Hosted on the third Saturday of April, Celebrate Trails Day is an annual spring celebration of America’s trails. Started by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2013, the celebration encourages people all across the country to get outside and enjoy the nation’s exceptional trails and trail systems. Save the date for April 27, 2024.

The Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award honors supporters who have made significant contributions to the rail-trail movement through their work, volunteerism or support.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Hall of Fame

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

Trail Development Resources

RTC provides best practices and trail planning resources, technical support and capacity-building grants to rural, suburban and urban communities seeking to connect their trail systems and create joyful, vibrant, equitable and inclusive public spaces.

Resource Library | Join Learning Community | Trail-Building Toolbox | RTC Grants

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

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

Legal Program

RTC protects trails by continuing to lead the national effort to shape the legal framework around rail-trails and defend them in the courts. Since 1983, we’ve been involved in 60+ legal cases, including landmark state and federal cases that have laid the groundwork for the national trails movement.

Related: Rail-Trail Cases That Have Shaped the Movement

How You Can Help

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

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