At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we have seen what’s possible when trails weave through the fabric of cities and towns. When trails are nearby, people have more opportunities to get outside and be active. They can choose to bike or walk instead of drive to their destinations. Local businesses benefit from increased foot traffic in urban places and stronger tourism in rural and suburban places. All told, trails become the foundation of healthy, thriving communities.
RTC’s Projects of National Significance are initiatives that magnify the value of independent trails by connecting them into powerful trail systems that help people get where they want to go by bike or on foot. We believe that trail networks can deliver smart transportation, strong economic growth, healthy people, competitive regional advantage and social equity. The heart of this work comes through smart investments that close gaps in trail systems and improve access to major destinations across communities and entire regions. The scope of this work is a placemaking strategy, with trails as the catalyst.
State of the Trails 2016 explores RTC’s current Projects of National Significance—six out of 12 projects we envision by the year 2020—digging into the promise each brings.