Partnerships — FHWA continued its cooperative agreement with PNTS to perform a two year gap analysis and corridor protection research project. An agreement was completed with BLM for a methodology to develop an inventory and monitoring program for trails. Cooperative agreements with American Trails for National Trails Training and with The Corps Network for youth workforce development continued.
Funding — FHWA provided Federal-aid highway funds, especially through the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside and the Recreational Trails Program, to eligible trail projects selected by the States. Samples funded or completed in 2020:
Alaska funded two projects for the Iditarod NHT to brush and resurface trail sections, install trailhead and waypoint signs, and improve trail tread and drainage.
Alaska Trails and partners are creating a trail from Fairbanks to Seward—connecting communities and supporting jobs and businesses along the route.
Colorado funded the Continental Divide Trail Coalition to reroute a section of trail to eliminate erosion, trail braiding, and damage to alpine vegetation along the Monarch Crest Trail, part of the Continental Divide NST.
The Maine Appalachian Trail Club Ridge Runners were trained as Leave No Trace educators—to focus on youth groups and AT “thru-hikers”. They manage campsites, patrol alpine summits, teach hikers to minimize fire impacts, stay on durable surfaces, carry out trash, properly dispose of human waste, and promote AT guidelines and regulations.
North Dakota partnered with the Barnes County Soil Conservation District to develop a trailside facility along the North Country NST which now has a vault toilet and gravel parking area to increase available public services and accessibility.
Virginia funded a project with Prince William County for the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk to create a high-quality through trail to connect Neabsco Regional Park to Leesylvania State Park. This will be the primary connector between the two parks and serve as a connection in the Potomac Heritage NST network in Northern Virginia.