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16 Trail Terms You Might Hear on Your Next Hike

16 Trail Terms You Might Hear on Your Next Hike

There are countless ways to enjoy National Trails, including running, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, or even just picnicking and playing lawn games with friends and family. Of course, one of the most popular forms of recreation on National Trails is hiking.  While you’re enjoying a National…

The Rethink Outside™ Shared Narrative May Help Advance JEDI

The Rethink Outside™ Shared Narrative May Help Advance JEDI The Partnership for the National Trails System is excited to host our keynote speaker for the 2021 Virtual National Trails Workshop: Anupama Joshi (she/her), Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. During Rethink Outside™: Let’s…

Nominations Open for PNTS Board of Directors Thru October 4, 2021

Nominations Open for PNTS Board of Directors Thru October 4, 2021

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is currently accepting nominations for their Board of Directors (BOD) through October 4, 2021. If selected to join the Board, new members will sit for a three-year term beginning in January 2022. Who should apply / Who…

Star-Spangled Banner NHT’s ‘Roving Ranger’ Brings the Trail to You

Star-Spangled Banner NHT’s ‘Roving Ranger’ Brings the Trail to You

Trail will focus on underserved communities with their new “mobile visitors’ center”. The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (SSBNHT) is creating a mobile visitors’ center to appear at various Trail partner sites and public events throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. The mobile center—made up of…

Summer 2021 Comings and Goings

Summer 2021 Comings and Goings

Announcements about new hires, appoints, and outgoing professionals at National Trail nonprofits and Federal partner agencies. We Welcome: Randy Moore, Forest Service Chief Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Randy Moore as the 20th Chief of the USDA Forest Service on June 28,…

National Trails System Council Update

2021-22 marks a year of transition for the National Trails System Council.  By John Cannella, National Program Manager, NPS National Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails Systems. As many of you know, the National Trails System Council (formerly known as the Federal Interagency Council…

Lewis & Clark NHT Junior Ranger Activity Book Engages Kids of All Ages

Lewis & Clark NHT Junior Ranger Activity Book Engages Kids of All Ages

By Caitlin Campbell, Visual Information Specialist, Lewis and Clark NHT The Lewis and Clark Trail Junior Ranger program is now available at more than 30 locations in 13 States across the country. To earn a Junior Ranger badge, kids work on an activity book that…

National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2021 ‘America’s Most Endangered Places List’ Includes Sites on NHTs

National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2021 ‘America’s Most Endangered Places List’ Includes Sites on NHTs

By Mike Dawson, PNTS Affiliate Member The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has announced its Most Endangered Places List for 2021 and, out of 11 sites included this year, it includes important sites on two existing, and one proposed, National Historic Trails (NHTs): the…

Fire Watch on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Fire Watch on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Two brush fires on the AT within two weeks have officials and land managers on alert. On April 30, 2021, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced a 7.4 mile trail closure in Virginia near the popular hiking destinations of Dragon’s Tooth and McAfee Knob as a…

North Country Trail Association Helps Secure 242 Acres on the Minnesota-Wisconsin Border

With help from partners, NCTA preserved a mile of trail and eliminated a nearly one-mile-long road walk. Project Quick Facts:   Area secured: 242 acres Trail preserved: 1 mile Road walk removed: ¾ mile Funding partners: Pheasants Forever; Carlton County, MN; NCTA Land manager: Carlton County,…

‘America the Beautiful’ on National Trails

‘America the Beautiful’ on National Trails

National Trails and Public Lands Advocates react to the Biden Administration’s call for conservation. On May 6, 2021, a 24-page report called “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” outlined a vision of a locally led, voluntary, nationwide effort to “conserve and restore the lands and…

Thru-Hiking Like a Warrior

Thru-Hiking Like a Warrior

“Warrior Expeditions” provide post-combat healing on National Trails. By Angie Miller, Director of Administration, Warrior Expeditions. Once an obscure bit of outdoor-industry jargon, the term “thru-hike” has become increasingly common in the American lexicon. As the demand for access to outdoor recreation continues to rise…

PNTS Expands Forums for Member Exchange

There are myriad challenges associated with working for a National Scenic or Historic Trail. But what if there was a place to workshop ideas with other trail professionals who have dealt with similar challenges? In 2017, the Volunteer Program Working Group was formed to do…

PNTS and Bell’s Brewery Encourage You to “Go Where the Trail Leads You”

PNTS and Bell’s Brewery Encourage You to “Go Where the Trail Leads You”

The co-branded awareness campaign will take place this September and October. The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is teaming up with Bell’s Brewery this September and October for a co-branded trails awareness campaign called “Go Where the Trail Leads You.” The promotional campaign…

2021 PNTS Trail Apprentice: Chase Gregory Expands Programming Career

2021 PNTS Trail Apprentice: Chase Gregory Expands Programming Career

This column shines a light on rising leaders in public lands and outdoor recreation who participate in PNTS’ Trail Intern Grants or Trail Apprentices Program. Trail Intern Grants are distributed to help Trails nonprofits hire interns to further their missions and expand their capacities. The…

Message from the Executive Director Summer 2021

Message from the Executive Director Summer 2021

When reading this issue of Pathways Across America, I noticed a refreshed and palpable energy in the National Trails System. This energy is not new, it is long nurtured by many people, including many of you reading this issue of Pathways. As we emerge from…

Federal Trail GIS Schema – Public Review Announcement

For the past two years there has been a multi-agency effort to develop a nation-wide Federal Trail GIS Schema database template. The template is finally (!) ready for a public review. The Federal Trail GIS Schema template can be utilized by all trails, including long distance National…

Registration Now Open Virtual Hike the Hill® 2021- March 8-26, 2021

Registration Now Open Virtual Hike the Hill® 2021- March 8-26, 2021

We hope you will join us March 8-26, 2021 for Virtual Hike the Hill 2021®!  Now in its 24th year, Hike the Hill® is a joint effort between the American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the National Trails System to bring together the trails…

Save the Date! 2021 Virtual Hike the Hill

Save the Date! 2021 Virtual Hike the Hill

We hope you will join us March 8-26, 2021 for Virtual Hike the Hill 2021®!  Registration and tentative schedule will be available in the second week of January. Now in its 24th year, Hike the Hill® is a joint effort between the American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the…

Virtual Workshop Wraps Up

Thank you! Virtual Workshop Wraps Up More than 200 people attended, presented, sponsored, and/or supported the Partnership for the National Trails System’s first Virtual Workshop. Thank you so much for making this Workshop a success we can build on! During the workshop we heard about…

Fall National Trails Workshop – Registration Open & Detailed Schedule Available!

Fall National Trails Workshop – Registration Open & Detailed Schedule Available!

September 22, 2020 – We would like to welcome you to join us at the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop! These are indeed challenging times along our National Trails System. With the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, so many schedules, activities, trail events, and trail projects…

Partnership’s Statement upon Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the House

July 22, 2020 The Partnership for the National Trails System issued the following statement from Board President Barney Scout Mann upon passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the U.S. House of Representatives: Today’s vote to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) and…

Valerie Rupp named Executive Director of the Partnership for the National Trails System

Valerie Rupp named Executive Director of the Partnership for the National Trails System

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) has appointed Valerie C. Rupp of Baltimore, Maryland, to serve as the new Executive Director for the organization which represents 30 national scenic and historic trails. Valerie currently is Corporate & Foundation Stewardship Director for Baltimore’s People…

Fall National Trails Workshop Moves to Virtual Format

Fall National Trails Workshop Moves to Virtual Format With much careful thought and deliberation, a consensus decision was reached earlier today at the Trail Leaders Council meeting to cancel the Partnership for the National Trails System’s in-person Fall Workshop (scheduled for October 26-30, 2020 in…

The Partnership’s Statement of Solidarity

The Partnership for the National Trails System stands in solidarity with the Black community and other people of color in condemning recent injustices — especially loss of life — as well as the systemic racism that has persisted in our country for generations.  The Partnership…

Trails link people to landscapes and culture

Now more than ever we need our parks, natural areas and trails. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! Trails link people to landscapes and culture. During this time of…

Fall Workshop: Willingess to Travel Survey – Due June 7

From RG Absher, Chair of the Fall Workshop Committee: Friends – As you know, the Partnership’s Fall National Trails Workshop has been scheduled for October 27, 28, and 29th, 2020 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. As the host organization for this event, we have been working…

Enjoy a national trail today!

Now more than ever we need our trails, natural areas and public outdoor spaces. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! Every day, the staff of the Partnership for the…

A breath of fresh air – the National Trails System

Now more than ever we need our trails, natural areas and public outdoor spaces. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! During stressful times, it is well known that a…

Trails enrich your community

Now more than ever we need our trails, natural areas and public outdoor spaces. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! Are you curious about the area where you live…

PNTS Letters to Congress: Trails and Economic Stimulus

Attached are letters that the Partnership for the National Trails System sent to House and Senate leadership on May 5th and March 23rd urging specific attention to trails as they work on a long-term economic stimulus and infrastructure package. Now is a good time to…

Putting trails on the map and into your home!

Now more than ever we need our trails, natural areas and public outdoor spaces. Together we can build and improve accessibility and put the national scenic and historic trails on the map and into your home! The founders of the National Trails System anticipated scenic…

Fall Workshop: Call for Presentation/Session proposals – Due May 15th

From RG Absher, Chair of the Fall Workshop Committee:  I’m excited about the prospect of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) hosting the PNTS National Trails Workshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina on October 26th – 30th, 2020. This workshop is intended to serve the interests…

A time of transition and momentum for trails during Hike the Hill 2020

A time of transition and momentum for trails during Hike the Hill 2020

By Kathy DeCoster, PNTS Advocacy and Policy Director, and Samantha Haas, PNTS Communications Coordinator More than 100 people representing 40 trail organizations and advocates from throughout the country traveled to Washington, D.C. this February to “Hike the Hill.” Now in its 23rd year, Hike the Hill®…

PNTS Cancels Spring National Trails Workshop

UPDATE 3/20/2020: PNTS Cancels Spring National Trails Workshop Regrettably, we have decided by consensus among PNTS leadership and workshop leads to cancel the Partnership’s Spring National Trails Workshop scheduled for May 18-22, 2020 at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. This is highly unfortunate and yet…

COVID-19 Updates for National Scenic and Historic Trails

Trail friends, advocates and partners: As you know, the COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly. Public health experts urgently advise those at lower risk of illness to take proactive precautionary measures (like social distancing, self-quarantining when sick, washing hands) not just to protect themselves, but to…

PNTS Seeks New Executive Director

PNTS Seeks New Executive Director

Partnership for the National Trails System Seeks New Executive Director The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS or The Partnership) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial and visionary Executive Director to build on the organization’s 27-year legacy of accomplishments and guide its work to the next…

2020 Trail Workshops – Spring (Canceled) & Fall (Scheduled)

2020 Trail Workshops – Spring (Canceled) & Fall (Scheduled)

Additional information will be posted as available on the Workshop webpage. In the meantime, please send your questions to the workshop contacts. Spring Workshop – CANCELED (UPDATE 3/20/2020): Regrettably, we have decided by consensus among PNTS leadership and workshop leads to cancel the Partnership’s Spring…

Preserving critical resources and closing gaps along national scenic and historic trails

Preserving critical resources and closing gaps along national scenic and historic trails

by Gary Werner, Executive Director, Partnership for the National Trails System Congress’s intent in establishing the National Trails System was for national scenic trails to be continuous off-road pathways and for both the national scenic and national historic trails to preserve the natural, cultural, historic, and…

Celebrating 10 years as part of the National Trails System

Celebrating 10 years as part of the National Trails System

In 2009, four new national scenic and historic trails joined the National Trails System, bringing the total number of Congressionally designated trails to 30. In 2019, nonprofit and Federal partners shared each trail’s history, accomplishments, and 10th anniversary events. To learn more about the trails, visit…

National Trails System 50th book to benefit PNTS

National Trails System 50th book to benefit PNTS

by Partnership for the National Trails System Adapted from news releases Steve Elkinton, former National Park Service (NPS) Program Leader for the National Trails System, has written the book, “A Grand Experiment—The National Trails System at 50.” Learn how the concept of a National Trails…

Help secure full annual funding of the LWCF and donate to support the work of the PNTS

Help secure full annual funding of the LWCF and donate to support the work of the PNTS

by Gary Werner, Executive Director, Partnership for the National Trails System As we begin the second 50 years of building, protecting, interpreting, and maintaining the national scenic and historic trails, several new opportunities offer the prospect of significantly enhancing our efforts. The Partnership for the National…

Make the connection – the National Trails System

Make the connection – the National Trails System

I am Alex Stigliano, Program Director for the Florida Trail Association. I devoted a decade of my career to teaching outdoor leadership skills to students of all ages because I believe it is the perfect classroom. People see themselves, each other, and their world most…

Find America’s Trails – Out There!

Find America’s Trails – Out There!

At 13, I was the smallest boy in my class. “Hey, Shrimp!” was a refrain often heard. On a 50-mile backpacking trip, my 80-pound body wrestled with a 35-pound pack. But “out there,” I found scenes more beautiful than pictures on a museum wall. Out…

Experience the heart of history on America’s national trails

Experience the heart of history on America’s national trails

I am Margaret Gorski, a volunteer leader with the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. In 1991, I was a U.S. Forest Service employee sitting in a circle of Nez Perce elders high in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho. I looked across a vast jumble of tree…

Explore. Dream. Discover – the National Trails System is here for you!

Explore. Dream. Discover – the National Trails System is here for you!

I’m Gary Werner, the Executive Director of the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS). Our organization advocates for the 30 amazing trails that together create an American legacy, the National Trails System. As a child, I walked with my parents across the glacial terrain…

Find Adventure on America’s Trails—Become a Supporter Today

Find Adventure on America’s Trails—Become a Supporter Today

Anish on the Continental Divide Trail. Photo Credit: Heather Anderson I am Heather Anderson, a 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. I am also Anishinaabe, and I am known as Anish on the trails. I have hiked and run 30,000 miles on our national…

NTS Webmapping Application: A foundation for National Trails System Geographic Information Systems

NTS Webmapping Application: A foundation for National Trails System Geographic Information Systems

By: Peter Bonsall, Geographer – GIS Specialist, and Matt Robinson, GIS Specialist, National Park Service and Appalachian National Scenic Trail, respectively A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful tool that allows users to view a variety of geographic data, perform spatial analysis, and conduct locational…

Trail Apprentice Spotlight: Lauren Murray

Trail Apprentice Spotlight: Lauren Murray

By: Partnership for the National Trails System, adapted from former Trail Apprentice submissions It’s been 10 years since the Partnership for the National Trails System first offered Trail Apprentice (TA) scholarships, funded by multiple Federal agencies, to young adults. We caught up with some members…

The future of the National Trails System faces fundamental challenges

The future of the National Trails System faces fundamental challenges

By Gary Werner, Executive Director, Partnership for the National Trails System In 2018 as we began our year-long commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act, I briefly described these fundamental challenges that we in the National Trails System community face to fully…