Strengthening Organizations and Partnerships

Trail managers in the public and private sectors have been hard at work to build alliances for collaboration, expand their capacities, and build upon their ability to welcome visitors to National Trails by strengthening their organizations and their relationships with partners.

Volunteers after the first day of construction on the Iditarod Trail shelter cabin. From left to right is Jack Adams, Nicholas Gray, Howard Gregg, Daniel Harrelson, Terrence Merfeld, Davis Lincoln, & Clyde Iyatunguk, Jr.

Volunteer researchers have discovered more detailed information indicating several portions of the Trail of Tears National Historical Trail designated routes in Missouri need realignment. The Missouri Humanities Council has provided funding to organize thousands of documents and maps and make them available along an interactive GIS map. Hundreds of layers of information will soon be available online to scholars and volunteers at a new Trail of Tears archive at

Additionally, National Trails staff completed work with the City of Sheffield, Tennessee Valley Authority, the Trail of Tears Association, and Alta Planning + Design on a Connect Trails to Park Project. This project resulted in the completion of Construction Documents for a trail system and trailhead at the historic Tuscumbia Landing site – a high-potential site located along the trail.

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is building an alliance with Amigos de Los Rios (Amigos), an ecological open space advocacy group that focuses on the Latinx populations and spaces in the region. Amigos has created a bold vision for a united sequence of parks and trails following the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo watercourses, which are colinear with the Anza Trail. The collaboration will begin by including the Anza Trail story at a juncture along the San Gabriel River bike path.

El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail Association partnered with the National Park Service and local communities to develop a Community Chapter program to assist in the protection, development, and promotion of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas Trail’s resources in their local areas. The program aims to empower local citizen volunteers, elected officials, businesses, and other partners to share the rich history of the Camino Real, develop local trail sites for visitor use, and garner a greater appreciation for the road that led to the founding of Texas and Louisiana.

In April, two certification partnerships with the National Park Service were formed for historically significant sites along the California National Historic Trail. Certification is a partnership that helps landowners protect and preserve their historic trail properties and share them with others. One such partnership was formed with Utah’s Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, for Black Rock Historic Site, located a mile west of the Great Salt Lake Marina State Park and is visible from the westbound lanes of the freeway. Black Rock Historic Site in Magna, UT was a significant natural landmark for emigrants traveling along the Hastings Cutoff (Donner-Reed Party Route). The other was with Hellyer Limited Partnership for the property Burnt Ranch/9th Crossing of the Sweetwater River in Fremont County, WY. Currently a full-functioning cattle ranch, Burnt Ranch was known as South Pass Station in the trails’ eras, witnessing a consistent succession of important people and groups through South Pass.

White Mountain Native Corporation and the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance collaborated to construct a new 12’ x 16’ shelter cabin along the Iditarod National Historic Trail between White Mountain and Nome, which will provide emergency shelter for mushers and other trail users. Volunteers from the White Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Search and Rescue team and other members of the community helped to replace the old shelter, which was damaged from flooding, glaciation, and bears.

In partnership with Framing Our Communities (FOC), USFS, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Trail Association replaced 2 boardwalk structures along the Florida National Scenic Trail in the Bull Creek area. The local chapter has worked very hard over the years to build a strong relationship with the hunters of Bull Creek, contributing to the success of the project since the hunters lent a small boat to assist with the project and watched over materials at the check station.


2024 National Trails Workshop Call for Proposals Open