It’s a great way to get national recognition for your local trail! And it’s an easy online process. Plus, designated NRTs receive an automatic extra 5 points on future Alabama Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant applications. Over the last few years, 15 trail project applications were approved thanks to those extra 5 points!
What are the benefits of becoming a National Recreation Trail?
National Recreation Trails benefit from the prestige and increased visibility of being a part of the National Trail System. New designations are announced annually by the Secretary of Interior and recognized every two years at the National Trails Symposium. See annual designations for new National Recreation Trails.
Other national publicity includes such events as the annual NRT Photo Contest, sponsored by American Trails, which has attracted hundreds of entries from across the country.
Successful applicants receive a letter and certificate, designating their trail as an NRT. Trail managers are entitled to use the NRT logo in appropriate settings and trail publications. New 3.5″ x 3.5″ and 8″x 8″ NRT logo signs are now available at a nominal cost from American Trails.
Order signs online from the American Trails Store
All NRTs will be included in the online searchable database of trails (sponsored by www.AmericanTrails.org) includes descriptive information, maps, and pictures for trail users. Trail managers provide information about their NRTs for the site. Keep it up to date by sending corrections and additions by e-mail to NRT@americantrails.org.
A web page for each state highlights Featured Trails with links to more information. For trails without a website, we are providing a page with photos, history, and useful facts about the project.
Other benefits include:
- Access to technical assistance from NRT Program partners.
- Periodic electronic newsletters with program updates, newsworthy activities, technical information, and innovative solutions to trail issues from around the country.
- An NRT newsletter was published in past years: available in PDF format are the Spring 2003, Fall 2002, Spring 2002, Fall 2001, and Summer 2001 issues.
- Access to an e-mail news group for NRT managers only to receive updates on funding, resources, and technical assistance opportunities.
- Access to networking and training opportunities.
- Assistance with recognition and special events highlighting the trail.
- Trail markers with the NRT logo for your trail: order signs online from the American Trails Store
- Letters of support for fundraising and trail protection efforts.
- Access to funding opportunities available from the NRT Program partners; trails with NRT designation are eligible to be considered for support from the National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Program, Bureau of Land Management, and USDA Forest Service Challenge Cost Share Programs.
- Some state funding programs also consider NRT designation in allocating Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and other funding administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.
- Access to update online trail information in the online NRT database
- The Artful Ways national survey of art on trails results are in the Art & Trails area also highlighted National Recreation Trails.
State Trails funding encouraged for NRTs
The Recreational Trails Program, which provides funding for trails to each state through the Federal Highway Administration, provides this guidance on NRTs: “In consultation with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture through the Federal Interagency Council on Trails, States are encouraged to give extra project evaluation credit to projects on National Scenic Trails, National Historic Trails (provided the project provides a recreational purpose), and trails designated as National Recreation Trails.”
Where do I go for more information on National Recreation Trails?