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News of the past month and what's ahead
In this edition:

  • Thank You for Participating in the National Trails Virtual Workshop
  • PNTS is Hiring for Two Positions: Apply by November 11, 2020
  • PNTS Trail Intern Grant Applications Due November 26, 2020
  • PNTS Publishes Fall Pathways Across America and Trail Protection Case Study
  • Upcoming November Webinars
  • Advocacy Update: PNTS Submits Comments on Forest Service Manuals Regarding E-Bikes
  • Arizona Trail Releases E-Bike Report
  • #VotePublicLands #VoteOutdoors on November 3rd
  • National Trails System Comings and Goings
  • Trails Community Resources: New "Public Lands, We the People" Report
  • Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities 
  • Rizzoli Publishes Book about National Historic Trails
  • The Value of Connections

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 practical examples and best practices; we were encouraged to recognize that a big vision for a trail requires us to think outside of traditional boundaries and values; we heard about partners raising one another up and highlighting the long underprioritized stories of peoples and nations throughout our National Trails System; we heard stories that were both heart-wrenching and heartwarming; and we started many important dialogues that we must continue. You can still check our workshop website to find resources, contacts for presenters, and other materials. We will make an announcement when the recordings become available. Thank you!


PNTS Seeks Two New Hires

The Partnership for the National Trails System, located in Washington, D.C., is hiring for two positions!

The Partnership is an equal employment opportunity employer. We seek a broad and diverse pool of candidates and strongly believe that our organization benefits from the perspectives and talents of a diverse staff. Applications are due by November 11th.


Intern Grants Due Nov. 26th

The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS)—in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service—will offer National Trails System Intern Grants of up to $10,000 to Federal agency partners and PNTS nonprofit trail organization and affiliate members in 2021. These grants are intended to help organizations offset the costs of paid internships to provide a pathway for young adult involvement with national trails and to enable them to explore potential careers options with government and nonprofit groups supporting the National Trails System. Nonprofit and Federal agency partnerships are strongly encouraged, such that the two entities work together to create internship opportunities. Please click here to review the 2021 intern grants document in entirety before submitting an application by November 26, 2020.


Fall Pathways Across America

The cover story of our Fall issue of Pathways Across America is "The New Normal: Changing Outdoor Representation and Narratives," by Luz Lituma, a 2020 Trail Intern Grant recipient, Latinx Partnership Coordinator with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Florida Trail Association, and Cofounder of Latinxhikers. You can read each magazine article here, or download the pdf here.

Ala Kahakai NHT Case Study

The Partnership for the National Trails System has published its fourth case study about national trail protection efforts. “Protecting Waikapuna: Nana i waele mua i ke ala, mahope aku makou, na poki’i (He or She First Cleared the Path and Then We Younger Ones Followed)” tells the story of how the Ala Kahakai Trail Association acquired the Waikapuna property along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail in 2019.


The Partnership for the National Trails System will share additional webinars hosted by other organizations on its webinar page. Registration information and costs may vary. Since spring, this has included dozens of COVID-19 and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion related webinars and virtual town hall meetings. Some recordings are also available.

Upcoming Webinars

Diversity Today - Being More Inclusive Tomorrow
November 10th at 12PM EST
Hosted by Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society.

Building Wilderness Partnerships Through Empathy
November 10th at 3PM EST
Hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.

Economic Development Resources for Rural Communities - presented by the USDA
November 20th at 2PM EST
Hosted by Partnership for the National Trails System. 

National Trails: A Look at Trail Designations within the National Trails System
December 8th at 3PM EST
Hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.


Advocacy Update

PNTS submitted comments on Forest Service manuals (FSM) 7770-7710 regarding proposed updates to directives that clarify how e-bikes are managed on national forests, create a definition for e-bikes, and adopt three classes of e-bikes for designation as motor vehicles. Once finalized, these directive updates will provide needed guidance to field units under existing Travel Management Rule definitions, and establish criteria to designate roads, trails and areas for e-bikes use.

PNTS commended the U.S. Forest Service in defining e-bikes as motor vehicles and made several recommendations to more clearly define and strengthen the sections of the Forest Service manuals to prevent the use of e-bikes from interfering with the nature and purposes of our nation’s scenic and historic trails.


AZT Releases E-Bike Report

After a year of research and gathering input from Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) users, the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) is proud to release its final report on Perceptions of Conflict Surrounding Future E-Bike Use on the Arizona Trail. This research was motivated by changes in how federal agencies are managing electric-motorized bicycles (e-bikes) on public lands and trails. Before making official comments on behalf of the Arizona Trail community, the ATA gathered comments through its Facebook page and e-newsletter. Quantitative data was collected using an online questionnaire about e-bikes and their use on the AZT. The analysis aimed to better understand survey respondents’ most frequent method of travel, exposure to e-bikes, and how other factors shape their opinion of this new user group and where there may be potential for user conflict. Nearly 3,000 people participated in the online survey. 


Your Vote Matters

Your vote in the November 3, 2020 election is critical in advancing equitable access to the outdoors and expanding outdoor recreation and conservation. This has been a big year for public lands, and we’ve seen that when the hiking community uses its collective voice we can make big change happen. #VotePublicLands, American Hiking Society's nonpartisan voter education and engagement effort, features a resource center where you can register to vote, check your registration status, request an absentee ballot/vote by mail, and educate yourself on critical public lands and other issues affecting hikers in 2020. #VoteOutdoors, an effort by the Outdoor Industry Association, also features an online voters guide and other resources.


National Trails System Partner Comings and Goings

The Fall issue of Pathways detailed several changes within National Trails System leadership, especially in the National Park Service. We also welcome Rose Fennell as the new Superintendent of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route NHT and Carin Farley as the new Bureau of Land Management Trails Lead. Since then, John Cannella has been selected as the NPS National Trails and Rivers Systems Program Manager, officially starting November 8th. The U.S. Forest Service also has news regarding Brenda Yankoviak and Samantha Rider, and the Florida Trail Association welcomed Royce Gibson as its new Executive Director. The Fall magazine and this e-newsletter will also be the last for Samantha Haas, who has served as the PNTS Communications Coordinator and Pathways Editor since 2017. We welcome all of these partners to their new roles and wish those leaving the National Trails System well!


NEW: Public Lands, We the People: Creating a Healthy and Just Future for All, published by The Aspen Institute and The Wilderness Society in September 2020.

Trails Community Resources

The Partnership for the National Trails System provides free tools to the trails community, including COVID-19 updates, diversity and inclusion resources, and a forum where partners can discuss a wide range of topics -- such as trail planning, programming, policies, volunteerism, and outreach. Since June, PNTS has been compiling diversity and inclusion tools for allies, recent statements, and points of view to help us all become more aware, informed, and better equipped to take action. Please join us. If you would like something shared to these pages, please email


Scholarships, Grants, Awards, and Other Opportunities


New Book of Historic Trails

From the battlefields of the American Revolution to the trails blazed by the pioneers, lands explored by Lewis and Clark and covered by the Pony Express to the civil rights marches of Selma and Montgomery, “America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History" (written by Karen Berger, photographed by Bart Smith, and published by Rizzoli New York) is now available and is a gift that celebrates the 19 trails that make up this system. A portion of proceeds from book sales will help support the work of the Partnership for the National Trails System.


The Value of Connections

The National Trails System connects us, touching each state in the nation. As we physically distanced this year, we still found ways to remain in touch and work and learn collaboratively, especially through our National Trails Virtual Workshop. Please make a gift today of $50, $100, $250 or more to enable the Partnership for the National Trails System, a leading champion for the National Trails System, to expand the diversity of trail experiences including virtual ones. 

Donations to the Partnership for the National Trails System will help bring more trails, scenic and historic, to you. Your tax-deductible contribution will help scenic and historic trail stewards work together with communities to put the trails on local maps and find creative ways to tell the trails’ stories. We thank you!


Upcoming Events:

Public Lands Alliance Virtual Convention and Trade Show • February 9-12, 2021
Professional Trail Builders Association Sustainable Trails Conference • March 7-13, 2021
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Virtual Conference • March 22-23, 2021
River Management Symposium • May 18-21, 2021
38th Annual Oregon-California Trails Association Convention • September 12-16, 2021
Trails & Outdoor Recreation Summit (ITS) • September 13-17, 2021
Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium (200th Anniversary) • September 23-26, 2021

view all 


In The News:

Recent Additions Boost National Trails System By More Than 1,275 Miles
PCT: Wilderness Agency Partner of the Year Award presented to Beth Boyst  
NPF Commits $500,000 to Selma to Montgomery NHT
AZT: McSally and Kelly discuss climate change, public land management
How Climate Change Affects Long-Distance Hiking
Not Your Average Walk in the Woods
Sales of Camping, Hiking Guides Rise as Americans Take to the Outdoors
Next 100 Colorado Seeks Stories of BIPOC Experiences on Public Lands
Appalachian Trail: Protecting a Realm
Native American History on the Appalachian Trail: 9 Iconic Places
On the Overmountain Trail – Literally
10 Great National Historic Trails, from California to the Chesapeake
Walking Across America: Hundreds Of Inspiring Travel Photos And Stories
These Women Are Changing the Face of Outdoor Recreation
Grants for AT Communities to Come from Mountain Valley Pipeline Gift
Ice Age Trail Alliance Challenges All to Hike 40 Miles in October
Video: Ice Age Trail
Video: Pacific Northwest Trail
Podcast: NET Artist in Residence Marisa Williamson


Job Postings:

Coronavirus is affecting seasonal hiring across the country. Contact the organization you wish to work for directly in order to determine their hiring process.
Social Media Assistant • American Hiking Society
Field Coordinator, Trails Program • Connecticut Forest and Park Association
GIS Program Manager • Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Trail and Stewardship Manager • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Center
Communications and Development Associate • Partnership for the National Trails System
Program and Administrative Assistant • Partnership for the National Trails System 
Assistant Recreation Staff Officer or Landscape Architect • U.S. Forest Service
Training and Support Manager  • Youth Outside
view all


Do you have an upcoming event, news story, or job posting that is not listed above?
Send us an e-mail at


Partnership for the National Trails System
1615 M St NW, Second Floor,  | Washington, District of Columbia  20036
202-963-2910 |