Virtual Workshop Registration and Hike the Hill Survey ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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

  • Advocacy Update: Great American Outdoors Act Implementation in Progress at DOI and USFS
  • Hike the Hill Goes Virtual in March 2021: Complete Survey by October 16, 2020
  • Register for the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop: October 21-29, 2020
  • Trails Community Resources: Diversity and Inclusion Survey and Pilot Program
  • Upcoming October Webinars
  • Voter Education and Resources for the November 3rd Election
  • Partnership Named in National Geographic
  • Please Update PNTS Contact Information
  • Trails Provide a Breath of Fresh Air

Advocacy Update

There is little action occurring on trail-related legislative or budget issues in Congress at the moment. The current Federal fiscal year (FY 2020) ends on September 30th, but Congress has not passed any of the 12 appropriations bills so will act on a FY 2021 Continuing Resolution before October 1st to extend funding into the next fiscal year. Further action will likely wait until after the November elections. On the other hand, there is much happening on implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) at both the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). FY 2021 project lists for Deferred Maintenance (DM) and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) programs are due to Congress by November 2nd. The Partnership for the National Trails System is working alongside other groups to ensure that GAOA is implemented in a way that ensures adequate attention to national trail needs in both the DM and LWCF sides of the Act.


Virtual Hike the Hill: March 2021

Complete Hike the Hill Survey

After thought and consultation, American Hiking Society and the Partnership for the National Trails System are pleased to announce that Hike the Hill 2021 will be held virtually in March 2021 due to the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. Specific dates, registration, and additional information will be announced in the coming months. While a virtual format will inevitably change some aspects of the event, we are committed to ensuring that Hike the Hill remains an effective and valuable experience that yields positive results for the trails community and the National Trails System. The virtual format gives us an opportunity to refresh aspects of the event and to welcome additional participants who may not be able to participate in-person in Washington, D.C. As a member of the National Trails community, we ask for your input to help us outline Hike the Hill 2021. Please take a few moments to respond to a brief survey by Friday, October 16, 2020. Also, please feel free to share any additional thoughts or comments with us. Please direct your comments to: and


Register for the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop!

We would like to welcome you to join us at the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop from October 21-29, 2020! 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 have been placed on hold and altered to accommodate the safety and concern for trail workers, volunteers, and trail enthusiasts nationwide.

The PNTS Fall Workshop Planning Committee and the Workshop and Conferences Committee have been working together to make this a lively and compelling workshop. We are adjusting the format and presentations to include interactive and compelling lessons learned sessions. Our goal has been to provide some takeaways and concepts that you can apply at your trail system at the regional and national levels.

By using a virtual format and reducing the registration fees ($75 standard/$25 student or limited income), we are looking forward to having an opportunity to engage more people. Please register today and continue to share this workshop information. We hope that the workshop will be a gateway to working with a broader array of partners from a diverse set of backgrounds, welcoming new ideas and approaches to our trails and community work.

Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity! We look forward to seeing you virtually in October!
- RG Absher, Fall Workshop Chair (Read full message here)


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 Samantha Haas, PNTS Communications Coordinator, at

JEDI Workshop Survey

The PNTS Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) working group is in the process of planning a workshop series on JEDI Principles, Best Practices & Development for the PNTS 2020 Virtual Fall Workshop. In order to assess the landscape of JEDI influence and movement among our National Trails System, we are asking you to participate in completing a "JEDI Initiatives: Survey of Teachable Moments and Attitudes" survey so that we can gather lessons learned and determine key discussion topics for the JEDI workshop series and beyond. Please complete this short Google form ASAP. Thank you in advance for your participation and insight. 

Incident Reporting Pilot Project

Next 100 Colorado is launching a pilot project to collect information about the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) on public lands in Colorado. The Continental Divide Trail Coalition will also be using the same portal for a pilot along the entire CDT, and eventually use it to connect to other exciting work with a new Digital Green Book initiative launching in the next year or so. The groups hope to capture the good, the bad, and everything in between, in service of better understanding the experiences of BIPOC in publicly owned spaces and, if needed, creating or modifying policies to make our outdoors more inclusive of all people. Help spread the word about this effort, and encourage your BIPOC friends, colleagues, and family to share their experiences, whether recent or from the past. Trail and other outdoor organizations can also contact Next 100 Colorado to see what other pilot opportunities are available. More information and a link to the collection form is available here


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

Why Trail Stewards are a Necessity in Creating Safe, Sustainable Trails
October 1st at 1PM EDT
Hosted by American Trails.

Trailhead Talk with U.S. Senate Candidates Martha McSally (R) and Mark Kelly (D) 
October 2nd at 3:30PM and 6:30PM EDT
Hosted by the Arizona Trail Association.

Latinxhikers Fireside Chat
October 6th at 5PM EDT
Hosted by the Florida Trail Association and Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Reconnecting Children with Nature: Our Responsibility and Our Opportunity
October 8th at 1-2:30PM EDT
Hosted by American Trails.

Collaboration in a Virtual Environment
October 8th at 3PM EDT
Hosted by the National Forest Foundation.

Ethics and Effects of Wilderness Digital Media
October 20th at 3PM EDT
Hosted by National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.


Are You Registered to Vote?

2020 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.


Partnership Named in National Geographic!

PNTS Board President Barney "Scout" Mann is quoted and the Partnership for the National Trails System is specifically mentioned in the October issue of National Geographic. “Trails are a choice,” says Mann. "If we don’t use them, they disappear.” The article, “Our Trails—Our Legacy,” called Mann: “arguably the dean of America’s long-distance trails.” Mann has also recently been featured in interviews by the Pacific Crest Trail Association and The Trek. Great recognition for the Partnership! 


Please Update PNTS Contact Information

Please promptly update our new office phone number to 202-963-2910 and our mailing address:

Partnership for the National Trails System
1615 M St. NW, Second Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036

Also a reminder that September 18th was the last official day at PNTS for Karen Crossley (Interim Executive Director) and Kathy DeCoster (Advocacy and Policy Director). We are so grateful for their leadership during our Executive Director transition period. Moving forward, please direct questions to PNTS Executive Director Valerie Rupp (


A Breath of Fresh Air

During stressful times, it is well known that a breath of fresh air can help reduce stress and even physical symptoms. Don’t overlook the national scenic and historic trails that may be nearby. A visit to a trail can enhance your health and well being. 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:

SORP National Outdoor Recreation Conference (Virtual) • Through October 23, 2020
National Wilderness Workshop (Virtual) • October 9-16, 2020
SHIFT Summit (Virtual) • October 14-16, 2020
Upswell 2020 • October 14-26, 2020

National Trails Workshop (Virtual) • October 21-29, 2020
National Recreation and Park Association Conference (Virtual) • October 27-29, 2020
National Preservation Conference-PastForward Online 2020 • October 27-30, 2020

view all 


In The News:

Story of the Underground Railroad to Mexico Gains Attention
Why Are the 2020 Wildfires so Bad, and How Will They Affect the PCT?
Back to Nature: The Best Hikes in Our Region

Video: Join the Movement to #RecreateResponsibly
USFS Partners Finalize Florida NST Big Bend Reroute


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.
Executive Director • Florida Trail Association
Conservation Crew Member • Wild Arizona

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 |