National Trails Training Partnership | Living the Country Life

National Trails Training Partnership

Our nation's trail system is growing and always in need of folks to help. With just a few clicks on a website, you'll find information on how you can get involved.

Radio interview source: Stuart MacDonald, National Trails Training Partnership Manager, American Trails

In Iowa, we there is an extensive trail system that takes you through towns, woodlands, and prairie. Trails don't just happen, they take a lot of planning. 
Stuart MacDonald is an editor for American Trails Magazine and manager of the National Trails Training Partnership. He says they work with state, federal, and volunteer organizations. The Partnership has made an effort to provides training for trail-building skills and solutions.
"We have a series of webinars, we also have a number of one-or-two-day workshops that people can host in their own communities," he says. "And we work with a whole variety of experts and trail builders, and folks who do training for a living. Or, they're very interested in working with people on trail projects."
MacDonald says there is training going on all the time throughout the country. You can learn everything from basic introductions to trail work to specialized technical skills. 
National Trails Training covers a full range of activities and all types of trails, from primitive backcountry routes to urban greenways. The goal of the Partnership is to combine all the information together on the website, American trails-dot-org. There are hundreds of articles and studies from many different sources. 
MacDonald says the reason for training is that people want high-quality trails.
"The real trend is to build trails that are more carefully designed, and creating the whole system," says MacDonald. "We're trying to create a better experience for the public, for people who are interested in the outdoors, and we're especially trying to create trail systems that are very inexpensive to maintain. You build them right the first time and you do a good job in the beginning. Then you spend less money on maintenance and people enjoy the trails."

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