The Book for Trail Towns
Deciding on Trails is not a “how-to” for structuring a trail town program. Instead, it is a call to action for the dedicated individuals who want to cultivate a trail culture, embrace trail town best practices, and once and for all “decide on trails.”
Deciding on Trails: 7 Practices of Healthy Trail Towns is a book for every local leader, community champion, and dreamer who knows that trails and regional assets can make a difference in their community if only the benefits of trails are more widely recognized.
For orders outside of the United States, Amy recommends ordering through Amazon to save on shipping.
Deciding on Trails: Notes from Amy
I spent years dreaming of writing a book about trail towns. I conducted my first research interviews as early as 2014, but it took me until 2020 to finally write the book. Truth be told, had I written it in 2014, it would have been a very different book.
I started Deciding on Trails: 7 Practices of Healthy Trail Towns in January 2020 during a lull in my consulting work. By April, I started working with Plug & Play Publishing and had a few chapters done. Finally, eight months later, I had a proof copy in my hands.
I write this in full recognition that 2020 was a terrible year for so many. Even those whose physical health and livelihood were not affected by COVID-19 were suddenly juggling more than they ever had. As for me, my home and professional life hadn’t changed as significantly as others’ may have, other than my work-related travel coming to a halt.
Deciding on Trails gave me something to feel excited about throughout 2020 and something to commit myself to. It was a passion project taken on at just the right time. For those of you who see trails as something that can make a difference in your community, I hope that trails provide you something forward-focused to think about as well.
Author of Deciding on Trails: 7 Practices of Healthy Trail Towns
Amy is a passionate trail and outdoor tourism expert and placemaker. She is also the founder of Cycle Forward, an outdoor recreation consulting service agency supporting communities across the United States and Canada.
Deciding on Trails has three main parts:
- Part I: An examination of the first 15 years of trail towns. It all began with the first multi-community program along the Great Allegheny Passage launched by the Allegheny Trail Alliance and The Progress Fund. Part I tells the story of how trails and community advocates adopted the model and how your community can, too.
- Part II: Actionable steps you can take to make the most of your trails by following seven best practices of healthy trail towns.
- Part III: Future of trail towns. Part III provides considerations on navigating through difficult times and what may be in the future for trail towns.
Special thanks to Wilder Mile Creative for producing this video. It was filmed at The Ruins Project along the Great Allegheny Passage.