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National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System

National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System cover.
A Call to Action!

The National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System was announced in February 2018. All Forest Service employees, partners, volunteers, and friends are collaborating to  implement the 26 scalable actions outlined in the strategy.

Strategic Intent

The strategic intent of the strategy is to embrace and inspire a different way of thinking—and doing—to create sustainable change where grassroots initiative meets leader intent. The combined effort and momentum of many minds and hands will move the trails community, as a whole, toward shared solutions.

This strategy builds on the many examples from across the country where the Forest Service, its partners, and the greater trails community have successfully embraced a community-driven and locally sustainable trail system model. Leaders, employees, partners, volunteers, trail users, and friends can use this document to strengthen stewardship and dedication to improve a world-class, diverse trail system as one of America’s greatest legacies.

Areas of Action

26 high-leverage actions organized in six main areas:

  1. Leader Intent
  2. Organization and Talent
  3. Relevancy
  4. Sustainable Systems
  5. Agency Processes and Culture
  6. Information

Spotlight: 10-Year Trail Challenge

Under the Leader Intent section of the trail strategy, is Action 1.2:

Implement 10-Year Trail Challenge: Using the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act in 2018 as a catalyst, invite partners, volunteers, and employees to develop and implement a bold, national 10-Year Sustainable Trails Stewardship Challenge toward achieving a sustainable system of trails.

Learn more about the 10-Year Sustainable Trail Stewardship Challenge…

Download the Trail Strategy

Complete Trail Strategy Publication
High Resolution: PDF 12.5 MB

National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System cover

Trail Strategy Overview Publication
High Resolution: PDF 2 MB

National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System Overview cover.

Key Elements and Concepts

Click the thumbnail images below to see larger versions of the graphics from the Strategy documents.

Trail System Miles

Miles of trail graphic.

Shared Stewardship

Shared stewardship graphic.

Sustainable Change

Sustainable change graph.


Challenges and aspirations graphic

For More Information

If you have questions or comments, please contact the Trail Management Program.