INSIDE LOOK: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

Rails-to-Trails is a Nationwide Network of Fitness and Outdoor Activity Trails

Since 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has worked from coast to coast, supporting the development of thousands of miles of rail-trails for millions to explore and enjoy. Their national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

They’ve helped craft rural trails that spool out over a hundred miles of open prairie, snake through mountain passes, span canyons and hug riverbanks, offering views of the countryside often unknown to the highway traveler. They are a major part of the connections between towns and suburbs, linking communities along vibrant corridors in much the same way as the railroads did in their heyday.


RTC’s mission, and its value, is magnified in urban areas, where one mile of trail can completely redefine the livability of a community. Where trails are more than just recreational amenities, creating opportunities for active transportation and physical activity – improving our health and wellbeing – as they safely connect us to jobs, schools, businesses, parks and cultural institutions in our own neighborhoods and beyond.


Trails and greenways create healthy recreation and transportation opportunities by providing people of all ages with attractive, safe, accessible and low or no-cost places to cycle, walk, hike, jog or skate. Trails help people of all ages incorporate exercise into their daily routines by connecting them with places they want or need to go. Communities that encourage physical activity by making use of the linear corridors can see a significant effect on public health and wellness.

In addition to providing a safe place for people to enjoy recreational activities, greenways and trails often function as viable transportation corridors. Trails can be a crucial element to a seamless urban or regional multi-modal transportation system. Many areas of the country incorporate trails and similar facilities into their transit plans, relying upon trail facilities to “feed” people in to and out of transit stations in a safe and efficient manner. The ability to avoid congested streets and highways, and travel through natural areas on foot or by non-motorized means, is a large factor in a community’s “livability.”


You can search the Rails-to-Trails database of more than 30,000 miles of trails around the country, and explore detailed trail descriptions, maps, photographs, ratings and reviews! Simply go to their website at: 


Just like anything in life, there are rules and guidelines to help keep things running smoothly. Here are the six golden rules for the trails:

1) Use safe speeds.

2) Keep Right, Pass Left.

3) Standing still? Stand Aside. Take your break off the trail.

4) Mind your pets. Keep your pets leashed and close by you at all times.

5) Be Alert. Always be aware of your surroundings.

6) Know and follow the rules. 


Help support Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in a couple different ways. You can donate money to build, maintain, defend and connect trails and trail corridors across the county. 

You can also join their online community and help energize the movement for trails, walking and biking across the country. 

You can be an advocate for trails in your state. Download resources about your state’s transportation enhancements, safe routes to school and recreational trails program spending, and then take these to your elected officials to demonstrate the importance of these federal programs to your community!


  • Flagler Beach: Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail – 6.6 miles – Surface: Asphalt 
  • Ormond Beach: Tomoka State Park Trail – 2.1 miles – Surface: Concrete 
  • Daytona Beach: Halifax River Trail – 5.9 miles – Surface: Concrete
  • Ponce Inlet: Ponce Inlet Trail – 3.5 miles – Surface: Concrete
  • Edgewater: East Central Regional Rail Trail – 15 miles – Surface: Concrete, Asphalt 
  • DeLand: US 92 Trail – 2.6 miles – Surface: Asphalt
  • Lake Helen: Cross Volusia Trail – 5.3 miles – Surface: Concrete
  • DeBary: Spring to Spring Trail – 17 miles – Surface: Asphalt
  • Sanford: Sandford Riverwalk – 1 mile – Surface: Asphalt
  • Heathrow: Seminole Wekiva Trail – 14 miles – Surface: Asphalt

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy


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