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University of Alabama Center for Economic Development Coordinates Alabama Recreational Trails Conference

From Sally Brown, UA Center for Economic Development

The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and the Alabama Trails Commission are coordinating a two-day conference on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, and Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at The Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Alabama Recreational Trails Conference will highlight the benefits of recreational trails in Alabama and will include information on methods of making Alabama a leading destination for trail supporters.

The keynote speaker is Glenn Nelson, founder of The Trail Posse, a journalism and advocacy project that regularly covers race, diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. Nelson is a founding member of the Next 100 Coalition, a national alliance of organizations advocating for equal access to public lands. Additional speakers will be Trevor Thomas, the world’s only blind professional long-distance hiker, Brittany Moore with the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks and the Office of Greenways and Trails, and Danielle Fowles with Tread Lightly!, an organization promoting responsible recreation through stewardship, education and communication.

The deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The cost of registration is $195 per participant (lodging not included) and includes admittance to all programs, discussions, meals and social and networking opportunities with persons involved in trail development. 

Trail organizations, outdoor enthusiasts and state agencies started the conference in 2011. The purpose of the Alabama Trails Commission is to make Alabama a nationally recognized destination for hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, motorized off-highway vehicles and water sports. It employs a ground-up statewide coordinated approach fostering vigorous participation by local, regional, state and federal agencies, stakeholders, higher education centers and nonprofit organizations.

To register and learn more about the conference, visit the conference website: For those interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference, contact Sally Brown at