Dec 13

Long-Distance Trail Movies

Wild set on Pacific Crest Trail

Reese Witherspoon stars in Wild, the movie set on the Appalachian Trail

Reese Witherspoon in Wild

First there was the movie The Way starring Martin Sheen and set on the Camino de Santiago, a long-distance hermitage trail in Spain. Now we are happy to see a movie set on the Pacific Crest Trail in California, Oregon and Washington. This latest movie is called Wild and stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed and Laura Dern as her mother. Cheryl changed her last name to Strayed after she strayed from her husband then got a divorce. Her life was in a death spiral of hard drugs and demeaning sex when she decided to forego standardized therapy and take matters into her own hands – or, in this case, feet. Despite having no experience as a long-distance hiker, she set out to conquer the Pacific Crest Trail starting in the Mojave Desert of California and heading toward Canada. As you can imagine, she suffered numerous setbacks along the way, but as you can also imagine, the trail proved to be her ultimate therapy, and she learned a lot about life and, most importantly, about herself.

A Walk in the Woods is next long-distance trail movie

Coming up next is the movie version of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. The movie is directed by Robert Redford and is about Bryson’s attempt (he didn’t quite make it) to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. So what’s causing this sudden interest in long-distance trails? A better question is, “What took so long?” Those of us trail fans have always known the allure of hiking or biking on scenic trails. The rest of the world is finally coming to their senses. Now we are anxiously awaiting movies set on the Colorado Trail, the Great Plains Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Danube CycleWay, etc. The world has discovered long-distance trails. Hopefully they’ll start funding them better, too.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/12/13/long-distance-trail-movies/

Dec 10

Controversial Trail Topics

How Controversial Can a Trail Be?

Look on both sides of this post. Now look above it and below it. What do you see? More importantly, what don’t you see? Let me count the things you don’t see:

  1. advertisements

    controversial trail topics

    money talks

  2. corporate sponsorship
  3. government sponsorship
  4. affiliate sponsorship
  5. donor funding
  6. volunteer obligations

So what’s my point? Go look at other trail websites, and you’ll see that they’re beholden to a number of different entities. Therefore, they have to be especially careful what they include on their website. NOT TRAILSNET!! We are free to discuss the most controversial trail topics.

Trail Forum That Tackles the Important Trail Issues

Trailsnet is free to discuss whatever we want.

  • You don’t think the government provides enough funding for trails? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think the XL  Pipeline should be required to fund trails in order to get construction approval? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think the multi trillion $ Chinese company that is building the Nicaragua Canal should be required to help build a concurrent transcontinental trail? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think the justice system screwed up when they ruled in favor of the landowner and against the Medicine Bow Trail in Wyoming? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think open space managers should be a little more trail friendly? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think the various trail mapping websites should quit ignoring Trail Biking as a category? Let’s talk about it.
  • You think electric bikes should be allowed on trails? Let’s discuss it. (Most discussed topic on Trailsnet so far)

Make Trailsnet Your Trail Discussion Website

Trailsnet.com is a free spirit. We aren’t in anybody’s pocket, so we can discuss whatever trail-related topic we want, no holds barred. Feel free to leave Trailsnet a message via email or in the comment section found on most Trailsnet.com web pages and let me know what you’d like to discuss. Unbeknownst to most people, there are some very important trail discussions happening right now; but these discussions are happening on members-only forums. It’s time we stop talking about controversial and important trail topics on private Yahoo Groups and start talking about them out in the open on Trailsnet.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/12/10/controversial-trail-topics/

Nov 26

Nicaragua Canal Trail

Nicaragua Canal Trail routes

Proposed routes for the Nicaragua Canal

Nicaragua Canal

In December of 2014, work is scheduled to begin on the Nicaragua Canal, also known as the Nicaragua Grand Canal. This is a rare opportunity to work, in conjunction with the canal construction, to build a transcontinental trail, the first of its kind in the world. Please take a look at the email that I sent to canal proponents, including government entities in Nicaragua, the environmental planning group for the Chinese Company that will be building the canal and others. I would love to get feedback from the environmental, recreational, transportation and, of course, trail communities.

 

Dear Friends of the Nicaragua Canal,
The planning and construction of the Nicaragua Canal affords incredible new opportunities. Among these opportunities is a chance to plan, from the outset, a transoceanic multipurpose trail that runs alongside the Nicaragua Canal and spans the entire width of Nicaragua.
Trail Introduction
The Nicaragua Canal Trail will serve many purposes, cater to numerous groups, provide a multitude of benefits and be incredibly cost-efficient to build. Since you will undoubtedly be building service and access roads on both sides of the proposed canal, a portion of these roads can be repurposed into trails once you near completion of the canal much as canal towpaths and abandoned railroad corridors are utilized for trails throughout the world. Building a major trail like this, from scratch, does not usually fit into the transportation and recreation budget. However, repurposing current rights-of-way can be much more economical and feasible.
Trail Purposes and Highlights
The Nicaragua Canal Trail would serve multiple purposes:
  • It could provide a recreational trail that would serve as an incredible tourist attraction.
  • It would provide an alternative and economical transportation option for locals.
  • It would provide an environmentally friendly option for locals and tourists.
  • It would provide an economic boost for current and future tourism and trail-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants & bicycle rental/repair shops.
  • The trail would be available for a wide range of users including hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and many other personal transportation vehicles.
  • Beyond the two extremely valuable purposes of providing both a recreational and commuter trail, the Nicaragua Canal Trail would also have the potential for use as: a local access road, an emergency access road, a firebreak and a construction/maintenance access road in places.
The trail would immediately create international buzz among travelers, recreationalists and environmentalists. It would be the first multipurpose transoceanic trail, the first east-west transcontinental trail, the longest multipurpose tropical trail in the world and the longest multipurpose trail in Central America. It would be an incredibly unique and desirable tourist attraction and a huge draw for tourists, environmentalists and recreationalists throughout the world.
Funding for the Trail
As mentioned above, the Nicaragua Canal Trail would cost a fraction of what it would cost to build a trail from scratch. And maintaining a multipurpose trail costs an extremely small fraction of maintaining a road or highway. The trail would be built using concepts already successfully utilized for rails-to-trails, rails-with-trails, canal trails, park trails and urban trails. But, it would still require funding. Fortunately, since trails provide transportation, recreation and environmental benefits, funding sources are plentiful. Some potential funding sources include:
This list just scratches the surface of the thousands of potential funding sources so that no single entity is burdened with too large a portion of funding the Nicaragua Canal Trail.
How to Get Started
Is the Nicaragua Canal Trail feasible? Now is the time to explore that possibility while in the planning and early stages of canal development and construction. It would be my pleasure to provide you with a preliminary feasibility overview as well as suggestions for a step-by-step plan to explore the possibility of developing the trail. At this point, you truly have nothing to lose by at least considering such a trail.
What Can I Provide?
As you can see, I am interested in helping to get the Nicaragua Canal Trail off the ground. This trail would be a huge asset to recreation, the environment, health/exercise, transportation, tourism and Nicaragua’s economics. I would be glad to assist you in the following areas:
  • Initial trail introduction to interested parties
  • Trail route exploration
  • Trail feasibility determination
  • Funding options for the trail
  • Providing publicity and public awareness of trail
  • Promoting trail on social media and beyond
  • Securing help ranging from trail organizations, trail engineers and trail development interns
  • Forming a Board of Directors for the Nicaragua Canal Trail
  • Developing a website and social media presence for the trail
Once again, the most important point to remember at this stage is: You have nothing to lose by at least exploring the possibility of developing a trail in conjunction with the Nicaragua Canal. And you have so much to gain if it turns into a reality. As I mentioned before, I would be happy to assist you in the beginning stages and would be glad to meet with officials from the Canal development team as well as officials from the Nicaragua government and private interest groups.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to explore this idea further. In the meantime, I will be starting to discuss this idea with members of the international trails community as well as other environmental, media and recreation groups. I’m excited to begin talking about a potential Nicaragua Canal Trail.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/11/26/nicaragua-canal-trail/

Nov 20

Denver to Boulder Bikeway

Boulder/Denver Bikeway

Finally, the dream has become a reality. The Denver/Boulder Bikeway will connect two of America’s greatest bicycle towns allowing for both recreational and bike commuter access. This Colorado bike trail will provide access to communities including Denver, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Superior and Boulder.

The first phase of the bike path will run from Louisville, CO to Denver and is scheduled to open in 2015. The second phase will run from Boulder, CO to Louisville and is scheduled to be finished in early 2016. The entire trail will be at least 12 feet wide with the Louisville to Denver section consisting of an asphalt or cement surface and the Boulder to Louisville section consisting of a packed gravel surface.

US 36 Bikeway

Denver to Boulder Bikeway

US 36 Bikeway in CO

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/11/20/denver-boulder-bikeway/

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