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.

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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

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Solar Bicycle Path in the Netherlands

Solar Bike Path

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Oct 22

Trail Information Entry System Feedback Requested

Enter Trail Information on

It’s been a few months now since the Trail Information Entry System was updated on The good news… We’ve had more people subscribe to the site than ever before. Our subscriber numbers have skyrocketed. The bad news… Not one person has entered trail information since the new system was implemented. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is drastically wrong. Once again, I apologize to our international trail lovers. I know I promised to expand Trailsnet worldwide, but that would cost more money for the upgrade and that doesn’t make sense if the system isn’t working efficiently yet. Once I get the current system working, I’ll update to international trails also. (BTW, even if you are from a country outside the U.S., you can still look at the trail submission form and give feedback.)

Please Enter Trail Information on Trailsnet

So I’ve got a favor to ask. If you tried to enter trail information on, please provide some feedback on how the process went. You can do that by either leaving feedback in the comments section below or by using the Contact button in the navigation menu above. If you haven’t entered trail information yet, I invite you to please give it a try. You can do it with absolutely any type of trail and/or any length of trail. The initial process is easy, but what I mainly need to know is, “Do I have too many REQUIRED fields?”


Process for Adding a Trail to

To add a trail to Trailsnet, all you have to do is:

  1. Click on the Add a New Trail button located in the horizontal navigation bar above.
  2. Fill in the required (and hopefully some of the optional) information as listed in the menu.
    1. Many of the fields are simply multiple choice options.
    2. If you have a GPX file to add, that’s great but not required.
  3. Click on the Submit Trail button at the very bottom of the menu.
    1. If you are a brand new subscriber, it will ask you the usual questions for new subscribers, but the process is simple, painless & confidential. As always, your information will not be shared with anyone else.


Required Trail Information

Here is a list of the required information. Please let me know if you think this is too much required material and which specific required items aren’t really needed.

  • Name of Trail
  • Name of state that the trail is located in
  • Trail length
  • Trail (length) range (This just lets readers know the general mileage range of the trail. If you know the specific length, then the range is simple to enter.)
  • General Location (For this, you can enter a town, county, park, forest or anything to give readers a little more information other than the state where the trail is located.)
  • Trail surface(s)
  • Trail type
  • Trail uses (These last three are all check boxes, so it will be clear what to do when you see the choices.)
  • Starting point
  • Ending point (basically, these last two tell people where the trailheads are located and provide more specific information than the General Location from above)
  • Trail Summary (very brief blurb about trail that will go in sidebar)
  • Trail Information (More detailed info about the trail. This can be any length and allows you to be brief or wax poetic.)


I know this seems like an awful long list and maybe it is too long. That’s what I’d like you to tell me in the comments below.

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