Statewide Trails Conference focuses on sustainable trails

The trail on North Douglas in Southeast Alaska. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

The Statewide Trails Conference opens Thursday in Anchorage and will focus on issues such as making trails sustainable and active transportation. It brings together land managers, trail users, and trail builders for a three-day event.

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Steve Cleary with Alaska Trails said part of the conference explores the health benefits of trails and how to connect them so they can be used for daily transportation.

“As we see obesity increasing,” he said, “we see trail usage as a way to combat that. If people can build it into their everyday lives, including going to and from school, and to and from work, and any other errands they do during the day.”

The conference will also include sessions on maintaining both rural and urban trails far into the future, and train volunteers to care for the trails.

“Trails are such an integral part of Alaska life that maintaining them and advocating for them is very important,” Cleary said. “And that’s what we’re excited to do at the Trails Conference.”

The conference runs through Saturday. The last day is free to the public and will focus on volunteering and stewardship.