GTS2016 by the numbers

By the numbers

An executive summary of this year’s Trail Summit is now available on our Resources page.  Please share it with colleagues and your broader networks.

You’ll also find most speaker presentations there too, a valuable reference. Special thanks to everyone who presented in Carrollton.

We’re also grateful to our generous sponsors who make it all possible.

Our team is already planning the next Georgia Trail Summit for April 2017 in Columbus.

Can you help us expand our network there?  Our first meeting to begin planning the event is August 12 and we meet monthly on 2nd Fridays. Please consider joining the planning committee and/or email your suggestions for good speakers in Columbus, sponsor candidates and people who would enjoy attending.

Thanks for following us year round on Facebook, Twitter, & our blog, and for your commitment to Georgia’s growing trail family.

Summit survey says…

An executive summary is in the works and we’d like to include your thoughts along with the financial wrap-up and local economic impact, so please complete the post-summit survey soon.

Thanks from your trail family.

You were missed…

For those not attending the recent Georgia Trail Summit in Carrollton, you were missed.  About 200 trail blazers from around the state showed up.  Many told us the Carrollton GreenBelt has valuable lessons for their own communities.

  • We’re grateful to our terrific speakers.  View their informative presentations on our resources page.
  • The article in the Carrollton Times-Georgian is an excellent record of the event.  An executive summary of results will soon be available as well.
  • Many thanks to our generous sponsors who make it all possible.

We’re already working with the host committee in Columbus to produce another meaningful Georgia Trail Summit in April 2017.

So follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter, and thank you for your commitment to Georgia’s growing trail community.

FUN side of the Summit

While your days will be packed with informative presentations, there’s also a lighter fun side of the Summit. Thursday and Friday sessions both end with trail time, take a walking tour of the Carrollton Greenbelt and catch the shuttle back downtown for the parties.

  • IMG_20160211_225207On Thursday night enjoy a networking party at Plates Upstairs, its on the square in downtown Carrollton and hosted by Tanner Health System.
  • On Friday night, there’s a party hosted by MillionMile Greenway with wine and cheese tastings on the patio of the Carrollton Courtyard.  Enjoy live music at the firepit by the David Pippin Trio.
  • And on Saturday morning, six mobile workshops will get you outdoors hiking, biking or paddling etc on nearby trails. For biking workshops, be sure to bring your own bike and helmet.  Or reserve one of 20 complementary hybrid bikes with Perpetual Motion Bicycles once you arrive at registration.

Last minute game day decision? No worries, there’s still time to register here and hotel rooms are still available at the Courtyard Carrollton; call them directly at 678-664-5200.

Thank you for being part of our growing trail community.

Have you read the program? It’s relevant.

On April 14, 15 and 16, the third Georgia Trail Summit opens in Carrollton. #GTS2016
Skim the impressive program.


  • Listening Tour of statewide trail coordination in Alabama, Florida and Tennessee: with neighborly advice for Georgia
  • Local trail success stories and tours from the Friends of the Carrollton GreenBelt
  • Lessons learned at Georgia’s newest state park on Lake Lanier

Enjoy about 30 presentations from other savvy speakers and trailblazers. Mobile workshops on nearby trails on Trails Opening Day. Networking parties. Free flowing UNconference sessions. Delicious meals. Be there.

Hotel rooms at the new Courtyard Marriott are still available.

Hotel discounts expire Thursday

Still undecided? Come on. Join us.

100 people have already said yes. We have capacity for 200 at the Georgia Trail Summit April 14, 15 and 16 in Carrollton.

Program #GTS2016

Check out our impressive program. Registration is only $100 for three days including several meals, two parties, and eight mobile workshops. Convinced? Register now.


Rooms are still available at the discounted rate of $109 until Thursday, March 24.Reserve your room at the new Marriott Courtyard Carrollton next door to the Summit venue or nearby at Hampton Inn.

Make new connections

Accelerate your own trail project by learning from the success of others. Join the conversation.

Opening Day for Trails

According to our friends at Rails to Trails Conservancy, 04/16/16 is opening day for trails. And they encourage us all to hold on-trail events to kick off the season. So that’s what we will do! Here are our options.

At the Georgia Trail Summit, 8 on-trail workshops are included in your registration fee; bring your own gloves, boots, bikes and water bottles*

  • 06-Build a Trail at Little Tallapoosa River Park – Thursday 2-5pm
  • 01A-Walk On & Learn the GreenBelt Background – Thursday 5-6pm
  • 01B-Walk On & Learn the GreenBelt Background – Friday 5-6pm

Saturday 930am-1230pm

  • 02-Paddle the Dub Denman Water Trail & Learn What’s in your Community
  • 03-Bike the GreenBelt: Trails & Complete Streets, Connecting the Dots
  • 04-Hike w/a Naturalist at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
  • 05-Mountain bike Coldwater Trail in Anniston w/SORBA
  • 07-Play disc golf adjacent to GreenBelt w/course designer
  • 08-Native plant restoration at Buffalo Creek Nature Trail

We look forward to seeing you in Carrollton April 14, 15 and 16.

*20 hybrid bikes will be available for use and reservable onsite compliments of Perpetual Motion Bicycles; and ample kayak/canoes will be provided compliments of Lazy River Rentals of West Georgia


Honoring Georgia’s Trail Women

campfiregirlsIn honor of Women’s History month in March and international women’s day TODAY, we offer a list of Georgia women trailblazers leading the way and paving a positive path for a world-class trail system here. Now in its 36th year, Women’s History month’s 2016 theme is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government”. We’ve come a long way since the days of Camp Fire Girls.

The Georgia Trail Summit is grateful for these female trail pioneers:

  • Amanda Clay – Trail patrol officer for Alpharetta Public Safety and leader of volunteer patrol model
  • Andrea Greco, senior project manager & trail builder, Pond & Company
  • Becky Kelley – former leader at DeKalb County’s parks and recreation, and currently director of Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites.
  • Bobbie Byers – outreach champion for Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association creating trail clean up days and major events for equestrians.
  • Camilla Warren – USA EPA Region 4 director dedicated to cleaning up brownfields and incorporating new greenways at those reclaimed sites.
  • Carla Bamatraf, Trail designer and planner at J. R. Wilburn and Associates
  • Charlotte Gillis  newly retired National Park Service/ Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program manager who has fostered trail efforts for many years across Georgia.
  • Denise Starling – director of Livable Buckhead spearheading the effort to build the quickly growing PATH400 trail.
  • Erica Studdard – executive director of the Carrollton Greenbelt and a great public private partnership (P3) example.
  • Grandma Gatewood  the oldest and first female Appalachian Trail thru-hiker whose legend is preserved in the book and film Grandma Gatewood: Trail Magic.
  • Greta deMayo, principal owner, KAIZEN Collaborative
  • Gwyneth Moody – outreach champion for Georgia River Network developing water trails across the state.
  • Jackie Tyson – is the founder of Bike Alpharetta, a non-profit dedicated to promoting fun and safe cycling in the area. Jackie has helped build trails for RAMBO, find funding for Mt. Adams trail, and worked with the city to approve the first-ever City Bike Routes.
  • Jo Hickson – a dedicated trail champion, and director of Coastal Georgia Greenway who works across the south advocating for trail legislation.
  • Julie Smith – bicycle shop owner in Rome and co-founder of trail advocacy group TRED.
  • Katelyn DiGioia, state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Georgia Department of Transportation
  • Kelly Pack – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy director of development providing assistance to Georgia and several states not served by regional trail chapters.
  • Laura Richards – founder and Chair of the Carrollton Greenbelt
  • Lisa Frank – PR writer and trail champion at Frank Relations
  • Liz Cole, senior project manager, Greenberg Farrow
  • Marcie Moore, trail and greenway planner, Gwinnett County
  • Mera Cardenas – director of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Alliance who leads #AMP –  a new branding effort to connect a network of trails renamed Arabia Mountain Path.
  • Nan Dragonfly Reisinger – oldest living female thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail.
  • Renee Gable – planning commissioner and Greenprints Alliance trail advocate.
  • Rue Mapp – CEO of Outdoor Afro, leading people of color back to nature.
  • Sally Jewell – Department of Interior Secretary whose work resulted in more national parks protected and a Kid in Every Park program.
  • Sally Sears – Atlanta TV journalist turned executive director of South Fork Conservancy, leading the effort to protect creeks and watersheds.
  • Tonya Bechtler – outreach manager of impressive amenities at Yellow River Water Trail.
  • Tracie Sanchez – grassroots organizer of the Georgia Trail Summit and future statewide trail resource Georgia Trails Alliance.

Who are we missing?  Drop us a line if you know other Georgia women forging new paths for building trails in Georgia.  We’ll keep growing this list.

Calling all guest bloggers

Have updates on your community trail project to share?

Need to crowd source solutions for barriers or obstacles within a trail project?

Think of Georgia Trails Alliance as your sounding board, and share your story. We offer continued coverage of all things trail in Georgia and echo those stories in our social media and invite you to do the same.

Together we learn and together we accelerate the momentum of a world-class trail network in Georgia.

Contact Tracie or Lisa if you are interested in guest blogging. We can both be reached at

Early-bird discount expires Feb 29

We’re delighted to welcome


as the first presenting sponsor of the Georgia Trail Summit. Tanner Health System is investing $35 million in a new healthcare center adjacent to the Carrollton GreenBelt trail.

Have you registered yet?

Take advantage of the early-bird discount by Monday, Feb 29. Register now for $85 which includes 25 presentations, 8 mobile workshops, several meals and 2 parties.
On March 1, registration increases to $100.

View the Summit’s three-day agenda.
Reserve your hotel room using Marriott code GTSGTSB.

See you April 14, 15, and 16 in Carrollton, Georgia!