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1000 Great Rail-Trails

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1000 Great Rail-Trails

The Bottom Line

This 50-state guide provides excellent information on the rail trails that are availale for public use.
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  • Complete listing of public use rail-trails
  • Information on how to get to trails
  • Recommended times to use trails
  • Recommended trail activities


  • Information is also available online


  • Each listing includes the trail length and endpoint.
  • Type of surface - whether paved, dirt, or gravel are described for your convenience.
  • Types of activities allowed are included whenever possible.
  • Contact information for trail supervisors is also included.
  • The Conservancy also publishes eight region-specific books.

Guide Review - 1000 Great Rail-Trails

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works with communities to save abandoned train tracks and convert them into public trails. Their goal is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines to create safe, scenic places for people to exercise.

Since 1986, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has helped convert thousands of miles of unused railroad beds to multi-use activity trails for everyone to enjoy. Today rail-trails are found in every state and cover more than 15,000 miles nationwide. 1000 Great Rail-Trails is a complete listing of every rail-trail available for public use in the United States.

These flat or gentle-grade trails are the perfect place to walk, jog, bicycle, in-line skate, horseback ride - even cross-country ski - and offer you a year-round opportunity to get outside for exercise and recreation. Numerous access points along the length of each rail-trail allow you to take advantage of as much or as little of the trail as you want. Each complete rail-trail listing includes trail length and endpoints, type of surface - whether paved, dirt or gravel, types of activities allowed and wheelchair accessibility.

Many communities in the United States are looking for more innovative ways to re-purpose land for safe, popular and effective trail development. A rail-with-trail is another type of public path, but it runs parallel to a railway line that is still in use. There are more than 140 rail-with-trails in the United States, and they travel more than 1,400 miles.

This guide to the top 1000 rails-trails also includes information on how to get there, best times to visit, recreational activities the trail supports, wildflife viewing, wheel chair access and historic sites that may be seen along the trail.

"1000 Great Rail-Trails: A Comprehensive Directory" is a complete listing of every rail-trail available for public use in the United States and is the official directory of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Whether you walk, use a wheelchair, bike, inline skate, ride horses, or cross-country ski, you'll find rail-trails right for you in this book.

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