Any recreational trail user will tell you there are more people on the trails than ever before. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, automated counters at trail systems around the country recorded four times as many users compared to the same time frame in 2019. Trails certainly represent a complex ecosystem with lots of moving parts: people and animals moving in different directions, in lots of different ways, for lots of different reasons.

Recognizing that the community of trail users continues to expand at an exponential rate and the growing concern among equestrian trail users, ELCR recently joined an unprecedented consortium of advocacy groups, brands, media outlets, and ambassadors that have come together to create the national public awareness campaign “Trails are Common Ground” which elevates the importance of respectful, inclusive, safe, and enjoyable experiences on trails.

Advocacy groups and industry leaders began collaborating in February 2021 to discuss the need for this campaign. The coalition shaped the campaign to reinforce the many local, regional, and user-specific trail respect programs in existence by promoting kindness and awareness while elevating the work of these programs. The Coalition members represent all manner of activities that take place in the dirt, including hiking, trail running, equestrian, mountain biking, and motorized singletrack with both ELCR and Backcountry Horsemen of American representing the equestrian trail community. Click here to read the full press release on Trails Are Common Ground (TaCG).

The TaCG campaign includes a website and social media accounts, along with creative assets that can be shared and personalized by brands, non-profits, content creators, and all passionate trail users who want to rise together to share the message of Trails are Common Ground. All trail users and trail organizations are invited to participate and support this important nationwide initiative. Questions about the TaCG campaign may be directed to ELCR Executive Director Holley Groshek by emailing hgroshek@elcr.org.

To learn more about the campaign and how to become an active participant, visit trailsarecommonground.org and follow Trails are Common Ground on Facebook and Instagram @TrailsareCommonGround.