2020 Webinar Series

Due to the COVID pandemic, California Trails and Greenways 2020 was cancelled.  However, we made some content scheduled for California Trails and Greenways 2020 available via webinar! Thanks to our partnership with American Trails and the contributions of our generous supporters, all webinars are available for viewing on the American Trails website. Download the full list of webinars available.

2020 Trail Award Recipients

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Trails and Greenways Awards! While we could not gather this year to honor these individuals and organizations for their incredible work, we want to recognize the significant contributions they made to the trails community in 2019 and share a little about their innovative projects and programs. Join us in Modesto April 15, 2021 when we will present these well-deserved awards in person. If you would like to nominate a project or individual for the 2021 awards, please sign up for our mailing list to receive information on the nomination process and deadline. See the link on the right side of this page to sign up for the mailing list.  

Lifetime Volunteer Achievement

Merit Award for Development

Merit Award for Events

Merit Award for Kids and Trails

Merit Award for Planning 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim and Cathy Haagen-Smit

Photo of Jim and Cathy Haagen-Smit

When they met in the Sacramento Nordic Ski Club in 1986, Jim and Cathy knew trails would be an important part of their lives together. As bike commuters and mountain bikers, they understood the importance of trail advocacy and put into action the tips they acquired at local, statewide and national trails conferences. Soon they were leaders in efforts to get more trails and safe bike routes to work. Since 1990, they have devoted countless volunteer hours for the benefit of the multi-use trail community. They worked with agencies promoting multi-use trail networks and bike commuter routes and have each played major roles serving on non-profit boards, advisory committees, and task forces, on local, state and national levels. To name a few, Cathy was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger to the California Recreational Trails Committee. She formed Placer County Bikeways & Trails Partnership and coordinated “Trails Sharing” workshops at statewide conferences. She served as Board Member/President of the California Trails Conference Foundation and the California Trails & Greenways Foundation. She was named the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Regional Bicyclist of the Year in 2005. Jim has served on the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Roundtable, the Tahoe National Forest Resource Advisory Council, as well as the Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Committee representing dispersed nonmotorized recreation. Jim sits on the board of the Placer County Land Trust and the Placer County Parks adhoc Trails Committee. Cathy & Jim served on State Parks’ first mountain bike patrol in Gold Fields District; were founding officers of the Folsom branch of International Mountain Bicyling Association (IMBA), the Folsom Area Trail Riders Action Coalition; and served as volunteer State Representatives with IMBA. Both received a Clean Air Award from the American Lung Association for their bicycle advocacy. Both have attended the National Bike Summits in Washington DC, and numerous California Trails and Greenways. They continue to volunteer and enjoy trails around the world on a tandem bike.

Merit Award for Development

Tahoe-Pyramid Trail

Map of the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail

Through the tireless and unflappable efforts of local volunteers, over 80% of the 114-mile Tahoe-Pyramid (multi-use) Trail has been constructed. The trail reached a major milestone on October 3, 2019 with completion of the trail segment between Truckee and Reno. Of special note are the accomplishments of the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail volunteers who successfully secured both private and government funds; worked with 2 states, 5 counties, 4 cities and a Native American tribe; engaged cooperatively with public and private landowners; sought and found creative engineering solutions for challenging terrains and rights-of-way; and established vital partnerships with land managing agencies. For more information, please contact tahoepyramidbike@aol.com 

San Lorenzo River Parkway, Phase III, Trestle Trail Project Photo of the San Lorenzo River Trestle

The City of Santa Cruz recently completed the Trestle Trail Project, expanding a four-foot wide railroad trestle walkway to a safer, ADA-compliant 10-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian trail. The improved, wider trail provides access across the San Lorenzo River on a slip-resistant, lightweight, fiber-reinforced polymer decking, with low-level lighting, while preserving rail transit options for the future. The Trestle Trail was the first segment of the historic Coastal Rail Trail to be built. The Coastal Rail Trail includes many projects that together will provide a 32-mile long separated bicycle/pedestrian path along the coast. It is a part of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan. For more information, please contact cschneiter@cityofsantacruz.com.

Merit Award for Events

Creek Week, Mariposa County Planning Department

Photo of a public workshop

In developing the Mariposa Creek Parkway Master Plan, the Mariposa County Planning Department used the Creek Week stakeholder event to help ensure community support and engagement. Each of the event’s three days focused on different interests: Education and Environment; Health and Wellness; and Community and Creativity. By effectively engaging the community in the planning process, the trail project evolved into a public project that will accommodate a range of programs and amenities, ensuring both community support and stewardship now and into the future. For more information, contact mgoralnik@mariposacounty.org.

Merit Awards for Kids and Trails

50 Hikes with Kids: California, by Wendy Gorton 

Photo of the cover of the book 50 Hikes with Kids: California

As a former teacher with a master’s degree in learning technologies, Wendy Gorton has created a marvelous adventure guide that will inspire children’s natural desire to explore and learn. In partnership with Timber Press, this beautiful and informational book contains essential information (map, directions, difficulty rating, restroom and snack sites), along with facts and games (including adventure learning, scavenger hunts, and Leave No Trace principles) for making the most of outdoor adventures along some of California’s most iconic trails. For more information, contact wendy@50hikeswithkids.com


Bay Area Youth Trail Crew at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Student Conservation Association Photo of SCA youth

During the summer of 2019, four high school students and 2 crew leaders spent three weeks learning about and improving trails at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Through their work, students learned the value of conservation work; discussed environmental issues, academic and career goals; and engaged in problem solving, conflict resolution, and group decision making. The work accomplished by the SCA crew resulted in many of the park’s trails being maintained and available for use for the rest of the high use season. For more information, contact jwatson@thesca.org.

Merit Award for Planning

Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail Study, San Mateo County Parks Department

Logo of the Ohlone-Portola Heritage Trail

To commemorate 10,000 years of the Ohlone settlement, and the 250th Anniversary of the Portolá Expedition’s sighting of the San Francisco Bay, a study has been completed confirming the feasibility of a 90-mile multi-use trail on public lands. The trail will traverse a portion of the Ohlone trade routes from Año Nuevo north to the Discovery Site in Pacifica. It will make its way east to the City of Menlo Park. While the County of San Mateo focused on the Trail route within its jurisdiction, the historic expedition route starts in Baja Mexico and served as the catalyst for European development in California. It is a major component in the much larger story of early contact with Native Americans.    

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California Trails Conference Foundation

The California Trails Conference Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization that assists with the planning and operation of California Trails & Greenways, and serves as the event’s fiscal agent. All funds raised by the California Trails Conference Foundation are applied directly to event costs.