Skip to content

Learn, Connect, and Grow

The Annual Piedmont Legacy Trails Summit is where passionate trail advocates in the Piedmont Triad and across the State of North Carolina connect and learn. In 2021 the Summit will took place virtually over the course of 4 Fridays in March. Each day held one educational zoom session in the morning featuring a different speaker and topic relating to trails in the triad. The 2021 Virtual Summit was entirely free thanks to our wonderful sponsors.

Along with these online sessions we offered small group, distanced, masks required, outdoor fields trips lead by PLT Partners at local trails. 

We are offering access to the recordings of these sessions for free and indefinitely. We hope you’ll use them and share them so that we all can learn from and be inspired by the insights and hard work of others as we continue to make trails happen!

Jump to a topic:

Trail Funding Strategies

Pete Eshelman, Director of Outdoor Branding, Roanoke Regional Partnership
Joe Furstenberg, NC DOT Integrated Mobility Division
Scott Crocker, NC Recreational Trails Program (NC State Parks)

A huge thank you to our speakers for making this session so valuable. Please enjoy the recording here or on our Youtube Channel.

The session presented 3 approaches to trail funding. Scott shared insights on funding trends in the NC Recreational Trails Program.  Joe detailed strategies for NC DOT funding for greenways. Lastly, Pete highlighted creative fundraising strategies that support local projects by showcasing the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s Roanoke Outside program which seeks to brand and promote the region’s outdoor recreation amenities to create a healthy quality of life for residents and visitors, essential elements to attract high quality jobs and spur economic development. 

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212710

PE Credit Forms: Click Here

PE Evaluation Form: Click Here

Once completed the Evaluation form can be sent to

Field Trip: Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area

Thanks to Guil Johnson with Alamance Parks for leading a great field trip at Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area. 

The Case for Community Health through Trails

Mark Fenton, National Public Health, Planning, and Transportation Consultant

Mary Joan Pugh, Randolph County Trails Coordinator
Sam Varner, Randolph County Wellness Administrator

The session demonstrated the evidence of the close ties between trails and health. Mary Joan Pugh and Sam Varner presented how they’ve put this evidence into action and created a culture of walking in Randolph County. Mark Fenton shared his experiences creating more active and more livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

Because of technical issues, the video recording of this session was not captured. We apologize to those who missed the session or were counting on having access to the recording.


AICP Credit CM ID: 9212713

PE Credit Forms: Click Here

PE Evaluation Form: Click Here

Once completed the Evaluation form can be sent to

Field Trip:
Downtown Greenway | Greensboro

Thanks to Dabney Sanders for an incredible tour along the Downtown Greenway in Greensboro! And thanks to everyone who joined us on this tour.

Harnessing the Trail Market for Economic Development

David Kahley, President, The Progress Fund and Trail Town Program®
Leslie Schlender, CEcD, Economic Development Director for the Town of Elkin
Heidi Walters, Director of Partner & Industry Relations for Visit North Carolina

Thank you to our speakers, David, Leslie, and Heidi for a fantastic and insightful session! 

Trails and Economic Development go hand-in-hand. Piedmont Legacy Trails was delighted to host guest speakers with valuable experience harnessing the trails market for economic development. First, David Kahley with the Progress Fund shares the story of how and why his organization developed the Trail Town brand, what elements create a successful trail town, and what obstacles rural communities face in developing themselves as a trail town. Second, Leslie Schlender with the Town of Elkin shares their story of building on trail momentum to create wider economic development for the Town as a whole; and lastly, Heidi Walters presents Visit NC’s new NC Outdoor campaign, a public information campaign to help us preserve the natural beauty of NC and a partnership with Leave No Trace.

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212708

PE Credit Forms: Click Here

PE Evaluation Form: Click Here

Once completed the Evaluation form can be sent to

Field Trip:
Klondike Lake Trail | Elkin, NC

Big thank you to the Bob Hillyer, Bill Blackley and Mike Reeves with the Elkin Valley Trails Association for a brilliant trip to Klondike Lake Trail and Grassy Creek Vineyard. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this fun day!

Trail Planning, Designing, and Building

Tim Johnson, Senior Planner with Destination by Design

Enjoy the recording of this session here or on our YouTube channel. Learn the essentials of creating sustainable trails for all different types of trail users, including the fundamentals of trail planning, design and construction.

Thank you so much to Tim Johnson for sharing his trail building expertise!

AICP Credit CM ID: 9212709

PE Credit Forms: Click Here

PE Evaluation Form: Click Here

Once completed the Evaluation form can be sent to

Field Trip:
The Ridge Cycle Hub | Lexington, NC

Big thanks to Chris Phelps from Tourism Recreation Investment Partnership for Davidson for the preview of the not-yet-opened mountain bike park, The Ridge Cycle Hub. Thanks to everyone who joined us on this fantastic tour!