Trail Quotes

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My overall purpose in compiling Trail Quotes has been to set down in a single place the most interesting, well-phrased thoughts, and observations that I have discovered over a course of trail study and reading that began in 1982. I want Trail Quotes to be a readable source for inspiring, challenging, and amusing information and knowledge; as well as a reliable, easy-to-use reference work for finding the precise wording, author, date, and source of the trail quotation. Many quotes just give the author. I have spent years researching to find a fuller citation for quotes you will find here. The internet has made it easier to research. But not all quotes and citations on the internet are accurate. Over the years I have discovered many quotes that I would like to add to my list, but I have not been able to verify the citation or find a full citation.

Many websites, publications, and conference presentations use quotations to add interest and to emphasize the importance of trails and greenways. I hope that you might find just the right quotation for your publication or presentation, or you just might enjoy reading the quotes on their own. The quotes are arranged loosely into 53 different subject categories.

2001-Jim-Schmid's-Trail-Quotes-Book-CoverIn 2001 while working for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism as their first State Trails Coordinator I published a book Trail Quotes: From Advocacy to Wilderness.  Click here to access a full text copy in PDF.

Don’t forget to browse through Trail Quotes for the pure enjoyment of it. Reading the words and ideas of persons who express them well can enrich your own use of words—and your ability to express your ideas effectively in writing and speaking.


I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, “Verify your quotations.”
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
—WINSTON CHURCHILL, British Statesman, 1874–1965

I hate quotations! Tell me what you know.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

If you have questions about any quotes or citations or can provide additional quotes or information please contact me.


Trail and Greenway Advocacy Quotes

Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am. A reluctant enthusiast and part-time crusader. A half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the West. It is even more important to enjoy it while you can, while it’s still there. So get out there, hunt, fish, mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the Griz, climb a mountain, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and elusive air. Sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness of the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves. Keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive. And I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in safe deposit boxes and their eyes hypnotized by their desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The most common form of terrorism in the USA is the carried on by bulldozers and chainsaws. It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The national parks belong to everyone. To the people. To all of us. The government keeps saying so and maybe, in this one case at least, the government is telling the truth. Hard to believe, but possible.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

The land belongs to them that love it (and will fight for it?).
DICTUM: NO AUTOMOBILES IN NATIONAL PARKS.
Let’s make them parks and not parking lots.
FOR HUMAN BEINGS ONLY.
God bless America. Let’s save some of It!
—EDWARD ABBEY, Journal entry April 8, 1957, Arches, Utah

Every important change in our society, for the good, at least, has taken place because of popular pressure—pressure from below, from the great mass of people.
—EDWARD ABBEY, One Life at a Time, Please, 1988

Be a half-assed crusader, a part-time fanatic. Don’t worry to much about the fate of the world. Saving the world is only a hobby. Get out there and enjoy the world, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, husbands, wives; climb mountains, run rivers, get drunk, do whatever you want to do while you can, before it’s too late.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89, quoted in The Green Lifestyle Handbook, 1989

…the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the Friends of the Earth, the Audubon Society, the Defenders of wildlife operate on this theory—those who learn to love what is spare, rough, wild, undeveloped, and unbroken will be willing to fight for it…
—EDWARD ABBEY, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West, 1977

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

We either have wild places or we don’t. We admit the spiritual-emotional validity of wild, beautiful places or we don’t. We have a philosophy of simplicity of experience in these wild places or we don’t. We admit an almost religious devotion to the clean exposition of the wild, natural earth or we don’t.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

We who are gathered here may represent a particularly elite, not of money and power, but of concern for the earth for the earth’s sake.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Showing up is 80% of life.
—WOODY ALLEN, US Film Actor, Director, Writer, 1935-

In the 19th century, we devoted our best minds to exploring nature. In the 20th century, we devoted ourselves to controlling and harnessing it. In the 21st century, we must devote ourselves to restoring it.
—STEPHEN AMBROSE, US Historian, 1936-2002

Americans are seeking trail opportunities as never before. No longer are trails only for the ‘rugged individualists’ pursuing a solitary trek through breathtaking wilderness … users include young people and senior citizens, families, individuals and organized groups, people with disabilities and the physically fit.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

…key factor in the development and planning of most trails is local, grassroots efforts: that is, the citizens who drive the local, state, and federal government to act. Everything from establishing the vision and need for greenways to defining specific trail corridors, to participating in the zoning process, to forming citizen coalitions, to developing guidelines for trail use and access should be within the abilities of each citizen. With broad-based support, the vision of a national system of trails can be realized.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

If we are to continue to be able to resort to the woods and use trails without restriction, there is need for action. Indifference, heedlessness and delay will exact a heavy toll.
—MYRON AVERY, Chairman Appalachian Trail Conference 1931-52, 1899-1952

Being an effective trail advocate begins with deciding just exactly what it is you want to achieve. Before you can get out and champion your project, you need a vision, a plan and maps that show preferred routes and other features.
—BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL COUNCIL, In Support of Trails: A Guide to Successful Trail Advocacy, 1993

If there’s one essential ingredient to creating trails and trail systems, it’s people. All the land and financing in the world won’t blaze a trail if there aren’t people championing the project.
—BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL COUNCIL, In Support of Trails: A Guide to Successful Trail Advocacy, 1993

Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone. Leave the beaten path occasionally and dive into the woods. You will be certain to find something you have never seen before.
—ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, Scottish Scientist, Inventor, 1847-1922

It is at the local, community level where successful trail networks begin.
—BRANDYWINE CONSERVANCY, Community Trails Handbook, 1997

Politics is democracy’s way of handling public business. We won’t get the type of country in the kind of world we want unless people take part in the public’s business.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

We still need conservationists who will attempt the impossible, achieving it because they aren’t aware how impossible it is.
—DAVID BROWER, Wildlands in Our Civilization, 1964

Fight your battles in private; advocate in public.
—GEORGE CARDINET, US Trail Advocate, 1909-2007

The beauty of the living world I was trying to save has always been uppermost in my mind—that, and anger at the senseless, brutish things that were being done. I have felt bound by a solemn obligation to do what I could—if I didn’t at least try I could never be happy again in nature.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

…the factors leading to the rise of the consumer hiker in the late 1960s continue to influence the community today, so that of the thirty-four million Americans who hiked in 2012, less than 1 percent were active club members. As a result, two generations of hikers have reached adulthood with minimal—if any—relationship to the club structure that defined hiking for more than a century.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
—FRANK A. CLARK, US Cartoonist, 1911-81

We become the stories we tell ourselves.
—MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, A Home at the End of the World, 1990

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, British Prime Minister, (1874-80), 1804–81

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

It has been proven over and over again that a trail with an organized constituency will succeed while others may not. Without public awareness of and involvement in it, there is no trails system.
—STEVE ELKINTON, quoted in Glenn Scherer’s A Seed Takes Hold: The National Trails System Act Turns Forty, American Hiker, Fall 2008

The downstream effects are unknown. Do your best and hope for the best. If you’re improving the world—however you define that—consider your job well done.
—TIMOTHY FERRISS, The 4-Hour Workweek, 2007

The greenway concept has spread across the state [North Carolina] to almost every major municipality.… I think that one of the things that’s impressive is that the energy is coming from the citizens rather than the government units.
—CHUCK FLINK, President of Greenways Inc., as quoted in Corridors of Green, Wildlife in North Carolina, 1988

Change is not progress.
—HENRY FORD, US Industrialist, 1863–1947

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
—ANNE FRANK, German Jewish Diarist, 1929-45; The Diary of a Young Girl, 1947

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
—BUCKMINISTER FULLER, US Architect, Inventor, Scientist, Teacher, Philosopher, 1895-1983

He who plants trees loves others besides himself.
—THOMAS FULLER, English Clergyman, 1608-61

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

People who have committed to a service/advocacy role will tell you that some of the sublimest pleasure they have ever experienced comes in the context of that work. You get way more than you give.
—CHARLES GARFIELD, Peak Performers, 1986

The future is not someplace we are going to, but a place we are creating. The paths to it are not found, they are made.
—JANE GARVEY, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration (1993–97)

I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL (DR SEUSS), The Lorax, 1971

Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).
—THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL (DR SEUSS), Oh! The Places You’ll Go! 1990

Great things do not just happen by impulse but as a succession of small things linked together.
—VINCENT VAN GOGH, Dutch Artist, 1853-90

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
—JANE GOODALL, British Primatologist, 1934-

Many things are lost for want of asking.
—GEORGE HERBERT, English Clergyman, Poet, 1593-1633

I know no safe depository of the ultimate power of society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
—DALAI LAMA, Tibetan Religious Leader, 1935-

A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.
—JOHN LE CARRÉ, English Writer, 1931–

When, through automation, a man’s job has become unchallenging, boring and just a way to obtain purchasing power, if he is to keep that yeastlike feeling of being a prime mover in the world, he must do something of value with his spare time.
—RAY LOWES, founder of Canada’s Bruce Trail, in a June 1964 speech to the Appalachian Trail Conference in Vermont

My own doctrine of organization is that any body of people coming together for a purpose (whatever it may be) should consist of persons wholly wedded to said purpose and should consist of nobody else. If the purpose be Cannibalism (preference for Ham a la Capitalism) then nobody but a Cannibal should be admitted. There should be plenty of discussion and disagreement as to how and the means but none whatever as to ends.
—BENTON MACKAYE in a letter to Bob Marshall discussing membership for newly formed Wilderness Society, December 12, 1935

Off your seats and on your feets.
—GEORGE MASA, Japanese born US Photographer, 1881-1933

It was all prices to them: they never looked at it: why should they look at the land?
—ARCHIBALD MACLEISH, US Poet, 1892-1982

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
—MARSHALL McLUHAN, Canadian Scholar, 1911-80

The real leader has no need to lead — he is content to point the way.
—HENRY MILLER, American Author 1891-1980

Unless someone truly has the power to say no, they never truly have the power to say yes.
—DAN MILLMAN, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, 1985

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
Inspired by A.A. MILNER, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, 1996

If people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Find a way or make one.
—ADMIRAL ROBERT E. PEARY, US Explorer, 1856-1920

The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

The environmental movement for the past quarter of a century has made no more profound error than to misunderstand the mission of religion and the churches in preserving the Creation.
CARL POPE, Executive Director, Sierra Club, 1998

A first-rate trails system can only be created by people.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

We believe that the place to start … is in our communities. Americans living together and joining in associations across the country—this is where the tremendous strength and vision of our people will be tapped. We recommend a prairie fire of local action to sweep the nation, encouraging investment in outdoor recreation opportunities and rededication to the protection of our great natural heritage.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

People don’t change under governments. Governments change. People remain the same.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

Thank heavens we don’t get all the government we pay for.
—WILL ROGERS, US Cowboy Humorist, 1879–1935

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
—ROBERT W. SERVICE, British-Canadian Poet, Writer, 1874-1958

 

Learn about the agency. The better you understand the agency, the more effective you will be.
—JOAN SHAW, editor, Citizens and Natural Resources: A Perspective on Public Involvement, 1973

One of the best tactics for citizens who want power is simply to obtain good information and persistently and repeatedly articulate their views in public involvement procedures.
—JOAN SHAW, editor, Citizens and Natural Resources: A Perspective on Public Involvement, 1973

…for those who can, one of the things to do is not to move. To stay put. That doesn’t mean don’t travel; it means have a place and get involved in what can be done in that place. That’s the only way we’re going to have a representative democracy in America. Nobody stays anywhere long enough to take responsibility for a local community.
—GARY SNYDER, US Poet, 1930-

The fight for free space—for wilderness and for public space—must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space. Otherwise the individual imagination will be bulldozed over for the chain-store outlets of consumer appetite, true-crime titillations, and celebrity crises.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

Too often, the advocates of trails and linear parks along rights-of-way come up against officials who recognize only one kind of park—the squared-off kind that comes in chunks; and one kind of recreation—the supervised kind known as ‘organized sweating.’ Such officials refuse to acknowledge that there has been a change in US recreation trends, reflected in the phenomenal growth of hiking, biking, and horseback riding….
—CONSTANCE STALLINGS, Let’s Use Our Rights-of-Way, Reader’s Digest, 1970

The most ominous of fallacies—the belief that things can be kept static by inaction.
—FREYA STARK, French Adventurer, 1893-1993

‘Wilderness is a resource that can shrink but not grow,’ Aldo Leopold once remarked, and went on to observe that it takes intellectual humility to understand the cultural value of nature unaltered and unimproved. Nobody ever accused a government agency of intellect or humility (or, for that matter, the capacity to manage land), but we have reached a point in our historical development when stale jokes about the ‘Forest Circus’ and the ‘Bureau of Livestock and Mining’ and the principles of ‘multiple abuse’ and ‘sustained greed’ no longer serve to mask bemusement with amusement.
—PAGE STEGNER, Outposts of Eden, 1989

I am what is around me. [First line of the poem Theory]
—WALLACE STEVENS, US poet, 1879-1955

For the next century, we’ve got to put together what we so carelessly tore apart with so little concern for those who were gonna follow us. … You’ve got to sound off.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

Ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things, and that’s what it’s all about. They must count.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

The answer is to say ‘No!’ to authority when authority is wrong.
—STUDS TERKEL, US Interviewer, Writer, 1912-2008

There is no comparison between an overwide trail or a flattened, well-used camping site and a clear-cut forest or a strip-mined mountainside. The real threats to the wilderness come from logging, mining, overgrazing, dams, downhill ski resorts, mass tourism developments, and other large-scale projects. Who opposes these schemes? Often it is people who have learned to love wild places by walking and camping in them, by treating them softly and leaving little trace of their passing.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer and Humorist, 1835–1910

Society as we know it is almost a conspiracy against human health. One of the main forces working to counteract that is the trailsman.
—STEWART UDALL, former Secretary of the Interior from 1961–69 and former Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Board Member, 1998

Public participation is an instrument act by which citizens influence their government….
—SIDNEY VERBA, America: Political Democracy and Social Equality, 1972

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
—VOLTAIRE, French Writer, Philosopher, 1694-1778

All glory comes from daring to begin.
—EUGENE FITCH WARE, US Journalist, Politician, Poet, 1841-1911

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
—JOHN WAYNE, US Actor, 1907-79

Find something that matters deeply to you and pursue it. Question. Stand. Speak. Act. Make us uncomfortable. Make us think.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

…the choices and decisions we make in terms of how we use the land ultimately affect our very DNA. Environmental issues are life issues.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

Our power lies in our love of our homelands.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004

The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004

As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
—MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, US Author, 1952-

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
—WOODROW WILSON, Twenty-eight US President (1913–21), 1856–1924

If you choose the quick and easy path … you will become an agent of evil.
—YODA, in Star Wars movie, 1977

Do or do not. There is no try.
—YODA, in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back movie, 1980

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Backpacking Quotes

Backpacking is the art of knowing what not to take.
—SHERIDAN ANDERSON, Baron Von Mabel’s Backpacking, 1980

Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
—JANE AUSTIN, English Writer, 1775-1817

The fascinating quality of all sorts of wilderness and backcountry travel lies in the reduction of life to its essentials: food, shelter, beauty; the confrontation with forces and circumstances which are at once comprehensible, mysterious, and so powerful that they will not be denied.
—RAYMOND BRIDGE, America’s Backpacking Book, 1973

I never imagined that existence could be so simple, so uncluttered, so Spartan, so free of baggage, so sublimely gratifying. I have reduced the weight of my pack to 35 pounds and yet I can’t think of a single thing I really need that I can’t find, either within myself, or within my pack.
—DAVID BRILL, As Far as the Eye Can See, 1990

Backpacking forces one, by necessity, to walk the balance line, the edge of the sword, between disciplined deprivation and hedonistic gratification: a tiring, sweat-soaking day ends with a plunge into a cool stream; an arduous, lung-bursting climb is followed by a magnificent panoramic sweeping view; and there is the continuous contrast between life on the trail and civilized pleasures—a warm meal, a hot shower, clean dry clothes. It is by walking this line between sacrifice and satisfaction that one finds fulfillment.
—ROBERT BROWNE, The Appalachian Trail: History, Humanity, and Ecology, 1980

By the backpacking boom of the 1960s and 1970s, the model of the lone hiker would compete directly with organized hiking and threaten to undermine the dominance of the country’s strongest and most active hiking clubs.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

I feel so independent now. I can get anywhere I want to. I have the few essentials I need, and the few other things I need or want I can derive from the land. (on starting his 200-mile solo trek through the Brooks Range)
—DAVID COOPER, Brooks Range Passage, 1982

To walk well, you hike light—light on yourself, light on your budget, light on the land.
—MARLYN DOAN, Hiking Light, 1982

Hanging over our planning was the ever present problem of weight; if everything was to be carried on our backs, it must be pared to the last ounce.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

Our outfits were never the same from trip to trip, for between each time something new had been seen, heard of, or devised that seemed to offer promise of improvement. The perfect outfit was ever an elusive goal to be sought, but never reached.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

Our plans were seldom adhered to, and generally much altered en route. That mattered little to us, for all our needed supplies were in the packs on our backs; we could make camp in one place just as well as in another.
—PAUL FINK, Backpacking Was the Only Way, 1975

I found myself feeling sorry for any man who was not free to abandon whatever futility detained him and to walk away into the desert morning with a pack on his back.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Thousand-Mile Summer, 1964

Even in these mercifully emancipated decades, many people still seem quite seriously alarmed at the prospect of sleeping away from officially consecrated campsites, with no more equipment than they can carry on their backs. When pressed, they babble about snakes or bears or even, by God, bandits. But the real barrier, I’m sure, is the unknown.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker, 1968

Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Mostly, two miles an hour is good going.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

Under most conditions, the best roof for your bedroom is the sky. This commonsense arrangement saves weight, time, energy, and money.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Complete Walker III, 1989

It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

The man with the knapsack is never lost. No matter whither he may stray, his food and shelter are right with him, and home is wherever he may choose to stop.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.
—HORACE KEPHART, Camping and Woodcraft, 1917

Think what a great world revolution will take place when … [there are] millions of guys all over the world with rucksacks on their backs tramping around the back country….
—JACK KEROUAC, The Dharma Bums, 1958

It is an old custom of these people to pick up a stone and toss it on the pile. Perhaps it is a symbolical lightening of the load they carry, perhaps a small offering to the gods of the trails.
—LOUIS L’AMOUR, The Lonesome Gods, Western Writer, 1908–88

A gadget industry pads the bumps against nature-in-the-raw; woodcraft becomes the art of using gadgets.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Then came the gadgeteer, otherwise known as the sporting-goods dealer. He has draped the American outdoorsman with an infinity of contraptions, all offered as aids to self-reliance, hardihood, woodcraft, or marksmanship, but too often functioning as substitutes for them. Gadgets fill the pockets, they dangle from neck and belt. The overflow fills the auto-trunk and also the trailer. Each item of outdoor equipment grows lighter and often better, but the aggregate poundage becomes tonnage.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Long walks with a pack on one’s back are necessary in time of war, but I do not see why a man should go on marching in times of peace.
—ROBERT LYND, The Blue Lion, 1923

Walk in joy, friends.
—HARVEY MANNING, Backpacking: One Step At a Time, 1975

The rule of thumb for the old backpacking was that the weight of your pack should equal the weight of yourself and the kitchen range combined. Just a casual glance at the full pack sitting on the floor could give you a double hernia and fuse four vertebrae. After carrying the pack all day, you had to remember to tie one leg to a tree before you dropped it. Otherwise you would float off into space. The pack eliminated the need for any special kind of ground-gripping shoes, because your feet would sink a foot and a half into hard-packed earth, two inches into solid rock.
—PATRICK MCMANUS, A Fine and Pleasant Misery, 1978

‘I think,’ said Christopher Robin, ‘that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so we shan’t have so much to carry.’
—A.A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh, 1954

Every morning, the [thru] hiker’s options are reduced to two: walk or quit. Once that decision is made, all the others (when to eat, where to sleep) begin to fall into place.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

I made these Sierra trips, carrying only a sackful of bread with a little tea and sugar, and was thus independent and free….
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

My meals were easily made, for they were all alike and simple, only a cupful of tea and bread.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities.
—NESSMUK (G.W. SEARS), Woodcraft, 1963

Two questions we have been asked repeatedly all through the South: ‘You-all get paid for doing this, don’t you?’ and, ‘Are you working for the government?’ That we should be carrying heavy packs, sticking to the mountain trails, and camping out as we go, doing no hunting along the way, merely for fun, is of course completely incomprehensible! All through this region, nearly every man or boy encountered is carrying a gun; most of them say they would not think of venturing into the mountains without one.
—GEORGE OUTERBRIDGE, Maine to Georgia—All the Way, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, edited by James Hare, 1975

Long distance hiking is not a vacation, it’s too long for that. It’s not recreation, too much toil and pain involved. It is, we decide, a way of life, a very simplified Spartan way of living … life on the move … heavy packs, sweating brow; they make you appreciate warm sunshine, companionship, cool water. The best way to appreciate these things that are precious and important in life it is take them away.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.
—CINDY ROSS, Journey on the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada, 1987

Got my pack on. Have to keep going.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

He who would travel happily must travel light.
—ANTOINE de SAINT-EXUPÉRY, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939

During the first day or so of any tour there are moments of bitterness, when the traveler feels more than coldly towards his knapsack, when he is half in a mind to throw it bodily over the hedge…
—ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Walking Tours, 1876

There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail, knowing that everything you need is on your back. It is a confidence in having left the inessentials behind and of entering a world of natural beauty that has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are a dead weight. The person with the fewest possessions is the freest. Thoreau was right.
—PAUL THEROUX, The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, 1992

More backpacking trips are ruined by sore feet than by all other causes combined. Pounded by the ground below and the weight of you and your pack above, your feet receive harsher treatment than any other part of your body.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Backpacker’s Handbook, 1996

The key to my success in completing the entire [Appalachian] trail was due to never overestimating my own abilities and rarely underestimating the difficulty of the trail.
—BILL WALKER, Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, 2008

The most important quality a [long distance] thru-hiker posses is the determination to succeed. Resolve and even courage are needed to get through the tough times: rain, snow, scorching sun, insects, unfavorable terrain. The rewards are the good times: beautiful scenery, outdoor life, increased feeling of self-worth, new friends.
—CHRISTOPHER WHALEN, The Appalachian Trail: Workbook for Planning Thru-Hikes, 1992

When you walk, you know the distance you’ve covered in your tired bones, and it’s impossible to go so far that you lose the thread of continuity between “there” and “here.”
—KELLY WINTERS, Walking Home: A Woman’s Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail, 2001

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Trail and Greenway Benefits Quotes

Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial.
—EDWARD ABBEY, US Environmental Advocate, 1927–89

It’s all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure—they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Beyond the Wall, 1984

Trails have multiple values and their benefits reach far beyond recreation. Trails can enrich the quality of life for individuals, make communities more livable, and protect, nurture, and showcase America’s grandeur by traversing areas of natural beauty, distinctive geography, historic significance, and ecological diversity. Trails are important for the nation’s health, economy, resource protection and education.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Why Trails?
• Trails promote health and fitness by providing an enjoyable and safe place for bicycling, walking, and jogging, removed from the hazards of motor vehicles.
• Trails contribute to economic vitality, increased property values and increases in regional tourism.
• Trails help protect resources and preserve open space by defining zones free of human habitation and development.
• Trails educate young and old Americans alike about the value and importance of the natural environment.
• Trails offer an alternative to motorized vehicles, connecting homes with schools, offices, and shopping areas and contribute to a healthier environment, with cleaner air and less traffic congestion.
• 155 million people walk for pleasure, 93 million bicycle, 41 million hike, trails provide access to 43 million for nature study, photography, small game hunting or primitive camping, 10 million ride horses on trails, 5 million backpack, and 11 million ski on trails.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

Always in big woods, when you leave familiar ground and step off alone to a new place, there will be, along with feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. You are understanding the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is the experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes common ground, and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.
—WENDELL BERRY, The Unknown Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, 1971

Trails encourage us to socialize and have meaningful human contact, because they get us out of our steel-encapsulated driving machines.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1998

Recreation in the open is of the finest grade. The moral benefits are all positive. The individual with any soul cannot live long in the presence of towering mountains or sweeping plains without getting a little of the high moral standard of Nature infused into his being … with eyes opened, the great story of the Earth’s forming, the history of a tree, the life of a flower or the activities of some small animal will all unfold themselves to the recreationist….
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first Landscape Architect (1919), 1892–1978

…the most distinctive and perhaps the most impressive characteristic of American scenery is its wildness.
—THOMAS COLE, US Romantic Landscape Painter, 1801-48

When we are distressed, going outside for some fresh air, taking a walk in the park, or wandering deep into the woods quickens our attention, bringing us instantly into the present. Being outdoors provides mental space and clarity, allowing our bodies to relax and our hearts to feel more at ease. Putting ourselves in the midst of something greater than our personal dramas, difficulties and pain—as we do when we walk in the open plains, hike in rarefied mountain air, or ramble on an empty beach—can give us a sense of space and openness, lifting us out of our narrow selves. Similarly, gazing up at the vast night sky helps us see our problems and concerns with greater context and perspective. The natural world communicates its profound message: things are okay as they are; you are okay just as you are; simply relax and be present.
—MARK COLEMAN, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self Discovery, 2006

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Foot and horse trails offer the best opportunities for large numbers of people to escape the pressures of mechanized urban life and to enjoy the finest kind of healthful outdoor recreation in unspoiled natural environments.
—GRANT CONWAY, Hearing to Establish a Nationwide System of Trails, held March 6-7, 1967

Mountains have a decent influence on men. I have never met along the trails of the high mountains a mean man who would cheat and steal. Certainly most men who are raised there or who work there are as wholesome as the mountains themselves. Those who explore them or foot or horseback usually are open, friendly men.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

The thrill of tramping alone and unafraid through a wilderness of lakes, creeks, alpine meadows, and glaciers is not known to many. A civilization can be built around the machine but it is doubtful that a meaningful life can be produced by it.… When man worships at the feet of avalanche lilies or discovers the delicacies of the pasque flower or finds the faint perfume of the phlox on rocky ridges, he will come to know that the real glories are God’s creations. When he feels the wind blowing through him on a high peak or sleeps under a closely matted white bark pine in an exposed basin, he is apt to find his relationship to the universe.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Supreme Court Justice, Avid Hiker, 1898–1980

I learned early that the richness of life is found in adventure. Adventure calls on all the faculties of mind and spirit. It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. But man is not ready for adventure unless he is rid of fear. For fear confines him and limits his scope. He stays tethered by strings of doubt and indecision and has only a small and narrow world to explore.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Of Men and Mountains, 1950

When man ventures into the wilderness, climbs the ridges, and sleeps in the forest, he comes in close communion with his Creator. When man pits himself against the mountain, he taps inner springs of his strength. He comes to know himself.
—WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS, Of Men and Mountains, 1950

A walk in the woods … is one of the secrets for dodging old age.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

The influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Culture, The Conduct of Life, 1860

Details of the many walks I made along the crest have blurred, now, into a pleasing tapestry of grass and space and sunlight.
—COLIN FLETCHER, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher, 1989

The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon. I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy.
—HAMLIN GARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s, February 1899

As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.
—STEPHEN GRAHAM, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

People need immediate places to refresh, reinvent themselves. Our surroundings built and natural alike, have an immediate and a continuing effect on the way we feel and act, and on our health and intelligence. These places have an impact on our sense of self, our sense of safety, the kind of work we get done, the ways we interact with other people, even our ability to function as citizens in a democracy. In short, the places where we spend our time affect the people we are and can become.
—TONY HISS, The Experience of Place, 1990

Whenever we make changes in our surroundings, we can too easily shortchange ourselves, by cutting ourselves off from some of the sights and sounds, the shapes or textures, or other information from a place that have helped mold our understanding and are now necessary for us to thrive. Overdevelopment and urban sprawl can damage our own lives as much as they damage our cities and countryside.
—TONY HISS, The Experience of Place, 1990

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.
—VICTOR HUGO, French Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, 1802–85

It’s just a plain, bottom-level love of nature. I think that’s a primal instinct we all have, maybe I just have more of it. I’ve lived it, I know how much being in the wilderness can enrich my life.
—RAY JARDINE, Go-Light Backpacking Advocate, 1948-

Retaining a feeling of significance is becoming ever more difficult in our society of giant enterprises, directed by bureaucracy in which man becomes a smaller cog in a bigger machine. In too many cases they live and die without having confronted the fundamental realities of human existence. Their fragmented and piecemeal lives do not teach them the wholeness, unity and purpose that they need in order to be satisfied and secure. Outdoor recreation experiences can help mold into people the wholeness concept and the balance that is essential to a satisfying life. The outdoors embodies something that cannot be found anywhere else. It is not merely the scenery, or the mountain breeze, or the open spaces that delight us. The outdoors embody history, primitive experiences, and elements capable of lifting the spirit.
—CLAYNE JENSEN, Outdoor Recreation in America, 1985

It is important both to our economy and to the promotion of healthy lifestyles to encourage people, especially young people, to paddle a river, take a bike trip or a hike, cast a line in a lake, or connect in other ways with nature and the great outdoors.
— SALLY JEWELL, US Secretary of the Interior [2013- ], 1956-

What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.
—JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, US Poet, Essayist, Diplomat, 1819-91

People are different on a path. On a town sidewalk strangers may make eye contact, but that’s all. On a path like this [Stowe, VT] they smile, say hello, and pet one another’s dogs. I think every community in American should have a greenway.
—ANNE LUSK, Vermont Greenway Advocate, 1990

Life for two weeks on the mountaintops would show up many things about life during the other fifty weeks down below.
—BENTON MACKAYE, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 1921

However useful may be the National Parks and Forests of the West for those affording the Pullman fare to reach them, what is needed by the bulk of the American population is something nearer home.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Progress Toward the Appalachian Trail, Appalachia, 1922

We know that trails are more than remote footpaths; they are also retreats found within heritage corridors and urban areas, which are accessible and critical to the mental and physical well-being of our citizens.
—FRAN MAINELLA, Director, National Park Service, 2003

The trail compels you to know yourself and to be yourself, and puts you in harmony with the universe. It makes you glad to be living. It gives health, hope, and courage, and it extends that touch of nature which tends to make you kind.
—ENOS MILLS, US Naturalist, 1870-1922

It is impossible to fully appreciate the value of a trail until you have been forced to walk through the wilderness without one.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Without trails, we would be lost.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

It is impossible to overestimate the value of wild mountains and mountain temples as places for people to grow in, recreation grounds for soul and body.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
—JOHN MUIR, Our National Parks, 1901

Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners.
— NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of HOMEBUILDERS, 2015

Greenways and trails offer a new way of looking at how a community’s cultural, historic, recreational and conservation needs fit into an overall picture that also includes economic growth. With their emphasis on connections, greenways and trails allow community leaders to consider how existing parks and open spaces can become part of a network of green that supports wildlife, pleases people, and attracts tourists and clean industry.
—OFFICE of GREENWAYS and TRAILS, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Thinking Green: A Guide to the Benefits and Costs of Greenways and Trails, 1998

It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character…is favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

In, summary, this study indicates that concerns about decreased property values, increased crime, and a lower quality of life due to the construction of multi-use trails are unfounded. In fact, the opposite is true. The study indicates that multi-use trails are an amenity that help sell homes, increase property values and improve the quality of life. Multi-use trails are tremendously popular and should continue to be built to meet the ever-growing demand for bicycle facilities in Seattle.
—BRIAN PUNCOCHAR & PETER LAGERWAY, Evaluation of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Effect on Property Values and Crime report, 1987

The biggest lesson I learned on the Camino [de Santiago] was that I need to slow down. It was the most difficult thing to learn.
—JOYCE RUPP, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino, 2005

Whenever I step on the trail, I am hit with a giant wave of relief. This is my home.
—JEFFREY H. RYAN, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, 2016

In a world dominated by hijackings, hostages, banana republic wars, atom bombs, and superpower posturings, we all yearn for something that makes sense to us as individuals. That something, for an increasing number of Americans, can be a hands-on involvement in a program that plants trees, builds trails, restores streams and streambanks, and creates a sense of ‘natural place’ in their communities.
—NEIL SAMPSON, Editorial: National Action on Greenways, American Forests, Sept/Oct 1987

It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and ask of himself, “Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?”
—CARL SANDBURG, US Poet, Writer, 1878-1967

Studies show that trail development stimulates local economies, increases local tax revenue, attracts tourists seeking new recreational opportunities and revitalizes business districts. In addition, multi-use trails are considered critical amenities for home buyers. Corporations seek attractive communities that offer trails and open space when choosing where to locate new plants and offices.
—GIL SCHAMESS, ISTEA & Trails: Enhancement Funding for Bicycling and Walking, 1995

In a world of constant change and flux where being in the moment seems increasingly harder to attain, there is also something about the notion of traveling along a pathway—under our own power—that reconnects us, and indeed binds together all humanity…
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

Go outside. Feel your feet on the earth, notice the sun, the clouds that make you grateful for it, and take a deep breath. It will change the world.
—ELLEN SEVIGNY, Founder of Yoga in Your Park, 2016

I have a basic belief that outdoor recreation in a natural environment is good for people and is good for society at large. Anything that will bring more people to outdoor recreation, I therefore consider a ‘friend.’ Problems that derive from this philosophy are what keep me and others like me in business as recreation managers.
—RICHARD SPRAY, USDA Forest Service employee, 1986

Continually.… I think back on the pleasures that I’ve had on the trail and the teachings that it has imparted to me, and how those pleasures and those teachings have given me happiness and a greater understanding of how to bring fullness and richness into my life.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

The modern world is fast, complex, competitive, and always concerned with what happens next. There is always more to do than there is time. The landscape and even the light are mostly artificial. This can be exciting, but all too often it is frustrating, stressful, and exhausting. In contrast, hiking for weeks or months at a time in an unspoiled natural environment is a simple, repetitive activity that leads to calmness and psychological well-being, a feeling of wholeness, of being a complete person. Each day follows the same pattern, linking in with natural rhythms—walk in the light, sleep in the dark, eat when hungry, take shelter from storms. Only the details are different. I get a great pleasure from this simplicity, from the basic pattern of walk and camp, walk and camp. It is good to escape the rush of the modern world and for a period of time to live a quieter, more basic life. Problems and worries subside as the days go by; they are put into perspective by the elemental activity of putting one foot in front of the other hour after hour, day after day. And on returning from the wilds, restored and revitalized by the experience, I find civilization can be much easier to deal with; indeed, aspects of it can seem very desirable.
—CHRIS TOWNSEND, The Advanced Backpacker, 2001

Hikers, hunters, birdwatchers, technical rock climbers, anglers, skiers, canoeists—all these and many more turn to the outdoors to find challenge, not ease; uncertainty, not security….
—LAURA and GUY WATERMAN, Wilderness Ethics, 1993

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Bicycling Quotes

Few articles ever used by man have created so great a revolution in social conditions as the bicycle.
—1900 United States Census Report

Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

Doctor Sarvis, laboring on his bicycle up the long grade of Ninth South toward his home on 23rd East, was not unaware of the pressure of the traffic accumulating in his rear, the clamor of horns pounded by impatient fists, the motorized hatred fermenting at his back. But he thought, ‘Fuck ’em.’ Let ’em wait. Let ’em fester. Let ’em walk. Let ’em ride a bike like me, would do me and them and everybody a world of good. Cleanse our city’s air, reinvigorate the blood, tone up the muscles, strengthen the heart, burn up that surplus fat, stave off arteriosclerosis, cut down on bypass operations, eliminate transplants, lower the cholesterol count, prolong lives.
—EDWARD ABBEY, Hayduke Lives! 1989

Bicycle facility planning is commonly thought of as the effort undertaken to develop a separate bikeway system composed completely of bicycle paths and lanes all interconnected and spaced closely enough to satisfy all the travel needs of bicyclists. In fact, such systems can be unnecessarily expensive and do not provide for the vast majority of bicycle travel. Existing highways, often with relatively inexpensive improvements, must serve as the base system to provide for the travel needs of bicyclists. Bicycle paths and lanes can augment this existing system in scenic corridors or places where access is limited. Thus, bicycle transportation planning is more than planning for bikeways and is an effort that should consider many alternatives to provide for safe and efficient bicycle travel.
—AASHTO, Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 1991

When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamoring of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart.
—DIANE ACKERMAN, US Author, 1948-

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood.
—SUSAN B. ANTHONY, US Crusader for Women’s Suffrage, 1820–1906

It’s something I find enjoyable. Whether it is a road bike or mountain bike or tandem bike. I enjoy riding a bike.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, 7 Time Tour de France Winner, 2012 banned for life and stripped of titles for doping, 1971-

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.
—LANCE ARMSTRONG, Every Second Counts, 2003

Just as the ideal of classic Greek culture was the most perfect harmony of mind and body, so a human and a bicycle are the perfect synthesis of body and machine.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

Possibly the tragedy of the bicycle is that it was invented too close in time to the car. In the historical scheme, pedal power hardly got under way before the combustion engine appeared and, not only took over the roads, but changed our view of machines. We’ve forgotten that pedal power is a potent form of energy.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

The bicycle is its own best argument. You just get a bike, try it; start going with the thing and
using it as it suits you. It’ll grow and it gets better and better and better.
—RICHARD BALLANTINE, Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book, 2001

A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

Exploration comes easy on a bicycle, the unknown is everywhere.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

I eat to ride, I ride to eat. At the best of moments, I can achieve a perfect balance, consuming just the right amount of calories as I fill up at bakeries, restaurants, or ice cream parlors. On the road, I can get about twelve miles to the quart of milk and a piece of baker’s apple tart.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

I suppose that was what attracted me to the bicycle right from the start. It is not so much a way of getting somewhere as it is a setting for randomness; it makes every journey an unorganized tour.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

The bicycle is a vehicle of revolution. It can destroy the tyranny of the automobile as effectively as the printing press brought down despots of flesh and blood. The revolution will be spontaneous, the sum total of individual revolts like my own. It may have already begun.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; The Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

The world lies right beyond the handlebars of any bicycle that I happen to be on anywhere from New York Bay to the Vallee de Chevreuse. Anywhere is high adventure, the walls come down, the cyclist is a loner, it is the only way for him to meet other loners. And it works. One seldom exchanges anything but curses or names of insurance companies with another driver, the car inhibits human contacts. The bicycle generates them; bikes talk to each other like dogs, they wag their wheels and tinkle their bells, the riders let their mounts mingle.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN,The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe,  1973

You never have the wind with you—either it is against you or you’re having a good day.
—DANIEL BEHRMAN, The Man Who Loved Bicycles; the Memoirs of an Autophobe, 1973

Every rider crashes.
—EDWARD “EDDIE B” BORYSEWICZ, former US Olympic Cycling Coach, 1939-

The advantages? Exercise, no parking problems, gas prices, it’s fun. An automobile is expensive. You have to find a place to park and it’s not fun. So why not ride a bicycle? I recommend it. (when asked why he rides a bike)
—STEPHEN G. BREYER, US Supreme Court Justice (1994- ), 1938-

If you really want to experience the world, get on a bicycle.
JULIANA BUHRING, This Road I Ride: Sometimes It Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself, 2016

You must do three things: Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike.
—FAUSTO COPPI, Italian Racing Cyclist, 1919-60

On a bike you go at nature-speed.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

With the bike, and later my feet, I began to explore everything rural, everything urban, to appreciate what made each unique and distinct.
—DAN BURDEN, US Walkability and Bikeability Advocate, 1944-

The more I think about our US domestic transportation problem from this vantage point [China] the more I see an increased role for the bicycle in American life. I am convinced after riding bikes an enormous amount here in China, that it is a sensible, economical, clean form of transportation and makes enormous good sense.
—GEORGE BUSH, US Liaison Office, Beijing, China, 1975

Bike racing is art. Art is driven by passion, by emotions, by unknown thoughts…. It’s the same for every athlete. And that’s why we do this.
—CHRIS CARMICHAEL, Former US Olympic Cyclist, current Cycling Coach, 1961-

Women are attracted to cycling because they can compete with men. What women lack in muscle mass can be compensated for by savvy, willpower, and endurance. The bike is the great equalizer because the strongest are not always the best.
—CONNIE CARPENTER-PHINNEY, US 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1957-

Without question, bicycling is an efficient, economical and environmentally sound form of transportation and recreation. Bicycling is a great activity for families, recreational riders and commuters. Hillary, Chelsea and I have bicycles….
—BILL CLINTON, Forty-second US President (1993-2001) in Bicycling magazine, 1992

One of the things that I wound up loving about being involved with a bike racer was learning how to bike and how that really creates solitary time for you to reflect on things and nobody can get a hold of you. (talking about her [ex]-life with Lance Armstrong, July 13th 2005)
—SHERYL CROW, US Singer, 1962-

The truly extraordinary feature of the bike is that, like the very greatest teacher, it encourages you to find the answers from somewhere deep down inside yourself and not merely take them from someone else. When I began my adventure into myself on my bike I did not need to be told that I had to eat more of the right kind of food. I just knew I had to do it or else my legs would not work. I had never listened to or cared about those long terrifying lectures about the evils of smoking—complete with coloured slides of blackened lungs—but I did know, after some time in the saddle, that I just had to give up cigarettes. I did not need the expensive psychiatrist to tell me why I was depressed since, after a brisk ride, I was depressed no more.
—TOM DAVIES, Merlyn the Magician and the Pacific Coast Highway, 1982

Cycling is the sport of usefulness.
—FRED DELONG, DeLong’s Guide to Bicycles and Bicycling, 1978

Everything’s possible when you’re seeing the world from a bike seat—even changing your life.
—DOUG DONALDSON, Bicycling Magazine’s Guide to Bike Touring, 2005

Rolling outside on a bike knocks you out of your routine and can even alter the way you see the world.
—DOUG DONALDSON, Bicycling Magazine’s Guide to Bike Touring, 2005

A good cyclist does not need a high road.
—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, Scottish Writer, Creator of Sherlock Holmes, 1859-1930

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.
—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, Creator of Sherlock Holmes, in Scientific American, January 18, 1896

I thought of that [the theory of relativity] while riding my bicycle.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Life is like riding a bicycle—in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

A bicycle does get you there and more….And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun.
—BILL EMERSON, On Bicycling, Saturday Evening Post, 29 July 1967

For city bicycling to catch on we need a revolution in our society’s infrastructure. Right now a city rider needs to be a road warrior, and the bike needs to be cheap and ugly so it won’t get stolen. That’s not a bike friendly culture.
—GARY FISHER, Founder and CEO of Fisher Bicycles, one of the inventors of the mountain bike, 1950-

Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
—JOHN FORESTER, Effective Cycling, 1976

People like to travel: that is why the grass is greener over the fence. We are walkers—our natural means of travel is to put one foot in front of the other. The bicycle seduces our basic nature by making walking exciting. It lets us take 10-foot strides at 160 paces a minute. That’s 20 miles an hour, instead of 4 or 5… It is not only how fast you go—cars are faster and jet planes faster still. But jet-plane travel is frustrating boredom—at least the car gives the pictorial illusion of travel. Cycling does it all—you have the complete satisfaction of arriving because your mind has chosen the path and steered you over it; your eyes have seen it; your muscles have felt it; your breathing, circulatory and digestive systems have all done their natural functions better than ever, and every part of your being knows you have traveled and arrived.
—JOHN FORESTER, Effective Cycling, 1976

The bicycle … has been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles the Second. Under its influence, wholly or in part, have wilted chaperones, long and narrow skirts, tight corsets, hair that would come down, black stockings, thick ankles, large hats, prudery, and fear of the dark; under its influence, have blossomed weekends, strong nerves, strong legs, strong language, knickers, knowledge of make and shape, knowledge of woods and pastures, equality of sex, good digestion, and professional occupation—in four words, the emancipation of women.
—JOHN GALSWORTHY, English Novelist, Playwright, 1867-1933

The only regret I have in my life is never learning to ride a bicycle.
—HELEN HAYES, US Actress, 1900-93

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up them and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, US Writer, 1899–1961

The bicycle riders drank much wine, and were burned and browned by the sun. They did not take the race seriously except among themselves.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, The Sun Also Rises, 1926

I have started many stories about bicycle racing but have never written one that is as good as it is both on the indoor and outdoor tracks and on the roads.
—ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Moveable Feast, 1964

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.
—JOHN HOWARD, The Cyclist’s Companion, 1984

The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.
—IVAN ILLICH, Energy and Equity, 1974

The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers. It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden. It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.
—J.B. JACKSON, US Writer, 1909-96

Next to a leisurely walk I enjoy a spin on my tandem bicycle. It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed. The rapid rush through the air gives me a delicious sense of strength and buoyancy, and the exercise makes my pulse dance and my heart sing.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
—HELEN KELLER, Deaf & Blind US Lecturer, 1880–1968

Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

As a means of pleasure, cycling stands in the foremost rank, but in common with all the great pleasures, it may easily stand in the foremost in abuse. The desire to ride at an unreasonably high speed may become morbid…The ever lasting scorcher, bent like a hoop, and with sunken cheeks, ought to be quite sufficient warning against this abuse.
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

Cyclers see considerable more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to. (K.K. Doty of New York)
— L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

Cycling fills the remotest cells of the lungs with outdoor air. The pores are opened and the dead secretions are thrown off. It aids the peristaltic movement of the bowels…
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

I expect to see the day when not to ride a wheel will be a mark of a defective education, and people will say to such a person, ‘Why, where have you been brought up?’ (Rev. W.J. Petrie of Chicago)
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

I fear that the universal adoption of cycling would be bad for the doctors. (J.A. Chase, a doctor from Pawtucket)
— L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

If were not a man, I would like to be a bird. As I am a man, I do the next best thing, and ride a bicycle. (Rev Maltie of Baltimore)
—L.F. KORNS, How to Bicycle, 1892

All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly. With highwheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet.
—KARL KRON, Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle, 1887

With the heaps of overly specialized gear—gloves, shoes, and biking jerseys—most cyclists realize that every day on the road is Halloween. Plain and simple, it’s wearing a costume each time out of the gate.…We’re neon signs, stylistically impaired wonders blinding pedestrians and fooling small children into thinking that the circus has come back to town.
—JOE KURMASKIE, Metal Cowboy: Ten Years Further Down the Road Less Pedaled, 2010

He walked in a nonchalant fashion, and his bicycle went with him as if it were alive thing.
—D.H. LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers, 1913

As a kid I had a dream—I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at
night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it by my bed. Funny,
although it was important to me then, I can’t remember what finally happened to it.
—JOHN LENNON, English Singer, Songwriter, 1940-80

Ride. Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.
—EDDY ‘the Cannibal’ MERCKX, Belgian Professional Bicycle Racer, 1945-

I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle; I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike; I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride it where I like…; I don’t believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman; All I wanna do is bicycle, bicycle, bicycle…(1978)
—FREDDIE MERCURY, British Singer, Lead Singer of Queen, 1946-91

After a time, habituated to spending so many hours a day on my bike, I became less and less interested in my friends. My wheel had now become my one and only friend. I could rely on it, which is more than I could say about my buddies. It’s too bad no one ever photographed me with my friend. I would give anything now to know what we looked like.
—HENRY MILLER, My Bike and Other Friends, 1978

I took care of my wheel as one would look after a Rolls Royce. If it needed repairs I always brought it to the same shop on Myrtle Avenue run by a negro named Ed Perry. He handled the bike with kid gloves, you might say. He would always see to it that neither front nor back wheel wobbled. Often he would do a job for me without pay, because, as he put it, he never saw a man so in love with his bike as I was.
—HENRY MILLER, My Bike and Other Friends, 1978

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.
—CHRISTOPHER MORLEY, The Romany Stain, 1926

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.
—IRIS MURDOCH, The Red and the Green, 1965

Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts.
—LESLIE NIELSEN in the film Naked Gun 2 ½ (1991), 1926-

Don’ts for Women Wheelers
Don’t be a fright.
Don’t carry a flask.
Don’t wear a golf hose.
Don’t faint on the road.
Don’t wear a man’s cap.
Don’t wear tight garters.
Don’t stop a road houses.
Don’t forget your tool bag.
Don’t attempt a “century.”
Don’t coast. It is dangerous.
Don’t say, “Feel my muscle.”
Don’t criticize people’s “legs.”
Don’t boast of your long rides.
Don’t wear loud-hued leggings.
Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
Don’t wear jewelry while on tour.
Don’t powder your face on the road.
Don’t wear rubber soled cycling shoes.
Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.
Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.
Don’t tempt fate by riding too near the curbstone.
Don’t ask. “What do you think of my bloomers?”
Don’t try to ride in your brother’s clothes “to see how it feels.”
Don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor.
—OMAHA DAILY BEE (Omaha, Nebraska), September 1, 1895

When you’re turning the crankset, you’re riding the bike. When you’re coasting, you’re just along for the ride.
—NED OVEREND, winner of first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships (1990), 1955-

Bike riding helps develop a person’s sense of discovery. Many cyclists are drawn to discover every street, path, alley, trail, abandoned railroad, bridge, tunnel, and highway in their area.
—DAVID B. PERRY, Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles, 1995

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
—EMO PHILIPS, US Comedian, 1956-

The best routes are the ones you haven’t ridden. You could pedal the same loops year after year. Many people do, literally or figuratively. But to grow, you need new rides. Risks. Turn down lanes you’ve long seen but never traveled. Get lost once or twice, then double back to where you started and try again. Live like this and you come to see unknown territory not as threatening, but as intriguing.
—MARK REMY, Bicycling Magazine, September 2001

Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have us pumping our legs, gritting our teeth, and searing our lungs as though we were being chased across the Pleistocene savanna by saber-toothed tigers. Think of the hopes, the dreams, the effort, the brilliance, the pure force of will that, over the eons, has gone into the creation of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Bicycle riders would have us throw all this on the ash help of history.
—P.J. O’ROURKE, US Writer, 1947-

If the constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles.
—CARL SAGAN, US Astronomer, 1934-96

I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saintly or sinful, who can resist the bicycle.
—WILLIAM SAROYAN, The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, 1952

Moving the legs evenly and steadily soon brings home to the bike-rider a valuable knowledge of pace and rhythm…. Out of rhythm come many things, perhaps all things.
—WILLIAM SAROYAN, The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, 1952

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.
—CHARLES M. SCHULZ, US Cartoonist, creator of Peanuts, 1922-2000

A bike is an ideal compromise between walking and a car. A bike triples the speed of walking yet doesn’t zoom over the landscape, so that what is passed isn’t passed unseen.
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

…. the bicycle boom is not a fad. It comes at (or is symptomatic of) a time when traffic jams are intolerable to commuters, heart disease kills too many sedentary executives, the population grows ever more pollution-aware and ecology-minded, and millions of people are looking to the simple pleasures of life.
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

Think about it. When was the last time you met a grouchy bike rider?
—STEVE SHERMAN, Bike Hiking, 1974

Society is singularly in debt to the bicycle, since bicycle mechanics developed the airplane as well as the automobile.
—JAMES E. STARRS, The Noiseless Tenor: The Bicycle in Literature, 1982

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.
—JAMES E. STARRS, The Literary Cyclist, 1997

[A bicycle is] an unparalled merger of a toy, a utilitarian vehicle, and sporting equipment. The bicycle can be used in so many ways, and approaches perfection in each use. For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon. A person pedalling a bike uses energy more efficiently than a gazelle or an eagle. And a triangle-framed bicycle can easily carry ten times its own weight – a capacity no automobile, airplane or bridge can match.
—BILL STRICKLAND, The Quotable Cyclist, 1997

Life’s too long to not realize life’s too short to not go for a bike ride.
—BILL STRICKLAND, Editor, Bicycling magazine, August, 2015

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.
—ANN STRONG, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

The [Appalachian] Trail itself even seems to have a therapeutic value, as if, by toughing it, by walking along it, we absorb the magic of its freedom, the freshness of its air, the inspiration of the forest rebirth. Like Antaeus, we are renewed.
—ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

Cycling satisfies so many needs. If you’re in a gregarious mood, you can go out with a group. OR you can go alone- solo. If you’re in an aggressive mood, you can go fast, or if you’re tired and want to unwind you can go slow. A bicycle doesn’t discriminate in age, either.
—GEORGENA TERRY, founded women’s bicycling company 1985

The sport of cycling changed my life. Everything I do is based on the passion I learned from the Tour de France.
—JOHN TESH, US TV Producer, Radio Personality, Musician/Songwriter, 1952-

Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it. If you live.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

The bicycle, in the hands of a novice, is as alert and acute as a spirit-level in the detecting of delicate and vanishing shades of difference in these matters. It notices a rise where your untrained eye would not observe that one existed.
— MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), Taming the Bicycle, short essay 1884

My bike is the most valuable thing that I have because it incorporates everything that I believe in—science, technology, engineering, fitness. But what my bike really means to me is independence. I haven’t been able to play basketball in 30 years, but I can ride my bike. With one step, one crank, one time around the block, one little hill, one giant mountain. My bike inspires me; it makes me feel fantastic.
—BILL WALTON (Retired US Basketball Player), Men’s Journal, April 2016

In the past two decades, thousands of miles of trails have been paved in the United States, but many of them look as if they were designed by someone who’d never ridden a bike. By consulting more with people who do a lot of travelling under their own power, transportation planners ought to be able to come up with imaginative schemes for making roads, paths and sidewalks more usable to them, and maybe help cut down a bit on our reliance on the automobile.
—WASHINGTON POST Op-ed, Trouble on the Trail, May 18, 1993

Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.
—BOB WEIR, US Singer, 1947-

Cycle trails will abound in Utopia.
—H.G. WELLS, English Novelist, 1866–1946

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.
—H.G. WELLS, English Novelist, 1866–1946

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.
—H.G. WELLS, The Wheels of Change, 1896

To ride a bicycle properly is very like a love affair—chiefly it is a matter of faith. Believe you can do it, and the thing is done; doubt, and, for the life of you, you cannot.
—H.G. WELLS, The Wheels of Change, 1896

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.
—ELIZABETH WEST, Hovel in the Hills, 1977

Let us bequeath our children more than the gadgets that surround us. If bicycling can be restored to the daily life of all Americans, it can be a vital step toward rebuilding health and vigor in all of us.
—DR PAUL DUDLEY WHITE, US Cardiologist, 1886–1973

We’ve been trying to sell cyclists of all ages and abilities on very detailed and demanding education and training programs designed to make them more like motorists. Bicyclists have shown they don’t want this. What cyclists repeatedly tell us they do want is more safe places to ride, and it is time we listened to that message.
—BILL WILKINSON, Executive Director, Bicycle Federation of America, 1991

I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

Sighing for new worlds to conquer, I determined that I would learn the bicycle.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

Tens of thousands who could never afford to own, feed and stable a horse, had by this bright invention enjoyed the swiftness of motion which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of material life.
—FRANCES WILLARD, A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

When I’m riding my bicycle I feel like a Buddhist who is happy just to enjoy his mundane existence.
—ROBIN WILLIAMS, US Comedian, Actor, 1951-2014

Since the bicycle makes little demand on material or energy resources, contributes little to pollution, makes a positive contribution to health and causes little death or injury, it can be regarded as the most benevolent of machines.
—S. S. WILSON, Bicycle Technology, Scientific American, March 1973

To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To woman, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.
—WOMAN AND THE WHEEL, Munsey’s Magazine, May 1896

Explore. Make friends. Feel like a kid again. Tone your body. Improve your health. Hop aboard a bicycle this summer and you’ll be amazed where it will take you.
—SELENE YEAGER, Joy Ride, Prevention magazine, July 2013

Be at one with the universe. If you can’t do that, at least be at one with your bike.
—LENNARD ZINN, US Bike Designer, Builder, 1958-

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Classics Quotes

The dogs may bark … but the caravan moves on!
—ADAGE

Glory to your feet.
—ALBANIAN ROAD GREETING

Mother of Marvels, mysterious and tender Nature, why do we not live more in thee.
—HENRI FRÉDÉRIC AMIEL, Swiss Writer, 1821–81

What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.
—ARISTOTLE, Greek Philosopher, 384–322 BC

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.
—SAINT AUGUSTINE, Christian Bishop, Theologian, 354–430

When the people lead, the leaders will follow.
—AXIOM

It’s easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.
—ARNOLD BENNET, English Writer, 1867–1931

The virtuous man is happy in this world, and he is happy in the next; he is happy in both. He is happy when he thinks of the good he has done; he is still more happy when going on the good path.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.
—BUDDHA, East Indian Philosopher, Religious Leader, 563?-483?

I follow nature as the surest guide, and resign myself with implicit obedience to her sacred ordinances.
—MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Roman Orator, 106–43 BC

A man of wisdom delights in water.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

He who needs only coarse food, water and drink, and as pillow his folded arms will find happiness without further search.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
—CONFUCIUS, Chinese Philosopher, 551–479 BC

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—CORINTHIANS II 5:7

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ECCLESIASTES 1:4

God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.
—MEISTER ECKHART, German Christian Mystic, 1260-1327

You become what you think about all day long.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, US Essayist, 1803–82

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
—SAINT FRANCIS of ASSISI, Italian Friar, 1181–1226

Who never climbed high never fell low.
—THOMAS FULLER, Gnomologia, 1732

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world—but in being able to remake ourselves.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
—MOHATMA GANDHI, Indian Nationalist Leader, 1869–1948

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—GENESIS 13:17

…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—HEBREWS 12:1

The path up and down is one and the same.
—HERACLITUS, Greek Philosopher, 540-480 BC

There is nothing permanent except change.
—HERACLITUS, Greek Philosopher, 540-480 BC

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. Seize today, and put as little trust as you can in the morrow.
—HORACE, Latin Lyric Poet, 65–8 BC

To linger silent among the healthful woods, musing on such things as are worthy of a wise and good man.
—HORACE, Epistles, 20 BC

Remember when life’s path is steep, keep your mind even.
—HORACE, Latin Lyric Poet, 65–8 BC

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—JEREMIAH 6:16

…speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—JOB 12:8

Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—JOHN 12:35

The beginning is in the end and the end is in the beginning.
—THE KABBALAH

Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Meandering leads to perfection.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese philosopher, 604–531 BC

The way is simple but the crooked path is more popular.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Montani semper liberi—Mountaineers are always free.
—LATIN SAYING

…a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—LUKE 12:15

Because it is there [famous explanation for wanting to climb Mount Everest].
—GEORGE MALLORY, English Mountaineer, 1886–1924

Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—NUMBERS 35:3 4

Skills vary with the man. We must tread a straight path and strive by that which is born in us.
—PINDAR, Odes, 5th c. BC

We have met the enemy and he is us.
—POGO, 1972, comic strip character by Walt Kelly, 1913–73

Prayer of the Woods
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the floor of beauty. Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: harm me not.
—First used in the PORTUGUESE FOREST RESERVES more than 1,000 years ago. Now used on nature trails throughout the world.

If you pick’em up, O Lord, I’ll put’em down.
—PRAYER of the Tired Walker

Where there is no vision, the people perish: (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PROVERBS 29:18

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 23:4

Teach me thy way, LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 27:11

The mountains shall bring peace to the people… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 72:3

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 119:105

I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—PSALM 121:1

Let us walk honestly, as in the day… (King James Version of the Holy Bible)
—ROMANS 13:13

Find a path or make one.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

He who is everywhere is nowhere.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

There’s some end at last for the man who follows a path: mere rambling is interminable.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

To move the world we must first move ourselves.
—SENECA, Roman Statesman, 4 BC–65 AD

All that glitters is not gold. All who wander are not lost.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English Dramatist, Poet, 1564–1616

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Venus and Adonis, 1593

…not all those who wander are lost…
—J.R.R. TOLKIEN, English Writer, 1892-1973

The woods please us above all things.
—VERGIL, Eclogues, 37 BC

Good company in a journey makes the way seem the shorter.
—IZAAK WALTON, English Biographer, 1593-1683

In the landscape of Spring, there is neither better nor worse. The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short.
—ZEN SAYING

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Trail and Greenway Conflict Resolutions Quotes

Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.
—AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1881-1911

You ask people why they’re adamant about banning cyclists from a particular trail and what it usually comes down to is they just don’t want to share. It’s preschool all over again.
—TIM BLUMENTHAL, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association, 1995

Then their land [Great Britain] is threaded with paths which invite the walker, and which are scarcely less important than the highways. I heard of a surly nobleman near London who took it into his head to close a footpath that passed through his estate near his house, and open another one a little farther off. The pedestrians objected; the matter got into the courts, and after protracted litigation the aristocrat was beaten. The path could not be closed or moved. The memory of man ran not to the time when there was not a footpath there, and every pedestrian should have the right of way there still.
—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875

Trails urge people to slow down, not to speed up.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1996

Different recreational activities carried out in close proximity can interfere with one another and with other, nonrecreational uses of forests and rangelands. Hikers scare horses on narrow mountain trails; horses muddy trails for hikers. Boaters scare fish and anger anglers: campers leave gates open and cattle stray. Common sense and courtesy can go a long way in resolving such conflicts, but because these can be in short supply and sheer numbers can make solutions difficult, land managers often step in for the sake of the greatest good and the least damage.
—PHILIP CAFARO, Teaching Disrespect; The Ethics of Off-Road Vehicle Use on America’s Public Lands, in Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, 2007

The only way you can expect someone to understand your point of view is to provide them with the substance from which your outlook was developed. Essentially then, the task is education and not argumentation.
—HERB COHEN, You Can Negotiate Anything, 1980

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, US (German-born) Physicist, 1879–1955

Bikers, hikers, and equestrians are really about 80 percent aligned. But without some common enemy [like development] to take aim at, they fight constantly over the last 20 percent.
—JIM JACOBSEN, Bicycle Trails Council of Marin, 1998

There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves.
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908–73

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
—SAMUEL JOHNSON, Rasselas, 1759

Trails management is 3 things: 1. Managing the water (off the tread) 2. Managing vegetation 3. Managing users. Of these, managing users is certainly the hardest.
—WOODY KEEN, Trailbuilder, Advocate, 1959-

There are many kinds of trail users: hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, motorcyclists, ski tourers, snowshoers, snowmobilers, all-terrain-vehicle riders, joggers, and more recently, mountain bicyclists.
Because different types of trail users often utilize the same trails, there is a potential for conflict. Satisfaction is often affected by the type of users encountered and how they behave. Encountering large groups is particularly disruptive of others’ solitude. All four of the major types of trail users (hikers, horseback riders, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders) usually enjoy meeting hikers, but hikers prefer not to meet any other types.
Furthermore, horseback riders and bicyclists are not particularly fond of motorcycle riders. Similarly, cross-country skiers prefer not to meet snowmobilers. This would argue for the separation of trails users, particularly motorized users, whenever possible.
—EDWIN KRUMPE and ROBERT LUCAS, Literature review paper, President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

In the high-use areas, there were flowing rivers of humanity, and the campsites looked like bomb zones….
—DON LANE, USDA Forest Service Wilderness Manager, explaining why tighter restrictions were imposed in California’s Desolation Wilderness Area near Lake Tahoe during the summer of 2000

For many years, outdoor recreation proved to be a popular way of expressing such cultural values as thrift, hard work, and self-reliance. Today, we also see outdoor recreation reflecting the more contemporary values of conspicuous consumption, immediate gratification, peer-group acceptance, and the easy life. This suggests that outdoor recreation is, if not a battle ground, at least a focal point for cultural clashes.
—WILBUR LAPAGE, Cultural Fogweed and Outdoor Recreation Research, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

Recreation is a perpetual battlefield because it is a single word denoting as many diverse things as there are diverse people. One can discuss it only in personal terms.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

…we have here the old conflict between preservation and use, long since an issue with respect to timber, water power, and other purely economic resources, but just now coming to be an issue with respect to recreation.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
—ABRAHAM MASLOW, US Psychologist, 1908-70

Trail conflicts can and do occur among different user groups, among different users within the same user group, and as a result of factors not related to users’ trail activities at all. In fact, no actual contact among trail users need occur for conflict to be felt.
—ROGER MOORE, Conflicts on Multiple-Use Trails: Synthesis of the Literature and State of the Practice, 1994

Twelve principles for minimizing conflicts on multiple-use trails:
1. Recognize Conflict as Goal Interference – Do not treat conflict as an inherent incompatibility among different trail activities, but rather as goal interference attributed to another’s behavior.
2. Provide Adequate Trail Opportunities – Offer adequate trail mileage and provide opportunities for a variety of trail experiences. This will help reduce congestion and allow users to choose the conditions that are best suited to the experiences they desire.
3. Minimize Number of Contacts in Problem Areas – Each contact among trail users has the potential to result in conflict. So, as a general rule, reduce the number of user contacts whenever possible. This is especially true in congested areas and at trailheads.
4. Involve Users as Early as Possible – Identify the present and likely future users of each trail and involve them in the process of avoiding and resolving conflicts as early as possible, preferably before conflicts occur.
5. Understand User Needs – Determine the motivations, desired experiences, norms, setting preferences, and other needs of the present and likely future users of each trail. This ‘customer’ information is critical for anticipating and managing conflicts.
6. Identify the Actual Sources of Conflict – Help users to identify the specific tangible causes of any conflicts they are experiencing. In other words, get beyond emotions and stereotypes as quickly as possible, and get to the roots of any problems that exist.
7. Work with Affected Users – Work with all parties involved to reach mutually agreeable solutions to these specific issues. Users who are not involved as part of the solution are more likely to be part of the problem now and in the future.
8. Promote Trail Etiquette – Minimize the possibility that any particular trail contact will result in conflict by actively and aggressively promoting responsible trail behavior.
9. Encourage Positive Interaction Among Different Users – Trail users are usually not as different from one another as they believe. Providing positive interactions both on and off the trail will help break down barriers and stereotypes, and build understanding, good will, and cooperation.
10. Favor ‘Light-Handed Management’ – Use the most ‘light-handed approaches’ that will achieve objectives. This is essential in order to provide the freedom of choice and natural environments that are so important to trail-based recreation. Intrusive design and coercive management are not compatible with high-quality experiences.
11. Plan and Act Locally – Whenever possible, address issues regarding multiple-use trails at the local level. This allows greater sensitivity to local needs and provides better flexibility for addressing difficult issues on a case-by-case basis.
12. Monitor Progress – Monitor the ongoing effectiveness of the decisions made and programs implemented.
—ROGER MOORE, Conflicts on Multiple-Use Trails: Synthesis of the Literature and State of the Practice, 1994

Yielding, by the way, doesn’t always require that you must dismount [your mountain bike], move off the trail, and kowtow to others as they pass by. Many trails are wide enough to allow trail users to pass one another safely. Yielding does mean slowing way down and assuring a wide enough avenue for others to pass without feeling confronted or alarmed. If there is any question whatsoever, stop and move over.
—PETER OLIVER, Bicycling: Touring and Mountain Bike Basics, 1995

…maybe we need to start offering classes to hikers and bikers and equestrians and everyone else on how to just play nice together outside.
—TOM PRICE, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, 1999

A simple equation exists between freedom and numbers: the more people, the less freedom.
—ROYAL ROBBINS, Basic Rockcraft, 1971

It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, than we can sit down and work out our differences.
—HARRY S. TRUMAN, Thirty-third US President (1945–53), 1884–1972

Splintering the outdoor user groups is playing into the hands of those interests that would exploit or destroy the resource we’re all preoccupied with saving. The Davids of the world have a tough job already. If we continue to sling rocks at each other, the Goliaths will walk or ride all over us. Let’s build trails, not walls between each other.
—JOHN VIEHMAN, Mountain Bikes: Let’s Build Trails, Not Walls, Backpacker, August 1990

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Trail and Greenway Connections Quotes

We are kindred all of us, killer and victim, predator and prey, me and the sly coyote, the soaring buzzard, the elegant gopher snake, and trembling cottontail, the foul worms that feed on our entrails; all of them, all of us. Long live diversity, long live the earth!
—EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 1968

While land conservation and preservation are important in their own right, it is through America’s system of trails that the American people actually get to access and experience these places—whether it’s a scenic National Park or an urban trail that wanders along a riverfront.
—AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY, Hiking Trails in American: Pathways to Prosperity, 2015

Trails consolidate and connect communities, rather than encourage them to expand and fragment.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1997

We believe that people are genuinely excited about building a nationwide system of interconnected trails and greenways.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1997

….due to some quirks of history that won’t be repeated, we do have one last chance to save urban land—linear open space—in rather large chunks and weave them into a connected system of trails and greenways … it is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2000

Trails not only connect us with each other, they connect us with ourselves. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted knew this, and designed his pathways for reverie: gentle, winding, and somehow private. Communities with no place to daydream are communities without imagination.
—DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2001

The common goal of completing a trail could unite hiking clubs from multiple states and regions, often with assistance from federal and state agencies. Long days of shared labor were required in scouting, clearing, building, and maintaining the trails, and a shared philosophy of trail construction ensured at least a minimal level of uniformity. The result was a close-knit community of men and women with a shared culture of hiking and trail building.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

Imagine a network of Millennium Trails connecting every community in America; carving a path through urban and rural areas; carrying us along our landscape; making it possible to walk or bike to work and school; helping us to understand and celebrate our history and culture. Millennium Trails will be very tangible gifts to our future. They will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Together they represent a commitment and an investment in the kind of country we want to create in the next century.
—FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, National Trails Day Message, The White House, June 5, 1999

I could never resist the call of the trail.
—WILLIAM FREDERICK ‘BUFFALO BILL’ CODY, US Scout, Showman, 1846-1917

Sooner or later, wittingly or unwittingly, we must pay for every intrusion on the natural environment.
—BARRY COMMONER, Science and Survival, 1966

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
—JOHN DONNE, English clergyman, poet 1572-1631, Devotions XVII, 1624

For bicycle and pedestrian facilities to be truly functional as routes between work, home, school, libraries, parks and shopping areas, they must be part of an interconnected network.
—AMANDA EAKEN and JOSHUA HART, Tunnels on Trails: A Study of 78 Tunnels on 36 Trails in the United States, 2001

Greenways are … about connections: connections between people and the land, between public parks, natural areas, historic sites, and other open spaces, between conservation and economic development, and between environmental protection and our quality of life.
—CHUCK FLINK & ROBERT SEARNS, Greenways, 1993

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
—ANATOLE FRANCE, French writer, 1844–1924

To follow a trail is to establish a link with the history of man. It is at once the most primitive and the most civilized of activities. A trail may well have been followed first by animals seeking food and water; Indians following the game wore it a little wider. Explorers followed the same paths, to be followed in turn by soldiers and settlers and men who poured concrete over footpaths. The concrete now goes just about every place we need to go. But we now have the leisure to travel just for the sake of traveling, and there is no better way to do it than by trail.
—LENNON HOOPER, National Park Trails, 1973

There is an art to wandering. If I have a destination, a plan—an objective—I’ve lost the ability to find serendipity. I’ve become too focused, too single-minded. I am on a quest, not a ramble. I search for the Holy Grail of particularity, and miss the chalice freely offered, filled full to overflowing.
—CATHY JOHNSON, On Becoming Lost: A Naturalist’s Search for Meaning, 1990

Everything is connected to everything else.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of eons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts. To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.
—ALDO LEOPOLD and LUNA LEOPOLD, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold, 1953

They should form a framework of parks and forests connected by a series of paths and trails for general outdoor living.
—BENTON MACKAYE, Founder of the Appalachian Trail, 1879–1975

We need nature as much in the city as in the countryside. In order to endure we must maintain the bounty of that great cornucopia which is our inheritance. It is clear that we must look deep to the values which we hold. These must be transformed if we are to reap the bounty and create that fine visage for the home of the brave and the land of the free. We need, not only a better view of man and nature, but a working method by which the least of us can ensure that the product of his works is not more despoliation.
—IAN MCHARG, Design With Nature, 1969

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
—JOHN MUIR, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

A connected system of parks and parkways is manifestly far more complete and useful than a series of isolated parks. Report to the Portland [OR] Park Board, 1903.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

In a time of both great wealth and difficult challenges, trails offer a rare chance to connect the past, present and future. It is possible to envision a system of trails that is as extensive and interconnected as the interstate highways and railroads.
—JEFF OLSON, Millennium Trails: Honor the Past, Imagine the Future, ITE Journal, November 2000

Greenways can draw people together in their communities to provide open spaces for all close to their own homes. They have the potential to be this country’s most important land-based effort for conservation and recreation in the next several decades.
They can draw private and local entities into lead roles in provision of recreation opportunities. They can capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and give pride of accomplishment and responsibility to millions of people in every community. They can protect vital water, fish, wildlife, and recreation resources as integral parts of the growth of cities and communities.
And, if greenways truly capture the imagination and boldness of the American spirit, they could eventually form the corridors that connect open spaces, parks, forests, and deserts—and Americans—from sea to shining sea.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Imagine walking out your front door, getting on a bicycle, a horse … or simply donning your backpack and within minutes of your home, setting off along a continuous network of recreation corridors that could lead across the country.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

We can tie this country together with threads of green that everywhere grant us access to the natural world.
—PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON AMERICANS OUTDOORS, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987

A well-connected regional trail network promises to transform public life by linking diverse communities, promoting healthy lifestyles and building sustainable local economies.
—LIZ THORSTENSEN, Vice President of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2017

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love. If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
—WALT WHITMAN, A Song of Myself (1892 version), US Poet, 1819-92

By linking open spaces we can achieve a whole that is better than the sum of the parts.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

There are all sorts of opportunities to link separated [open] spaces together, and while plenty of money is needed to do it, ingenuity can accomplish a great deal. Our metropolitan areas are crisscrossed with connective strips. Many are no longer used, … but they are there if we only look.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, The Last Landscape, 1968

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Trail and Greenway Conservation Quotes

Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children … let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money … and once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Protect the land that I have photographed, so that it may be experienced by your children’s children.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Today, we must realize that nature is revealed in the simplest meadow, wood lot, marsh, stream, or tidepool, as well as in the remote grandeur of our parks and wilderness areas.
—ANSEL ADAMS, US Photographer, 1902–84

Our Earth is in need of care. Generally governments and most citizens have a cavalier attitude towards nature. We use it, we play in it, we admire it, we exploit it, we talk about it, we enjoy it, but we seldom actively care for it.
—STEPHEN ALTSCHULER, The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find a Path, 2004

I would argue that practices that destroy ecosystem always destroy jobs. (2000)
—BRUCE BABBITT, US Secretary of Interior (1993-2001), 1938-

Our values are etched in the landscape. That is our enduring legacy. (2000)
—BRUCE BABBITT, US Secretary of Interior (1993-2001), 1938-

Land is life.
Whether it is land that grows food or land that serves as the conduit for water we drink, whether it gives identity to our communities or provides us the means of livelihood, whether it is our pathway to adventure or a vehicle to create community—land is the basis of our survival and our prosperity.
—BAY AREA [San Francisco] GREENSPACE PROJECT, Working Together, 1996

In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it’s unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.
—MOLLIE BEATTIE, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (1993-96), 1947-96

What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.
—MOLLIE BEATTIE, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (1993-96), 1947-96

Whether we like it or not, the natural and the human environment are inseparable.
—WENDELL BERRY, US Farmer, Writer, 1934-

Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by the careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be saved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints, conditioned by small fidelities, skills, and desires. Soil loss is ultimately a cultural problem; it will be corrected by cultural solutions.
—WENDELL BERRY, Decolonizing Rural America, Audubon, March-April 1993

Roosevelt’s brand of conservation set the course that others would follow for decades. Its focus was responsibility and restraint in managing natural resources, and its opponent within the camp was preservationism (led by John Muir), which favored protecting the earth from the hand of man. The tension between management and preservation is present to this day in both natural resource agencies and the environmental movement itself.
—PETER BORELLI, Crossroads, 1988

The most unhappy thing about conservation is that it is never permanent. Save a priceless woodland or an irreplaceable mountain today, and tomorrow it is threatened from another quarter.
—HAL BORLAND, New York Times Book Review, 25 February 1964

Preserve … that’s where it’s at.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

There is no business to be done…on a dead planet.
—DAVID BROWER, Executive Director, Sierra Club (1952–69), 1912-2000

There is a limit to the number of lands of shoreline on the lakes; there is a limit to the number of lakes in existence; there is a limit to the mountainous areas of the world, and … there are portions of natural scenic beauty which are God-made, and … which of a right should be the property of all people.
—ARTHUR CARHART, USDA Forest Service’s first landscape architect, in a memorandum to Aldo Leopold, 1919

Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we say, ‘Our work is finished.’
—RACHEL CARSON, Naturalist, Writer, 1907-64

The land belongs to the future … that’s the way it seems to me. How many names on the county clerk’s plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother’s children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it—for a little while.
—WILLA CATHER, US Writer, 1873-1947

God keeps on making children but he has quit making land.
—CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE on ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, From Rails to Trails, 1975

In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
—BABA DIOUM, Senegalese Conservationists, 1937–

It’s important for agency officials to understand that trails are a conservation tool as well as a recreation facility and considering the duality in purpose for trail facilities lays the foundation for better resource management and better trail experiences.
—RICH EDWARDS, International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Specialist, 2007

[directed the BLM to manage the public lands] …so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people.
—FEDERAL LAND POLICY and MANAGEMENT ACT of 1976

Friends at home! I charge you to spare, preserve and cherish some portion of your primitive forests; for when these are cut away, I apprehend they will not easily be replaced.
—HORACE GREELEY, Editor of the New York Tribune, 1811-72

The Earth belongs in use to the living… No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.
—THOMAS JEFFERSON, Third US President (1801–09), 1743–1826

The house of America is founded upon our land and if we keep that whole, then the storm can rage, but the house will stand forever.
—LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Thirty-sixth US President (1963–69), 1908–73

It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.
—JOHN F. KENNEDY, Thirty-fifth US President (1961–63), 1917–63

If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

What is commonly called conservation will not work in the long run because it is not really conservation at all but rather, disguised by its elaborate scheming, only a more knowledgeable variation of the old idea of a world for man’s use only. That idea is unrealizable. But how can man be persuaded to cherish any other ideal unless he can learn to take some interest and some delight in the beauty and variety of the world for its own sake, unless he can see a value in a flower blooming or an animal at play, unless he can see some use in things not useful?
—JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, US Literary Naturalist, 1893-1970

When a tree falls there is no shade.
—LAO-TZU, Chinese Philosopher, 604–531 BC

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Conservation viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and land.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

Conservationists have, I fear, adopted the pedagogical method of the prophets: we mutter darkly about impending doom if people don’t mend their ways. The doom is impending, all right; no one can be an ecologist, even an amateur one, without seeing it. But do people mend their ways for fear of calamity? I doubt it. They are more likely to do it out of pure curiosity and interest.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The key to intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

The road to conservation is paved with good intentions that often prove futile, or even dangerous, due to a lack of understanding of either land or economic land use.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, US Conservationist, 1887–1948

A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Man always kills the thing he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Laws change; people die; the land remains.
—ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth US President (1861–65), 1809–65

I have observed over the years that the primary conservation impulse—the effort to make one’s place livable, workable, and productive—is a kind of “back yard” impulse. That is, it relates to the land within one’s own ken—not land in the abstract.
—CHARLES LITTLE, The Land Between in The American Land, 1979

The good news is that Americans will, in increasing numbers, begin to value and protect the vast American landscape. The bad news is that they may love it to death.
—CHARLES LITTLE, The Land Between in The American Land, 1979

Earth Day is the first holy day … and is devoted to the harmony of nature … The celebration offends no historical calendar, yet it transcends them all.
—MARGARET MEAD, US Anthropologist, 1901–78

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches and a thousand tempests and floods. But He cannot save them from fools.
—JOHN MUIR, US Naturalist, 1838–1914

Greenbelts, dozens of miles deep, of private woodlands and farms used to extend east and west all along the Blue Ridge…. Now these buffers are being roaded, subdivided, sold off, and… replaced by a spreading sequence of homes and commercial strips that replicates any other American urbzone.
—STEVE NASH, Blue Ridge 2020, An Owner’s Manual, 1999

I have explored on this rocky bit of shore the great concept that nothing stands alone and everything, no matter how small, is part of a greater whole.
—SIGURD F. OLSON, Conservation Writer, Wilderness Advocate, 1899–1982

Conservation is the foresighted utilization, preservation and/or renewal of forests, waters, lands and minerals, for the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

Unless we practice conservation, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation, and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day.
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, First Chief of the US Forest Service, (1905-10), 1865–1946

I see an America whose rivers and valley and lakes, hills and streams and plains, the mountains over our land…are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.
—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
—FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Thirty-second US President (1933-45), 1882-1945

Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the Nation.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all the people, and not monopolized for the benefit of a few.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it. Keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you. (about the Grand Canyon)
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

Nothing short of defending this country in wartime compares with the great central task of leaving the land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

The underlying principle of conservation has been described as the application of common sense to common problems for the common good.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

…there is none which compares in importance with the central task of leaving this land even better land for our descendants than it is for us.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation; whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery.
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Twenty-sixth US President (1901–09), 1858–1919

For in the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.
—JOHN SAWHILL, President & CEO, The Nature Conservancy 1990-2000

All our landscapes, from the city park to the mountain hike, are imprinted with our tenacious, inescapable obsessions.
—SIMON SCHAMA, Landscape and Memory, 1995

The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues—self-restraint.
—EDWIN WAY TEALE, Circle of Seasons, 1953

A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

I would not have … every part of a man cultivated, any more than I would have every acre of earth.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, US Writer, Naturalist, 1817–62

Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation.
—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Journal, October 15, 1859

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to.
—MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENS), US Writer, Humorist, 1835–1910

A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau’s Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. If, in haste to ‘progress,’ the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America.
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.
—STEWART UDALL, US Secretary of the Interior (1961–69); 1920–2010

[We stand] today poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space and of an overall environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. This, in brief, is the quiet conservation crisis.
—STEWART UDALL, The Quiet Crisis and the Next Generation, 1963

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.
—ANDY WARHOL, US Artist, 1928–87

You can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person.
—ANDY WARHOL, US Artist, 1928–87

What we’re really after is conservation of things we value, and thus I have been trying the term ‘conservation easement.’ Another term may well prove better, but ‘conservation easement’ has a certain unifying value: It does not rest the case on one single benefit—as does ‘scenic easement,’ but on the whole constellation of benefits—drainage, air pollution, soil conservation, historic significance, control of sprawl, and the like.
—WILLIAM WHYTE, Securing Open Space for Urban America: Conservation Easements, 1959

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, Naturalist, Writer, 1955-

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Trail and Greenway Construction Quotes

In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
—MARGRET ATWOOD, Bluebird’s Egg, 1983

A trail and its markings do not constitute any intrusion upon naturalness of the forest wilderness. Trails should be marked and maintained in a manner to eliminate the necessity of labor and uncertainty in finding one’s route. They should be an open course, a joy for travel. In that manner, without concern for route finding, the traveler will derive full benefit from his surroundings. This is what we have sought to accomplish in our constant and unending emphasis on the indicated standards of Appalachian Trail marking and maintenance.
—MYRON AVERY, final report to the Appalachian Trail Conference, 1952

Nail it up. [On installation of Appalachian Trail summit sign on Katahdin on August 19, 1933]
—MYRON AVERY, Chairman Appalachian Trail Conference 1931-52, 1899-1952

Trail building is not like hanging drywall. It’s more like commissioning a piece of artwork.
—CHRIS BERNHARDT, International Mountain Bicycling Association staffer, 2015

I am happy, however, just to go into the forest and put a new handrail on a bridge or putter over a few rods of trail, for, above everything, I am a trail man.
—CHARLES BLOOD, helped construct the White Mountain Trail System in New Hampshire, 1930

The laying of a trail … becomes not only a pleasure in itself, but an inducement to plan a better way of life, to construct worth-while things, or to weave a better product in the loom of our being.
—EARLE AMOS BROOKS, A Handbook of the Outdoors, 1925

We have overbuilt many roadways in America. We can afford to do that. We cannot afford to overbuild our trails. For in making them ‘better,’ we make the experience worse.
—DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

The design, layout, and construction of trails revealed deeply held ideas about the purpose of trails, their use, and the role of man-made features in the wilderness.
— SILAS CHAMBERLIN, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, 2016

No factor in trail construction is more important than proper drainage, and many sections of good trail are damaged and destroyed by erosion which could have been prevented.
—CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, Construction of Trails Handbook, 1937

Trail building starts by getting on your hands and knees. Look at your soil material. Find out what it is composed of and what it does in the rain. Find out where the water comes from before it gets to your trail and where it goes when it leaves. Your prime consideration is slowing and directing the water runoff from your trail surface.
—MARK EDWARDS, Trails Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in Signs, Trails, and Wayside Exhibits by Suzanne Trapp, 1994

…my own observations lead me to believe that the greatest trail damage is caused by (1) improper trail design (i.e., trails installed at too steep a grade), (2) inadequate maintenance (i.e., failure to install water bars or other devices to divert the flow of water off the trail bed), (3) the utterly indefensible practice of some hikers in taking short cuts on graded trails.
—EDWARD GARVEY, Appalachian Hiker II, 1978

Of trail making there are three stages: There is dreaming the trail, there is prospecting the trail, there is making the trail. Of the first one can say nothing—dreams are fragile, intangible. Prospecting the trail—there lies perhaps the greatest of the joys of trail work. Making trails is the more plodding work; yet it has reliefs and pleasures of its own.
—NATHANIEL GOODRICH, paper delivered to New England Trail Council, 1917

A lot of learning takes place when you slosh over a wet trail in a downpour and watch what the water is doing and how your drains and structures are holding up.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

It is much more important to understand how the forces of water and gravity combine to move dirt than it is to actually dig dirt, install waterbars, or build puncheon.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Remember that the two most common injuries in rock work are pinched (or smashed) fingers and tweaked (or blown out) backs. Both sets of injuries are a direct result of using muscles first and brains last. High-quality rock work is almost always a methodical, even tedious task. Safe work is ALWAYS faster than taking time out for a trip to the infirmary.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

The ultimate compliment paid to a trail crew is to say, ‘It doesn’t look like you had to do much work to get through here.’ Avoid the Bulldozer Bob look. Make your trail ‘just happen.’
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

Understanding WHY things are done is at least as important as HOW. If you know why something is happening, you’ll figure out a way to build a structure to match a need. Soak up the core concepts. Experiment and keep track of the results. Be curious. Add new techniques and tactics to your bag of tricks. Get dirty and HAVE FUN!
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

As a rule, try to hurt the earth as little as possible.
—RAY JARDINE, The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Handbook, 1998

Hiker trails should be designed primarily for scenic enjoyment, as an opportunity for aesthetic experiences. Seeking out views, vistas, the enchanting little spots, and environmental variety should predominate over engineering efficiency. The shortest distance need not and generally should not be followed. A good trail does not necessarily have to lead to specific destination; trails can be and end in themselves…
—ROBERT LUCAS, Hikers and Other Trail Users, in Recreation Symposium Proceedings, 1971

Planning and building trails takes lots of time, money and labor—always scarce commodities.
—ROBERT LUCAS & ROBERT RINEHART, The Neglected Hiker, in Backpacker, 1976

Certain trails are so elegant that they seem to lie sleeping just beneath the surface of the earth. Rather than being created by us, it is as if these trails unveil themselves through us.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

Managing people and managing water, it turns out, are the twin challenges of designing a sustainable trail.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

There is a crucial difference between a trail that “lies lightly on the land,” as trail-builders like to say, and a wide footpath lined with handrails and park benches: the former allows us to experience the complexity and roughness of the world beyond us, while the latter gives us the impression that the world was put here for us.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

User created trails. Long-lasting trails, then, must be of use.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

What unites the wisest trails, I have found, is a balance of three values: durability, efficiency, and flexibility.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

The engineer needs to be an artist in laying out and designing new trails. His task is to subtly blend his own accomplishments with the naturalness of the surroundings and avoid any indication of contrivance.
—STAN MURRAY, Appalachian Trail Conference Chairman, encouragement to AT maintainers, 1971

A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brains is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, brains, and heart is an artist.
—LOUIS NIZER, US Trail Lawyer, 1902–94

Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for.
—FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, US Landscape Architect, 1822–1903

High quality trail design is primarily a balance between beauty and function. Natural features and scenery exist ideally in creative juxtaposition with the continuity, efficiency, and durability of a proposed route.
—ROBERT PROUDMAN & RUEBEN RAJALA, Trail Building and Maintenance, 1981

The focus should be on maintaining basic passage, rather than creating a manicured trail corridor. A more natural look is desired. Smaller blow-downs that can be easily stepped over might be left. Because we are striving for a natural environment, resource protection is the key. The overall goal should be to keep the wilderness experience as natural as possible through trail work that is simple and that blends in.
—RUBEN RAJALA, in American Hiker, magazine of the American Hiking Society, 1989

Let’s get one thing straight: Trails weren’t put there by the Supreme Being of your choice. They were cut my human beings just like you and me.
—ALLEN ST. JOHN, Bicycling for Dummies, 1999

In trail making, as in all other activities, progress and improvement are inevitable; time marches on.
—L.F. SCHMECKEBIER and HAROLD ALLEN, Shenandoah National Park: The Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail, Appalachia, 2(7), 1936

A trail is not a route from here to there. It is a place to reconnect. In building trails, we need to think about the trail experience. What does the trail look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like, taste, and sound like? Does the experience challenge the mind? Challenge the body? Does it touch a chord that resonates the soul? A good trail will do that!
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO., 2001

Building a trail should be an environmentally healing process. We always need to think about how the trail can inspire the stewardship of the lands around it, while being sure that we preserve and heal the corridor that hosts the trail. In other words, it should be more than a trail, it should be a greenway.
—ROBERT SEARNS, founding owner of Urban Edges, Inc., a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO, 2001

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

We forget that trail construction is more common sense than engineering. Thorough knowledge of the country, love for that kind of work, instinct of a dog to know which way to get home, and last but not least, disregard for the time of day, are the principal requisites. A man with a tripod, transit, and level has no business on trails. Personally I would consider him a nuisance. We put too much stress on technical knowledge in simple matters where only good common sense should prevail. In my experience, wild animals solved many problems for me. Good experienced engineers will see the point and agree with me. We are handicapped so much by inexperienced technical knowledge that it takes sometimes ten men to decide whether a certain shrub or tree should be taken out where a dozen could be taken out without injury to the landscape or nature. In conclusion, I want to thank you all in the Park Service. I regret to leave you, but law must take its course and I am leaving after 42 years of service to the nation. [letter to National Park Service Director]
—GABRIEL SOVULEWSKI, Supervisor of Yosemite National Park from 1906–14

Any other feature of construction may be improved from month to month or from year to year, but if the grade is not properly established the trail must in time be abandoned. Thus not only may time and money be wasted, but the trail while in use will be unsatisfactory.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

Trail location and construction is relatively a simple job. Money, proper workmanship, common sense, abundant energy, and simple tools and equipment are the only requisites to good work. The employment of location and supervising engineers and specially organized survey parties, and the use of precise methods involving technical practices such as accurate leveling, transit work, detailed field notes, and profile maps of location, have no place in the trail program.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Forest Trail Handbook, 1935

Trail design should seek to accomplish three objectives. These are satisfaction of user needs, protection of the resource, and cost effectiveness.
—JOSEPH WERNEX, The Development of Trailbike Trail System, in Forest Environment in Planning for Trailbike Recreation, 1978

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Trail and Greenway Definitions Quotes

In its simplest and most effective form, a nature trail is a narrow path leading through sections of park or woodland chosen for the richness and variety of the natural history materials flanking it and one made alluring by a succession of well-written non-technical labels which name the specimens and give important information regarding them. In other words, a nature trail is a roofless museum the width of a foot-path, a mile or so long.
—WILLIAM ALEXANDER, Recreation on the Nature Trail, Recreation, 1932

Partnership: a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, for the achievement of a specified goal.
AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, 1998

.…a trail is a linear corridor, on land or water, with protected status and public access for recreation or transportation. Trails can be used to preserve open space, provide a natural respite in urban areas, limit soil erosion in rural areas, and buffer wetlands and wildlife habitat along waterways. Trails may be surfaced with soil, asphalt, sand and clay, clam shells, rock, gravel or wood chips. Trails may follow a river, a ridge line, a mountain game trail, an abandoned logging road, a state highway. They may link historic landmarks within a city. Trails may be maintained by a federal, state, or local agency, a local trails coalition, or a utility company.
—AMERICAN TRAILS, Trails for All Americans report, 1990

The AMC [Appalachian Mountain Club] is an association of volunteers organized to cultivate public respect for the environment and to provide opportunities for enjoyment of its natural beauty and for wise stewardship of its use [AMC Purpose and Goals].
—APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB, 1983

The conservationist, then, is the man more concerned about what certain natural resources do for his soul than for his bank balance. Every man is a conservationist part of the time in his thinking, if not in his action.
—DAVID BROWER, Wildlands in Our Civilization, 1964

A trail offers its users awareness of surroundings. Trails preserve vistas. Trails preserve ecosystems which allow natural sounds to drown out urban sounds. Trails invite touch and discovery. Trails protect and preserve fragrance. The trail experiences offer users feelings of bigness and connection with the earth. Trails unfold mystery, offer surprise, preserve the detail. In fact, well designed trails offer the hikers, bicyclists, skaters or other adventurers new sensations each time they are used.
—DAN BURDEN, Florida Bicycle Facilities Planning and Design Handbook, 1997

An Adventure is never an adventure when it happens. An adventure is simply physical and emotional discomfort recollected in tranquility.
—TIM CAHILL, US Travel Writer, 1944-

…any path must flow from place to place in a continuous manner, like a stream or river. It must connect places with each other. And it must begin someplace and end somewhere else; it must have a clear origin and destination, and provide a strong sense of direction. These characteristics—continuity, connection and an origin and destination—are fundamental to the development of any path.
—CHRISTINE CARLSON et al, A Path for the Palouse: An Example of Conservation and Recreation Planning, Landscape and Urban Planning, 17, 1989

Greenways—Networks of natural spaces which provide corridors connecting areas such as neighborhoods, parks, and schools. These passageways typically include trails for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. They are a link to nature for the enjoyment of the community.
—CHAPEL HILL [NC] GREENWAYS COMMISSION, 1993

Leisure is the time available to an individual when the disciplines of work, sleep, and other basic needs have been met.
—COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP, 1970

Recreation consists of any pursuit engaged upon during leisure time, other than those to which people are normally ‘highly committed.’
—COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP, 1970

A greenway is a corridor of protected open space that is managed for conservation and/or recreation. The common characteristic of greenways is that they all go somewhere. Greenways follow natural land or water features, like ridges or rivers, or human landscape features like abandoned railroad corridors or canals. They link natural reserves, parks, cultural and historic sites with each other and, in some cases, with populated areas. Greenways not only protect environmentally sensitive lands and wildlife, but also can provide people with access to outdoor recreation and enjoyment close to home.
—FLORIDA GREENWAYS COMMISSION, Creating a Statewide Greenway System for People … for Wildlife … for Florida, 1994

Greenways are linear corridors of protected open space managed for conservation and/or recreational purposes. They often follow rivers, stream valleys, ridges, railroad corridors, utility rights-of-way, canals, scenic roads or other linear features.
—GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

Trails are routes on land or water, used for recreational purposes such as walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, equestrian activities, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all-terrain off-road vehicles.
—GEORGIA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES, Georgia Recreation Planning Manual, 1993

A greenway is a continuous strip of vegetated land protected for special uses, extending through an urban area or area targeted for future development. Various segments of a greenway should perform one or more of the following functions: beautify the City, preserve open space, maintain wildlife habitat, provide paved foot trails/bikeways, manage floodplains and stormwater, control sedimentation, provide a park-like environment, provide access to surface drainage systems and service distribution lines, reduce air pollution, absorb noise, and cool the urban atmosphere.
—GREENVILLE [NC] GREENWAYS COMMITTEE, 1991

A practical working definition for greenways is: a landscape linkage designed to connect open spaces to form protected corridors that follow natural and man-made terrain features and embrace ecological, cultural, and recreational amenities where applicable.
—KEITH HAY, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

Recreation trails are for people. They allow us to go back to our roots. Trails help humans make sense of a world increasingly dominated by automobiles and pavement. They allow us to come more closely in touch with our natural surroundings, to soothe our psyches, to challenge our bodies, and to practice ancient skills.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999

There is much confusion between land and country. Land is the place where corn, gullies, and mortgages grow. Country is the personality of land, the collective harmony of its soil, life, and weather…. Poor land may be rich country, and vice versa. Only economists mistake physical opulence for riches. Country may be rich despite a conspicuous poverty of physical endowment, and its quality may not be apparent at first glance, nor at all times.
—ALDO LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

Greenway: 1. A linear open space established along either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley, or ridgeline, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, scenic road, or other route. 2. Any natural or landscaped course for pedestrian or bicycle passage. 3. An open-space connector linking parks, nature reserves, cultural features, or historic sites with each other and with populated areas. 4. Locally, certain strips or linear parks designated as parkway or greenbelt.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

.…if you take a syllable from each of these terms—green from greenbelt and way from parkway, the general idea of greenway emerges: a natural, green way based on protected linear corridors which will improve environmental quality and provide for outdoor recreation.
—CHARLES LITTLE, Greenways for America, 1990

I learned that the soul of a trail—its trail-ness—is not bound up in dirt and rocks; it is immaterial, evanescent, as fluid as air. The essence lies in its function: how it continuously evolves to serve the needs of its users.
—ROBERT MOOR, On Trails: An Exploration, 2016

A ‘recreational greenway’ is a linear open space that contains a trail(s). Although a greenway trail can take any form, the term generally refers to a high-standard paved trail that accommodates multiple uses.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Backcountry trails, sometimes called ‘single-track’ or primitive trails, are generally unsurfaced natural routes that range from narrow treadways to carefully planned and elaborately constructed (but natural-looking) thoroughfares. Attention to slopes and effective drainage is essential for the long-term stability of this type of trail.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Multiple-use recreation trails or ‘multi-use trails’ are generic terms for what many people call trails or greenways. These trails are built to high standards, are usually 10-feet wide, asphalt or concrete paved, and designed for many types of use. Bicycling, walking, running, in-line skating, and other nonmotorized uses are typical on multi-use trails, and they are frequently very heavily used.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Rail-trails are trails constructed on abandoned railroad corridors converted to recreational use or ‘railbanked’ for possible future rail use. They can be very short to hundreds of miles long. Typically surfaced in crushed stone or paved, their moderate grades make rail-trails popular with bicyclists, walkers, and others.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

Water trails: Many people consider any corridor of open water used for recreational travel or string of lakes connected by portage to be a water trail. Camping accessibility by water along the route makes multi-day travel possible. Canoeing, kayaking, and, in some areas, personal-watercraft use are all popular ways to enjoy water trails.
—ROGER MOORE and THOMAS ROSS, Trails and Recreational Greenways: Corridors of Benefits, Parks & Recreation, January 1998

The term management is used here to include the over-all policy, planning, and design of recreation development at all levels of government, as well as the operational aspects of administration.
—OUTDOOR RECREATION RESOURCES REVIEW COMMISSION, Outdoor Recreation for America, 1962

A greenway is a corridor of open space. Greenways vary greatly in scale, from narrow ribbons of green that run through urban, suburban, and rural areas to wide corridors that incorporate diverse natural, cultural, and scenic features. Greenways can be land- or water-based, running along stream corridors, shorelines or wetlands. Some follow old railways, canals, ridge tops, or other features. They can incorporate both public and private property. Some greenways are primarily recreational corridors, while others function almost exclusively for environmental protection and are not designed for human passage. Greenways differ in their location and function, but overall, a greenway network will protect natural, cultural, and scenic resources, provide recreational benefits, enhance the natural beauty and the quality of life in neighborhoods and communities, and stimulate economic development opportunities.
—PENNSYLVANIA GREENWAYS PARTNERSHIP, adopted, 1998

Greenways have been described as linear parks within towns and cities. These parks are usually found along flood-prone rivers and streams, often the only undeveloped land left within cities. When trails are constructed through these parcels, however, they become popular recreation areas for walking, jogging or even bicycling. They also provide linkage between neighborhoods and public areas such as schools or shopping centers, and even help maintain wildlife habitat and unique natural areas.
—JANE ROHLING, Corridors of Green, Wildlife in North Carolina, 1988

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape, and to follow a route is to accept an interpretation, or to stalk your predecessors on it as scholars and trackers and pilgrims do. To walk the same way is to reiterate something deep; to move through the same space the same way is a means of becoming the same person, thinking the same thoughts.
—REBECCA SOLNIT, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, 2000

When you work in a bureaucracy, trying to make program changes sometimes seems like trying to slow dance with a cow: it’s not much fun, it annoys the cow and you step in a lot of manure.
—BETH TIMSON, From Waterbars to Polygons: The Evolution of a State Trails Program, Trends, 33(2), 1996

A Trail is a linear feature constructed for the purpose of allowing the free movement of people, stock, and OHVs.
—USDA, FOREST SERVICE

A trail is a narrow highway over which a pack animal can travel with safety during the usual period when the need for a highway exists.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, Trail Construction on the National Forests, 1915

Recreation is usually defined as some sort of diversion, exercise, or activity that refreshes, relaxes, and pleases the participant. Recreation may take place anywhere, in almost any environment, for the experience is primarily a personal phenomenon, but one that may be shared with family or friends. The recreation experience can usually be enhanced by and may depend on the setting in which it takes place. For many, much of the pleasure of outdoor recreation is the respite it provides from urban densities and pressures and the opportunity to renew our ties with nature.
—USDA FOREST SERVICE, National Forest Landscape Management, Recreation, Volume 2, Chapter 2, 1987

A linear route manage for human-powered, stock, or OHV forms of transportation or for historic or heritage values.
—USFS/NPS/BLM Interagency definition of a trail

Sustainability: the ability of the travel surface to support current and anticipated appropriate uses with minimal impact to the adjoining natural systems and cultural resources. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement and allow the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, while allowing for the occasional pruning and removal of plants necessary to build and maintain the trail. If well built, a sustainable trail minimizes seasonal muddiness and erosion. It should not normally affect natural fauna adversely nor require re-routing and major maintenance over long periods of time.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Natural Resources Management Guideline, 1997

Sustainability on natural surface trail corridors is defined as the characteristic of a travel surface to support currently planned and future uses with minimal impact to the natural systems of the area. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement while allowing the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, recognizing required pruning and eventual removal of certain plants over time. Sustainable trails will not adversely affect the naturally occurring fauna. Sustainable trail design will accommodate existing and future uses while only allowing appropriate uses. The sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time.
—USDI NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, Rocky Mountain Region, January 1991

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Equestrian Quotes

 

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Fitness Quotes

 

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Trail and Greenway Funding Quotes

 

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Greenway Quotes

 

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Health Quotes

 

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