Travel Alberta

Alberta Recreation Trails Partnership established to improve provincial trails

Improved experiences for Alberta’s recreational trail users is the goal of a new two-year pilot project. A new organization called the Alberta Recreation Trails Partnership will be established as part of the pilot. Representatives from key groups will be named to the organization and will work together to develop a co-ordinated and sustainable provincial recreation trails system, including motorized, non-motorized and mixed use trails.The partnership will include:

  • an MLA, acting as Chair;
  • a representative from Alberta TrailNet, Alberta Snowmobile Association, and Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association;
  • a representative from user groups within each of Alberta TrailNet, Alberta Snowmobile Association, Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association;
  • a representative from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association;
  • a representative from the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties;
  • a representative from the tourism industry; and
  • two government representatives from each of the departments of Tourism, Parks and Recreation and Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, as non-voting members.

Over the course of the two-year pilot, the new partnership organization is expected to:

  • develop best practices and recommendations for a trail classification and designation system
  • enhance signs identifying trails and amenities
  • promote trails and enhance trail maps
  • encourage responsible and safe use of trails and
  • identify trail enforcement issues

The partnership will also work with local trail organizations to support the operation and enhancement of approximately 10 established recreation trails throughout the province. The expansion and development of new recreation trails is outside the scope of the pilot project. The Alberta government will provide the Alberta Recreation and Trails Partnership with $500,000 per year for each of the two years of the pilot. The partnership will also look to secure other non-government funding to support its efforts.

“Alberta is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. Improving our provincial trails network will attract tourists, encourage Albertans to be active, and provide opportunities to connect with nature." says Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. "This project recognizes the critical contribution of volunteers across the province who care deeply about Alberta’s trails and dedicate their time to making them better.”

“We are working to ensure Alberta’s trail system is developed in a responsible manner so it can be enjoyed by Albertans and visitors for years to come." adds Robin Campbell, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. "We’re taking a collaborative approach to managing and improving those trails by directly engaging the people who love trails the most to oversee their development.”

According to Linda Strong-Watson, Executive Director for the Alberta TrailNet Society, “The Provincial Recreation Trails Pilot Project represents an important step towards developing a sustainable recreation trail program and provincial trail network that supports exceptional recreation experiences. Alberta TrailNet Society is grateful for this opportunity and is looking forward to working with project partners, trail operators and other stakeholders on projects and goals identified under the pilot.“ 

"The Alberta Snowmobile Association is excited to be a part of this trails pilot project. We are very happy to work with Ministers Starke and Campbell and their staff to work to highlight the amazing trail system we have here in Alberta."
- Chris Brookes, Executive Director, Alberta Snowmobile Association.

“As the Association that represents the estimated 160,000 users of ATV's, side by sides and off-road motorcycles, the Alberta Off Highway Vehicle Association looks forward to the positive impact this pilot project will have as we work toward a managed recreational trail system. AOHVA supports effective stewardship of Alberta’s public lands, including the need to manage access and use, as well as the protection of sensitive areas.”
- Brent Hodgson, President, Alberta Off Highway Vehicle Association.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation