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New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Environment, Parks & Playgrounds, Recreational Clubs, Sports


The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a federation of member clubs and individuals dedicated to providing recreational hiking opportunities in the region and representing the interests and concerns of the hiking community. The Conference is a volunteer-directed public service organization committed to:

  • Developing, building, and maintaining hiking trails;

  • Protecting hiking trail lands through support and advocacy;

  • Educating the public in the responsible use of trails and the natural environment.

Geographic areas served: Northern NJ and Southeastern NY

Programs: One important project of the Trail Conference is the Shanwangunk Ridge Coalition, an alliance of local, regional and national organizations working to protect the magnificent Shawangunk Ridge. In addition, the Trail Conference have built and presently maintain 1,500+ miles of officially designated and marked trails in the New York-New Jersey region, including the original section of the Appalachian Trail. The Trail Conference is an advocate for open space preservation and hiking access to open space. The Trail Conference protects open space through landowner agreements, easements and acquisition. The Trail Conference stewards open space through environmental monitoring and education. The Trail Conference encourages non-consumptive use of open space by publishing over twenty titles of hiking books and maps.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have been donating for years and been hiking their maintained trails long before I could afford making donations. Very simply, the NYNJTC does one terrific job in all that they claim they do. I shudder to think of these wonderful preserved lands around us without their oversight and stewardship.


Rating: 4

Love the tear and water resistant sort of topo maps. I still have some from 1990 now they are a snapshot of trails as they were, still nice and special. Over the years we have camped, hiked, fished with friends and family, memories that warm days when dismal thoughts lurk. Amazing job establishing the Long Path, our unique NY trail. Thank you volunteers, who busted their ass marking, cutting, or carefully negotiating with meglomaniac landowners (yeah). The LP is near my house, I have tools and know others who would be thrilled to donate some time and skill. I would love to volunteer, called emailed a number of times 2006-7. Will try again, may even get an a response.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been a fan of the Trail Conference since becoming a member 20+ years ago. Through the Trail Conference I discovered new places, found local hiking clubs, got to know thousands of miles of Trail Conference-maintained trails, and "jumped in" as a trail maintainer and hike leader. The Trail Conference has given me countless destinations and adventures, the perfect remedy for life in the hectic Northeast. They've led the way in conserving trail lands, advocating for nature and the outdoors, and creating greenways for people and wildlife. They built the original section of the Appalachian Trail and maintain the New York and New Jersey sections to this day. They've stuck to their mission and improved quality of life for all who seek out nature's quiet places. After 2 decades as a volunteer, I finally joined the staff in 2011, and I still feel the same way now as I did 20 years ago. What I appreciate most about the Trail Conference is its ability to convert member support into on-the-ground results -- 1,850 miles of well-maintained, scenic trails that anyone can enjoy.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The NY-NJ Trail Conference is a special organization. It performs well the important mission of connecting people with nature by maintaining 1,800 miles of hiking trails that take people into nature. It does so efficiently with the work of committed individuals who volunteer over 65,000 hours per year. Board members are also active volunteers and hikers. The Trail Conference's staff is both skilled and committed to our mission. The Trail Conference is flexible in adapting to its changing environment. While it has long focused solely on trails in larger parks and preserves, it is now expanding its scope to include trails in town parks and in nature centers. It continues to publish highly acclaimed maps and has increased the number of areas for which it publishes maps. It also has added a map app so that hikers can buy and download its maps to their smartphones. The Trail Conference is well aware that continuing sprawl threatens natural spaces - spaces that are important trail lands and provide beautiful views. It is working hard to preserve land in targeted areas by facilitating the purchase of targeted parcels by conservation organizations and also by purchasing land itself with money from a designated land preservation fund. In summary, the Trail Conference is a highly effective organization, fueled by the passion of its volunteers; that increasingly is taking on work that can no longer be managed by shrinking public agencies, continually increasing the miles of trails maintained; mileage to serve more people; making innovative use of new technologies to make quality maps available electronically; and, with an eye on the future, preserving important lands.

Review from Guidestar