In 1999, the organizers of the Indiana annual trails conference recognized that trails and greenways aren’t bound by political boundaries; therefore, information sharing, planning and best practices shouldn’t either. That year their conference grew to include collaboration from their four border states: Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio.
The conference grew immediately into the Mid American Trails and Greenways Conference when the Federal Highway State Trails Administrators decided to tie their annual meetings to the event. What was once five states became eight nearly overnight with the inclusion of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Collaboration in the Midwest is natural with major trail projects such as the American Discovery Trail, Mississippi River Trail, Hennipen Canal, and many more. It wasn’t long before Missouri joined in and became the ninth state on the planning team for the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference.
Every other year since 1999 representatives from each of the states have organized a world class conference focused on challenges and opportunities prevalent to the Midwest.