Introducing Arizona Premier Trail System!

Arizona State Committee on Trails (ASCOT) and Arizona State Parks have established a new state trails system to recognize and promote non-motorized trails of special significance to Arizona residents and visitors.

The Arizona Premier Trails System will include up to 100 premier trails. It will highlight various types of trails in the following seven categories: recreation, interpretive, historic/cultural, scenic, water/riparian, national trails and trail systems. The APTS will offer a diversity of unique trails that inspire people to experience the state's magnificent outdoor environment and cultural history. The nomination and designation process is guided by a variety of criteria, requirements and procedures listed within the application. Nominations can be submitted for existing non-motorized trails. All trails must meet the criteria within the application. Only the trails with the highest scores will be eligible for inclusion. Applications are subject to a review process. Once designated, the trails will remain on the system is for a period of five years. At the conclusion of the five-year time period, the trail may be re-nominated, but must go through the application process again and compete with other trail applications for any opening.

Why Apply to APTS?

  • Help in applying for grants, funding or other financial aid.
  • Attract volunteers and friends groups to aid your trail 
  • Increased trail visitation and tourism
  • Promoted on Arizona State Parks website and newsletter 

Five Steps to Apply

Step One - Learn more about APTS
ASCOT members and Arizona State Parks will be scheduling a new webinar soon. Check back for updates and follow the steps below for more information.

Download the March Webinar Presentation here! ( 13.38 MB PDF)

Step Two - Choose a Trail Category
APTS includes a variety of trail types from Interpretive Trails to Water Trails. In which category will your trail shine?

Learn more about category attributes by reading the Criteria For Nominating Trails. ( 133 KB PDF)

Step Three - Fill Out the Nomination Forms
Be sure to fill out both parts of the Nomination forms. Part I – Trail Information gathers more general information about the trail. Part II asks questions that is specific to the trail category. Applications with just Part II forms completed will not be considered for APTS designation.

Step Four - Submit Final APTS Application
Submit APTS application at any time. ASCOT will designate APTS trails biannually in January and July. If there are any questions/concerns with the process or the application forms, contact Mickey Rogers at 602-542-6942 or by email [email protected].

Apply - Nomination Forms

Part I - Every applicant must fill out both Part I and Part II to be considered for Arizona Premier Trail System designation. 
Part I - Nomination Form - Trail Information

Part II - Choose the category for your trail. Be sure provide the same contact information in Part I as in Part II. 
Part II Nomination Form - Historic/Cultural Trails 
Part II Nomination Form - Interpretive Trails
Part II Nomination Form - Scenic Trails
Part II Nomination Form - Recreation Trails
Part II Nomination Form - Water/Riparian Trails
Part II Nomination Form - National Trials
Part II Nomination Form - Trail System 

Have an idea for how to improve APTS? We'd love to hear your feedback.

2015 Arizona Trails Plan

Arizona State Parks 2015 Trails PlanWelcome to the Arizona State Trails Program. Arizona State Parks' Trails Program provides a number of benefits for trail users, organizations, and communities.
Provides technical assistance to agencies and organizations;
Hosts trail conferences, trainings and education events;
Serves as hub for statewide trail information;
Manages statewide trails and advisory committees (OHVAG and ASCOT);
Conducts statewide trail research, which guides the expenditure of trail grant funds.

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Outdoor Recreation Info Center
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23751 N. 23rd Ave. #190
Phoenix, AZ 85085

 (877) MY-PARKS

Mission Statement
"Managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners."