Episode 32 Saving Our Trail Systems with Clay Jacobson

If you love using and having access to the thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout the United States, you're going to want to listen to this episode of The By Land Podcast.  Clay Jacobson is a Thru Hiker who works with the Idaho Trails Association and helps manage the coordination of the Idaho Centennial Trail (which he hiked not too long ago).  

On this episode, you'll hear about Clay's personal story of how he got into long distance backpacking and why he's now focused on saving as many miles of trail as possible.  We cover the current state of trails in the US, how they're funded and maintained, and why there are sometimes thousands of miles of trail disappearing each year.

This podcast is all about backpacking, but there wouldn't be any such thing if organizations like the Idaho Trails Association didn't exist.  Non-profits like the ITA organize themselves to help preserve our trail systems and they need your help to keep doing it.  

You won't want to miss this episode with Clay Jacobson.  Not only does he drop some serious knowledge on me, but he's a great dude as well.  It was a pleasure talking with him.


By Land,

Emory Ronald



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  • Introductions
  • Who is Clay Jacobson?
  • How Clay got into Thru Hiking and his background with backpacking (this is a good one)
  • Training for a Thru Hike
  • How Clay’s education in literature impacted his desire to adventure 
  • How each trail Clay has done has prepared him for the next one
  • Clay’s experience on the Idaho Centennial Trail
  • The state of trails in the US: how they’re maintained, funded, and cared for.
  • What happened between the time trails were established and where we are today?
  • Trail organization
  • How are other outdoor organizations communicating their “value” in order to recieve funding for trail maintenance
  • What it means when trails disappear; is it always a bad thing?
  • National Trails Day - how to get involved in keeping trails open and cleared
  • How a trail crew works!
  • How to reach the Idaho Trails Association or other trail organizations
  •   (bonus info on the Idaho Centennial Trail)