Trail Development Manager Western Region

About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit Connect with RTC @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Job Summary 

The Trails Development Manager (TD Manager) is part of the Western Region team and implements RTC’s vision to create trail networks that connect people to where they live, work and play. This position plays a pivotal role in our Bay Area Trails Collaborative (BATC), a coalition effort to create a 2,600-miles-plus trail network for the Bay Area, as part of RTC’s TrailNation™ program. The Trail Development Manager also supports our Active Transportation Resource Team (ATRT), providing technical assistance and training to local partners to create more bikeable, walkable communities. This position is responsible for a variety of tasks and requires someone who is resourceful in crafting successful strategies to advance trail projects and working cooperatively with diverse partners on advocacy and planning initiatives.  

The ideal candidate will have the ability to work effectively in a wide range of contexts, from urban to rural, including collaboratively with disadvantaged communities and Communities of color. They will be a self-starter who works well independently and in teams; has excellent communication and people skills; is resourceful, creative, organized and efficient; and is able to consistently deliver professional quality work on time and on budget. We particularly value enthusiasm, flexibility, passion for the mission, a pitch-in attitude and a good sense of humor. 

Job Location

This position is located in our Western Regional Office and is eligible for a hybrid work schedule in accordance with RTC’s policies. Proof of vaccination is required for all staff.

Job Duties

The Trail Development Manager works closely with the Western Region Director, as well as the Trail Development team across all RTC’s offices. The primary responsibilities of this position are: 

  • Supporting BATC and RTC’s trail network building efforts, which may include:
  • Coordinating with BATC partners to advance priority trail projects through a variety of strategies, including technical assistance to overcome challenges and building community support
  • Managing and refining our GIS database, working with external partners to interpret and explain spatial data to non-users, and working with our GIS team to create maps and conduct GIS analyses to advance trail building
  • Co-chairing coalition working groups focused on trail development and stewardship, communications and partnerships, or other BATC-related topics 
  • Managing planning projects related to the development and stewardship of the BATC regional trail network
  • Participating in the preparation of trail plans or feasibility studies
  • Planning and implementing community engagement strategies, workshops and community meetings
  • Identifying, recruiting and cultivating a diverse array of partners and stakeholders from various sectors who can help advance trail networks and priority projects
  • Supporting RTC’s Active Transportation Resource Team program by helping to: conduct outreach and needs assessments, develop content, plan and conduct workshops and webinars, and provide ongoing technical assistance to disadvantaged communities to implement their active transportation plans and projects (This position will with the Regional Director and other RTC staff to share/adapt this model for implementation in other states. )
  • Engaging with partners across RTC’s Western Region states (as part of RTC’s broad national mobilization of trail leaders) to ensure that they understand and can effectively pursue state and federal funding programs to accelerate trail network development    
  • Coordinating with the Western Region Director to integrate trail development efforts with policy and advocacy work, including making local agencies aware of funding opportunities
  • Coordinating with the Western Region Director and the development team to prepare contract and foundation proposals and budgets to fund our work, and then managing grants and contracts to deliver work products on time and on budget
  • Creating and maintaining a network of contacts throughout the Western Region to stay abreast of trail and rail-trail development, and share RTC resources
  • Coordinating with the communications team to supply content for RTC’s website, email newsletter, blog and social media
  • Presenting on RTC, BATC, ATRT, or other trail-related topics to external groups at conferences, community meetings, and public forums 
  • Working with the Trail Development Team throughout RTC’s national and regional offices on development of informational resources such as trail-related webinars, reports, fact sheets and studies
  • Other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • This position does not have any supervisory responsibilities.


Basic Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • A minimum of five years experience in some combination of the following backgrounds: recreation and/or nonmotorized transportation planning/advocacy; urban and regional planning; land use planning/advocacy; nonprofit management and resource development (Because we are a small office, we require a self-starter who has the skills and experience to hit the ground running and work with a modest amount of supervision.)
  • A solid understanding of the process of moving a trail project from concept through advocacy, planning, funding, design and construction, and familiarity with the fundamentals of active-transportation project funding programs, planning and design guidance in California
  • Excellent skills in building and maintaining collaborative and strategic relationships with stakeholders in various sectors, including transportation, recreation, conservation, public health, equity and economic development  
  • Ability to work on complex assignments independently, using a high level of judgment, tact and initiative in resolving problems and developing recommendations
  • Ability to develop partnerships with common goals and secure funding for collaborative projects
  • Excellent research, writing, public speaking and time management skills,
  • Project management experience, including tracking tasks and budgets
  • Proficiency in Excel and standard Microsoft Office programs
  • Experience and demonstrated success in developing nonprofit fundraising and contract proposals
  • A valid California driver’s license (This position will involve occasional travel, mostly within California. Candidates must be willing and able to drive and travel by airplane.)

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Proficiency in GIS
  • Familiarity with AGOL or other Arc products, including a detailed understanding of spatial data and comfort with large datasets
  • Experience conducting basic spatial queries such as buffer analyses
  • Basic graphic design skills (a plus)

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low to moderate noise level.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

Commitment to Diversity

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy seeks diverse, passionate, and qualified individuals who want to make a difference in the world. RTC is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.

Salary Description
Minimum $75,000.00 per year