Skip to main content


Maybe you heard some news in your community about that inactive railroad next to your property and the plans to turn it into a trail. Maybe you received a letter from a law firm telling you about your rights when it comes to a rail-trail conversion along your property. Or maybe you were talking to your neighbors and heard the news – the news that the quiet railroad corridor that hasn’t seen a train in decades is going to change - change that would bring the general public right along your back yar

Rail-to-trail conversions are only possible thanks to the Trails Act, an act of Congress that allows railroads to offer up their railroad rights-of-way for public recreational hiking and biking use in lieu of abandonment. But what is the National Trails System Act, otherwise known as the Trails Act, and why does it lead to just compensation for landowners?

This guide intends to provide those answers.

One of the most frequent questions in Rails-to-Trails practice is: How, and why, do these landowners own the land in the railroad corridor?  That land within the railroad corridor almost never shows up in the deed that transferred ownership of the adjacent land to the landowners, or in surveys. 

This past year, like years before, Stewart, Wald & McCulley secured millions of dollars for landowners across the country.

Did you receive our mailer, or have any questions for us? We’re here to help you take the next step for just compensation.

Notable Success Examples