3 Essential Trail Building Techniques

It’s Trail Season.  Are You Ready?

It’s that time of year to get some new trail on the ground, to get volunteers mobilized, or to maintain some existing trail. Here’s three important techniques for building and maintaining trails that every trail manager or volunteer should know. Interested in some trail training for your staff or volunteers?  See opportunities below!

1. Rolling Contour Trails

Designing and laying out rolling contour trails will help managers spend less time and money maintaining and managing their trails.  Rolling contour trails gently follow the terrain of the hillside. Frequent changes in grade and outslope of the trail surface encourage the flow of water across the trail instead of down it.

2. Outslope

Constructing and maintaining outslope on trails will help minimize erosion by limiting the volume and velocity of water on the trail surface.  As the trail traverses the hillside, the downhill or outside edge of the trail should tilt slightly away from the hillside to encourage “sheet flow” of water across the trail.

3. Rolling Grade Dips

On trails that aren’t designed and constructed sustainably, rolling grade dips can be constructed to remove water from the trail. Due to user-friendliness and the need for less frequent maintenance, these dips are preferred to using traditional waterbars to minimize erosion on the trail surface.

Want More Training for Your Land Managers or Volunteers?

Learn from our experts:

Rockingham Community College’s (RCC) Sustainable Trails Class

Designed by our experts, this program is the only community college program of its kind in the country offering coursework and field experience in trail design, construction, maintenance, and management.

October 14-17, 2019Sustainable Trail Layout, Construction, and Maintenance

December 2-5, 2019 – Sustainable Trail Layout, Construction, and Maintenance

Customized On-Site Training

Let us come to you!

Our specialists will train YOUR staff or community to address YOUR specific needs on YOUR trail systems.