- Trail Design for Small Properties
- Bridges and Structures for Trails
- Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook
- Recreational Trail Design & Maintenance
- Publications on Trail Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance
- Professional Trail Builders Association
- What is an Accessible Trail?
- Trail Bench Construction Guide
- Trail Building Web Resources
- Good planning and design is important
- The layout of the land must be accounted for in the trail design
- Maintenance issues should be considered in the business planning stages
- Liability insurance is important
- Set rules that promote trail safety
Nature Trails - Planning, Design, Construction, and Maintenance
Many landowners have the unique opportunity to provide visitors with quiet time away from the demands of everyday life through the use of nature trails. Guests will enjoy spending time in nature and getting exercise while exploring scenic nature trails.
To attract hikers to nature trails, landowners need to establish safe trails with plenty of shade and opportunities to view wildlife and beautiful scenery. Provide well-maintained trails of varying difficulty – very easy to somewhat difficult - to attract a wide range of guests. Guests should be given a map with the details of the property including any potential dangers.
As with any business, landowners must be sure to acquire proper liability insurance and permits for building hiking trails in their area. Certain amenities such as picnic areas and restrooms help make trails more popular. Overall, hikers are simply looking for a memorable and enjoyable experience in nature.
Developing Trails and Tourism on Private Lands in Texas
Texas AgriLife Extension
A hard copy of this publication must be ordered from the Texas AgriLife Extension Bookstore.
The demand for outdoor recreational opportunities is growing rapidly. Texas landowners are discovering that developing trail-type tourism activities can be both profitable and rewarding. This publication features details about seven such enterprises, including tips for getting started, creating a desirable product, and developing partnerships to make such ventures more economical. (40 pp., 3 graphs, 1 table, 22 photos).
Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails: Planning to Implementation (PDF)
Portland State University
This presentation starts with a case study showing a set of goals and objectives for the Portland project along with a series of photos of the trails, measures implemented and issues encountered. It also shows who is using the trails today, the rate of decrease in bicycle crashes after the trails were constructed. Then it goes into the details of planning and implementing a trail including trail types and uses, feasibility and mater planning, design, permitting, construction, bidding and more.
Recreational Forest Trails: Plan For Success (PDF)
North Carolina State University
When planning, designing, and construction a forest trail, take into consideration what type of trail you wish to build and the layout of the land. This publication covers the steps in designing, laying out, and constructing a trail including trail width, clearing heights, and grade specifications. It also provides the top ten trail construction tips.
Location and Design of Recreational Trails: Application of GIS Technology (PDF)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
This Master's thesis discusses using GIS to design trails for recreational use. Poorly located and designed recreational trails increase maintenance
costs, resource degradation, and the inefficient utilization of public resources. The potential
application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to this specific type of
problem is examined through the comparison of hypothetical trail routes generated by several different methods, existing trail field surveys, office design, GIS user-assisted design, and costpath analysis design. Each method is compared statistically and qualitatively by GIS methods and office based methods. Each hypothetical trail is ranked according to effectiveness of design, providing insight into trail design methods. The office designed hypothetical trails were consistently ranked highest by an expert forest road designer.
Trails should be designed for both environmental protection and use. This publication provides information to minimize damage when designing trails.
Woodland Trails: Layout, Building, and Maintenance (PDF)
University of Kentucky, Kentucky Woodlands Magazine
The beginning of this article discusses the history of trails in Kentucky woodlands which are used for a wide range of activities including hunting, hiking, horseback riding, birding, and more. The article discusses the need for planning and designing a well-built trail, establishing a trail, trail types and general guidelines, and provides some additional resources.
Trail Development (PDF)
University of Georgia
A well-planned forest trail system should reflect
five basic objectives:
- Satisfaction of user needs
- Protection of the resources
- Minimize user conflicts
- Minimize cost and effort
- Minimize maintenance.
This publication discusses planning trails to satisfy these objectives. This includes the location, alignment, grade, construction and materials for the trail.
Profile of Minnesota Trail Users (PDF)
University of Minnesota
Recreation trails provide a variety of personal, social and economic benefits. Documenting and understanding these benefits is important for trail planning, management and advocacy. This survey and report was created for the Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association. It provides information on the demographics of trail users, trail user experience, motivations of trail users, trail use days, sources of and responses to recreation conflict, and details about each user group.