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Georgia Trails and Greenways Program

photo of outdoor class

Trails Training session in outdoor classroom


The Georgia Trails and Greenways office coordinates Georgia's Recreational Trails Program, which provides funding for trail construction, trail maintenance and trail education. The Program has also funded trail signs, maps and other efforts. If you have an idea for statewide efforts on education in trail design, construction, or maintenance, please call Program staff at (404) 656-3830.

Georgia Trails Education Partners:

Trail School and Crew Leader Training Courses

This is for all nature-surface trails and off-road enthusiasts, land agencies, and aspiring advocacy groups. This course will be taught at Gainesville State College ( located in Oakwood, Georgia.

The focus of the course is on shared-use trails however some specialized single use applications will also be addressed. This course is designed around current, modern, low impact trail design and construction practices and complies with current specifications by most land agencies.


Session one: Trail Design and Layout
The classroom portion will cover all aspects of how to properly design and layout a trail. We will discuss issues on how to avoid erosion, user conflicts, and impact problems through design. It will give you a good working knowledge of what causes trails to erode through water/soil relationships. A test on the subjects covered will be taken just before lunch.

The field portion will put what we covered in the classroom to work by actually laying out a new section of trail.

Session two: Trail Construction and Maintenance
The classroom portion on Construction will cover corridor clearing for all types of use and proper hand tool use and safety. Different types of trail construction, building full bench cut and tread armoring sections. How to build turns (climbing, switchback and insloped). What to do in wetlands and for water crossings. Most common maintenance issues on well-designed and poorly designed trails. We will discuss how to make long-term repairs, and lower environmental impacts. Drainage solutions and techniques along with rerouting and reclaiming damaged trail. A test on the subjects will be taken just before lunch.

The field portion will put your construction knowledge to work clearing and/or constructing new trail. We perform a trail assessment, look at rerouting an old section of trail and regular drainage service activities.

Session three: Crew Leader Training
This final session will be broken into three portions; organizing the workday, selecting and getting your crew to the work site, and overseeing the project and/or trail work session. Safety and efficiency are a major focus of this class. A crew leader must have a basic set of technical trail work skills, coordinate work party activities and motivate volunteers. All students are required to pass sessions one and two before attending the final session.

An informal graduation is held at the end of this session and each person will receive a certificate of completion and a Crew Leader hat.

Course Enrollment and Details

The minimum age for the course is 18. The course will be limited to a maximum of 12 students. The IMBA Trail Solutions book and an interactive power point show will be provided. The sessions will run approximately 6-7 hours long (3 classroom, 1 lunch break, 2-3 field), from 9:00AM to 3:30PM. Lunch will be on your own.

The cost is $75 for the full round of three sessions or $25 per session. Out of state (Georgia) participants are encouraged to come and a $150 fee per person (full course) or $50 per session. Make checks payable to Gainesville College Foundation. Payment can be made at the first session with a completed application form.

Please come prepared for the type of weather expected that day. Suggest you bring boots, gloves, water and be prepared to take notes. Class size is limited and all participants must enroll via email address below.

To enroll, please contact:

Walter Bready
Georgia Trails Education Specialist
Gainesville State College
(404) 423-7257


The National Trails Training Partnership

American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 • (530) 605-4395 • Fax: (530) 547-2035 •

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.



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