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Trailside benches and seating facilities

Commentary and photos by Stuart Macdonald

 

An attractive place to sit makes trails more enjoyable. Part of the pleasure of hiking or riding on a trail is stopping to rest or contemplate. A place to sit down may be just a short stroll away from the trailhead or access point. For people who are elderly or have a small child, a couple of hundred feet may be all the distance needed to have a sense of being "out on the trail." Commercial benches have long been available in wood or metal. Plastic coated metal or plastic lumber may be more comfortable in both hot and cold weather. Concrete is the most durable and can be formed to suit the site. Even on primitive trails a well-sited log or boulder will be appreciated.

Perhaps more important than choice of materials is the location of a seating area. Nobody wants to look at the parking lot or away from the river. Make a seating area more useful by providing what peope want:

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