Resources and Library:

Training and Education

Hosted by

American Trails presented "Sustainable Mountain Trails: Trail Project Cycle Innovations & Experiences" as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"


arrow A recording of this webinar is available for purchase. Original webinar took place August 28, 2014.

arrow Also see QUESTIONS and ANSWERS from the first of three webinars on Mountain Trail Sustainability

arrow Slides from Webinar on Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability ( pdf 25.4 mb)




"Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability ~ Part 2 of 3"

Rocky Mountain National Park – Applying Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability to Repair / Rehab & Storm Recovery Projects (Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Project Cycle Innovations & Experiences from Estes Park, Colorado)

Photo of hiker on hillside trail


American Trails presented this Webinar August 28, 2014. It is the second of a series of three on Sustainable Mountain Trails. Each webinar in this series is independent of each other and can be attended individually. Presenters are from the National Park Service: Hugh Duffy, Danny Basch, and Ian Brighton.

Read more and learn about the presenter...


PURCHASE archived webinar: Purchase this recorded webinar in the American Trails Online Store. Payments accepted are credit cards (Visa and MasterCard), checks, and purchase orders. If paying via purchase order, please select check as your payment method in the online store and in the notes section write in your purchase order number.


WEBINAR PRICES: American Trails Members only pay $35 and Nonmembers pay $55. These prices are the same for our future webinars as well as our past webinars in which you can access recordings to. To receive the member discount, be sure and select “YES” for this question and the $20 will automatically be deducted from your total. If you are a new or renewing member, you can add a membership to your order at the same time. View our membership levels and benefits.



Webinar Sponsor

arrowhead logo





National Park Service:

Denver Service Center, Transportation Division

Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program




graphic showing cross section of trail on hillside


Dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources, inspired by federal land management agency trail management traditions and implemented with consideration to a wilderness ethic of minimum alteration of natural system.

These webinars are applicable to all natural surface trail systems. Please see the following link to the presenter’s hallmark document: Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition.

Attendees will be challenged to reflect their role as leaders in the mountain trails community and how to use Art, Science, and Inspiration to craft successful multiple use Sustainable Mountain Trail projects. The presentation is geared to the novice, intermediate, and expert trail planner and designer. While the presenter’s experience is predominantly with mountain trails, the principles presented will apply to all natural and soft surface trails.



1.    Attendees will be presented an overview of the trails program at Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as current initiatives – including recovery from 500-year rainfall events, and how principles of mountain trail sustainability will focus their efforts.

2.    Attendees will be presented with interdisciplinary team tools and techniques being used at Rocky that are transparent, engage the resource management staff, engage the compliance and management staffs and provide the basis for minimum impact to natural and cultural resources, and sound decision-making while helping to prioritize projects for implementation.

3.    Attendees will learn Basic Design, Landscape Architectural and Project Management tools & techniques which will assist them in applying sustainability criteria and guidelines for New Trail Design & Trail Rehabilitation on the ground.

4.    Attendees will be able to understand the relationship between New Trail Design methods and Guidelines for Sustainability Assessment / Planning / Design / Implementation / Ecological Restoration / Maintenance, Rehabilitation & Armor Spectrum.

5.    Attendees will learn to develop recommendations for the Optimum Mountain Trail Corridor location and compare that to the Existing Mountain Trail Corridor location and to prioritize segments for Implementation.

6.    "The Challenge is … to be Patient!" Attendees will learn the implications of their incremental decisions to their effect on the environment and Project Life Cycle cost and encouraged to craft strategies that reflect their Mountain Trail Sustainability Ethic.


Presenters for the Webinar: Hugh Duffy, Danny Basch, and Ian Brighton.

Hugh Duffy, PLA, ASLA, LEED, GA, PMP is a Landscape Architect and Project Manager with the National Park Service -   - Website:


photo of man with snowy tree

Hugh Duffy

Mr. Duffy has been practicing landscape architecture with the National Park Service for 30 years, working on visitor centers, park roads, campgrounds, trailheads, bicycle paths, mountain trails, maintenance facilities, entrance signs, and waysides across the United States. He is the author of "Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails – Trail Assessment, Planning & Design Sketchbook, 2007 edition” for the National Park Service.

With extensive experience as a private consultant on mountain trail planning and design, he is the author of many park-wide trail plans for Colorado State Parks. Mr. Duffy has been trained in mountain trail management by the National Park Service and in conservation non-profit volunteer management by the Appalachian Mountain Club. He volunteered extensively with Volunteers for Outdor Colorado in the late 1980s (rising through the ranks to the Board of Directors (1988-90) and more recently was certified as a Master Instructor with the Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative now referred to as the Outdoor Stewardship Initiative. He combines his unique background as a landscape architect, experience with volunteer non-profits and as a private consultant when making recommendations for Sustainable Mountain Trails. He combines sketches with graphics, photos and maps with his written work, best exemplified by the success of his Sketchbook.

Mr. Duffy has conducted two-day field trainings in the Sketchbook process for the Colorado 14ers Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service, and for Rocky Mountain National Park. He contributed to the NPS Rule allowing for bicycle use in National Parks. He is the lead author of internal NPS guidelines, including being the primary author of Sustainability of Backcountry Trails – Minimizing Resource Impacts in 2012.

photo of man on a trail

Danny Basch



Danny Basch, National Park Service - Facility Manager of Operations, Rocky Mountain National Park

Danny Basch is an active trail user and enthusiastic advocate.  His love for the outdoors was fostered as a youngster in what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park and cemented when his family moved to Estes Park, Colorado, in 1983. 

Since then, he has gained over 20 years of experience maintaining and managing the trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park and currently oversees the operations branch of facility management.  




photo of man on horse

Ian Brighton





Ian Brighton, National Park Service - Facilities Management Systems Specialist, Rocky Mountain National Park

Ian Brighton has worked on trails for over 20 years. He works at Rocky Mountain National Park as a Facilities Management Systems Specialist where he helps manage and inventory the Park’s extensive trail system. Currently he has been leading the effort to reroute trails heavily impacted by the historic flood of 2013.

He began his career with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks and helped maintain 144 miles of recreational trails and designed over 10 miles of the Doudry Draw/Marshall Mesa multi-use trail system. He has extensive experience with all phases of trail design from conception to implementation.

In addition to field experience, Mr. Brighton has an M.A. in Landscape Architecture and has also been certified as a Master instructor with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute. He has completed the 2-day “Trails Sketchbook “ training led by Hugh Duffy in 2013 and has volunteered extensively with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.


See Hugh Duffy's publications:

Photo of dirt trail on hillside

Each webinar in this series is independent of each other and can be attended individually:



Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF




Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


business directory


trail database

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign me up for American Trails Action Alerts and e-Newsletters">Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.


PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.