Construction and Design


Sam Houston Multiple-Use Trail - Texas

Drainage work on the Sam Houston Multiple-Use Trail

The Sam Houston Multiple-Use Trail (SHMUT) boasts the only designated OHV trail system located on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands in Texas.

After decades of use, combined with ineffective maintenance and some poorly located or constructed trails, this trail system needed major restoration.

In 2006 and 2007, the USFS was granted RTP funds by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to renovate this trail system. Total funding from these two RTP grants was $770,000.

The USFS worked to create a coalition of parties interested in improving and maintaining the SHMUT, consisting of USFS staff, Trail Riders of Houston (TRH), TPWD, and the USFS Trails Unlimited (TU) Enterprise Team, who served as project managers.

During this extensive restoration project, TU introduced a unique trail innovation: the use of pre-engineered fiberglass reinforced polymer bridges to replace the more traditional wooden bridges. To date, three fiberglass bridges have been assembled and installed on the SHMUT. TU also introduced the use of corrugated "arched culverts," made from recycled high-density polyethylene, to replace conventional round corrugated metal culverts and hardened stream crossings. Each of the innovations will ultimately lead to a more sustainable trail system.

Throughout this process, TU has taught basic and advanced classes on trail design, layout and planning, as well as a SWECO trail dozer certification class. TRH members will use this training and experience to help USFS staff maintain the SHMUT.

Building the bridge on U.S. Forest Service lands in Texas

Building the bridge on U.S. Forest Service lands in Texas

Armoring a drainage crossing

Armoring a drainage crossing

More winners of this award

2023: Cacapon State Park Foundation Mountain Bike Trail Program

2023: Hawks Rest Pack Stock Bridge Installation

2021: Vermilion Falls Trail

2021: Climax Tunnel Rehabilitation

2020: Blue Ridge Tunnel Rehabilitation & Trail Project

2020: Milan Trail Huggers Nash Stream Bridge

2019: Weed Patch Mountain Trail

2018: Ouachita National Recreation Trail Shelters - Arkansas and Oklahoma

2017: Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area - Pennsylvania

2016: Kanab Creek OHV Bridge - Utah

2015: Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point Trail Project - Colorado

2015: Joanna Trail Project - Missouri

2014: Abbott Motocross Park - Nebraska

2014: Millersburg Historic Park and Trailhead - Michigan

2013: East and West Twin Creek Bridges - Michigan

2012: Chattahoochee Nature Trails - Florida

2012: Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway - Nevada

2011: Iron Range OHV Recreation Area - Minnesota

2010: Agassiz Recreational Trail - Minnesota

2008: Wanoga Snopark Shelter - Oregon

2007: Potato Knob Trail at Holly River State Park - West Virginia

2006: Indian Canyon Trailhead - California

2006: Upper Waiakea ATV/Dirt Bike Park - Hawaii

2006: County Line Acres Bikeway - Ohio

2005: River Bluff Trail Project - Indiana

2005: Red Creek Bridge - Michigan

2005: MKT Trailhead Project - Missouri

2004: Diana Bend Conservation Area Trail Project - Missouri

2004: Sweetser Switch Trail Project - Indiana

2003: Jane Addams Trail - Illinois

2003: Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area - West Virginia

2003: Ten Mile Snopark Facilities - Oregon