Santa Clara County Parks

Parks Trail Specialist

Posted: February 22, 2021
Location: Throughout the County of Santa Clara, CA
Time Commitment: Full-time

Under general supervision, to perform skilled and semi-skilled work in the design, layout, assessment, survey, monitoring, maintenance, construction and reconstruction of natural surface trails throughout the Santa Clara County Parks system.

Job Responsibilites

  • Performs trail assessments including, identifying, inventorying, tracking, and recommending corrective actions to erosion and public safety concern areas on County Park trail systems;
  • Provides project lead for various trail construction, reconstruction and maintenance projects;
  • Identifies, installs and assists Park staff with erosion control and natural/cultural resource protection best management practices, as required (which may include, but not limited to: silt fence, armoring of drainage structure outfalls, armoring culvert outfalls and maintaining culvert headwalls and catch basins, etc.);
  • Assists in the implementation and management of the trail sign program (including trailhead signs), which includes working with the Park Planning and Development staff in surveying trail mileage, sign locations and ordering of materials;
  • Assists and implements staff, volunteer, and/or contractor training and development related to trails and roads construction and maintenance;
  • Implements a trail assessment program for current conditions of trail structures and a complete inventory of trail conditions including: conducting field surveys and documenting, trail issues and recommending corrective actions while creating data files of existing trail work; trail assessments and mapping using various computer systems and software (including databases, mapping software, GIS/GPS, timekeeping software, Word, Excel spreadsheets, etc.);
  • Monitors, tracks, records and documents trail assessment and user survey data;
  • Assigns costs and labor needs for trail construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and identified corrective actions using trail assessment software programs;
  • Implements a trail classification matrix which includes; surveying all park trails for use and trail work priorities;
  • Implements the design and field layout of new trails and other trail projects, including scouting, flagging and mapping of proposed trail routes, manual and mechanized construction of trail treads and trail features and coordination with volunteers and park unit staff on the ongoing maintenance of trails;
  • Clears trail corridor with manual tools, power tools, (i.e., chain saw and brush saws), volunteers, contractors or mechanized equipment;
  • Constructs, reconstructs and maintains natural surface trails and roads, using mechanized road and trail equipment (including: mini-excavators, SWECO trail dozers, skip-loaders), volunteers, contractors and/or hand tools;
  • Compacts tread with plate compactor or mechanized equipment and portable water systems;
  • Procures trail-building supplies, equipment and gear;
  • Transports soils, building materials and equipment as needed;
  • Assesses and installs armored tread using native or imported rock and amendments;
  • Constructs, assists in construction, assesses, tracks and maintains trail structures and features (i.e., bridges, boardwalks, retaining walls, rock-armored crossings, rolling dips, etc.);
  • Works and coordinates with Park staff, volunteers or contractors to identify trail work, determine and implement corrective actions;
  • Mentors and trains volunteers and staff on aspects of trail layout/design, assessments, maintenance and construction;
  • Maintains all necessary logs or records as assigned;
  • Assists and coordinates the implementation of the Volunteer Trail Programs;
  • Assists and coordinates with partnering organizations, land managers, volunteers, park unit staff and regulatory agencies;
  • May be project supervisor of contractors and volunteers;
  • Implements natural resource management practices, laws and regulations regarding wildlife and sensitive species protection, storm water protection, related to trail construction and maintenance;
  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as required;
  • Performs other duties as required.

Required Qualifications

Employment Standards:

Sufficient training and experience to demonstrate the ability to perform the above tasks and the attainment of the following knowledge and abilities.

Training and Experience Note: The knowledge and abilities required to perform this function are attained through possession of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Three (3) years of experience in trail layout, trail design, trail management and/or trail construction.
Possession of an Associate Degree from an accredited college in Park Management, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, or a related field.
One (1) year trail experience in trail layout, trail design, trail management and/or trail construction.

Special Requirements:

  • Possession of a valid California driver's license prior to appointment, and the ability to qualify for and maintain a County driver's permit;
  • Possession of a Standard First Aid and CPR certificate issued by an authorized provider before completion of the probationary period;
  • Obtain any licenses and/or certificates required by State, Federal and other governmental agencies, to perform the Typical Tasks;
  • Willingness to work an alternate work schedule including weekends, special events or volunteer events;
  • Wear a prescribed uniform and safety boots.

Knowledge of:

  • Construction, maintenance, repair, assessment, trail trends/use and reconstruction methods common to park trails, including accessibility;
  • Natural Resource concepts and principles of basic biology. Basic understanding of Federal, state and local laws regarding wildlife habitat, sensitive species considerations, storm water protection and related regulations;
  • Hydrologic processes that aides in the field design of drainage system reconstruction including ditch systems, culverts, switchbacks, climbing turns, stream fords, subdrains, backslope stabilization and fill sections;
  • Geologic features and processes, soils and terrain dynamics;
  • Design and implementation of complex cabling, rigging systems and related apparatus for trail structures such as retaining walls, bridges and removal of large trees;
  • Tread reconstruction and realignment;
  • Basic mathematical skills (algebra & trigonometry);
  • Various computer programs and hand held devices, such as GIS/GPS, spreadsheets, Word, databases, KRONOS and budget support software;

Ability to:

  • Hike or walk several miles a day in rugged terrain and extreme weather conditions in remote areas, off-trail and carrying up to 60 lbs. for short distances;
  • Work in remote areas with natural hazards such as, rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, wildlife, etc.;
  • Perform risk and hazard analysis and implement proper safety controls;
  • Lead and coordinate others on a project basis;
  • Safely and effectively operate and maintain specialized equipment such as ATV's, rock drills, rotary hammers, rock shaping tools and other trail tools
  • Work independently and as a team member, organize own work, set priorities and meet deadlines;
  • Troubleshoot working problems as they arise;
  • Communicate effectively and clearly both orally and in writing;
  • Make public presentations to community groups, conferences, staff, volunteers, government agencies, etc.;
  • Participate in public trail planning processes.

Salary and Benefits

$63,180.00 - $76,336.00 Annually. Benefit and Retirement information may vary from bargaining unit to bargaining unit. Due to changes in State Law, current pension provisions described in the union contracts are not automatically applied. Specific pension benefits for new hires who start on or after January 1, 2013 may be different than indicated in the union contracts.

Application Process

Apply online through