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1,464 views • posted 09/22/2023 • updated 10/16/2023
This five-part course discusses what it means for a trail to be sustainable. It describes the lifecycle of sustainable trails and includes lessons on hydrology, structures, tools, tread and alignment.
Produced by American Trails, this course is available at for free at proValens Learning.
A Trail from Start to Finish is the introduction to the Foundations of Sustainable Trails series! This micro-learning course discusses what it means for a trail to be sustainable. It also describes the lifecycle of sustainable trails and each of the stages of that cycle.
Learn the basics of constructing and maintaining sustainable trails that function within the hydrology of their environment. You will learn about hydrology as the behavior of water over, under, and through the land, and you will learn some best practices for working with, rather than against, the trail’s hydrological setting.
This course serves as an introduction and overview to usage, construction, and form of critical trail structures. It begins with a focus on five main types of water crossings. Participants will be introduced to planning decisions based on trail conditions, use of crossing by visitors, and construction needs for each crossing. The course includes an overview of other structures key to trail sustainability and user experience.
Explore foundational concepts related to the safe trail use—all through the lens of developing and maintaining a sustainable trail. The course will outline the types of tools for trail work, their use in construction and maintenance, as well as the importance of good safety practices when using tools to work on trails.
Explore foundational concepts related to the principles and applications of trail tread and alignment—all through the lens of developing and maintaining a sustainable trail. This course will introduce basic trail design elements as well as processes and considerations for establishing trail tread.