A sustainable trails that complies with the trail accessibility guidelines without changing the setting or outdoor experience.
At Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, New Hampshire, sustainable trails are also accessible trails. The Crotched Mountain Foundation’s new trail system was designed and built to the proposed federal trail accessibility guidelines and was official opened in June 2011.
The trail system is fully accessible, ranging from a wetland loop at the lowest point to a stunning vista at the summit of a knoll 300 feet above. The entire trail is perched on the southerly side of Crotched Mountain with views of Mt. Monadnock.
The trail system provides a total of 3.6 miles of pedestrian recreation through lowbush blueberry fields, pine forests, dense hardwoods, meadows, and wetlands. It provides a thorough visual explanation of the morphology of this part of southwestern New Hampshire.
Construction of these trails was accomplished over a four-year period using native materials for the stone trail structures and the trail surfacing. Bridges and boardwalks were constructed of imported materials. The majority of the trail system is a 5 foot wide treadway. Other sections are 4 feet wide and 3 foot wide. A combination of machine built and hand built trail exists on the property.
This sustainable trail system has become the focal point for training workshops on trail development using the proposed federal trail accessibility guidelines.
For more information on the trails at Crotched Mountain please visit www.crotchedmountain.org.
Published October 11, 2017
Permeable Pavers provide stable, low-impact pathway through Rookery Bay Research Reserve.
The emergence of electric bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes, is a rapidly growing component of the bicycle market in the US. As a transportation option, they represent an opportunity to reduce vehicle use and emissions, as well as the physical barriers to cycling. For use on trails, they present similar opportunities to reduce barriers to cycling but, as a new use, present new challenges for trail management.
What is a sustainable trail? Building a sustainable trail system takes into account many factors. Most importantly, a sustainable trail should have as little impact to the environment as possible; this is accomplished through proper trail planning, design, construction and maintenance. A properly built trail will last for generations to come with little maintenance needed and will blend into the natural surroundings.
The growth in recreational trails owned by the State, Cities, Counties, and Park systems over the last 20 plus years has exploded. Most if not all efforts related to recreational trails over these years has been focused on construction of new trails. There have been little organized efforts in trail preservation and or preventive maintenance (PM) methods to extend the usable life of the trails. The agencies that have a PM programs for their recreational trails rely on treatments that started out as highway or street treatments that may have been modified for use on the trails.