Applying the Sustainable Trail Design Rules in the Real World

Five rules of sustainable trail design.

Presenter: Bruce Weidenhamer, Trail Volunteer – Certified Crew Leader, Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona/Arizona Trail Association

Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration in trail design and layout. Especially critical are the application of the five rules of sustainable trail design (contouring, 10%, 15%, half-rule, grade reversals). While these rules are easy to understand in a classroom setting, difficulties are often encountered when trying to apply the sustainable trail design rules in the field. The rules have to be applied as an integrated system to get the most sustainable trail, including the best compromises to be made when circumstances force the breaking of one or more of the rules.

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