filed under: maintenance best practices


FAQ: Apps for Trail Management and Volunteers

Information on apps that can be used for trail management that would be suitable for volunteer-type organizations.

photo credit: Kornel mahl, unsplash

Question

Recently we asked trail experts to weigh in on this question - "I am with a mountain biking club and we are looking for a more structured approach to inspection and maintenance of trails. We have access to an app developed by a similar group near us but are interested in looking at some alternatives before spending a lot of time setting up baseline data and protocols."

The answers we received are as follows

"Unfortunately, without good structure put in place in the front end, the data you get is less than desirable. When we did our full system assessment, we looked all over. While apps like Avenza allow you to collect data points with good information , you are severely limited in the processing of the data on the back of end because it is not put into a specific format. For our purposes, assessing maintenance needs for a 1300 mile trail system split up between 56 State Parks, Survey 1,2,3 was invaluable because it allowed us to control the data quality we received back, to an extent. Without it, there would get been lots of data quality issues and lots of post processing to make it useful."

"Avenza. I use it daily and can share maps, GIS track's, etc. with my organization and volunteers. Set way points, measure mileage, it has it all."

"The Feds are using Avenza a lot lately. We also occasionally use Gaia GPS. Both have corporate, nonprofit, and bulk discounts for organizations!"

"They should speak with Colorado Mountain Club about the RIMS app. RIMS is a volunteer input app that CMC and the feds use to collect, report, store, and search for problems across many land management orgs and districts. It does exactly what they are looking for. https://www.cmc.org/RIMS.aspx"

"OSM tracker works really well. You can take notes, pictures, or even voice memos tied to GPS coordinates and then export them to Google Earth or Gaia"

Published May 2021

More Articles in this Category

Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona Crew Leader Manual

This manual has been written to aid crew leaders working with trail work volunteers. It assumes the following priorities, in order of importance, for every volunteer trail work event: 1) Safety, 2) Enjoyment, 3) Quality product, 4) Productivity.

Colorado Trail Foundation Crew Leader Handbook

As a crew leader you represent the CTF. One of your main jobs is to convey the CTF’s thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to making and preserving The Colorado Trail as a national treasure.

Appalachian Mountain Club 2022 Outdoor Leader Handbook

Outdoor leadership skills can be developed and improved over time through a combination of self-study, formal training and experience. Leadership trainings are offered frequently by volunteers and staff of the AMC. The trainings range from a single day to a weekend. If you are looking for additional training, the AMC offers several courses each season through the Guided Outdoors program.

A Call for Expanding Trails Research

Trails research can help support trail management decision-making and funding by providing objective, quantitative information describing trail users, their numbers and demographics, preferences, and economic expenditures.