310 views • posted 07/15/2022 • updated 08/21/2023
Trail and Recreation Site Conditions and Management
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is a unique internationally recognized protected natural area encompassing more than 250,000 acres and a 2,190-mile footpath from Maine to Georgia.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is a unique internationally recognized protected natural area encompassing more than 250,000 acres and a 2,190-mile footpath from Maine to Georgia. A.T. management responsibilities are shared through a unique collaborative partnership between the National Park Service’s Appalachian Trail Park Office (ATPO), the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), federal, state, and local land managers, and 31 volunteer trail clubs. The diverse array of latitude, elevation, and moisture gradients traversed by the A.T. contributes to a rich biological assemblage of flora and fauna, while also accommodating opportunities for more than three million visitors/year. The A.T. attracts local, regional, national, and international visitors, supporting day hikes, weekend backpacking, and camping trips, section-hikes, and thru-hikes of the entire trail in a single year.
This research was funded by ATPO and administered by the ATC to accomplish the following core research objectives: 1) Provide quantitative, spatially-related, baseline documentation of the A.T. tread, informal trails, and recreation sites (overnight and day-use) to characterize the type, areal extent, and severity of visitation-related resource impacts to vegetation and soils, 2) Statistically analyze data to evaluate trail design and alignment attributes and recreation site biophysical attributes to develop sustainability models, ratings, and guidance, 3) Conduct analyses of tread and recreation site data to identify and describe the relative influence of key use-related, environmental, and managerial factors that can be manipulated through design and management actions to minimize resource and experiential impacts, and 4) Formulate Best Management Practices describing actions (educational/interpretive, regulatory, and site/facility management) that avoid or minimize resource and experiential impacts.
posted Nov 25, 2023
This white paper provides collected best practices on winter bikeway maintenance as seen in US cities and around the world. The paper covers snow removal from bikeways, different types of de-icing surface applications and their advantages/disadvantages, and best practices for winter maintenance prioritization and scheduling. The paper also includes a brief discussion on innovative winter maintenance techniques either in use or in development.
posted Nov 25, 2023
Who is responsible for winter maintenance—property owners or government agencies—and what are the challenges?
posted Aug 23, 2023
What would it take for all Americans to be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes be on trails that wind through their cities, towns or villages and bring them back without retracing steps?
posted Feb 14, 2023
The primary goal of this study was to understand who uses the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), how they use it, their preferences, and the economic impact of the CDT in the region. Additional data were also collected regarding protecting public lands and using the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado.