Mountain Bike Trail Development

Guidelines for Successfully Managing the Process

The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) recognized the need to create a resource for mountain bike (MTB) trail construction that would assist land and park managers seeking to build sustainable trails. The result of this effort is the Mountain Bike Trail Development Guidelines, a comprehensive “how to” that breaks down the process from start to finish beginning with assessing the project and ending with how to maintain the newly built trails.

The Guidelines for Successful Mountain Bike Trail Development book was written for land managers (professionals in city, county, state, federal, land trust, and special use permit entities such as ski area managers) who have the responsibility of bringing bike-optimized mountain bike trails to their communities. This guide is solely focused on mountain biking and the unique aspects that the activity brings to the park planning process. As a result, this guide will not address general park infrastructure such as parking lots, restrooms, and trailhead kiosks, other than to mention when they should be considered.

The goal of this guide is to provide a high- level understanding of mountain bike trail development so that land managers are able to manage the process and communicate knowledgeably with stakeholders, partners, trail contractors, trail users, and advocates. The guide assumes the reader has no current knowledge or experience in the mountain bike and/or trails industry.

Attached document published May 2023

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