filed under: user management


Planning and Managing Environmentally Friendly Mountain Bike Trails

This guidebook can be used to assist in successfully planning, designing, and constructing mountain bike trail systems, while keeping in mind that user issues must be addressed at every stage of development.


Managing MTB Trails


As a relatively new recreational activity now enjoyed by tens of millions, it’s critical that mountain biking is well understood by land managers and policy makers in terms of its impact on the ecological and social environment. This document is meant to be an assistive tool. It complements existing strategies, such as the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Action Plan (November 2002), adding to our lessons learned in the field.

Field research, such as the project described in this guidebook, can provide managers and policy makers with specific information, especially with respect to construction, maintenance, user education and messaging, that will allow sustainable mountain bike use on recreation trails.

This guidebook can be used to assist in successfully planning, designing, and constructing mountain bike trail systems, while keeping in mind that user issues must be addressed at every stage of development. It’s important to understand what constitutes a high quality mountain biking experience and what benefits motivate mountain bikers if we are building a sustainable mountain bike trail system. It also provides necessary information for deciding among recreation and trail uses for any given site. The Lake Tahoe Basin case study is just one example of how recreation managers are successfully incorporating a user-based approach into planning for sustainable trail management. Responsible planning calls for inclusion of outside ideas. At the very core of this research design was the use of outside expertise and labor to collect data for planning and designing trails.

Published June 2006

More Articles in this Category

ORV – Social & Management Issues

Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings.

The influence of use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss from recreational trails

This research investigated the influence of several use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss on recreational trails and roads at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the U.S. National Park Service.

All-Terrain Vehicle Sustainability Assessments

The sustainable management of ATV use is an expensive proposition requiring careful design, construction, and maintenance of ATV trails.

Assessing the Condition and Sustainability of the Trail System at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

This research assessed the condition and sustainability of the trail system at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, a National Park Service unit that partners with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the management of this unit.