Recommended Resources

Trail-Specific Recommended Resources

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published Jan 2011

Adopt-a-Trail Manual

by National Park Service

The Adopt-a-Trail manual addresses the work accomplished in the Adopt-a-Trail program. This manual is meant to acquaint the maintainer with park procedures, duties involved in adopting a trail, and methods for safely performing those duties.


published Dec 2015

Best Management Practices for Adaptive Trail Grooming

by American Council of Snowmobile Assns. (ACSA)

Trail grooming has changed significantly since initial trails and grooming programs were established decades ago. Snowmobile tourism has grown, bringing higher user expectations and requirements. At the same time trail grooming equipment and operating costs have also increased dramatically compared to costs in previous decades. Consequently grooming management in today’s operating atmosphere requires more adaptive approaches to be most responsive to increased needs, expectations, and costs.


published Jun 2012

Best Practices for Bicycle Trail Pavement Construction and Maintenance in Illinois

by Illinois Center for Transportation

The main objectives of this report were to provide the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) with guidelines for the structural design of bicycle trail pavement and recommendations for bicycle trail pavement maintenance.


published May 2018

Best Practices for Trail Management

by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Maricopa County (AZ) has put together a comprehensive guide to best practices in trail planning, construction, and maintenance. The 99-page guide includes Planning Objectives for a variety of trail types, motorized as well as nonmotorized. Barrier-free trails are also discussed, along with vegetation management, signs and wayfinding, and many more details of trail development and sustainable maintenance.


published Jun 2011

Billings, Montana Trail Asset Management Plan

by Yellowstone County Metropolitan Planning Organization

Billings has successfully implemented over 35 miles of trail in the last 15 years, causing concern over how the trails will be maintained, which departments are responsible for maintenance, and how it will be funded.


published May 1999

Burke-Gilman Trail Vegetation Management Guidelines

Approaches to vegetation management and restoration, including native character, views, tree planting, invasive species, soil erosion control, and hazard tree management.


published Nov 2003

Caring for Cairns at Acadia National Park

by National Park Service

Cairns need care. For the trail user, the message is clear: "Preserve the mountain landscape. Please do not add to or build cairns or other rock objects. Leave the mountain and the rocks as you find them."


Jun 18, 2020

CEQA Strategies to Streamline Wildfire Fuel Reduction

The session will provide an overview of the new statewide California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) and provide practical and helpful “how to” information about using the CalVTP Program EIR (instead of your own!) to streamline fire fuel projects.


published Aug 2016

Community Trail Development Guide

by Virginia Department of Transportation

VDOT developed this guide to aid the process of grassroots trail planning, based on the knowledge of experienced planners, research of best practices around the nation as well as the State, and the understanding gained from trail development process in the Town of Middleburg.


published Jul 2019

DCR Trails Guidelines and Best Practices Manual

by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

The DCR’s Trails Program seeks to provide a safe, quality recreation experience for a diverse range of trail users while practicing sound stewardship of the Commonwealth’s natural and cultural resources. This “Trails Guidelines and Best Practices Manual” meets this responsibility by providing a consistent set of trail management policies, guidelines, procedures, and best practices in sustainable trail development.


published May 2021

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.


published Dec 2020

FAQ: Graffiti on Trails

by American Trails Staff

Solutions to graffiti on trails.