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published Feb 19, 2020

Maintenance Management Systems for Trails

by Lois Bachensky with USDA Forest Service

Trails work on federal lands is planned through a maintenance management system.


published Dec 30, 2019

Albany-Hudson Electric Trail Trail Maintenance Plan

by Hudson River Valley Greenway

The AHET is a 36-mile bicycling and pedestrian “rail-trail“ from the City of Rensselaer to the City of Hudson in Rensselaer and Columbia Counties on an actively used National Grid owned right of way. Trail


published Dec 30, 2019

Best Practices in Trail Maintenance

by Purdue University, College of Engineering

This manual is intended for practical use by trail maintenance managers. It will also be useful for policy makers who are tasked with anticipating and planning for maintenance budget and personnel needs. The recommendations included in this manual were chosen, in part, to facilitate widespread adoption by other trail operators. They are cost-effective solutions that require minimal technological or financial commitments.


published Aug 20, 2019

What You Need to Know About Building Trails with Crusher Fines

by Lois Bachensky with USDA Forest Service

A crusher fine trail combines the rustic feeling of a natural surface trail with a surface type that's durable (but not concrete or asphalt). The natural gravel-like surface feels more like a trail than a hard surfaced path and fits in well with primitive settings.


published Jan 23, 2019

FAQ: Do the low stream crossings for trails and greenways conform to accessibility guidelines?

by American Trails Staff

Low water crossings are designed to allow normal flow under the trail, and to be over-topped during seasonal floods.


published Aug 17, 2018

Low water stream crossings for trails and greenways

by Stuart Macdonald

Low water crossings are designed to allow normal flow under the trail, and to be over-topped during seasonal floods.


published Jul 1, 2017

Unpaved Non-Motorized Trail Guidelines

by Florida Office of Greenways and Trails

We all know a good trail when we’re on one. We’re not disoriented due to lack of signage or markers. We’re not climbing over downed trees or ducking under branches, and we’re not slogging through water or mud unless we’ve been forewarned beforehand. A good trail is one where we can fully enjoy our surroundings while challenging ourselves if that is our intent. Trails should provide for a variety of trail distances, loops, ecosystems, scenery and degrees of difficulty. As trail professionals, we should strive to make the best possible experience for users and learn from the past.


published Jan 1, 2016

Environmental Impacts from Mtn Bicycles, Electric Mtn Bicycles, & Motorcycles

by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)

The emergence of electric bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes, is a rapidly growing component of the bicycle market in the US. As a transportation option, they represent an opportunity to reduce vehicle use and emissions, as well as the physical barriers to cycling. For use on trails, they present similar opportunities to reduce barriers to cycling but, as a new use, present new challenges for trail management.


published Dec 31, 2015

FAQ: Slippery boardwalks and bridges

by American Trails Staff

Recommendations for anti-slip on wood surfaces.


published Jun 1, 2015

Maintenance Practices and Costs of Rail-Trails

by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)

This study presents a more comprehensive understanding of rail-trail maintenance, as has been done for other rail-trail issues such as construction costs, economic impact and rails-with-trails. Such an approach enables the rail-trail community to focus its limited resources more effectively on addressing the most critical issues.


published Mar 2, 2015

FAQ: When and where to use blazes or markers

by American Trails Staff

Best practices for blaze marking along trails


published Jul 1, 2014

Developing Trail Systems Toolkit

by San Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!)

Trails are more than simply lines on a map, a form of transportation or route to destinations. Trails are an experience. Engaging trails systems provide a sense of unique place, highlight natural topography and attract outdoor-based tourism. A vast and varied experience hooks trails users and leaves them wanting to return for more exploration. This tool kit offers suggestions for building destination-worthy trail systems.