San Jose Trail Network Toolkit Planning & Design

This Toolkit documents the San Jose’s approach to quality planning and design to ensure a common understanding by all persons involved in the championing, planning, and design of trail projects.

by City of San Jose - Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services

The City of San José is a recognized national leader for trail development and its network approach to ensure equitable access to recreation and active transportation trails. The high quality of San José’s trail network occurred through a focus on innovation, data-driven decision making, access through major barriers, beneficial partnerships, and focused and rapid paced development. This Toolkit documents the City’s approach to quality planning and design to ensure a common understanding by all persons involved in the championing, planning, and design of trail projects.

Use of this toolkit and adherence to its guidelines ensure that trails meet functional and aesthetic objectives, provide common and familiar infrastructure, and advance the state of the practice. The Toolkit is purposely general and broad when defining preferred planning and design approaches.

San José has one of the nation’s largest trail networks which leads to numerous opportunities and constraints. Planners and designers should view the Toolkit as a starting point and rely on related local, state, and federal documents for detailed guidance based on specific site conditions.

The Toolkit has been formatted for quick access to key details. It serves as a starting point to gain a general understanding of the “why” and “what” of planning and design decisions. Photographs, figures, and charts are used when possible to reinforce subject matter.

Attached document published July 2018

About the Author


San José has hundreds of unique and breath-taking venues perfect for an outside day. Visit one of San José’s 200+ parks, hike along 60 miles of scenic trails or visit a regional park.

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