Categories, lists, and definitions of skills used in trails and greenways work, along with links to classes and resources for training.
This area categorizes and defines the wide range of skills used in trails and greenways work. The goal is to comprehensively identify the range of competencies and knowledge used by staff and volunteers engaged in every kind of trail work. Web pages for the 12 topics provide a catalogue of skills, plus links to resources, publications, and training providers.
Compiled by Stuart Macdonald from resources provided by members of the National Trails Training Partnership. Many of the specific skills were identified by the task force for the National Scenic and Historic Trails Training Needs Assessment.
Click on each category name to reach the expanded page with details of jobs, competencies, and skills for each topic.
1. Trail Design
Layout of trails; design for different trail activities; types of trails.
Trail building; construction techniques; surfacing and materials; bridges and boardwalks; trailhead facilities; related structures; recreational facilities.
Care and maintenance of trails, greenways, and bikeways; repair of various trail elements; maintenance of trailheads and related facilities.
Managing trails for a variety of uses and visitor experiences while meeting trail objectives, monitoring activities and their impacts on natural, historic, and cultural resources.
Interpreting regulations and legislation; applying federal laws on environmental, historic issues; providing accessible routes under the Americans with Disabilities Act; developing and enforcing trail regulations; responding to legal issues.
Planning individual trails and greenways; identifying routes and experiences for park systems; developing plans for regional and statewide systems; developing goals and objectives for trail projects.
Budgeting; developing costs; managing grants and finding programs; managing staff and volunteers; managing projects; identifying funding sources; working with a variety of funding; writing grant proposals.
Development of organizations for trails and greenways work: creating and building a nonprofit organization; managing boards and staff; recruiting, training, and rewarding volunteers; managing finances and legal issues.
Creating and maintaining partnerships; interagency project management; structuring agreements among partners; nurturing cooperation among a variety of recreation and conservation interests; planning trail systems across jurisdictional lines.
Management of natural resources that host trails and greenways: monitoring impacts of visitors and natural processes; acquisition and protection of trail corridors; conservation and restoration of habitat and natural areas.
Database management; website development; trail and facility inventories; trail assessment and maintenance records; identifying and gathering needed information.
Signs and public information; communicating regulations and etiquette; marketing of trails and recreation opportunities; environmental education; interpretation of historic and cultural features.
The 3-mile long Kalaupapa Trail is the only access point in and out of the remote community of Kalaupapa on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. When a land-slide took out an old aluminum bridge, cutting off this access point, park officials looked to an FRP bridge for its light weight, corrosion resistance, and design flexibility.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27, 2020, provides the Economic Development Administration (EDA) with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to strengthen communities.
The best answer that you will get for how wide a trail should be is “It depends.”
Survey of skills and competencies to assist in developing a national training strategy for National Scenic and Historic Trails