State of the Art Technology for Modern Trails

Today’s techno-savvy trail users expect to be able to plan and preview their trail experience with accurate GPS and GIS data viewed in programs like Google Earth.

by J. Scott Groenier, PE, Project Leader, Structures, USDA Forest Service, Chip Young, Trail Specialist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Today’s techno-savvy trail users expect to be able to plan and preview their trail experience with accurate GPS and GIS data viewed in programs like Google Earth. Trail managers also expect to use modern technology like time-lapsed video from a basic digital camera to detect changes in trails or trail use over time. This session will address some of those technologies, and it will also describe how the US Forest Service’s Technology Transfer program keeps track of these emerging uses of technology and lets users and land managers know how to find and use such technologies.

About the Authors

J. Scott Groenier began working for MTDC in November 2003 as a civil engineering project leader for structures. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a master’s degree from Montana State University. He started working on trail projects over 30 years ago for the Youth Conservation Corps and has worked for the USDA Forest Service for over 20 years on trails, trail bridges, and other recreation projects.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is a Florida government agency founded in 1999 and headquartered in Tallahassee. It manages and regulates the state's fish and wildlife resources, and enforces related laws.

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