filed under: surfacing
A Guide to Designing and Constructing Native-surface Trails
What is a sustainable trail? Building a sustainable trail system takes into account many factors. Most importantly, a sustainable trail should have as little impact to the environment as possible; this is accomplished through proper trail planning, design, construction and maintenance. A properly built trail will last for generations to come with little maintenance needed and will blend into the natural surroundings.
Prepared By: Richard Havel, Trails Planner for Town of Castle Rock, Parks & Recreation
Native-surface trails, also known as soft-surface trails, use the existing site materials to construct the final trail; this defers from paved trails in which, in some circumstances, asphalt or concrete may be used as the trail material. Because of the nature of the material used to construct native-surface, the principles of sustainable trail development are vital to the longevity of the trail system as a whole.
Well-constructed trails will withstand erosion and are more enjoyable to use. Poorly designed trails will create an unpleasant experience for riders and walkers as well as a financial and volunteer resource drain.
This guideline will focus on native-surface development guidelines to help insure the success of the final trail.
Published May 2009
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is a unique internationally recognized protected natural area encompassing more than 250,000 acres and a 2,190-mile footpath from Maine to Georgia.
This research investigates horse trail impacts to gain an improved understanding of the relationship between various levels of horse use, horse trail management alternatives, and subsequent horse trail degradation.
A compilation of best practices and guidelines for the planning, design, construction, and management of your trail employing sustainable design.
If a hard surface recreational trail is in your future, you owe it to yourself to look at the benefits of cost, construction and long term reduced maintenance that can only come with a trail paved with concrete. (This article is sponsored content.)