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 31, 2009
Permeable Pavers provide stable, low-impact pathway through Rookery Bay Research Reserve.
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.
The growth in recreational trails owned by the State, Cities, Counties, and Park systems over the last 20 plus years has exploded. Most if not all efforts related to recreational trails over these years has been focused on construction of new trails. There have been little organized efforts in trail preservation and or preventive maintenance (PM) methods to extend the usable life of the trails. The agencies that have a PM programs for their recreational trails rely on treatments that started out as highway or street treatments that may have been modified for use on the trails.