filed under: maintenance best practices
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Successful management of trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), the Park, will be critical for the protection of park resources and to provide safe and enjoyable recreational trails to the trail user. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines were developed with two primary objectives: to evaluate and prioritize strategies that will improve the existing trail system, and to introduce new trails that can be managed with minimal resources. The Guidelines will assist the Park in setting benchmarks for trail conditions that will result in an optimum trail system within the Park. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines set forth to serve as the primary Standard Operating Procedure document for trails management in CVNP. Establishing the CVNP Sustainable Trail Guidelines will be the first step towards implementation of the 2012 Trail Management Plan.
The existing trails in CVNP were implemented over the past 25 years in many different forms including the utilization of old roads and carriage trails, ad-hoc trail making, and professional trail design. Since these early approaches of establishing trails in the Park, trail design methods have evolved and improved. Today’s trail design methods lessen the impacts of the trails on the land, improve visitor safety and experience, and reduce park management resource needs. The Park established Trail Standards in 2001 and Trail Maintenance & Construction Guidelines in 2008. The Trail Guidelines in this document will serve to update the existing standards and incorporate new methods and procedures for the Park’s current and future trails related to planning, design, construction and management. The Guidelines will assist Park staff and Park partners to provide and sustain trails in the Cuyahoga Valley for the enjoyment of future generations while protecting park resources.
Published June 2012
This manual has been written to aid crew leaders working with trail work volunteers. It assumes the following priorities, in order of importance, for every volunteer trail work event: 1) Safety, 2) Enjoyment, 3) Quality product, 4) Productivity.
As a crew leader you represent the CTF. One of your main jobs is to convey the CTF’s thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to making and preserving The Colorado Trail as a national treasure.
Outdoor leadership skills can be developed and improved over time through a combination of self-study, formal training and experience. Leadership trainings are offered frequently by volunteers and staff of the AMC. The trainings range from a single day to a weekend. If you are looking for additional training, the AMC offers several courses each season through the Guided Outdoors program.
Trails research can help support trail management decision-making and funding by providing objective, quantitative information describing trail users, their numbers and demographics, preferences, and economic expenditures.