Sustainable Trail Guidelines

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.

by National Park Service

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.

About the Author


The National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916 and today manages over 390 units found in all 50 states and some of the U.S. territories. NPS supports and operates trails in three interlocking arenas: trails in parks, technical assistance to States and communities, and administration of much of the National Trails System.

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