Trail Fundamentals and Trail Management Objectives

This publication provides comprehensive guidance and instructions for applying Trail Fundamentals and Trail Management Objectives. This 2016 published version includes the original 2008 content, along with updated photos and formatting.

by Federal Highway Administration, USDA Forest Service

Trail Fundamentals provide an integrated means to consistently record and communicate the intended design and management guidelines for trail design, construction, maintenance and use. Before completing documentation for Trail Management Objectives (TMO), Trail Assessment and Condition Surveys (TRACS), or applying Trail Fundamentals in trail management, it is essential to clearly understand their intent.

Attached document published September 2016

About the Authors


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the US Department of Transportation, provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections. The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.


To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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