Trail Planning Skills and Competencies

Specific skills used in planning individual trails and greenways; identifying routes and experiences for park systems; developing plans for regional and statewide systems; developing goals and objectives for trail projects.

by American Trails Staff


Skills for Natural Surface Trail Planning

  • Identifying goals, activities, routes, and alternatives
  • Sustainable trail planning
  • Planning for different trail activites or shared uses
  • Analyzing resources and visitor needs as part of trail system planning
  • Planning for off-highway vehicle parksand use areas
  • Using and interpreting aerial photographs

Skills for Urban Trail and Bike/Ped Planning

  • Planning greenways and river corridors
  • Including trails in utility and transportation corridors
  • Planning systems of on-street and trail facilities
  • Planning intermodal bicycle/pedestrian facilities

Skills for Regional and Statewide Trail Planning

  • Identifying uses, needs, and opportunities
  • Conducting surveys and public input on plans
  • Identifying and mapping potential corridors

Skills for Multi-objective Planning

  • Working with utility, transportation, and other corridors to include trails
  • Participate in land use planning process at the county, state, and regional levels
  • Plan trails in conjunction with driving tours, scenic byways, and other tourism program
  • Provide advice in the evaluation and study process for proposed national scenic and historic trails
  • Using public involvement strategies and designing and evaluating public involvement processes