Visitor and Trail Management Skills and Competencies

Specific skills used in management of trails and greenways: facility management; urban trail and bike/ped management; visitor management.

by American Trails Staff

Skills for Natural Surface Trail Management

  • Manage trails for a variety of uses and visitor experiences while meeting trail objectives
  • Monitoring activities and their impacts on natural, historic, and cultural resources
  • Managing off-highway vehicle routes and trails
  • Managing use of on-snow routes for skiers, snowmobilers, and other winter activities

Skills for Management of Trail-related Facilities

  • Identifying problem areas for drainage and water impacts
  • Tracking use and potential problems at parking areas and trailheads

Skills for Urban Trail and Bike/Ped Facility Management

  • Determining visitor satisfaction with materials and surfacing
  • Surveying trail users and adjacent land uses for satisfaction and impacts
  • Creating benchmarks and standards to assess trail use, condition, and potential problems

Skills for Visitor Management

  • Identifying conflicts among users and concerns with various trail activities
  • Using facilitation skills to lead meetings and resolve disputes
  • Analyzing the economic and social impacts of trails on local and regional scales
  • Developing policy and guidelines for events, commercial services, and permits
  • Distributing information on trail conditions, permit requirements, and trip planning
  • Developing Adopt-a-Trail programs for volunteers and clubs

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

The Trail Partnership Research Project

Jun 20, 2024

This webinar reviews the findings from a study with the Forest Service and National Park Service discussing the factors that make partnerships more or less successful and provides recommendations to improve current and future partnerships.

A Parking Roadmap: Where to Start When Managing Parking for Your Trail

Jun 6, 2024

This webinar will break down how successful agencies manage parking, discuss common strategies and solutions to consider, and how to successfully deploy them.

More resources in this category

The Trail Partnership Research Project Final Report

posted Jun 21, 2024

This project applied a research-based approach to examine and assess existing trail stewardship partnerships and to provide on-the-ground managers with knowledge and practical strategies to increase capacity and improve their ability to engage in effective partnerships for trail work.

Trail User Survey and Business Survey Report

posted Jun 12, 2024

In 2014 the Trail Town Program® conducted a trail user survey along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP Trail runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, spanning 150 miles. This trail is visited by almost a million users every year generating economic impact along the way. The trail itself is owned and operated by several local trail organizations and merge under one coalition known as the Allegheny Trail Alliance.

Benchmarking Bike Networks

posted Apr 17, 2024

This report summarizes guidance and best practices to create safer bicycle facilities and connect them into networks that allow more people to safely bike to more places within and throughout communities.

Setting Speed Limits for Health and Safety

posted Apr 17, 2024

This mini-report on setting speed limits shows the current framework for speed limit policies through a review of state laws that set speed limits.


1,695 views • posted 12/30/2019