Equestrian Trail Design and Best Practices

From Backcountry to Urban Edge Settings

Best practices for trail design planning, construction, and management in undeveloped natural areas and connecting to urban edge settings.

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Event Details

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April 16, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost:

  • CEUs are FREE for this webinar.
  • Download a recording


    Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
    Learning Credits
    are available for this webinar.

    Webinar Partners


    Webinar Outline

    Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Rhino Marking & Protection Systems, this webinar is free to the public.

    This webinar is a continuation of the webinar from August 2019 titled Equestrian Trail Design for Urban Shared Use Trails.

    The presenters will review best practices for trail design planning, construction, and management in undeveloped natural areas and connecting to urban edge settings. The webinar will include trailhead development, urban to wildland transition design, and equestrian trail features to provide best sustainability and lowest impact.

    Jim Coffman with Coffman Studio will discuss the 'merge/transition' areas from towns to wild land trails— how to design/where/how many, etc. Matt Woodson with Okanogan Trail Construction will then pick up and bring listeners into the mountains to discuss both trail techniques as well as best practices for equestrian use for maximum sustainability. Representatives from the Equine Land Conservation Resource and Backcountry Horsemen of America will open the webinar with introductions.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Improvement/re-alignment tips and techniques for degraded trails to help provide maximum durability and optimum sustainability.
    • Backcountry trail design and key points to consider for deciding optimum placement.
    • Key points for designing wildland to urban edge trail transitions for user/community friendly access and reduction of 'social' non-authorized trails and access points.


    This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).


    Matthew Woodson, President and Founder, Okanogan Trail Construction

    Matt Woodson has been a wilderness trails development contractor for over 35 years. He has worked extensively on remediation of trails for use primarily by packers and horseback guiding across the U.S. His work has even reached as far Africa working with the USFS to train locals to build and maintain trails to promote land/wildlife conservation efforts for the African Guerilla.

    Contact: [email protected]


    James "Jim" Coffman, President, Coffman Studio Landscape Architecture + Planning

    Jim Coffman is a registered Arizona and Arkansas landscape architect whose experience mixes 30+ years of environmentally conscious and sustainable, public, and private-sector work with over 13 years of teaching at Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas. Jim has completed over a dozen pedestrian and bicycle master plans in the southwest, and that work and his interest in active transportation caused him to be create and teach for the 4th time, an elective class in University of Arkansas’ Department of Landscape Architecture: Walk, Bike, Link: Active Transportation and Placemaking. The Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) honored Jim with the 2012 AZ Landscape Architect of the Year and the 2014 Educator of the Year. He is their Past-President and Past-Trustee. He is currently the Faculty Advisor for the UArk Student ASLA Chapter and University liaison with the Arkansas Chapter of the ASLA. He has an MLA from Ball State University and a BS in Business Management and Administration from Indiana University.

    Coffman Studio is a Tempe, Arizona-based landscape architecture and planning firm formed in 2004, specializing in open space, parks, recreation, multi-modal planning and design, custom residential design, and the creation of landscapes and communities that support sustainable, healthy, and inspired living. Our primary goal is the creation of a holistic connectivity between people, site, culture, and client needs. Coffman Studio’s work has been recognized through awards from Arizona Forward, the Arizona Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Planning Association, as well as being featured in Phoenix Home and Garden, Hearth and Home, and Atomic Ranch magazines, and in numerous feature articles on Houzz.com. Our public and private-sector client base results from the referrals of our satisfied clients, repeat business, and the strong reputations of the firm’s President, James Coffman, PLA and Principal, Justin Azevedo, PLA.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Justin Azevedo, Director of Landscape Architecture & Planning, Coffman Studio Landscape Architecture + Planning

    Justin, a licensed Arizona landscape architect, earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Arizona State University in 2014. He was a key participant in the Coffman Studio team that earned an Honor Award from the AZ Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the Skyline Regional Park Trails Master Plan. He has managed and participated in numerous park, trail and active transportation master plans, design and signage plans. His creative design skills were further recognized through Bronze and Gold Medals for garden designs at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. His background in construction and management helps to bring a grounded approach to problem solving from design through construction. In addition to his trail and active transportation work, his experience includes residential design, cost estimation, construction documents, and website design/build along with other skills. Justin is a Faculty Associate in the Landscape Architecture Department at Arizona State University, continuing Coffman Studio’s commitment to education and continual learning in the ever-changing design field.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Holley Groshek, Executive Director, Equine Land Conservation Resource

    Holley Groshek is the Executive Director of Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) an award winning educational based national nonprofit organization that works with communities, organizations, and individuals around the country to keep land open and accessible to horses and horse related activities. At the national level, ELCR has become the “go to” organization for land related issues within the equine community. The organization fulfills its mission working in partnership with a network of conservation partners at the national, state and local levels including organizations such as the Land Trust Alliance, United States Equestrian Federation, United States Eventing Association, Masters of Foxhounds Association, American Quarter Horse Association and various state and local equine and conservation related organizations. Ms. Groshek ‘s previous professional experience includes serving as Director of Administration and Equine Relations for the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games and Executive Director of the Kentucky World Trade Center. She holds an MBA with a concentration in marketing and international business and has over thirty years of executive experience in nonprofit management. Ms. Groshek is an avid horsewoman and enjoys riding and training horses in her spare time. Holley grew up in upstate New York and has more than twenty years of experience riding and competing as an amateur rider. Working for ELCR holds a special interest for Holley because she believes that loss of land for equine use is one of the most critical issues facing the equine community. Holley lives in Lexington with her dogs Nika and Gucci, and Peggy May. She enjoys riding and training horses in her free time.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Randy Rasmussen, Director of Public Lands and Recreation, Back Country Horsemen of America

    Randy Rasmussen has been Director or Public Lands & Recreation for Back Country Horsemen of America since 2012. He holds a masters’ degree in Natural Resources, Recreation & Tourism (Colorado State Univ., 1997). Since 1999, Randy served as field representative and recreation policy specialist for national conservation groups including The Wilderness Society and American Hiking Society. He forged partnerships with diverse allies and coordinated the conservation community’s response to recreation and “travel management” plans undertaken by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service. Randy has applied his knowledge of policy, grassroots organizing, science and economics in the protection of wildlands and quiet recreation. He was a Forest Service wilderness ranger and a volunteer river ranger for the BLM in Colorado. Randy is a founding board member of Trailkeepers of Oregon and was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to represents dispersed recreation for the Oregon Coast Range Provincial Advisory Committee.

    Contact: [email protected]


    Webinar Resources

    Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds – FREE COPIES AVAILABLE

    Click here for ELECTRONIC copy (via FHWA website)

    Click here for PHYSICAL COPY (pay for shipping only) (via American Trails Online Store)

    Coffman Studio Projects:

    Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space Master Plan: City of Goodyear, AZ

    Active Transportation Plan: City of Apache Junction, AZ (PDF)

    Skyline Park Trails Masterplan: City of Buckeye, AZ (PDF)

    Southern Region Trail Map: Trails of the City of Scottsdale, AZ McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Fall 2019 (PDF)


    Equine Land Conservation Resource


    BCHA mission, vision, history and state map:


    Find a local BCH chapter near you:


    BCHA education programs, including Leave No Trace:


    BCHA, Our Public Lands Story:


    BCHA Spring 2020 newsletter:


    BCHA MOU with Bureau of Land Management:


    BCHA General Agreement with National Park Service:


    BLM MOU with U.S. Forest Service:


    Closed Captioning

    We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

    Learning Credits and CEUs

    American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

    • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
    • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH)
    • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
    • CEU equivalency petition for other organizations (please inquire with American Trails)

    Learning credits are included in the registration fee, free for our sponsored webinars, or a $15 fee for nonmembers for our free webinars without a sponsor.

    Our typical 90-minute webinars earn the following credits: AICP (1.5 CM), LA CES (1.5 PDH), and NRPA CEU equivalency petition (0.10). The amount of credits offered for our webinars is determined by the length of the webinar.


    While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff.

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