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: FREE


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Webinar Sponsor

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


Webinar Outline

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).


Webinar Partners


Matthew Woodson, Owner/Founder, Ocotillo Trail Consulting
Glenwood, New Mexico

Matt Woodson has been a wilderness trails development contractor for more than 38 years. He has worked extensively on the remediation of multi-use trails. His work has even reached as far as Africa, working with the USFS International Program to train locals to build and maintain trails to promote land/wildlife conservation efforts for the African gorilla, as well as working in National Parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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

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.


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.


Holley Groshek, Executive Director, Equine Land Conservation Resource
Lexington, Kentucky

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.


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

Since 2012, Randy has represented Back Country Horsemen of America—a widely respected national, non-profit volunteer service organization, www.bcha.org. He assists BCHA’s 32 state organizations to advance policy initiatives and strengthen partnerships to ensure that current and future generations will continue to enjoy access to back country and Wilderness experiences. Prior to joining BCHA, Randy was senior policy manager for the American Hiking Society and worked for other national, non-profit organizations. He was a founding board member of Trailkeepers of Oregon, a volunteer trail maintenance organization. Randy earned a Masters of Science degree in Natural Resources, Recreation & Tourism at Colorado State University with an emphasis in public lands and wilderness management.


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) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


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. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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3,393 views • posted 12/17/2019