Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

2006 State Trail Administrators Meeting - Mini-Workshop

Well, it's built, now what?

Tim Mitchell, Federal Highway Administration
Jeff Schoenbrauer, Brauer and Associates, Ltd.
Julia Rundberg, MN DNR, Trails and Waterways
Tim Wegner, MN IMBA Rep., Trailsource, LLC

Well, it's built, now what?

Trails Operation and Maintenance

A panel overview from federal agency, State agency, consultant planner and user advocate/trail builder perspectives.

Ideas and discussion on the role of public/private partnerships in O & M.

  1. Trails Operation and Maintenance - Grants
  2. Key Factors in Developing Sustainable Trails
  3. Principles of Designing Quality Recreational Trails
  4. Elements of Trail Design
  5. Guiding Principles of Ecologically Sustainable Trails
  6. Ensure that Trails Remain Sustainable
  7. Trail Classifications
  8. Technical Design - Vital to Long-Term Sustainability
  9. State Agency Perspectives
  10. Traditional Options
  11. Challenges
  12. Changing agency role
  13. Agency may be best at
  14. Shared responsibility will build ownership
  15. Managing Volunteers

Trails Operation and Maintenance - Grants

Why are Operations and Maintenance important in grant writing?

Things to Remember
Keep operations and maintenance considerations in the forefront as you are developing applications. Be creative as you ride the fine line between rehabilitation and maintenance.

Future Challenges

Key Factors in Developing Sustainable Trails

To be sustainable, each of these factors must be considered when planning, designing, and developing trails.

Physical Sustainability
Designing trails to retain their form over years of use and natural forces acting on them.

Ecological Sustainability
Minimizing the ecological impacts of trails, especially in sensitive areas.

Engendering Stewardship
Fostering a sense of individual responsibility for stewardship.

Principles of Designing Quality Recreational Trails

Paying attention to user values is critical to creating enjoyable, safe, and sustainable trails that engender stewardship.

People tend to take care of what they value, so design quality does indeed matter!

Elements of Trail Design

To keep users on a trail, the design must:

All elements of design need to be used to full advantage in creating fun, sustainable trails.

Guiding Principles of Ecologically Sustainable Trails

Guiding principles provide the underlying rationale for actions related to protecting, restoring, and managing natural environments associated with trail development.

Ensure that Trails Remain Sustainable

"Sustainability thresholds" provide trail managers and user groups with a common basis for determining if a trail is sustainable.

Each threshold triggers a certain type of action to ensure that the trail either remains sustainable, or is redesigned or decommissioned due to an unacceptable level of impact.

Trail Classifications

Properly classifying a trail is an important step toward a sustainable trail design.

Knowing your user and properly defining their trail design requirements is vital to creating a sustainable trail.

Technical Design - Vital to Long-Term Sustainability

For natural trails, proper use of rolling grade ensures watersheds will be well managed and designs will be creative and interesting to the trail user.

State Agency Perspectives

Traditional Options

Challenges

Need for significant amount of reliable, predictable funds for O & M, not always possible from fees or general revenue. "We'll take care of it so you don't need to worry" doesn't build a relationship between the user and the facility, making it hard to build a coalition of supporters for O & M needs.

Changing agency role

Agency provides the coordination and big picture perspective.

Agency may be best at:

Shared responsibility will build ownership

Managing Volunteers

Volunteer Coordinator
Project determination
Work dates
E-mail communication to volunteers

Trail Boss
Trained at National Trail School
Coordinates on-site trail work sessions
Documents work done and volunteer hours

Trail Maintenance
After the trail is completed

Trail Construction
Hybrid construction
Contractor handles rough construction
Volunteer group completes trail finishing work, and technical trail feature construction

Updated: 10/10/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000