Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Course 8300-17 Trail Management: Plans, Projects and People Goals, Themes, Objective

Date and Location
September 12-16, 2005: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, Shepardstown, WV
Spring 2006: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nevada

Agency trail staff, contractors, and volunteers will achieve sustainable and accessible trails of all kinds, using the best practices of the trail management process (TMP). The TMP is a collaborative process that includes planning, design layout, construction, maintenance, monitoring, crew leadership, interpretation, operations, and safety.

Target Population
This course is specifically designed for those who have beginning to intermediate trail management and leadership responsibilities. This might include those responsible for trail management, such as but not limited to: recreation planners or officers, operations officers, crew leaders, special interest groups, trail volunteers, resource specialists/technicians, and park rangers/managers recreation and forestry technicians, engineers, and engineering technicians. Note: historic trail managers may find this course useful, although a separate module will eventually be incorporated.

Participants should expect to learn and/or enhance their knowledge and skills. Additionally, they will be expected to share their experience and expertise to expand everyone's knowledge of alternatives and best practices. 30 people - diverse mixture of expertise and organizations Outcomes Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

Session Objectives

  1. Trail Management Process: Given a trail management process, describe the 5 categories of the trail management process.

  2. Effect of Key Laws on Trail Management: Given a series of trail situations, select the key law(s) that best applies and describe why.

  3. Who are Our Visitors: For a trail project, identify the possible users and interested (affected) groups or individuals of a trail, what features will they use or will affect them, and how they may be impacted.

  4. Keeping Accessibility in Mind: Apply Accessibility or Universal Design to a trail design and construction project. Will become familiar with the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas recommended guidelines for trails.

  5. Planning: Using the planning principals and techniques covered in this session, the participants will demonstrate the process of developing a pro-active approach to trails planning.

  6. Getting to Consensus: For a proposed trail, each team/group will arrive at a consensus solution for a concern about the trail design.

  7. Funding Trail Work: For a trail project, develop a strategy that will help organize the support of potential partners and identify funding sources for implementation.

  8. Crew Management: Select the type of crew needed and plan how to recruit, motivate, manage, train, and retain them for a project.

  9. Getting Your Information and Message Out: Participants will develop a strategy to deliver key trail information / interpretation needs for visitors, describe the difference between Information and Interpretation, critique existing sign examples and improve the text to make it more readable and interpretive, and be able to articulate the message they want to convey along any trail they develop.

  10. Layout and Design: Given a trail management objective (grade, width, and surface stability), maps, field data, and other locale information, design, layout, and document a trail on the ground that meets the management objective.

  11. Construction and Maintenance: Given a trail construction or maintenance project, determine the appropriate structure, materials, techniques and/or tools needed.

  12. Scheduling Maintenance: Given a trail system, schedule maintenance based on maintenance category, funding, and resources.

  13. Getting the Necessary Data: Given the description of an issue that requires input, determine data needs and select an appropriate data collection method.

  14. Data Collection & Monitoring: Participants will prepare a Data Collection / Monitoring plan for a trail.

Updated: 7/11/2013
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000