Recommended Resources

Trail-Specific Recommended Resources

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published Jul 1, 2019

DCR Trails Guidelines and Best Practices Manual

by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

The DCR’s Trails Program seeks to provide a safe, quality recreation experience for a diverse range of trail users while practicing sound stewardship of the Commonwealth’s natural and cultural resources. This “Trails Guidelines and Best Practices Manual” meets this responsibility by providing a consistent set of trail management policies, guidelines, procedures, and best practices in sustainable trail development.


published Oct 16, 2018

Prison Hill Recreation Area OHV Management Plan

by Carson City Parks, Recreation & Open Space

The purpose of the Prison Hill Recreation Area Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Management Plan is to provide the framework to proactively manage the approximately 960 acres open to OHV use by outlining a prescribed set of management activities. The plan will be implemented through a phased approach.


published May 1, 2018

Best Practices for Trail Management

by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Maricopa County (AZ) has put together a comprehensive guide to best practices in trail planning, construction, and maintenance. The 99-page guide includes Planning Objectives for a variety of trail types, motorized as well as nonmotorized. Barrier-free trails are also discussed, along with vegetation management, signs and wayfinding, and many more details of trail development and sustainable maintenance.


published Jul 1, 2017

Unpaved Non-Motorized Trail Guidelines

by Florida Office of Greenways and Trails

We all know a good trail when we’re on one. We’re not disoriented due to lack of signage or markers. We’re not climbing over downed trees or ducking under branches, and we’re not slogging through water or mud unless we’ve been forewarned beforehand. A good trail is one where we can fully enjoy our surroundings while challenging ourselves if that is our intent. Trails should provide for a variety of trail distances, loops, ecosystems, scenery and degrees of difficulty. As trail professionals, we should strive to make the best possible experience for users and learn from the past.


published Aug 1, 2016

Community Trail Development Guide

by Virginia Department of Transportation

VDOT developed this guide to aid the process of grassroots trail planning, based on the knowledge of experienced planners, research of best practices around the nation as well as the State, and the understanding gained from trail development process in the Town of Middleburg.


published Dec 31, 2015

Best Management Practices for Adaptive Trail Grooming

by American Council of Snowmobile Assns. (ACSA)

Trail grooming has changed significantly since initial trails and grooming programs were established decades ago. Snowmobile tourism has grown, bringing higher user expectations and requirements. At the same time trail grooming equipment and operating costs have also increased dramatically compared to costs in previous decades. Consequently grooming management in today’s operating atmosphere requires more adaptive approaches to be most responsive to increased needs, expectations, and costs.


published Dec 1, 2014

How Communities are Paying to Maintain Trails, Bike Lanes, and Sidewalks

by Advocacy Advance

This report addresses both the technical and political challenges of how communities are paying to maintain trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks. It examines agency maintenance policies and provides examples of communities who’ve successfully made these facilities a priority.


published Jun 30, 2012

Sustainable Trail Guidelines

by National Park Service

Successful management of trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), the Park, will be critical for the protection of park resources and to provide safe and enjoyable recreational trails to the trail user. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines were developed with two primary objectives: to evaluate and prioritize strategies that will improve the existing trail system, and to introduce new trails that can be managed with minimal resources. The Guidelines will assist the Park in setting benchmarks for trail conditions that will result in an optimum trail system within the Park. The Sustainable Trail Guidelines set forth to serve as the primary Standard Operating Procedure document for trails management in CVNP. Establishing the CVNP Sustainable Trail Guidelines will be the first step towards implementation of the 2012 Trail Management Plan.


published Jun 1, 2012

Best Practices for Bicycle Trail Pavement Construction and Maintenance in Illinois

by Illinois Center for Transportation

The main objectives of this report were to provide the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) with guidelines for the structural design of bicycle trail pavement and recommendations for bicycle trail pavement maintenance.


published Sep 1, 2011

Ski Trail Grooming Guide

by NWT Recreation and Parks Assn.

NWT communties are connected by countless numbers of trails, though few of them are dedicated ski trails. With a little work, some equipment and know-how, ski doo trails, walking trails, cutlines, riverbeds, fields and lakes can be turned into quality ski trails. And it’s well worth the effort. Groomed and tracked ski trails are easier to ski on, easier to learn on, better to race on and a whole lot faster than bush trails. Groomed trails turn skiing into skiing!


published Feb 17, 2011

FAQ: Trash on trails

by American Trails Staff

Solutions to trash on trails


published Jun 29, 2010

Trail Operation and Maintenance Requirements

The County of Cumberland, NJ studied a series of railroad corridors for possible trail use including maintenance responsibilities. The Feasibility Study was written by Campbell Thomas & Co. of Philadelphia, PA.