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Sustainable Trail Design and Layout

This workshop focuses on teaching the principles of sustainable trail design and the concept of the rolling contour trail. The workshop covers:

  • The difference between legacy trails and sustainably designed trail
  • Water and erosion dynamics
  • How landform shape can be used to the advantage of the trail
  • Trail slope/tread grade, outslope, cross slope, side hill slope, backslope
  • The half rule and Trail Slope Alignment
  • Importance of soil type
  • Grade reversals
  • Tread watershed
  • Design elements such as gateways, edges, anchors and go/no-go areas
  • Designing the trail to meet user needs and designing the trail to go where users want to go
  • Importance of avoiding flat areas
  • User-driven design
  • Sinuosity, undulation, harmonious material
  • Maps and layout tools

Time: Two days. Generally one day in the class room with a slide show and maps, then actual flagging of a trail on the second day.
Facilities and site features needed: Classroom space (indoors for projector use) and hillside on which to layout a trail
Class size: Up to twelve