Project Planning and Design

Project Planning and Design Skills Include:

    Project Cost Estimation

    Ability to determine cost of project construction, maintenance and related oversight, permitting and planning (including tools, consumables, volunteer and staff time, equipment, materials), locating sources of professional and technical assistance, and evaluating contract proposals.

    Implementation Plan

    Accurately interpret specifications, construction process notes, and construction documents to develop an implementation plan based on available labor and funding.

    Trail Specifications

    Identify trail elements (i.e. tread material, width, height, grades, and structures) that are appropriate for the intended use, resource conditions, budget, and stewardship capacity.


    Delineate the trail alignment, width, height, grade and structures appropriate to the intended trail use.

    Trail Plans

    Transfer field-delineated trail design (location, alignment, structures), along with construction process, materials, notes, special conditions into a document that will guide the trail development process.


    Identify specific interpretive and educational opportunities on trails to contextualize the visitor experience (e.g., history, habitats, scenery, flora/fauna), and make recommendations for interpretive method.


    Ensure compliance with applicable permitting requirements including (but not limited to): National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), Section 106 of the Antiquities Act, the Historic Preservation Act, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), local and regional permitting, water/wetland crossings, environmental review compliance, etc.

    Universal Design/ADA Accessibility

    Use universal design principles, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Architectural Barriers Act accessibility standards to design, layout, and lead construction of accessible trail and trail facilities.

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Resources for Project Planning and Design

Introduction to Trail Assessment Using UTAP and HETAP
Introduction to Trail Assessment Using UTAP and HETAP

This webinar will discuss the assessment work that Beneficial Designs does in regards to the Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) and the High-Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) and how the data is collected and can be viewed by the…

United States Access Board - Outdoor Developed Areas
United States Access Board - Outdoor Developed Areas

The Access Board is responsible for developing accessibility guidelines for the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968.

Approvals, Permits, and Compliance
Approvals, Permits, and Compliance

This webinar will walk through the typical processes, jurisdictions, timelines, and documentation needed to get a conceptual trail project through approval and implementation.

THE INTERTWINE Regional Trails Signage Guidelines
THE INTERTWINE Regional Trails Signage Guidelines

This manual serves as a technical resource to guide parks and transportation agencies as they plan, design, and fabricate wayfinding signage along regional trails in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area.

Further Education

Related Training Programs

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Upcoming Trainings for Project Planning and Design

Move United Education Conference
Move United
Move United
Move United Education Conference

April 22 - 24, 2024

2024 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College
Pacific Crest Trail Association
Pacific Crest Trail Association
2024 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College

April 26 - 28, 2024

Cascade Locks, Oregon

California Trails & Greenways 2024
California Trails and Greenways Foundation (CTGF)
California Trails and Greenways Foundation (CTGF)
California Trails & Greenways 2024

April 30 - May 03, 2024

The Great Trails State 2024 Conference
The Great Trails State 2024 Conference

September 11 - April 15, 2024

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Custom Trainings

There are 52 trainers on TrailSkills
with Project Planning and Design experience.


Pete Englund

Legacy Trails LLC

Contractor Trainer

Madrid, IA

Pete Englund had been performing crew based trail work across 12 different states for 18 years…


Kim Frederick

Chinook Associates LLC

Contractor Trainer Agency Corps Nonprofit Higher Education

Golden, CO

Kim Frederick has over 45 years of experience in the design, development and management of…


Charlotte Staats

Adirondack Mountain Club

Contractor Trainer Nonprofit

Lake Placid, NY

I am a seasoned trail builder who has worked on trails in New York State since 2015. I've worked…


Mark Loseth

Contractor Trainer

Flagstaff, AZ

For over 10 years, I have been designing and leading field-based trail trainings for land agencies,…


Kevin Simpson

Mountain Surf Creative

Contractor Trainer Higher Education

Quincy, CA

Kevin founded Mountain Surf Creative in 2023 as a way to bring creative solutions to trail related…


Landon Welsh

Pacific Crest Trail Association

Trainer Nonprofit

Seattle, WA

Volunteer Training Coordinator for the Pacific Crest Trail Association-- planning trail-wide…

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Hire Workers

There are 196 profiles on TrailSkills
with Project Planning and Design experience.


Tim Farris


Jackson, WY

I am in charge of the Wilderness and Trails program for the Jackson Ranger District on the…


Jonathan Oneil

National Park Service


Oak Hill, WV

Education: Marshall University Alumn - Natural Resources and Rec Management Minor -…


Mike Thomas


Salt Lake City, UT


Backcountry Trails

California Conservation Corps (CCC)


Fortuna, CA

The Backcountry Trails Program started in 1979 and is the longest running special program of the…


Heide Andersen


Winthrop, WA

I am a Recreation Planner for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I am responsible for…


Danielle McNiven

Tread Lightly!, Inc.


Riverton, WY

Danielle McNiven is the Assistant Director at Tread Lightly!. She is an experienced education and…

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Trail Skills Collaborators
Federal Highway Administration USDA Forest Service National Park Service Bureau of Land Management
American Trails Professional TrailBuilders Association Partnership for the National Trails System Northern Vermont University Northwest Arkansas Community College Eppley Institute Corps Network