Trail Construction

Trail Construction Skills Include:

    Construction Specifications

    Understand and apply common construction specifications/trail management objectives such as corridor height/width, tread width, cross/outslope, protrusions, obstacles, and compaction.

    Corridor Clearing

    Clear the corridor (brushing, logging out, hazard tree removal, rock/stump removal) in preparation for construction using proper pruning techniques.

    Hand-Built Trail Construction

    Using hand tools, construct a trail with a full bench, raised tread, and/or combination that meets the construction specifications.

    Mechanized Trail Construction

    Safely use and maintain mechanized trail construction equipment (i.e. mini-excavators, skid steers, trail dozers, compactors, etc) to construct trail that meets construction specifications.

    Trail Finishwork

    Utilize tools, often mechanical (i.e. excavators, harrow rakes, compact utility loaders, compactors), to meet specifications for final tread surface and backslope preparation and compaction, construction spoils management, and erosion control stabilization.

    Water Management/Drainage Features

    Construct drainage features that decrease erosion , including grade reversals, berms, ditches, and sheet drains.

    Water Crossing Structures

    Construct a water crossing structure (i.e. puncheon, turnpike, bridge) to span drainageways or wetland areas and raise the trail above the high water line while maintaining uninterrupted hydrology beneath the constructed feature.

    Retaining Walls

    Construct stone or wood retaining walls to bolster unconsolidated soils, gain elevation, or transition tread from rocks/natural barriers.

    Tread Hardening

    Install the appropriate treadway hardening technique for a trail given the slopes, soils, available material (wood, rock, gravel) and designed use, including advanced hardening techniques (i.e. turnpiking, rock culverts, boulder causeway, rock drains).

    Trailside Structures / Dispersed Recreation

    Build and maintain trail heads, parking lots, kiosks, sanitary facilities, camping facilities, traffic barriers, and directional signage.

    Decommissioning Trails

    Demonstrated ability to plan and implement the closure, reclamation, and revegetation of a trail segment.


Learn More

Resources for Trail Construction

Improve this skill

Upcoming trainings for Trail Construction

Backcountry Rigging Techniques
Professional TrailBuilders Association
Professional TrailBuilders Association
Backcountry Rigging Techniques

April 21, 2023

Reno/Tahoe area, Nevada

Sustainable Trail Building Certificate — Hybrid, part-time, one-year certificate program
Northern Vermont University
Northern Vermont University

Custom Trainings

Here's a list of Trainers with Trail Construction experience:

Charlotte

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…

Sarah

Sarah Walter

Penn Trails LLC

Contractor Trainer

Carlisle, Pa

Sarah is a licensed Landscape Architect in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with prior experience in…

Landon

Landon Welsh

Pacific Crest Trail Association

Trainer Nonprofit

Seattle, Wa

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

Hire

Trail Workers with Trail Construction Experience

Aaryn

Aaryn Kay

Professional TrailBuilders Association

Contractor Nonprofit

Boulder, Co

Aaryn is the executive director for the Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA). She has…

Mariah

Mariah Keagy

Sinuosity

Contractor
Don

Don Kelly

USDA Forest Service

Trainer Agency

Marion, Va

I have over 32 years of experience performing conservation, trails, and construction related…

Josh

Josh Kloehn

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Nonprofit
Larry

Larry Knutson

Penn Trails LLC

Contractor Trainer

Newville, Pa

Larry Knutson, founder and President of Penn Trails LLC, specializes in sustainable, natural…

Greg

Greg Kopsch

Higher Education

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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