Hand Built Trails - Intermediate

McDowell Tech Community College

Hand Built Trails - Intermediate

Marion, North Carolina

Multi-day Course Trail Construction Project Planning and Design

Hand Built Trails is a course for trail builders, volunteer coordinators, volunteers, land managers and anyone interested in the process of trail flagging, corridor clearing and hand building trails.

The class will begin with an overview of Sustainable Trail Construction basics and terminology along with covering the goals for the course. After we learn the basics, we'll head out to Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort, NC where 33 miles of new trails are under construction including several trail reroutes. Class participants will learn through hands on field work while completing one or more reroute sections on USFS trails.
Instructors: Jon Lane, G5 Trail Collective; Jeremy Poore, McDowell Tech Trail School; Lisa Jennings, U.S. Forest Service

Day 1
8am – 5pm: Day 1 will consist of part classroom and part field work. Classroom work will include an overview of sustainable trail construction basics and trail user types. (approx. 2 hours) From there we’ll travel to Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort, NC. We'll walk the trail where reroutes are needed and then review the current (proposed) flag lines. A thorough discussion of the purpose of the reroutes, the intended users and the trail character will lead to final flagging with Lisa Jennings of the U.S. Forest Service.
Day 2 and 3
8am – 5pm: Days 2 and 3 will be held in the field, primarily at Newberry Creek and also at the new Stagecoach Trail near the Old Fort Picnic Area. Days 2 and 3 will focus on corridor clearing, tool selection and proper tool use followed by trail tread construction using hand tools. Each component will consist of instruction, practice and critique so that students can be sure to learn and demonstrate proper technique.
Tools and Equipment:
A variety of tools will be used in this course including: clinometer, flagging tape, pin flags, rake, shovel, pulaski, mcloed, rogue hoe, lopper, hand clipper, hand saw, rock bar, chainsaw and more. Tools will be provided for the class. (Chainsaws will only be used by instructors/students with current USFS Chainsaw Card and First Aid/CPR)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for this class includes: gloves, eye protection, long pants and long sleeve shirts, leather boots, chaps and hearing protection (sawyers only), helmets.
Day 1 Morning is at McDowell Tech, Classroom TBD
Days 1-3 will take place in a remote location in Pisgah Forest near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Participants will need to bring sufficient water (3 liters minimum), lunch and snacks as well as clothing to deal with changing temperature and weather conditions. Instructors have current First Aid/CPR and first aid kits.


54 College Drive
Marion, North Carolina 28752

Trail Core Competencies

  • • Construction Specifications
  • • Corridor Clearing
  • • Hand-Built Trail Construction
  • • Trail Finishwork
  • • Water Management/Drainage Features
  • • Tread Hardening

This event has passed

Started February 21, 2024
05:00 AM
Ended February 23
02:00 PM

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