Reading Materials

Beyond the Trail Science and Insight pages in the menu, below are more trail resources:

  1. Manuals and Guides for Trail Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Operation, and for Signs
  2. Forest Service Standard Trail Plans and Specifications
  3. Forest Service Drawings
  4. Watershed management field manual- road design and construction in sensitive wetlands
  5. Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization
  6. Road Construction Related Autocad Drawings and Specifications
  7. Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook
  8. Guidelines for a quality (MTB) trail experience (GQTE)
    • United States Department of Agriculture Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails helps designers and managers apply accessibility standards to their outdoor recreation sites and trails or how to use:
      1. The Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG)–the accessibility standard for campgrounds, picnic areas, viewing overlooks, swimming beaches and the pathways that connect the facilities within those recreation areas.
      2. The Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG) apply to new or altered trails that are designed for pedestrian hiking and which connect directly to a trailhead or to another trail that currently complies with these guidelines. The goal is to maximize accessibility while not changing the character or experience of the trail setting. FSTAG is also available as a pocket guide.
      3. Note the disclaimers in the documents above.
      4. More Accessibility Resources and documents available here.
    • United States Department of Agriculture–Forest Service, Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds.
    • Managing Mountain Biking: IMBA’s Guide to Providing Great Riding
    • Trail Solutions: IMBA’s Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack; also see: Bike Parks-IMBA’s Guide to New School Trails
    • Student Conservation Association (SCA): Lightly on the Land
    • Minnesota DNR’s Trail Manual: New Trail Planning Design And Development Guidelines
    • State of Victoria’s Trail Planning, Design, and Development Guidelines
    • This Forest Service website will prompt you for a User name and Password. Type t-d for both.
      1. United States Department of Agriculture–Forest Service, US Forest Service National Trail Drawings and Specifications.
      2. United States Department of Agriculture–Forest Service, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 2004 Edition.
    • National Park Service, Guide to Sustainable Mountain Trails: Trail Assessment, Planning, and Design Sketchbook.
    • United States Department of Transportation: Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned.
    • Natural Surface Trails by Design
    • Wetland Trail Design and Construction
    • Trail publications, including many from the USDA Forest Service: recreational trails publications.
    • The National Trails System is the network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968.
    • The Bureau of Land Management National Scenic and Historic Trails Strategy and Work Plan
    • Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management, and Law
    • Living on Old Trails and Roads
    • Ask A Trail Builder
    • Listening, not reading, The Trail EAffect Podcast