Trail Design, Construction and Management Resources

This page provides links for information on design, construction and management of trails.  Click on the headings below to jump to each section.

Design Resources

Outdoor Ethics

State & Local Trail links

National Trail links

Design Resources

National Trails Training Partnership – Trail Design and Construction Resources

NCSU Extension Forestry – Recreation Forest Trails – A multi-media technical assistance bulletin.

NCSU Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management Extension Tourism – How to Build a Paddle Trail In Your Community – Standards, Resources Links, Clubs, Listserv, Slide presentations from Videoconference Series

Professional Trailbuilders Association
Publications on Trail Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance

US Department of Transportation Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook
Notebook produced in cooperation with the National Recreational Trails Program.

Accessible Trail Layout and Construction
From the National Center on Accessibility: includes surfacing requirements, maintenance, ADAAG links and surfacing manufacturers.

International Mountain Bicycling Association
Information on trail construction, maintenance and advocacy for mountain bike trails

US Forest Service National Trail Drawings and Specifications
CAD drawings – Public property available for professional use by engineers. NOTE: Drawings from 1997and in AutoCAD v.13 format.

Outdoor Ethics:
minimizing human impacts on the environment

Tread Lightly
Nonprofit organization with mission to “empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through education and stewardship”.

Leave No Trace – Center for Outdoor Ethics
International nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.

State and Local Trail Links

NC Division of Parks and Recreation – State Trails Program
Contact information for Regional Trail Specialist, grant programs and maps for paddle trails and the NC Mountains to Sea Trail.

North Carolina Coastal Plain Paddle Trails
includes maps, regulations, safety times and difficulty ratings

North Carolina DOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
Maps, safety, laws & policy and funding resources.

Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy
Nonprofit organization with purpose to work with local and state government officials to preserve abandoned railroad corridors for future transportation and recreational trails.

American Tobacco Trail
Multi-use and multi-jurisdictional recreational rail trail through Wake, Durham and Chatham counties in NC.

North Carolina Mountain Bike Contacts
Links for Clubs, Dealers, Patrols from IMBA

National Trail Links

National Trails System
Map and information on the National Trails System including National Recreation Trails, National Scenic and Historic Trails and the Partnership for the National Trails System

Rails to Trails Conservancy
National website for nonprofit organization creating a nationwide network of trails from former reail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

The East Coast Greenway Alliance
Linking cities from Maine to Florida.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Volunteer-based private, nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation of the 2,175-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail

American Hiking Society

Trail conservation & policy, articles and fact sheets on trail ecology, safety, economic benefits and funding resources.

Equestrian Land Conservation Resource
Dedicated to promoting access and conservation of land for equestrian use.

Horse and Mule Trails
Links for trails, campgrounds, trail rides and overnight hosts: listed by state with links to local resources.