Trail Building and Design

There’s more to building a trail than moving rocks and dirt. Trails are usually part of larger systems that are the result of careful and diligent planning and collaboration. These trail systems must serve the needs of multiple user groups and take environmental and geographical factors into account.

While land managers and other administrators are ultimately responsible for land planning processes, committed trail users and community groups have important roles to play as well. Planning, after all, is ultimately about the big picture, and that picture includes not only the forest and the trees, but also the entire trails community.

IMBA’s online resources on trail building emphasize the importance of well-planned trail systems, and offer advice for how to create a trail system plan that can create good experiences for diverse visitors, minimize user conflict and environmental damage, and hold up in the future.