Trail Managers Toolbox

This Toolbox includes resources that trail and open space managers can use to develop and improve their local trail program to better serve their users and the community at large. Do you know of other resources that would benefit California's trail professionals? We want to hear from you! Email your suggestions to: trails@parks.ca.gov.

NOTE: California State Parks takes no responsibility for, or position on, research conducted and opinions offered by other organizations. The material below is offered solely as an information service to California's trail professionals and is not endorsed or recommended by California State Parks. 

 TRAIL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES  
 MULTI-USE TRAIL MANAGEMENT  
 TRAIL USER ETIQUETTE
 ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TRAILS  
 TRAIL DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION
 TRAIL PLANNING/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
 TRAILS AS TRANSPORTATION
 TRAIL USE RESEARCH
 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TRAILS
 TRAIL CONDITION ASSESSMENT TOOLS / MAINTENANCE
 TRAIL MARKETING AND PROMOTION
 FUNDING / GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
 CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS TRAILS POLICIES

TRAIL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
Take advantage of trail training (planning, design, construction, management, etc.) in California to improve your efficiency. Refer to TRAIL DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION for more.

CA Trails and Greenways Conference. The only statewide non-motorized trails conference in California!

American Trails Training Resources: www.trailstraining.net

Federal Highways Administration Events:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/rtevents.htm

American Trails National Symposium, see their calendar here: http://www.americantrails.org/Calendar.html

The Pacific Crest Trail Association training resources:
http://www.pcta.org/volunteer/trail-skills-college/

MULTI-USE TRAIL MANAGEMENT
The tools below illustrate aspects of the careful planning and management that multi-use trails require.

Equestrian-Bicyclist Conflict Resolution http://media.tripod.lycos.com/1849348/1704658.pdf

Santa Barbara Front Country Trails Working Group ongoing efforts to resolve conflicts http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres/recreation/trails/frontcountrytrails/

California Recreational Trails Committee letter on multi-use trail recommendations for Oroville Dam re-licensing, 25 February 2006

Action Coalition of Equestrians multi-use trail survey: http://www.acequestrians.org/

US Department of Transportation FHWA Recreational Trails Program: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/publications.htm

TRAIL USER ETIQUETTE
Various efforts to encourage safe and respectful behavior among trail users are described in the links below.

California Equestrian Trails & Lands Coalition Safety Considerations for Multi-use Trails: http://www.calequestriancoalition.com/FinalVerCETLCSafetyGuides.htm

Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association rules of the trail: http://www.corbamtb.com/
 

TRAILS AS TRANSPORTATION
Trails aren’t just for recreation. Information about trail transportation corridors are shown below.

Walking and Bicycling: What Does the Research Tell Us?

SAFETEA-LU Summary (see Environmental Stewardship section) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/summary.htm

SAFETEA-LU for California LAO Report http://www.lao.ca.gov/2006/trans_SAFETEA/trans_SAFETEA_011906.htm

Rails-to-Trails http://www.railstotrails.org

Santa Clarita’s Safe Routes to School http://www.scsaferoutes.com

National Association of City Transportation Officials http://nacto.org/

Walk Bike Marin http://www.walkbikemarin.org

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TRAILS
The following studies identify the potential for trails to have a positive economic impact on communities.

Literature Review: Economic Benefits of Bicycling

Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails and Greenway Corridors

Estimating the economic value and impacts of recreation trails

Bike and pedestrian projects as effective job creation engines: Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts

TRAIL DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION
Proper trail design and construction minimizes future maintenance costs. Here are tips to make your work more sustainable.

Canal Waterways Trails Study

Trail Construction Terminology


Trail Construction Hand Tools

US DOT FHWA Equestrian Design Guidebook: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/fspubs/07232816/toc.htm
and Publications List:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/fspubs/index.htm

Professional Trailbuilders Association information: http://www.trailbuilders.org/resources/

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy information: http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwedo/trailbuilding/technicalassistance/toolbox/toolbox_index.html

International Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Solutions Services: http://www.imba.com/trailsolutions/services/index.html
and Trailbuilding and Maintenance: http://www.imba.com/resources/trail_building/index.html

TRAIL PLANNING / COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Communities love trails! Below are ways to get them more involved in trail planning and management.

The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy, Fit Nation 2010: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/obesityvision/obesityvision2010.pdf

City of Milwaukie Oregon Bikeway Signage Plan http://www.ci.milwaukie.or.us/milwaukie/projects/bikeway/completeplan.pdf

Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=44597

Alliance for Biking and Walking http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/site

San Diego County's Indemnification Ordinance:

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/reusable_components/images/parks/doc/Appendix_D_Defense_and_Indemn.pdf

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/cnty/bos/sup2/legislation/000405-trail.html

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy information: http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwedo/trailbuilding/technicalassistance/toolbox/toolbox_index.html

A Contingent Trip Model for Estimating Rail-Trail Demand

The Gift of Time: Effective Volunteer Program Management for Local Park and Recreation Agencies (73 pages, 324 kb .pdf) is a guidebook developed by California State Parks to help local park and recreation agencies establish successful volunteer programs.

Multi-use Trails: Ensuring Successful Regional Planning (145 kb .pdf, May 2002)

Tried and True Public Relations and Promotional Tools

TRAIL USE RESEARCH
Studies like those listed below support science-based decision making when planning, constructing and managing trails.

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/123/6/1591

Health Benefits of Trails: http://www.carolinathreadtrail.org/assets/files/Health%20Benefits.pdf

Carolina Thread Trail list of Trail Resources: http://www.carolinathreadtrail.org/index.php?id=51

Wintering Duck Response to Trail Use: Wintering Duck Response to Trail Use.pdf

The US Forest Service agenda for Social Science Research, including recreational trails:  http://www.fs.fed.us/research/pdf/ssagenda.pdf

East Bay Regional Park District user survey results: http://www.ebparks.org/files/EBRPD_files/planning/trail_use_survey_findings.pdf

US Forest Service National Survey on Recreation and the Environment studies: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/trends/

CA State Parks regularly publishes a document titled Public Opinions and Attitudes on Outdoor Recreation in California and is currently surveying park visitors to update this information: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23880

American Trails research: http://americantrails.org/resources/index.html

National Park Service research: http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/helpfultools/ht_publications.html

Rails-To Trails Conservancy research: http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwedo/trailbuilding/technicalassistance/toolbox/20080124_trailuser_surveys.html

Urban Bicycle Trails: Use Patterns and User Preferences

Perception and use of a metropolitan greenway system for recreation

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TRAILS
Studies like those listed below offer assessment methods for measuring the environmental impacts of trails.

National Trails Training Partnership resources, including CA studies and reports: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/wildlife/index.html

Bay Conservation and Development Commission study on public use access impacts on wildlife: http://www.bcdc.ca.gov/pdf/planning/reports/public_access_wildlife.pdf

USDA research on effects of recreation (and other activities) on water quality: www.p2pays.org/ref/16/15665.pdf#page=88

International Mountain Bicycling Association environmental research: http://www.imba.com/resources/science/index.html

Ecological Impacts of Recreational Use of Trails: A Literature Review


TRAIL CONDITION ASSESSMENT TOOLS / MAINTENANCE
How do you efficiently maintain trails? Tools for assessing trails condition and maintenance strategies are available below.

Trail Maintenance Budget Worksheet developed by CA State Parks

Park Watch Report is an example of a trail management tool developed and managed by a not-for-profit group focused on improving Folsom and Auburn State Recreation Area trails.

Changes on Trails in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Trail Monitoring Manual

Trail Resource Impacts and an Examination of Alternative Assessment Techniques

Assessing and Understanding Trail Degradation

Trail Degradation Along the Pat Sin Range

Assessing Trail Conditions in Protected Areas

Research for the Development of Best Management Practices to Minimize Horse Trail Impacts

Trail Condition Class Systems

Guidance for Managing Informal Trails

Integrated Trail Impact, Assessment and Monitoring

TRAIL MARKETING AND PROMOTION
Searches on the web for trail maps and information reveals a wide variety of for-profit and non-profit sites. Below are a few of the best non-profit sites in California:

There is now an impressive list of California trail info available from American Trails:
http://americantrails.org/resources/statetrails/CAstate.html

Pacific Crest Trail information from the Pacific Crest Trail Association:
http://www.pcta.org/

Coastwalk information about the California Coastal Trail: www.californiacoastaltrail.info/cms/pages/main/index.html

Extensive list of trail organizations and information: http://www.trailcenter.org/links/links-ca.htm

National Rails-to-Trails Map of California trails: http://www.traillink.com/TrailSearch.aspx?tn=&st=CA&ct=&sp=N

Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council http://www.smmtc.org/

Trails Now http://www.trailsnow.org


FUNDING / GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
Trail grants support the work of trail professionals throughout California.

American Trails Federal Funding Resources www.americantrails.org/support.html

National Park Service  Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program
www.nps.gov/pwro/rtca

Habitat Conservation Fund

Recreational Trails Program 

State Bonds authorized by Propositions 40 and 50    www.4050bonds.resources.ca.gov/

Land and Water Conservation Fund    www.parks.ca.gov/?Page_id=21360
 
View the California State Parks Office of Grants & Local Services web pages (OGALS) for extensive information on grant programs.

Apply for the California Trails & Greenways Foundation Grant program at www.ctgf.org.

Alliance for Biking and Walking Advocacy Advance Grants enable state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations to develop, transform, and provide innovative strategies in their communities. http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/site/index.php/site/memberservices/C528

Publications
Getting A Grip on Grants (532 kb .pdf)
Directory of Grant Funding Sources for California Park and Recreation Providers (619 kb .pdf)

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS TRAILS POLICIES

  For information about State Parks' procedure for establishing and managing trails within the State Park System, see State Parks' Trails Policy.

 A programmatic Environmental Impact Report is being prepared. Find out more at: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=26278