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Building Trails and Recreational Amenities

We consider a good trail system to be one of the most important things your property should have.  If you have trails, you are much more likely to spend time in your woods.  Trails should take you to all the parts of your property, particularly those spots that are special to you.  Also, when you have work to be done, the trails provide good access to get that work done (or to easily inspect the work if someone else is doing it for you). 

It is important that trails are designed and constructed properly.  They must provide for water drainage so you don’t end up with muddy areas or damage to the trails from erosion.  On steeper ground, they should be constructed at a comfortable grade for the way you travel, whether that is walking, biking, or horseback riding.  And if properly designed, the trail system can double as an access system for small-scale logging equipment if you decide to sell some of your trees.

In addition to trails, you may want to consider other recreational amenities, such as campsites, fire pits, or places to sit and rest.  These amenities can make your property more enjoyable for family gatherings, creating a connection to the land among other family members.  They can also make the property more attractive if you ever decide to sell.

We can work with you to design a trail system and get the trails built, including any additional amenities you might want.  We’ll start by looking over maps with you and talking about how you would use the trails.  If you are very familiar with the property, you might already know exactly where you would want trails located.  If you’re not sure, we can do an exploratory walk through the property to find any especially scenic spots, the best stream crossings, or other considerations that might affect trail and recreational amenity location.

For a good overview of trail design and construction, we recommend:

Recreational Trail Design.  2011.  University of Minnesota Extension.