14: Recreational Trail Design

Additional Resources: Recreational Trail Design

Online Resources

  • Landview (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources). This online tool provides direct access to the most recent color infrared aerial photographs taken by the Minnesota DNR for forest management. Locate photos of interest by navigating through the photo database. You can view and download digital copies at no charge.
  • Forestry‚Äôs Aerial Photography Program (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources). This online tool provides instructions on how to view digital orthophotos of Wisconsin forest land on the DNR website and how to order photos from a vendor.
  • USGS Store (US Geological Survey). This site offers numerous types of maps, including topographic maps for the United States.
  • Web Soil Survey (USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service). This online tool has maps showing the location of each soil type in the landscape; soil descriptions; use, management and productivity of soils for different agricultural crops, tree species, road construction, etc.; genesis and morphology of soils.
  • Manuals and Guides for Trail Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Operation, and for Signs (U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Highway Administration). This website provides links and other resources to dozens of trail manuals.
  • Trail Planning, Design and Development Guidelines (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources). This manual contains guidelines for creating both motorized and non-motorized trails. This is a best practices guide for any local, county, regional or state government agency or private organization. It is the most comprehensive trail how-to guide available today.
  • Trail Design for Small Properties (University of Minnesota Extension). This publication is nearly identical to Chapter 14, but the publication also includes drawings and description of many types of trail tools.
  • Recommended Trail Design Standards (University of Minnesota Extension). Common trail design standards for a variety of trail uses including hiking, horseback riding, and all-terrain vehicles.


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Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners, 3rd Edition Copyright © 2019 by University of Minnesota Extension is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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