Did You Know?
TDS has designed, constructed and maintained over 1000 miles of trail.
See what our clients say about us below:
I must tell you that I have done my first official trail fix out at the trail system at Big creek. I took a pulaski and a mcleod and 2 hours to dig out and reshape a problem mud hole (yes...it should be a re-route). I had a blast and I could feel the good karma building up. It poured the next day and the perpetual mud hole was dry as a bone. I actually got a couple compliments on the fix as well.
I want to thank you for you time and expertise. I really, really have enjoyed the classes and am looking forward to building/maintaining trails for a long, long, time.
— Bob Grieco, Bob is a graduate of our Crew Leader Certification program.
Fall-line trails are tough to maintain as shown by the following quote from Mike and Jan Riter the Trail Care Crew from IMBA who I believe know more about bike trails than anyone:
"Water generally runs down the fall line, and fall line trails provide a conduit to move a lot of water down a hill. Water flowing down a trail will build velocity and will quickly erode deep ruts into the tread. Fall line constructed trails erode at a terribly fast rate, are nearly impossible to maintain, and fuel the fires of people who are looking to ban bikes from trails. Too many unskilled riders
skid or ride out of control on fall line trails."
This comes from the IMBA Trail Care Crew web site.
— Al Bjorkman, Al Bjorkman conducts erosion impact studies in Wisconsin.
Jan & Mike,
Per your recommendations, we bisected the new parking lot with the trail this week. I can't tell you how fortunate we were to have you here for that alone, because it's working out really well. We were all set to bring the trail in off of the high-speed section right into potential auto traffic. Your plan not only slows the incoming, but the "crossroads" effect is of course much safer. With your plan we have much more room (and out of the auto traffic) around the information station for staging and socializing. I hate to think of the mess we came close to creating. I'm still waiting for DNR approval to re-route the section we flagged with the inclinometer. Thank you very much, wish you the best!
— Ed Andres, Traverse City Bicycle club (Michigan Mountain Bicycle Assoc.)
In the fall of 1997, Virginia’s Explore Park started the development of single-track mountain bike trails throughout the Back Creek Natural area of the Park. Besides having the space and a lot of enthusiasm, no one at the Park had any experience on planning or building such a trail system. A call went out to the International Mountain Bicycling Association for help and Jan and Mike Riter were sent to our rescue.
Their professionalism, knowledge and expertise took our vague plans to concrete reality. They did a marvelous job in negotiating with environmental groups that had concerns about the trail system going through a nature area. They laid out possible routes for the system and trained out staff and volunteer work force on proper techniques in trail construction. Their help in the early stages of our planning kept us from making costly mistakes and insured that we did things right the first time.
They have continued to help us as the system has grown and have come back many times to
offer suggestions and encouragement. The results are an exciting trail system that is enjoyed by a growing number of mountain bike enthusiasts that has added to our mission of providing a new recreation venue for Western Virginia.
I highly recommend Mike and Jan for any aspect of trail design and construction as well as mediation between land managers and environmental groups.
— Roger F. Ellmore, Executive Director, Explore Park
Wanted to thank you for your work on Lebanon Hills regional Park's trails up here in Dakota County, MN!
My wife and I take our dog walking/hiking there EVERY day... and we are soooo excited about the amazing trails that are being developed...the vistas around the lakes are just incredible! truly magical how the park is developing. we'll occasionally meet joggers out there and everyone is just giddy about the changes.
The sustainable/anti erosion aspect has the side benefit of really helping my knees and ankles...trails rise and fall FAR gentler than before...they wind and curve...and you really do feel "LOST in Nature" even this close to the city. GREAT WORK! Can't tell you how much I love the place - and how much its improved!
PROBLEM IS... we may need to move to Nashville Tennessee---wonderful town in many ways...but it grieves me to lose our daily walk "getting lost" in a 2000 acre "sustainable paths" park...
This is a big deal to us... almost a deal breaker!
Are YOU doing any work there?....we'd love to live next to another Mike Riter "signature trail".
— Scott Marrs, Apple Valley, MN
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Resources Division
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center
Taking care of the hiking trails at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center is part of my job, yet no training on how to do so was ever offered me – that is, until Mike Riter’s trail class series came along. I worked with Mike to schedule trail design & layout, construction, and maintenance classes here at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center last year. Several others from parks and interest groups as well as myself attended. A final class, crew leader certification, gave me the confidence to efficiently lead trail workers (mostly our volunteers). These classes helped me to properly look after our trails and to
make sure they’re safe and enjoyable for the many visitors to our management area.
— Linda May, Wildlife Interpretive Specialist & Volunteer Coordinator
It was April of 2005 when I first contacted you by phone and sent a letter of protest about the destruction of our mountain biking trails at Yellow River Park. You then met with me and we walked the River and Creek Sides together. A lot has happened since then. We formed GATR and you responded in a concerned and responsible manner. After “hearing” our concerns you went the extra mile to acquire additional funds to hire Mike Riter to complete the trail work on the Creek Side. Two weeks ago Mike cut his last section of trail and this past weekend the GATR volunteer crew completed the last of the trail finish work. Some of us then road the new Creek Side trails and I would like to tell you that you now have one very happy community of mountain bikers. These trails are everything that both the county and the MTB community wanted. They are self sustaining, environmentally friendly trails with little potential for future erosion but at the same time are challenging and just plain fun. As a member of the GATR Board of Directors and as a Gwinnett County citizen I would like to congratulate and thank you for working with us on this project to such a satisfactory end.
— Stephen Konigsberg , GATR, Secretary
Last week was a big week for the Raven Trail. On Wednesday we got our Ditch Witch 650 and then we had the IMBA Trail Care Crew over the weekend. The Lakeland Area Mountain Bikers Organization (LAMBO) is fired up and has had 7 straight Monday work nights and has even attracted some of their (our) antagonists to help out. Now LAMBO wants to sign up with us as a formal friends group, which offers both of us some benefits.
And it all started with your visit last fall and design for improvements.
So if you're wondering if the work you do ever leads to anything, you should think about the Raven Trail in northern Wisconsin and know that you started an avalanche of progress here.
— Steve Petersen, Superintendent, Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest
The trails construction workshop held May 10-13, 2006 at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Center, near LaFarge, WI was a great success. It was the most challenging, yet most effective training I've attended in many years. As a 31 year veteran of Parks, Forestry, and now Lands & Facilities; you should know that this common sense system is a fundamental shift in the way you plan and design all recreation trails, not just horse trails.
Mike Riter, owner of Trail Design Specialists, has developed a fundamentally sound trails system that addresses design, construction, and maintenance of new and existing trails. He uses fundamental construction techniques and hydraulic principles from other construction trades to fine tune his trails system. Mike is also the creator of the nation-wide mountain bike trail construction methods used by WORBA and IMBA, (Wisconsin Off Road Bike Association and the International Mountain Bike Association) at many of our DNR properties.
This training brought together my experiences in trail construction and debunked some old ideas to show me there's a better way to build trails with low impacts and greatly reduced maintenance costs. This common sense system will require changing our internal culture to allow these new ideas to take hold and adjustment of some existing trail standards and policies.
I urge to you to consider creating a trails program standard that incorporates these new concepts, they work. We need them.
— Ken Anderson, Milwaukee, WI