Trail Design Specialists’ designers, staff, and construction crews are avid outdoor enthusiasts and participate in many of the activities our clientele support.

Our teams help build and maintain safe, functional, and natural trails for a variety of people and activities including

  • Outdoor clubs
  • Horse trails
  • Interpretive trails
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Natural or wildlife sanctuaries
  • Motorized trails
  • Hiking trails
  • National historic sites


Trail Design Specialists can complete any or all phases of your project. Our team experts offer:

Trail Design and Assessment

Our trail designers will perform an assessment of your existing or intended trail based on current sustainable trail practices, state and forest service trail guidelines, construction practicality, and appeal to users. We’ll design your trail to minimize its impact on natural resources and to take advantage of any scenic, wildlife, or challenging terrain opportunities that your area provides.

Trail Design Specialists designs trails from the land agency perspective to ensure trails that are environmentally sound, limit resource impacts, and limit the need for intense management practices. Our ability to meet and exceed user expectations allows us to create trails that make sense, are attractive, and keep users coming back to the trail again and again. Our designers have a keen eye on protecting the natural environment from damage while preserving the full outdoor experience.

When designing a new trail, our team assesses a myriad of environmental, aesthetic, and logistical factors to arrive at a design that will be naturally sustainable. We also design solutions for existing trails that have experienced erosion or that need to be updated for new uses. Our designers incorporate erosion patterns, grade, and environmental impact considerations into the trail’s design to strengthen the trail’s sustainability while simultaneously minimizing its maintenance requirements.

Additionally, we carefully consider the users’ experience and trail features, accounting for a variety of factors such as the level of use (for instance, a beginner-level bike trail versus an advanced-level bike trail) and the users’ perspective points (such as the view and potential barriers that would occur while riding horseback versus walking).

Trail Maintenance

Trail Design Specialists provides trail maintenance services on an ongoing basis to ensure you and your trail guests receive years of enjoyment from its sustained natural beauty.

Trail maintenance services can include removing hazardous trees, deberming the trail, replacing structures, and building new features; we can also reroute trails or effectively close off user-created trails. Trail Design Specialists fully recognizes the federal regulations that govern public, state, and federal trail design, construction, and maintenance and can ensure your agency meets its compliance requirements.

Trail Layout and Construction

Our trail specialists can flag your trail or re-route it as necessary to preserve the natural environment and provide users with access to both the terrain and the stunning natural views they crave. We will spend time at your site to flag a trail or re-route it with both optimal performance and environmental protection at the forefront of every step we recommend. We lay out the trail based on the design we create or the design the land agency provides to us. The layout involves placing pin or tree flags to mark and route the trail. During the trail layout phase, our crew will call attention to any areas they may consider problematic and work with you to address them prior to beginning the trail’s construction.

Once the trail is flagged, we address any potential safety concerns such as hazardous trees, and denote any areas that need to be considered (such as low-hanging branches on a horse trail) to optimize the users’ safe and enjoyable experience. Next, we clear the trail route of any debris, assess any invasive factors, and safeguard any local flora or fauna that we want to incorporate into the trail system.

Our construction team careful models the trail with a full bench cut (no fill slopes) and out slopes it with a 3%-5% grade to ensure cross-slope drainage and prevent a negative impact to the environmental watershed. Our trail builders use a combination of small rubber tracked skid-steer machines, power saws, blowers, and brush cutters along with select professional-grade hand tools to minimize impacts on the slopes that run adjacent to trails.

Trail Design Specialists can work with your volunteer crews to construct your trail. We can also map your trail with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). We provide individual or whole system trail design and mapping using Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc (ESRI) products such as ArcInfo, ArcMap, and ArcView. We will work closely with you to determine your objectives and produce a map that is most suitable to your users.