Author Topic: MN - DNR publishes new sustainable trail development guidelines  (Read 1795 times)


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DNR publishes new sustainable trail development guidelines (2007-03-21)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has completed its much anticipated “Trail Planning, Design & Development Guidelines.”

This 300-page spiral-bound publication, several years in the making, provides a first-ever comprehensive how-to guidebook for developing all types of recreational trails. These best practices for professional trail builders are intended to aid Minnesota land managers in applying new, innovative and environmentally sustainable approaches to trail planning, design and construction.

According to Pete Webber, special projects director with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) of Boulder, Colo., the publication is among the very best. “By detailing a variety of trails from greenways to single-track, Minnesota’s new trail manual provides an impressive range of information in one of the most complete and helpful planning resources available,” Webber said.

Long a leader in natural-surface trail design, IMBA, which served as a consultant on this project, has also just released its fourth in a series of highly-acclaimed Trail Design Guides, “Managing Mountain Biking,” aimed at mountain bike trail builders and trail managers.

Development of the Minnesota Trail Guidelines was funded, in large part, by dedicated trail funds, with additional support from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Recreational Trails Program. The project was undertaken in response to the growing, changing demands for trails of all types, particularly the rapid growth in off-highway vehicle trails use. The DNR expects this guidebook to prove useful for grant-in-aid trail clubs and volunteers, local government sponsors, educators, and both public and private land managers.

The guidelines address both new and existing trail corridors, summer and winter-use trails, and multi-use trails with paved or naturally-surfaced treadways. Practical, low-cost and low-tech solutions to the unique challenges faced by Minnesota trail builders are highlighted, recognizing the state’s wide range of soil and site conditions, riparian area concerns and climatic extremes. Trail project planning, funding, permitting and environmental review steps are also discussed and references provided for those wishing to learn more.

To order copies of the new publication, contact Minnesota’s Bookstore at (651) 297-3000 or toll free 1-800-657-3757. People may also visit the Minnesota Bookstore online at to Stock No. 9-66.