Trail Assessment involves putting eyes on a trail and providing a report to the client. Assessment can cover any number of objectives, including safety and maintenance issues, signage, trail structures such as crib walls, visual resources, social trails, user conflict, unauthorized incursions (such as motorized vehicles on trails closed to that use), damage from fire and flood events. The Southwest Trail Solutions team has provided all of these services, and have assessed hundreds of miles of trail.
System and Trail Design
Sometimes a single trail is all that’s needed. Other times a client may want a network of trails. System design takes a more comprehensive approach. It includes connectivity to existing and planned trails, maximizing utilization of the area while avoiding “trail pollution,” and ensuring the trails meet the client’s objectives for user experience. Southwest Trail Solutions staff have designed trail systems for a variety of uses, including backcountry hiking trails, technical mountain biking routes, wide urban pathways and mountain bike competitive courses.
Construction project management
When the construction labor force consists of volunteers or youth crews, project management is vital to ensure the trail is built to the desired specifications. The amount of project management can range from daily visits for volunteer projects or inexperienced crews to weekly check-ins with experienced crews. Southwest Trail Solutions personnel have provided these services for projects ranging from the seven-year Arizona National Scenic Trail Cienega Corridor Construction Project, which logged in excess of 100,000 volunteer hours, to Eagle Scout projects.
Training staff and volunteers
Clients who wish to maximize staff and volunteer efficiency can employ Southwest Trail Solutions to get their people up to speed. Our staff has hundreds of hours in educating people in trail assessment, construction, and maintenance. We provide crew leader training as well as training in volunteer recruitment and retention, and work event planning and management.
Interested in developing a community organization to build trails? We’re happy to share our experience in getting these groups off the ground, including organizational structure, fundraising, and marketing. We have extensive experience both forming advocacy ground as well as in helping them get to the next level.
Southwest Trail Solutions staff have made presentations at numerous conferences and webinars, including the International Trails Symposium, Professional Trailbuilders Association, and Arizona State Committee on Trails.