|3.5 Consider Environmental Protection
Assess the impacts of trail use on wildlife species,
while considering the opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Avoid critical (and potentially dangerous) wildlife
habitat areas, for example foraging areas, nesting sites, calving grounds,
wintering areas, or denning sites. Consider seasonal movements and requirements
of wildlife species. For example, bears and many other large mammals follow
a seasonal round depending on food or cover available at different elevations.
- Consider providing access to wildlife habitat or nest sites with
a small spur trail, possibly in conjunction with a viewing station
or blind located so as not to disturb the wildlife.
Avoid critical habitat of rare or fragile plant species.
If there are fragile plant communities next to the trail, define the trail
edges by using logs or rocks.
Avoid sensitive or fragile archaeological or historic
Design trail widths to accommodate the expected number
Widen trails at feature points, view sites or interpretive
displays where use is expected to be more intense.
In low-lying wet areas, raise the trail tread with
log stringers and wood chip fill or use boardwalks to cross standing water
or wet organic soils. Avoid these wet area during
trail flagging to minimize costly construction techniques.
Avoid trail routing that encourages users to take
shortcuts where an easier route or interesting feature is visible. Use
landforms or vegetation to block potential shortcut routes. Alter the shortcut
route if it is superior to the original route.
Close shortcuts by obstructing access using rocks,
branches, fallen trees or new plantings. Provide signs, for example advising
users not to stray off the trails.
Use signs to explain why shortcuts should not be
taken and request user cooperation.
Minimize the use of switchbacks in trail construction
because users often tend to shortcut in these sections.