Table of Contents 
How to Use This Manual Section
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Trail Planning 

2.1 Review the Park Management Plan 
2.2 Plan for the User 
2.3 Assess User Demand 
2.4 Consider User Requirements 
2.5 Protect Park Resources 
    2.5.1 What is Trail Carrying Capacity? 
    2.5.2 Consider the "Limits of Acceptable Change" Approach 
2.6 Optimize Trail Layout and Type 
     2.6.1 Select a Suitable Trail Layout 
    2.6.2 Assess Trail Route Alternatives 
    2.6.3 Assess Trail Route Gradients 
    2.6.4 Estimate Parking and Service Needs 
    2.6.5 Assess Trail Plan Impacts

3.0 Trail Design 

3.1 Use a Logical Design Process 
3.2 Select a Route for the User 
3.3 Consider Public Safety 
3.4 Mark the Trail Route 
3.5 Consider Environmental Protection 
3.6 Use Design Techniques to Reduce Soil Erosion 
3.7 Use Suitable Culvert and Bridge Siting and Design 
3.8 Plan for Waste Disposal 
3.9 Reduce Maintenance Requirements 
3.10 Prepare Trail Design Drawings 
3.11 Prepare a Cost Estimate 
312 Prepare Construction Specifications

4.0 Apply Design Guidelines by Trail Type 

4.1 Foot Trails 
4.2 Horse Trails 
4.3 Bicycle Trails 
4.4 Cross Country Trails and Ski Touring 
4.5 Snowshoe Trails 
4.6 Snowmobile Trails 
4.7 Special Trails 
    4.7.1 Interpretive and Wildlife Viewing Trails 
    4.7.2 Barrier-Free Trails 
    4.7.3 Portage Trails

5.0 Trail Signs
6.0 Related Trail Facilities
7.0 Trail Construction 

7.1 Specify Construction Techniques 
7.2 Select and Prepare Equipment 
7.3 Work Methodically 
7.4 Clear the Route 
7.5 Select a Tread Surface 
7.6 Construct the Tread 
7.7 Select Trees for Use in Construction 
7.8 Clean Up Clearing Debris 
7.9 Select and Build Trail Structures 
    7.9.1 Drainage 
    7.9.2 Bridges, Culverts and Boardwalks 
    7.9.3 Steps, Ladders and Walls 
7.10 Manage the Construction 
    7.10.1 Choose Construction Options 
    7.10.2 Use Standard Contract Procedures 
    7.10.3 Consider Cost Saving Measures

8.0 Trail Maintenance and Rehabilitation 

8.1 Maintain the Trail 
8.2 Set Up a Trail Maintenance Program 
8.3 Routine Summer Use Trail Maintenance 
8.4 Decide on Labour and Equipment Needs 
8.5 Routine Cross-Country Ski Trail Maintenance 
8.6 Monitor the Trail 
8.7 Upgrade the Trail 
8.8 Rehabilitate Trails

9.0 Cooperative Projects
10.0 References

Trail Construction Specification Outline 

- General Instructions 01015 
- Method of Measurement and Basis of Payment 01310 
- Grubbing and Grading 02210 
- Pipe Culverts and Drainage Ditches 02518 
- Granular Fill 02230 
- Rock Work 04400 
- Site Rehabilitation 02100 
- Transplanting Native Sods 02200 
- Rough Carpentry 06100 
- Wood Treatment 06300 

Design and Construction Details 

1. Cleared, grubbed & graded trail (level ground) 
2. Typical crowned trail section 
3. Trail on slope 
4. Typical sodded ditch with crowned gravel trail 
5. Trail construction on talus and rubble 
6. Trail switchback construction 
7. Typical drainage depression 
8. Profile of drainage dip with rocks 
9. Typical native sod ditch detail 
10. Open rock culvert 
11. Culvert with ditch 
12. Log waterbar 
13. Timber waterbar 
14. Rock water bar 
15. Historic corduroy trail with option 
16. Single log bridge with handrail 
17. Split log bridge 
18. Horse bridge 
19. Log bridge with timber decking 
20. Three log bridge with decking 
21. Typical Bridge end cribbing 
22. Timber stairs 
23. Timber steps with handrails 
24. Ladders 
25. Log retaining wall 
26. Timber retaining wall 
27. Dry stone wall 
28. Gabion retaining wall 
29. Trail closure and scarification 
30. Native sod transplanting 
31. Clearing new growth 

How to Use This Manual Section 

This section is organized to reflect the normal sequence of considerations for trail work in B.C. provincial parks: 

  • agency policies and park master plans,
  • trail planning,
  • design,
  • construction,
  • maintenance,
  • upgrading and rehabilitation.
The manual includes a specification outline and construction details that may be photocopied from the manual and used in the field by park staff or contractors. Information is provided on all types of park trails. You may need to refer to only certain sections for the information you need, whether you are planning, designing, building or maintaining trails. 
For information on: 

General planning principles 

limits of acceptable change 

Setting the route and flagging the trail 

Preparing contracts for trail work 

Building the trail 
Clearing and tread construction 
All trail structures 
Managing staff and contractors 

Design guidelines for trail types 
Trail standards 

Signs and related facilities 

Maintaining trails 
Rehabilitating trails 

Construction details 
Contract specifications

See This Section 

1.0 Introduction 
2.0 Trail Planning 

2.0 Trail Planning 

3.0 Trail Design 

3.0 Trail Design 

7.0 Trail Construction 

4.0 Guidelines by Trail Type 

5.0 Signs 
6.0 Related Facilities 

8.0 Trail Maintenance