Browse Common Topics
Section 508 Navigation
Search our Website

SKILLS and COMPETENCIES for Trails Training

Hosted by


Categories of skills used in trails and greenways work, along with links to classes and resources for training. Also see National Scenic and Historic Trails Training Needs Assessment

This area categorizes and defines the wide range of skills used in trails and greenways work. The goal is to comprehensively identify the range of competencies and knowledge used by staff and volunteers engaged in every kind of trail work. Web pages for the 12 topics provides a catalogue of skills, plus links to resources, publications, and training providers.

This area is compiled and maintained by Stuart Macdonald from resources provided by members of the National Trails Training Partnership. Many of the specific skills were identified by the task force for the National Scenic and Historic Trails Training Needs Assessment.


TRAIL CONSTRUCTION skills and competencies

Specific skills used in trails and greenways work: construction of trails; construction of various trail elements; construction of trailheads and related facilities . See below for training and resources links for trail design.

The following is a list of skills and competencies for this category of trails work.

photo of people working with rocks

California Conservation Corps crew at work on building an
accessible trail overlooking Lake Tahoe

Skills for Natural Surface Trail Construction

Skills for Trail-related Facility Construction

Skills for Accessible Trail Construction

Skills for Urban Trail and Bike/Ped Facility Construction

Skills for Trailhead Facility Construction

Skills for Design of Structures

TRAINING and RESOURCES for trail construction

Links will take you to specific training opportunities, training providers, and other educational resources for both urban and backcountry trails. See the Online Training Calendar for current opportunities, featured training providers, and resources in each state.

Courses on Trail Design and Construction

arrowSee providers of training on trail design below.
arrowCheck the online Calendar for current scheduled training.
arrowSearch the NTTP training database by keyword, state, or provider


Resources for Trail Design and Construction

The Trail Building Index provides a wealth of articles, projects, and resources on design and construction issues.

Books on Backcountry and Natural Surface Trail Construction

The following books are available from the American Trails Store. Also see the American Trails Bibliography.

Books on Greenways and Urban Trail Construction

The following books are available from the American Trails Store:

Tools for Trail Construction

An illustrated compendium of many of the tools commonly used in trail building and maintenance; compiled by Jim Schmid. Includes drawings, uses, and safety tips.



The National Trails Training Partnership

American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 • (530) 547-2060 • Fax: (530) 547-2035 •

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.



Join American Trails

Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


business directory

PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader


section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.