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SKILLS and COMPETENCIES for Trails Training

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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 MAINTENANCE skills and competencies

Specific skills used in maintenance of trails and greenways: maintenance of trails; repair of various trail elements; maintenance of trailheads and related facilities. See below for training and resources links for trail MAINTENANCE.

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

photo of kids with shovels

Jefferson County (CO) youth crews address
drainage issues with crushed rock surfacing

Skills for Natural Surface Trail Maintenance

Skills for Maintenance of Trail-related Elements

Skills for Accessible Trail Maintenance

Skills for Urban Trail and Bike/Ped Facility Maintenance

Skills for Trailhead Facility Maintenance

Skills for Inspection and Maintenance of Structures

TRAINING and RESOURCES for trail maintenance

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 Maintenance

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 Maintenance

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

BOOKS on Backcountry and Natural Surface Trail Maintenance

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

More books on trail design:

BOOKS on Greenways and Urban Trail Maintenance

The following books are available from the American Trails Store:

BOOKS on Off-Highway Vehicle Trail and Facility Maintenance

TOOLS for Trail Maintenance

An illustrated compendium of many of the tools commonly used for trail 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.



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