Resources and Library:

Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind

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Resources and project examples to accompany the Wildlife and Trail Planning Checklist: a variety of planning, construction, management, and education techniques.



Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind: A Handbook for Trail Planners


See examples of trail design in habitat areas, techniques for managing visitors, trail system planning, habitat restoration, trails as part of habitat conservation, and education on the value of wildlife and habitat.


sign saying to stay on trails

Techniques for managing visitors


- User education: Leave No Trace Program, Washington

- User education: Coalition of Recreational Trail Users Educational Trailer, Minnesota

- User education: Why do people leave the trail?

- Managing Informal Trails and Reducing Off-Trail Activity

- Studying impacts of visitor use on the Appalachian Trail


photo of boardwalk with gap for wildlife crossing

Trail design and facilities in habitat areas


- Trail design: Camp DREAM with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

- Trail design: Red Rock National Conservation Area

- Trail Planning, Design & Development Guidelines, Minnesota

- Diana Bend Conservation Area Trail Project, Missouri

- Middle Run Valley Natural Area, Delaware

- Boardwalk: Little Bear Creek, Woodinville, WA

- Access Near Aquatic Areas: a guide to sensitive planning, design, and management (pdf 3.2 mb)


photo of hikers on rocky trail

Addressing trail impacts


- Lake 22 Natural Research Area trail reconstruction, Washington

- Teton Wilderness Trail Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Wyoming

- Mount Yale Trail Realignment, Colorado

- The Essentials of Trail System Operations, Maintenance, and Stewardship


map of park with dog area marked

Trail system planning


- Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area trail system, Georgia

- Shadow Mountain Trail SystemBridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

- New trails for America's largest dog park, Jefferson County, Colorado

- San Jose’s trail network is the foundation for its Green Vision, California

- Trail planning along network of stream corridors, Kansas

- Indian River Greenways Plan to improve transportation as well as recreation, Florida


photo of people planting trees

Habitat restoration


- Mori Point project restores trails as well as habitat

- Improving the California Coastal Trail at Lands End

- Urban park restoration: Highbridge Park Project, New York

- Burke-Gilman Trail Vegetation Management Guidelines

- Red Mountain Park in Birmingham converts mining site to trails and open space


photo of wheelchair and wetlands

Trails as part of habitat conservation


- Four Corners Farm Conservation Easement, New Hampshire

- Irvine Ranch trail system includes designated Natural Landmark area, California

- New Trails for a Significant Plains Region Playa Wildlife Preserve, Texas

- Partnership improves trails and habitat along Salinas River, California

- Suwannee River Wilderness Trail combines land and water resources, Florida


photo of park ranger and kids

Education on the value of wildlife and habitat


- Photo gallery: Wildlife and habitat interpretive signs and displays

- Educating trail users: advice for planning interpretive trail signs and exhibits

- Teaching natural history on Maricopa County trails, Arizona

- "Inside the Outdoors" brings environmental education to the trail, California


photo of sign for wildlife refuge

Trail projects in wildlife area


- AK: Kanatak National Recreation Trail, Becharof National Wildlife Refuge

- MN: Froland Waterfowl Production Area Interpretive Trail

- MT: Drinking Horse Mountain National Recreation Trail, USFWS Bozeman Fish Technology Center

- MT: Lee Metcalf NWR Wildlife Viewing Trail, Stevensville

- NE: Niobrara Scenic River Trail, Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

- NM: Chupadera Wilderness Trail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

- OK: Sandtown Nature Trail, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

- See more designated National Recreation Trails on National Wildlife Regfuges



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