Trail Construction |

By: Sustainable Trails  09-12-2011
Keywords: Hand Tools, Sustainable Trails, Mountain Bicycling,

Sustainable Trails' construction crews rise to the challenge of providing the best possible user experience, employing tried and true techniques while applying their world wide experience, resulting in a sustainable and safe trail network.

Our crews are able to modify the engineering principals of trail construction developed by such organizations as the International Mountain Bicycling Association and the Professional Trail Builders Association, using their years of trail experience to adapt these methods to the site conditions.

It is important for us to produce a product of the highest quality, exhibiting sustainable qualities that may be considered ready for use immediately after our crews complete the finishing work. Therefore we are staunch advocates for compacting the trail tread with our compactor attached to the front of our mini walk behind loader. We believe in compacting all of our trail work.

The following forms of contracts are frequently used:

Design Build:  – We frequently make use of this form of contracting. The landowner is given with a complete package including the planning, design, layout and construction of the trail system.

Benefits of this form of contracting are the following:

  • reduced costs - the design and construction are in one package
  • most flexible - the landowner is dealing with one supplier of the design and construction

Lump Sum: - where a tender is submitted for the work outlined in the specifications provided. 

Unit Price Contract:

In this form of contract the project costs are broken down into their smallest increments – for example the cost to bench cut one meter of trail tread. This method is usually employed when the parameters of the project can not be defined prior to the design and construction phase.

“Hybrid” Contracting:

Our firm suggests that this form of contract be used when it is desirable for the community at large to be involved in the trail project. This encourages the public to have strong ties to the trail system since they have an investment in their “sweat equity.” This results in reduced user conflicts and lower maintenance. Our firm donates the use of up to 50 hand tools to aide the community work force.

Keywords: Hand Tools, Mountain Bicycling, Sustainable Trails,

Other products and services from Sustainable Trails


Trail Equipment |

Whether the task calls for narrow purpose built single track, a wider multi use trail tread or hardened surface trail, we have equipped our fleet of trail building equipment to handle all types of trail projects. From the rain forest mountains of Jamaica, the arid deserts of Mexico, to the hardwood forests of Ontario, we have altered the manufacturers’ equipment to suit the local conditions.


Trail Structures |

Solutions such as bridges, culverts, retaining walls, and boardwalks are incorporated to ensure the sustainability of the trail and the safety of the users. To address such items as turns in steep side slopes, water crossings, moist and wet areas a creative solution is required. Our Sustainable Trails staff relies on their years of construction background to assist them to choose the perfect remedy.


Rock Work |

In more urban settings, discarded concrete debris and recycled concrete granular provide a good base material for trail construction, lowering the project costs while keeping these materials out of landfill. Aesthetically rock can be a better fit for steps, benches, technical trail features and it certainly is much more permanent than wood.


Training Workshops |

Currently we have over 50 hand tools, mechanized trail building equipment, a full compliment of personal protection equipment and a well trained staff that would ensure a very informative and successful training workshop. We have partnered with the Ontario Parks Association to provide a series of Trail Training Workshops, with the first being held at the Humber College Arboretum, September 2010.


Trail Planning / Design |

Coupled with this thorough data collection is our extensive experience in trail design and construction, that translates into developing a trail plan providing minimal - erosion, -impact on the environment, - liability to the landowner and maximizing the trail user's experience.


Volunteer Workshops |

We have facilitated workshops for the Huronia Greenways and Trails Conference and Conservation Ontario’s conference in 2008, where a section of volunteer trail was constructed near Emily Park Ontario. Our staff provides the complete service of conducting workshops where a group of volunteers are trained in the safe use of the hand tools and the basic methods of trail construction.