Trails and how we build them


sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
I think in many places, lots of trails, even good ones, are based on previously established trail surfaces, as in BC (Before Cylists). Some of these have received attention, modification, work, etc. and over the years have evolved into good trails. To hack out a new trail by hand takes an immense amount of manpower, especially if it is to be of any significant length. This is one reason I think a lot of trail builders and organizations are taking the "quick route" by using machines, a byproduct of which is the relatively sanitized surface they produce. You gotta somehow leverage a lot of man-hours and planning to get some of those truly amazing handbuilt trails IME.


Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
Lancaster, PA
^ That describes my trail system perfectly.

We have a lot of BC trails that run straight down the fall line. Tons of fun, but they've deteriorated significantly as you can imagine. We maintain them the best we can by throwing in some grade reversals and drains to help handle the water, but there's only so much you can do.

We're building new stuff by hand, a new mile long trail this year, and it's a fuckton of work to clear and bench all of that by hand. It's hard not to think about raising money to rent a digger when we have the potential to build another 10 miles of trail, but I don't want to lose the handbuilt and technical character this trail system is known for.