Supervisor's Best Practices

A supervisor's job is the care and feeding of maintainers

  • Solve problems maintainers cannot or find someone who can
  • Take advantage of Trail U workshops such as chainsaw certification, first aid, or trail construction

Safety First

  • Read and follow the Trail Conference Outdoor Activity Safety Guidelines
  • Say "NO" and walk away from any situation you determine to be an unacceptable risk; then notify your trails chair and park partner if it is a safety hazard to the general public.

Your Maintainers

  • Work with maintainer to establish best practices.
  • Walk the trail with new maintainers, relay your expectations, discuss any problems with them, and teach them how to report
  • Know your maintainers; communicate at least twice a year and support their needs
  • If maintainers are not doing trail work or fail to report, find out why and work to resolve the issue.
  • Thank them and make sure they receive the Trail Maintenance Manual, a t-shirt, a maintainer patch, and any longevity awards.


  • Assess trails based on your observations and maintainer reports
  • Know what needs doing based on what your maintainers report and relay that information to your chair
  • Compile a list of projects that can be completed by groups that want projects.

On the Ground

  • Walk and inspect all trails under your supervision annually 
  • Request help from your trails chair as needed
  • Report trail misuse to your trails chair and by filing the online Illegal Usage Problem Report 

Off Trail

  • Be familiar with the Trail Management Guide.
  • Take TM 101 so that you know what is currently being taught
  • Take Supervisor 101
  • Receive, review, and act on semi annual trail maintenance reports
  • File Supervisor Summary Report with trail chair in the required time
  • Maintain records; 
  • File trail vacancy and appointment forms in consultation with the trails chair,.
  • Know how to submit a trail change and update when completed 
  • Attend Trails Council and local committee meetings
  • Supervise approved trail relocations.
  • Update information for Trail Conference publications and maps
  • Be familiar with the Volunteer Handbook and Youth Policy

 Assume responsibility for one or more of the following

  • Become a certified chain sawyer
  • Present Trail U courses
  • Work at outreach and tabling events
  • Develop a trail crew with other supervisors
  • Advocate on issues important to your region