Trail Design & Construction Resources

The links below will be useful to anyone looking to lay out new trails, assess trail problems, construct new sections of trail, or build trail structures. The reporting forms and other documents for assigned Trail Crew Leaders are available through the Dashboard, the Volunteer Forms page, or by contacting [email protected].

If you're looking to learn about blazing and maintaining trails instead, click here

General Resources

Layout and Design 

Trail Structures




  • Natural Surface Trails by Design: Physical and Human Essentials of Sustainable, Enjoyable Trails Troy Scott Parker, 2004. See
  • Lightly on the Land: The SCA Trail-Building and Maintenance Manual, Robert C. Birkby  Peter Lucchetti (Illustrator)  With Jenny Tempest, The Mountaineers, January 2006, ISBN 0-898868-48-3
  • A.T. Design, Construction, and Maintenance by William Birchard, Jr., Robert D. Proudman, and the Regional Staff of the Appalachian Trail Conference, 2nd edition, March 2000, ISBN 0-917953-72-X
  • A.T. Fieldbook: Maintenance & Rehabilitation Guidelines, A key supplement for volunteers to Appalachian Trail Design, Construction, and Maintenance. 
    • 96 pages, spiral-bound, and pocket-sized - made for field work
  • The Complete Guide to Trail Building and Maintenance AMC Staff,  4th Edition, Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club 2008, ISBN:978-1934028162
  • Trail Solutions, 2004, IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack. ISBN 0-9755023-0-1
  • Crew Leader Manual, American Hiking Society, revised 10/1/2003, A comprehensive  step-by-step guide for leading a volunteer trail crew