Yesterday we reported on the NOHVCC Great Trails Workshop being held in North Carolina at the Brown Mountain OHV Area on the Pisgah National Forest. The Workshop was made possible by a grant from the Fox Factory Trail Trust Program (www.trailtrust.com). For yesterday’s recap of day one click here.
The 15 OHV enthusiasts and managers from Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee again gathered early at the trailhead to begin day two. After an initial discussion about the prior day’s activities/lessons, participants were led on an exercise designed to get everyone thinking about trail layout and design. Each person was provided a topographic map of an OHV area in Arizona (with trail lines removed) and tasked with “creating” a trail system to connect trailheads and other features marked on the map. Following the exercise, everyone had the opportunity to share why they put trails where they did and to learn from one another.
Next, NOHVCC Program Manager, Marc Hildesheim and NOHVCC Project Manager, Geoff Chain led attendees on a discussion about trail layout techniques including demonstrations of how to provide for consistent curves and using a clinometer to measure grade on trails. This was followed by participants walking an example of a grade reversal that had been marked off with flags by NOHVCC staff. For more information about grade reversals (and other trail layout and design techniques, click here).
Most of the remainder of day two was dedicated to participants being broken into small groups and flagging portions of a trail. NOHVCC staff provided a management corridor and asked each group to apply the techniques they had learned to physically walk the area and flag connecting portions of a hypothetical trail. Participants quickly found out that real-world situations present challenges that are hard to imagine before venturing out to the field. Each group was asked to identify and include any available “wow factors” in their section of trail and to ensure that the trail would be suitable for a certain type of rider (beginner, intermediate, advanced). This proved tough, but each group communicated well and sought out features, as well as looking for opportunities for grade reversals and to drain water.
One group was tasked with laying out a loop near the pavilion at the trailhead for young riders. The location was selected as it would allow for parents to supervise their children as they navigated the short loop know as a “tot lot.” This too proved challenging as the steep terrain and thick foliage made it tough to identify areas easy enough for the youngest beginning riders. Ultimately, the group flagged a loop that showcased the types of obstacles and terrain that riders would encounter on the existing trails of the system, but that would not be too challenging for kids new to the sport.
After each group was satisfied with their flagged trail, all participants and NOHVCC staff walked the entire length of each “trail” and discussed the decisions and trade-offs that led to the route and possible improvements.
The day wrapped up with a discussion about everything that had been covered the prior two days and an opportunity for participants to ask questions of NOHVCC staff and to share best practices with each other.
NOHVCC, and everyone who participated in the Workshop thanks Trail Trust for providing the funding that made the two days possible. Please visit www.trailtrust.com to learn more or to apply for a grant for your organization.
Great Trails Workshops focus on the design, layout, construction, maintenance, and management of sustainable OHV trails. Hands-on field training is emphasized. Participants include trail managers; trail construction and maintenance supervisors and crews; engineering staff involved in trail planning, design, maintenance, and construction; trail contractors; OHV club trail volunteers; and other interested stakeholders.
For more information about Great Trails Workshops click here.
Our Favorite Workshop Participant Medwin