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Building Better Trails Without Breaking a Sweat

Trails represent opportunities to make passive sites into memorable places, engaging people in their environment and facilitating access without damage. But what elements are most important for a successful trail? From alignment and stormwater to material selection and accessibility, the answer is “it depends.” Learn how trail management objectives (TMOs) can help make your trails exceptional long before you break ground and illustrate your vision effectively to potential funders. This session will review trail basics and explore in-depth considerations and best management practices that influence trail design, feasibility, budget, accessibility, maintenance, and environmental impact. Penn Trails’ 2019 work with the Lake Forest Open Lands Association will be used as a case study to illustrate the development of that design from early concept to detailed planning and design, and the ways that flexibility was built into the design thanks to the utilization of TMOs.