Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sustainable ATV (OHV) Trails Website - Must Read for Agency and Users

Mixed-Use Travel Sign - Mendocino National Forest

QWR believes the Sustainable ATV Trails website hits the mark when it states the major challenge of managing a successful trails program is providing quality recreational opportunities while protecting the resources. And, the key to a successful trail program is to develop trails that enhance and reinforce the visitors' experience.

OHV Bridge - Tahoe National Forest

QWR commends the Forest Service and project partners for creating a very informative website that highlights modern trail management strategies, concepts, and construction techniques that should be part of any 21st Century designated OHV road or trail program.  “Looped trail opportunities” are suggested as one of the concepts that could or should be part of a motorized trail system.

Sustainable ATV Trails Website

The website is a must read for line-officers, trail specialists, volunteers, stakeholder groups, state and local land agencies, or other interests who want to learn about trail management and related resource protection efforts.   It contains creative and informative videos, detailed overviews, diagrams, case studies, and links to relevant documents. 

Rolling Dip - Tahoe National Forest

This information is especially useful for Forests that are implementing a travel plan.  Forest planning teams where the unit is being changed from an “Open” for cross-country travel classification to a “Restricted” to designated roads, trails, and areas classification could benefit as well.

Here are just a few of the links contained at the website:

Trail Design and Location Video

Trails Unlimited - Installing arch culverts, overside/underside drains, and turf blocks

Emergency Stabilization of Roads and Trails

Managing Trails in Wet Areas

If QWR could make several suggestions, it would be for the website to offer more detailed descriptions and/or examples of signs related to trail difficulty and assurance.  QWR also believes the website should include information that describes how trail delineators (rocks, fences, railroad type barriers, etc)  can be used in routine trail management or as post-emergency (i.e. wildfire) road/trail rehabilitation treatments. 

Trail Delineators - Stanislaus National Forest

Other management strategies such as companion trails or “roads managed as trails” should be offered as well.

QWR Article on Trail Delineators Used as Post-Fire Management Tool

Again, this information is useful for anybody interested in how modern trail management techniques can be used to enhance responsible OHV recreation while protecting water quality and other natural resources.

Please feel free to share this information with interested parties.  Also, please consider giving feedback or comments.  You may contact QWR/Don Amador at:
 for any questions.


  1. COMMENT FROM A RIDER IN IDAHO - Only comment I have is the mention of equestrian and hiking trails being 18 to 24 in. wide; Whoever wrote that should be mindful enough to also included single track/motorcycle use on 18 to 24 in. trails because that is what we seek out. I really object to the trend where trail bikes are lumped into the 50 in. trail width with quads, etc. in many cases.

    In the Wilderness areas of Idaho you will find some trails wide enough for your pick-up truck AND are eroded beyond imagination, but only open for equestrian and hiking use.

    We need to consistently remind land management personnel that trail bike recreation folks do cherish, and have a shortage of, single track trails. The conversion of ANY single track to quad width is not acceptable. Thousands of miles of abandoned mining and logging roads would provide more than ample 4 wheeled opportunities if land and recreation managers could/would just do it.

    1. Dear Rider in Idaho, You make a number of key points. As I stated in my "Loss of Historic Single Track Trails" article, there is a need for the agency to look at the single track issue.