Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Big View – Sustainable Shared-Use Trail Management

The Big View Trail (Trail 10) 
Rock Creek Trail System- Eldorado NF

Modern trail management is not just about OHV recreation.  It also applies to a wide variety of other outdoor trail-based activities which include mountain bikes, equestrians, and hikers.

Trail Management Sign for Shared-Use 

As outdoor trail-based recreation continues to grow in popularity throughout the country, QWR supports those public land agencies and private sector units that have embraced wet weather-based and other management prescriptions that help protect trail integrity and conserve natural resources.

Sediment Catch Basin/Rolling Dip - Shared-Use Trail

A recent review of the Mace Mill (Rock Creek) trail network, prompted QWR to highlight the ongoing effort by Eldorado National Forest recreation staff to manage and maintain mixed-use trail opportunities to sustain high-quality outdoor experiences for a diverse user community.

Shared-Use Trail

QWR believes there are three key components (3 Cs) to successfully managing a unit that offers mixed-use or shared-use trail-based opportunities for motorized and non-motorized recreation.  Those factors are commitment, communication, and collaboration.

FS Information Booth at 2017 Fools Gold Enduro

3C engagement between agency staff and user groups can occur in a number of ways.  Those venues or methods may include formal recreation advisory councils (RACs), substantive and updated websites/social media, joint field trips, volunteer projects, agency staff attending club meetings or events to provide current information, and/or just picking up the phone to ask a question or offer help.

Trail Courtesy Sign

QWR has an axiom that “The quality of your local trail recreation program is or will be directly proportional to the quality of your engagement with agency staff and other users.”

If you have not done so already, QWR urges both user groups and agency staff to make that long-term commitment to help ensure current and future access to high quality trail-based recreational opportunities.  

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