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Trail Managers Toolbox

This Toolbox includes links to resources that trail and open space managers can use to develop and improve trails to better serve users and the community. Do you know of other resources that would benefit trail professionals? We want to hear from you! Email your suggestions to:

NOTE: California State Parks takes no responsibility for, or position on, research conducted and opinions offered by other organizations. The material below is offered solely as an informational service to California's trail professionals and is not endorsed or recommended by California State Parks. 

 Trail Training Opportunities 
 Multi-use Trail Management 
 Economic Impact of Trails  
 Trail Design/Construction
 Trail Planning/Community Involvement
 Trail Use Research
 Environmental Impact Assessments
 Trail Condition Assessment Tools / Maintenance
 Trail Marketing and Promotion
 Funding / Grant Opportunities 
 Regional Resources


Walking and Bicycling: What Does the Research Tell Us? (2008)

A Summary of Highway Provisions in SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) ( )

Funding for Transportation: What the New Federal Act Means for California (

Rails-to-Trails (

National Association of City Transportation Officials (


California Trails and Greenways Conference (

American Trails Training Resources (

Federal Highways Administration Events (

American Trails National Symposium, Training Calendar (

The Pacific Crest Trail Association, Trails Skills College (


Equestrian-Bicyclist Conflict Resolution (

US Department of Transportation, Recreational Trails Program  (

California Equestrian Trails & Lands Coalition Safety Considerations for Multi-use Trails (


Literature Review: Economic Benefits of Bicycling (

Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails and Greenway Corridors, 1995  (

Estimating the economic value and impacts of recreation trails: a case study of the Virginia Creeper Rail Trail, 2007 (

Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts, 2011  (


Development of Trails along Canals, Flood Channels, and other Waterways - Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies, 2011  (

Trail Terminology (Glossary)  (

Hand Tools for Trail Work (Glossary)  (

Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds (

Forest Service Publications List - Contains an extensive list of documents for building and maintaining accessible trails and related facilities  

National Trails Training Partnership (

Professional Trailbuilders Association (

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (

International Mountain Bicycling Association 

National Park Service Publications 


California State Parks Publications:
* The Gift of Time: Effective Volunteer program Management for Local Park and Recreation Agencies, 2006

* Multi-use Trails: Ensuring Successful Regional Planning, 2002 (

* Tried and true Public Relations and Promotional Tools, 2007

Alliance for Biking and Walking (

A Contingent Trip Model for Estimating Rail-Trail Demand, 2003 

Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook - An Evaluation Tool for Planners, Parks & Recreation Professionals, and Health Practitioners


California State Parks' Public Opinions and Attitudes on Outdoor Recreation in California, 2012

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children (

Health Benefits of Trails (

USDA Forest Service, Internet Research Information Series Reports 

US Forest Service's "Greatest Good for the 21st Century: A Program for Pioneering Research on Changing Forest Values" (

Rails-To-Trails Conservancy (


National Trails Training Partnership (

Public Access and Wildlife Compatibility, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 2001 (

Drinking Water from Forests and Grasslands: A Synthesis of the Scientific Literature, USDA Forest Service (

Ecological Impacts of Recreational Use of Trails: A Literature Review  (

Wintering Duck Response to Trail Use, 2009


California State Parks' Trail Maintenance Budget Worksheet

Trail Monitoring Manual, Daniel Boone National Forest, 2004 

Trail Resource Impacts and an Examination of Alternative Assessment Techniques

Assessing and Understanding Trail Degradation

Trail Degradation Along the Pat Sin Range

Assessing Trail Conditions in Protected Areas

Research for the Development of Best Management Practices to Minimize Horse Trail Impacts, 2005

California State Parks' Trail Condition Class Systems

Guidance for Managing Informal Trails, 2008 

Integrated Trail Impact, Assessment and Monitoring to Meet Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Needs 


Searches on the web for trail maps and information reveals a wide variety of for-profit and non-profit sites. Below are a few of the best non-profit sites in California:

There is now an impressive list of California trail info available from American Trails:

Pacific Crest Trail information from the Pacific Crest Trail Association:

Coastwalk information about the California Coastal Trail:

Extensive list of trail organizations and information:

National Rails-to-Trails Map of California trails:


California State Parks' Office of Grants & Local Services
Includes Information on California's:
* Recreational Trails program
* Land and Water Conservation Fund
* Habitat Conservation Fund
* Proposition 40 and 50

National Trails Training Partnership

National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program

California Trails & Greenways Foundation (

Alliance for Biking and Walking Advocacy Advance Grants enable state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations to develop, transform, and provide innovative strategies in their communities.

California State Park Publications
Getting A Grip on Grants 

Directory of Grant Funding Sources for California Park and Recreation Providers, 2004

California State Parks' Trails Policy

Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report for Roads and Trails Change-in-Use (PEIR)


Santa Barbara County Trails Council

Walk Bike Marin

Action Coalition of Equestrians (Sacramento and surrounding foothills)

Park Watch (Sacramento and surrounding foothills)

Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties)

San Diego County's Indemnification Ordinance

Santa Monica Mountains Trail Council