Trail Development

Ten Points of Recreational Trail Development

The following is a brief outline for the development of recreational trails. Additional details are available from the Oneida County Biking and Walking TrailsCouncil, Inc.

  1. Clarify purpose of trail. For example: link communities with safe pedestrian trails, enhance recreation, increase “shoulder season” tourism, provide opportunities for healthy activity, and improve local economy.
  2. Determine community support. Identify groups of people affected including local businesses, property owners, bikers, hikers, birders, schools, parents, and snowmobile enthusiasts.
  3. Develop route options. Consider separate trails, designated roadways, existing snowmobile trails, and other multiple purpose trails.
  4. Discuss trail development with property owners near possible routes.
  5. Determine style of trail and type of construction best suited to selected route. For example: if a trail is to be used by snowmobiles in the winter a gravel or limestone surface would be preferable to asphalt.
  6. Consider maintenance issues and funding related to the trail.
  7. Develop estimated costs of construction and maintenance.
  8. Determine availability of funds from governmental agencies and private sources. Note: grant applications to the DNR administered programs such as Wisconsin Stewardship Program and the National Recreational Trails Act Program are due May 1.
  9. Set schedule of completion and implement the plan.
  10. Enjoy the trail!

Additional information about grant funding and trail development is available from the WI Department of Natural Resources, the WI Department of Transportation, or the Oneida County UW-Extension.
Prepared by Tom Rulseh, Oneida County Biking and Walking Trails Council, Inc.