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Flood Resources

Recommended Trail Standards

Designing and building high-quality trails that facilitate a positive experience and protect natural resources can feel like a daunting task. There are many resources available from multiple trails organizations that can help throughout the process. Please reach out to Claire Polfus, Recreation Program Manager (, if you have any questions that aren’t answered in the resources linked below.


General Guidelines 

  • USFS Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook 
  • USFS Trail Fundamentals and Trail Management Objectives 
  • Vermont Town Forest Trail Design Guide  
  • Guidance for Non-Native Invasive Plant Species Monitoring and Control in Connection with Section 248 Projects  


By Use Type  

  • Accessible Recreation   
  • USFS Accessibility Guidebook   
  • Access Board Guidance for Boating Facilities  
  • Access Board Guidance for Fishing Piers 
  • Adaptive Mountain Bike Standards    
  • Mountain Biking   
  • IMBA Guidelines for a High Quality Trail Experience    
  • Rail Trails and Multi-Use Paths   
  • VTrans Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Design Manual  
  • Equestrian  
  • USFS Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails Trailheads and Campgrounds 
  • Backcountry Ski   
  • Vermont Backcountry Ski Handbook 
  • Snowmobile   
  • VAST Best Practices for the Development of Snowmobile Trails 
  • River Access   
  • NPS River Access Planning Guide  
  • Rock Climbing  
  • Access Fund Climbing Management Guide  
  • Trails Near Wetlands   
  • USFS Wetland Trail Design and Construction  
  • VT DEC Wetlands Program Recreation Trail Building and Wetlands   
  • Trails Near Rivers  
  • VT DEC Rivers Program Recreation Trail Building and Riparian Areas – Coming soon  
  • Campsites   
  • USGS Sustainable Camping Best Management Practices 
  • ATC-USFS-NPS-GMC Backcountry Sanitation Manual