SCHOENBAUER CONSULTING, LLC
5054 Drew Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410
© 2014 Schoenbauer Consulting, LLC
Planning / Public Process / Research / Design Services
Specializing in Parks / Trails / Recreational Facilities / Open Space
Project Profile: Natural-Surfaced Trail Planning and Design Workshops (Tailored for Mountain Bike, Hiking, and Equestrian Trails)
Schoenbauer Consulting, LLC offers planning and design workshops to public agencies and local advocacy groups interested in developing natural-surface trails in local, regional, and state parks. Tailored to each situation and type of trail use, the workshop typically covers the following:
- Principles of trail planning & design
- Key elements of trail design and trail building
- Thoughtfully defining targeted user group(s) – today/future
- Technical aspects of developing sustainable trails
- Developing effective working relationships between public agencies and trail advocacy groups
The last point is often of particular importance when local advocacy groups have worked hard and often effectively to gain acceptance of a given type of trail (i.e., mountain biking) as a viable and sustainable recreational activity. This is especially the case when these groups have taken on the responsibility for developing the initial trails largely through their own fund raising and volunteer trail building efforts. Whereas these efforts are often central to initial success, going to the next level of developing high quality, professionally designed and built natural surface trails for different uses often requires different approaches and new relationships between public agencies and local advocacy groups. Our workshop addresses these issues directly to ensure that future trail planning and design outcomes build on past successes while using the highest professional design and sustainability standards. Although past roles and responsibilities often change through this process, the involvement of advocacy groups in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance/operations of natural surface trails remains vital to long-term success.
As part of the workshop program, Schoenbauer Consulting, LLC advocates directly applying the workshop outcomes in the field as part of a demonstration project. This allows the local agency and trail advocates to work together in developing a new trail segment to test the process and refine working relationships.
A key principle of developing purpose-built natural-surface trails is carefully defining and targeting specific user groups and skill levels. This is especially the case with mountain bike trails, where an agency's and an advocate group's perspectives are not always in perfect alignment.