USDA Forest Service

Trails Unlimited



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Enterprise

United States Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Enterprise Program


We are in the process of adding photographs and plans for past projects in an effort to provide better descriptions of our work. In the meantime, please see our Services page or contact us directly if you have any questions for us.

Water control built into trail design for sustainability and future maintenance. Photos of the Angola Fire project »

One of Trail Unlimited's 2013 new construction and restoration projects was the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, CA, Angola Fire rehabilitation and restoration project.

Below are the services provided:

  • Decommission of 5 miles of trail
  • Road to trail conversion 1.2 miles
  • New construction for sustainability 8.9 miles
  • Heavily regulated BMP's for construction

Equipment and Personnel utilized:

  • 2 – Trail Tractors
  • 2 – Mini Excavators
  • 1 – Large Excavator
  • 1 – Rubber tracked carrier
  • 4 – ATV's w/ drag
  • 3 – Trail equipment operators
  • 4 –Trail Technicians

Trails Unlimited member using a mini excavator. Photos of the project »

New trail construction services for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, American Fork, Utah.

Below are the services provided:

  • Project took place in July 2013
  • Two operators
  • New construction of 2.7 miles of multi-use trail containing natural breaks in grade
  • Blasted rock as necessary to construct trail
  • Use of Trail Machine and mini excavator
  • 23 days total including travel

Trails Unlimited members compacting drain rock. Photos of the trail project on the Sam Houston National Forest »

Trails Unlimited has provided construction, maintenance, and training services for the Sam Houston National Forest, New Waverly, Texas, since 2006.

Below are the services provided:

  • Ongoing project since 2006
  • 10 FRP bridge construction since 2007
  • Trail maintenance and reroutes
  • Trail tractor/ lay out design training with Forest Service and volunteers
  • Assist clubs forming a non-profit coalition

Trails Unlimited members providing on-site consultation. Photos of the trail project on the Angelina National Forest »

With close to a hundred years of combined trail building and management experience, Trails Unlimited offers an expert consultation service. One such recent consulting project was recently completed at the Angelina National Forest in Texas, February 5 through February 19, 2006.

Below were the services provided:

  • Two consultants.
  • 14 days.
  • Analysis of existing OHV system and proposed OHV system.
  • Thorough study in the field for both systems.
  • Thorough study of available topography maps with known sensitive areas in proposed area.
  • Discussions and field trips with available personal with intimate knowledge of the are.
  • Complete description of findings and recommendations for each system.
  • Detailed description for our proposed trail system with mapped trail routes and cost estimate for construction.

Mechanized trail maintenance used to efficiently complete project. View more photos of this trail maintenance project »

The efficiency of mechanized trail maintenance is exponential. One operator, one swamper, and one SWECO trail dozer can easily meet the amount of work finished in one day that a twenty person hand crew can accomplish in two. One such recent maintenance project was accomplished in Prescott National Forest, Arizona, October 2005.

Below were the services provided:

  • One operator for 24 days.
  • One swamper for 24 days.
  • Maintenance of 12 miles of hiking, mountain bike, and equestrian trails.
  • Construction of rolling dips, breaks in grade, ditch and elevate, re-routes, and trail rehabilitation.
  • Installation of an arch culvert.
  • Offered training and recommendations to Forest Service personnel.
  • Offered information to interested users.

Example of a finished 20-foot bridge.
View photos of construction techniques »

The efficiency of mechanized trail work can also be seen in new construction. In optimum conditions, 2 miles a day is possible. Trails can range from four foot wide or greater down to one foot in tread width. Slopes of terrain can be from 0% to 125% or more. When ever possible we use natural breaks in grade for water control. This greatly reduces future maintenance needs. However, when need be, we utilize the construction of rolling dips, overside drains, and underside drains. We also offer various ways of trail tread hardening. This includes techniques such as, turf block, road base, and various soil amendments such as T-naps. When crossing stream channels, several techniques can be used. These range from hardening the stream crossing, installing an arch culvert, or installing a fiberglass bridge up to fifty feet in length able to hold 10,000 lbs of live weight. One project, for example, was in South Carolina on the Francis, Marion and Sumter National Forest, Enoree Ranger District, November, 2004.

  • Two operators.
  • Two swampers.
  • New construction of 5 miles of ATV/motorcycle trail containing natural breaks in grade, rolling dips, and ditching and elevating techniques.
  • Installed 13 bridges.
  • Installed turf block for the egress and ingress of each bridge.
  • Installed 90+ arch culverts.
  • Installed 6 underside drains.

Assisting in the installation of turf block used to harden the trail tread. See more photos of training provided by Trails Unlimited »

Our mission statement “To Educate, Train and mentor through formal and hands on methods, the Trail Managers of the next generation”.

Training is one of the most important services that Trails Unlimited has to offer. This is what separates us from private contractors. We offer specialized training modules ranging from a basic tractor course to trail lay out and design. We also assist operators in the field when we are on a project. This allows the local operators an opportunity to hone their skills and obtain knowledge in an expedited manner. One such training Session was an advanced tractor training course located at Hungry Valley State Park in April of 2003.

Some of the points that were covered in this course included:

  • Trail hardening (turf block installment).
  • Arch culvert with armored inlet/outlet.
  • Underside drain with armored inlet and energy dissipater.
  • Rolling dip construction.
  • New trail construction techniques on steep terrain.

US Forest Service - Trails Unlimited Enterprise Unit
Last Modified: Monday, 03 March 2014 at 10:18:58 CST