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USDA Forest Service Standard Trail Plans and Specifications

The USDA Forest Service Standard Trail Plans and Specifications are for the design, construction, and maintenance of National Forest System trails and trail bridges. These plans and specifications also are available for other Federal, State, and local agencies, communities, trail partners, volunteers, and entities.

The Standard Trail Plans and Specifications reflect current Forest Service trail management efforts and the agency’s Trails Data Dictionary for constructed features and tasks. The Forest Service’s National Technology and Development Program (T&D) developed them in conjunction with the agency’s National Trails Program, with funding and support from the Federal Highway Administration, Recreational Trails Program. These Standard Trail Plans and Specifications supersede the 1996 USDA Forest Service, Standard Drawings and Specifications for Construction and Maintenance of Trails.

How to Use Plans and Specifications

The Standard Trail Plans and Specifications were developed to assist with trail design, construction, maintenance, inventory, condition assessment, and the assembly of trail construction plan packages. The Standard Trail Plans and Specifications include specifications, pay items, and plans

  • Step By Step Guide (PDF and PPT)
  • Sample Trail Package (PDF)

Specifications and Pay Items

  • Specifications (PDF and Word)
    Specifications are written requirements for performing work.
  • Pay Items (PDF and Word)
    Pay Items are specific items of work for which a unit and price are provided in a contract.

Plans

The Standard Trail Plans are comprised of Standard Trail Drawings that show the location, type, dimensions, and details of trail work.

  • The Standard Trail Plans are provided in United States customary units and are available below as PDFs (portable document files) and AutoCAD files. In AutoCAD, when using a postscript printer, this STD.ctb file should be used so line weights print as displayed (STD.zip).
  • The Standard Trail Drawings are to be used as-is, with trail and site-specific dimensional needs additionally recorded on each sheet. If the Standard Trail Drawings are modified, the title block must be changed to “Special Project Specifications ” to reflect the change.

The Forest Service Standard Trail Plans are available as compiled sets of PDFs or as individual drawings.

Compiled PDFs

Individual Drawings

Select the subheadings below to expand or contract the lists of individual trail drawings; or, you may Expand All or Contract All.

 900 - General

This section contains standard drawings that are normally included in every trail or trail bridge plan package, such as the title sheet, vicinity map, work list, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_900-01 Title Sheet 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-02 Vicinity Map 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-03 General Notes 11/17/2014
Preview STD_900-04 Work List 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-05 Line Diagram 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-06 Line Diagram 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-07 Plan and Profile 10 11/05/2014
Preview STD_900-08 Plan and Profile 20 11/05/2014
Preview STD_906-01 Summary Quantity 11/05/2014

 910 - Trailway

Trailway through a forest.

Trailway through a forest.

Trailway through a rocky sideslope.

Trailway through a forest.

Trailway along a shoreline.

This section includes standard plans for work items involving earthwork, such as excavation and embankment, clearing and grubbing, surfacing, fords, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_910-01 Standard Trail Terms 11/05/2014
Preview STD_911-01 Typical Cross Section and Slope Finish 11/05/2014
Preview STD_911-02 Typical Obstruction Clearance Section 11/05/2014
Preview STD_911-03 Retainers 11/05/2014
Preview STD_911-30-01 Existing Trail Restoration 11/05/2014
Preview STD_911-60-01 Obliteration of Trails 11/05/2014
Preview STD_912-01 Clearing Limits Trees Logs 11/05/2014
Preview STD_912-02 Clearing Limits Brushing 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-01 Typical Surfacing Sections 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-02 Typical Surfacing Section with Retainers 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-03 Typical Hardened Surfacing Sections 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-04 Typical Hardened Surfacing Sections with Retainers 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-40-01 Grid Unit Surfacing 11/05/2014
Preview STD_913-50-01 Riprap Surfacing 11/05/2014
Preview STD_914-01 Climbing Turn 11/05/2014
Preview STD_915-01 Talus Section 11/05/2014
Preview STD_916-01 Turnout and Passing Section 11/05/2014
Preview STD_917-10-01 Natural Ford 11/05/2014
Preview STD_917-20-01 Constructed Ford Rock Structure 11/05/2014
Preview STD_917-20-02 Constructed Ford Rock Structure 11/05/2014
Preview STD_917-30-01 Constructed Ford Log Structure 11/05/2014
Preview STD_917-30-02 Constructed Ford Log Structure 11/05/2014
Preview STD_918-10-01 Rock Foundations 11/05/2014
Preview STD_918-20-01 Gabion Basket Foundations 11/05/2014
Preview STD_918-30-01 Crib Foundations 11/05/2014
Preview STD_918-40-01 Geosynthetic Foundations 11/05/2014
Preview STD_918-50-01 Corduroy Foundations 11/05/2014

 920 - Drainage Structures

Layout of underdrain prior to constructing trail surface.

Standard culvert with stone headwalls.

This section includes standard drawings for work items involved with diverting water from the trail, such as water bars, culverts, ditches, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_921-10-01 Standard Culvert 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-20-01 Standard Culvert with Headwalls 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-30-01 Rock Culvert 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-40-01 Treated Timber Box Culvert 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-50-01 Open Top Box Culvert 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-60-1 Bottomless Arch Culvert with Rock Headwall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_921-70-01 Log Culverts 11/05/2014
Preview STD_922-10-01 Rock Waterbar 11/05/2014
Preview STD_922-20-01 Log or Timber Waterbar 11/05/2014
Preview STD_922-30-01 Belted Waterbar 11/05/2014
Preview STD_923-10-01 Rock Spillway 11/05/2014
Preview STD_924-10-01 Rock Underdrain 11/05/2014
Preview STD_924-20-01 Sheet Underdrain 11/05/2014
Preview STD_924-20-02 Sheet Underdrain with Outlet Pipe 11/05/2014
Preview STD_925-01 Typical Ditch Sections 11/05/2014
Preview STD_926-01 Berms 11/05/2014
Preview STD_927-01 Drain Dip 11/05/2014
Preview STD_927-02 Drain Dip Details 11/05/2014
Preview STD_928-10-1 Check Dam 11/05/2014

 930 - Trail Structures

Rock steps.

Crib ladder.

Standard turnpike.

Masonry rock barrier and interpretive sign onlooking to a glacier.

Individual overlap rock step.

Boardwalk.

This section includes standard drawings for a wide variety of constructed trail structures, including switchbacks, turnpike, side barriers, puncheon, retaining walls, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_931-10-01 Type 1 Radius Switchback 11/05/2014
Preview STD_931-20-01 Type 2 Circular Landing Switchback 11/05/2014
Preview STD_931-30-01 Type 3 Rectangular Landing Switchback 11/05/2014
Preview STD_932-10-01 Standard Turnpike 11/05/2014
Preview STD_932-20-01 Type 2 Standard Turnpike with Foundation 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-10-01 Stacked Rock Barrier 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-20-01 Masonry Rock Barrier 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-20-02 Concrete Masonry Unit Barrier 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-30-01 Barrier Rail Grade 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-40-01 Barrier Rail Post 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-40-02 Timber Barrier On Post 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-50-01 Curbs 11/05/2014
Preview STD_933-60-01 Guardrail 11/05/2014
Preview STD_934-10-01 Standard Puncheon 11/05/2014
Preview STD_934-10-02 Standard Puncheon 11/05/2014
Preview STD_934-20-01 Puncheon without Decking 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-10-01 Log Crib 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-20-01 Stacked Rock Retaining Wall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-30-01 Gabion Basket Retaining Wall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-40-01 Masonry Rock Retaining Wall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-40-02 Concrete Masonry Unit Retaining Wall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_935-50-02 Cast-In-Place Retaining Wall 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-10-01 Individual Timber Pin Step 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-10-02 Individual Rock Step 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-20-01 Individual Overlap Rock Step 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-20-02 Individual Overlap Timber Step 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-30-01 Crib Ladder 11/05/2014
Preview STD_936-40-01 Staircase 11/05/2014
Preview STD_937-10-01 Railing System 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-10-01 Standard boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-10-02 Standard boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-10-03 Standard boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-20-01 Elevated boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-20-02 Elevated boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-20-03 Elevated boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-20-04 Elevated boardwalk 11/05/2014
Preview STD_938-30-01 Step And Run 11/05/2014

 940 - Restriction Devices

Bollards at the entryway to a bridge.

This section includes standard drawings for work items intended to control and manage trail access, including fences, gates, bollards, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_941-10-01 Post Wire Fence 11/05/2014
Preview STD_941-20-01 Post Rail Fence 11/05/2014
Preview STD_941-30-01 Woven Wire Fence 11/05/2014
Preview STD_941-40-01 Jackleg Fence 11/05/2014
Preview STD_941-50-01 Stacked Rail Worm Fence 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-10-01 Wire Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-10-02 Woven Wire Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-20-01 Metal Swing Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-20-02 Wood Swing Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-20-03 Wood Swing Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-30-01 Loose Rail Gate 11/05/2014
Preview STD_942-40-01 Accessible Kissing Gate 11/17/2014
Preview STD_942-40-02 Accessible Kissing Gate 11/17/2014
Preview STD_942-50-01 Accessible Gates Chicanes 11/05/2014
Preview STD_944-10-01 Stiles 11/05/2014
Preview STD_945-10-01 Bollards 11/05/2014

 950 - Signs and Markers

Nez Perce Nee-Me-Poo National Historic Trail sign.

Trail blazing on the side of a tree.

Trial restrictions sign, banning motorized use of the trail.

This section includes standard drawings for signs, route markers, reassurance markers, mileage markers, and cairns.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_950-01 Sign Layout 11/05/2014
Preview STD_951-01 Sign Posts Installation 11/05/2014
Preview STD_951-02 Sign Posts Installation 11/05/2014
Preview STD_952-01 Route Markers 11/05/2014
Preview STD_953-01 Reassurance Markers 11/05/2014
Preview STD_955-01 Rock Cairn 11/05/2014

 960 - Trail Bridges

Single log stringer trail bridge.

Trail bridge.

Trail bridge.

Trail bridge.

Trail bridge.

This section includes standard trail bridge plans for timber and prefabricated steel bridges.

Standard trail bridge plans for timber and prefabricated steel bridges have been approved by Forest Service Washington Office Director of Engineering and Washington Office Director of Recreation for use on National Forest System lands. The standard trail bridge plans are for typical superstructure designs and abutment details commonly used. The plans are not meant to be used as individual drawings. The designer should download all associated plans for the bridge type to ensure they have a complete trail bridge package.

A qualified engineer with trail bridge design experience must approve the use of these Standard Trail Bridge plans for each trail bridge project. Proper bridge siting and design includes many other aspects such as siting, hydrology, hydraulics, foundation, etc. Forest Service Trail Bridge design requirements are found in Forest Service Directives Forest Serivce Manual (FSM) 7723 and Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 7709.56b, Chapter 80 and in Technology and Development Center’s publication “Locating Your Trail Bridge for Longevity”.

On Forest Service projects, these plans may not be modified without Regional Engineer approval (except for populating the Structure Table on page 1 for each bridge type).

Non-Forest Service entities are welcome to use these trail bridge plans, but must take full responsibility for their use. We further recommend they seek review and approval from their qualified engineer of record for the project.

Trail Bridge Plans are provided below in a combination of editable AutoCAD .dwg and non-editable .dwf formats. Regional Bridge Engineers retain editable .dwg versions of the AutoCAD .dwf plans provided here.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview Not Applicable Single Log Stringer Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_961-10-01 to STD_961-10-04)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-10-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-10-02 Typical Section Details 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-10-03a General Notes / Design Table (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-10-03b General Notes / Design Table (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-10-04 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Multiple Log Stringer Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_961-20-01 to STD_961-20-06)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-02a General Notes (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-02b General Notes (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-03a Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-03b Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-04 Cross-Section Details 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-05 Cross-Section Details / Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview STD_961-20-06 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Sawn Timber Stringer Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_962-10-01 to STD_962-10-04)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-02a Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-02b Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-03a Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-03b Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-10-04 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Longitudinal Nail-Laminated Timber Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_962-20-01 to STD_962-20-05)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-02a Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-02b Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-03a Typical Layout - 12 Feet Long 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-03b Typical Layout - 16 Feet Long 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-03c Typical Layout - 20 Feet Long 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-04a Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-04b Typical Superstructure / Design Table (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_962-20-05 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Glulam Stringer Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_963-10-01 to STD_963-10-04)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-02a Typical Sections / Design Table - 2 Beam (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-02b Typical Sections / Design Table - 2 Beam (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-02c Typical Sections / Design Table - 3 Beam (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-02d Typical Sections / Design Table - 3 Beam (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-03a General Notes - 2 Beam (Douglass Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-03b General Notes - 2 Beam (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-03c General Notes - 3 Beam (Douglass Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-03d General Notes - 3 Beam (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-10-04 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Longitudinal Glulam Deck Panel Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_963-20-01 to STD_963-20-04)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-02a Typical Sections / Design Table (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-02b Typical Sections / Design Table (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-03a Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-03b Cross-Section Details / General Notes (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_963-20-04 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Prefabricated Steel Trail Bridge
(Compiled Drawings: STD_964-10-01 to STD_964-10-03)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_964-10-01 Structure Table 11/05/2014
Preview STD_964-10-02a General Notes (Douglas Fir) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_964-10-02b General Notes (Southern Pine) 11/05/2014
Preview STD_964-10-03 Abutment Details 11/05/2014
Preview Not Applicable Substructure
(Compiled Drawings: STD_965-10-01 to STD_965-40-01)
11/05/2014
Preview STD_965-10-01 Timber Sill On Geocell Pad 11/05/2014
Preview STD_965-20-01 Timber Sill On Gabion Basket 11/05/2014
Preview STD_965-30-01 Timber Sill On Timber Cribbing 11/05/2014
Preview STD_965-40-01 Concrete Leveling Pad On Bedrock 11/05/2014

 970 - Specialty Structures

This section does not include any standard drawings, but is reserved and used for the identification of specialty structures in project packages, such as tunnels, snow sheds, etc. Refer to Specifications Section 970 - Specialty Structures.

 980 - Incidentals

This section includes standard drawings for work items that are considered incidental to major work items, such as seeding, fertilizing and mulching, removal of structures, etc.

Preview
(PDF)
Drawing
(AutoCAD)
Drawing Name Date
Preview STD_981-01 Seeding and Mulching 11/05/2014

 990 - Material

Preparing underlying trail material.

Laying and spreading surface trail material.

Surface trail material.

Unloading trail timbers from a truck with a backhoe.

Composite trail decking.

This section does not include any standard drawings, but includes material specifications used for work items included in project package. Examples include aggregate, rock, geosynthetics, material for timber structures, etc. Refer to Specifications Section 990 - Materials.

Related Reference Materials

For More Information

If you have questions or comments, please contact FS-Trail Management at: fstrailmanagement@fs.fed.us.

Acknowledgments

These Standard Trail Plans and Specifications were revised and developed with extensive involvement and expertise from Jonathan Kempff, P.E. (Professional Engineer), Forest Service National Trail Technical Team; and James Scott Groenier, P.E., and Deb Mucci, Draftsperson, both with Forest Service Technology and Development Program. This project was sponsored and funded in large part by the Federal Highway Administration, Recreational Trails Program.

Forest Service Disclaimer

The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed this information for the guidance of its employees, its contractors, and its cooperating Federal and State agencies. The Forest Service assumes no responsibility for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

Federal Highway Administration Notice

These materials were produced in cooperation with the Recreational Trails Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of information contained in this document. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document. These materials reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

US Forest Service
Last modified May 09, 2017
http://www.fs.fed.us

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