Sustainable ATV Trails

Keeping water and soil healthy with sediment control

Keeping Water Off the Trail

Water on trails shortens the life of the trail and increases maintenance. Keeping water off the trail is one of the most important trail design elements. The use of water diversions is an effective way to keep water off the trail.

As you explore these techniques, keep the following principles in mind:

  • Diversions reduce the amount of water running down the trail.
  • Steeper trail sections need more frequent diversions.
  • All diversions need monitoring to ensure they remain effective.
  • Since water flows in the deepest portion of the wheel track, any diversion must be at or below this level to allow water to exit the trail.
  • The best locations for diversions are where water would naturally flow off the trail.
  • Low intensity rainstorms will cause runoff from the trail due to the trail's low infiltration rate.