Top tips for starting a trail?

PB Forum :: Trail Building
Top tips for starting a trail?
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Message
Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 1:18 Quote
Hey guys,

I'm sure it's been asked before. But I am planning on building a trail behind my house. The land is thick dense bushland with quite a rocker base/floor. I have a square area of 4.71 acres (1.9 hectares). The land is on quite a steep gradient as well. There are a few sections that are very steep and with larger boulders acting as the base.

I was wondering how or where do i even start when plotting where to run my trail?

Do i just take a walk with a bushwhacker one day and scout the area? I have walked it before but not with the intention of trail building in the area. All help appreciated! Thanks

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 at 8:59 Quote
What types of trails have you ridden already? Have you ridden professionally-built DH park, with both rugged/rough DH as well as Flow Trail?

What are your goals? Are you into flow-trail style jumps and berms? Or are you wanting gnarly technical roots/rocks? How much climbing do you want, and do you want the climbing to be technical, or do you want it to be the easiest way back to the top?

The best Flow-DH trails I have ridden (at professionally-built bike parks) are really good at managing your speed. In the same way that a Rollercoaster can do complete laps of the track with only mechanical assist at the beginning, you want to be able to go up and down, side to side, etc.

One of the best features I have seen at on Flow DH trails is when the trail turns back up gradient (with a berm to help) to shave off the rider's excessive speed. DH Trails which always point down just cause riders to use the brakes too much.

I think this video is great at showing how speed is managed. Newbs might think that dirt jumping means going straight down a hill and hitting jumps that get monstrous. It's not... Most of the jumps in this video are cross-gradient, on sections that are not even that steep.

Then he switches bikes and you see why... the entry angles generate more speed and his gaps get longer. But even there, the first jump on the DH bike goes back up-gradient. That's the roller-coaster part. Rollercoasters don't just go down, they go up also...

One Shot: Brandon Semenuk's unReal Segment

Even if the trail in this video didn't have jumps, the same principles could apply.

Think of every time you turn the trail downgradient, that's like hitting an accelerator button. You should try to design the trail so that riders don't have to brake too much. Whenever the speed builds up too fast, that's where you should turn back upgradient again.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 at 10:47 Quote
Walk the area many times so you find every cool feature or section, and know where there are in relationship to each other and which ones would link well, keep in mind the track will get faster and faster so even if you think one feature may be too far away to link, give it a few weeks of riding and you will be wishing you made that off camber or straight longer to get that next cool feature.
Try to find features that are naturaly there and kind of just need finishing off to be made into a corner or a jump or what ever, the best trails work with the lands shapes in my opinion.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 at 10:55 Quote
Whenever I've put trails in I always leave the entrance and exit until the rest of the trail is built.

Posted: Oct 1, 2020 at 13:14 Quote
Start with this guide that was developed by the International Mountain Bike Association & the Bureau of Land Management:
Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience´╗┐ - mountain bike trail guidelines
It can be found here:
Both of those organizations have good websites on the subjects of Mountain Biking & Trail Building.
Another resource would be to print out a Topographical Map of your property. You can get a map from your local county's GIS Department. Your County's geospatial data division uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to display way more info online than you would ever need for this purpose. However, one overlay that you can apply to a map is a layer that displays 20' topographical relief lines. you can use this as a starting point to plot a trail layout using the topography of your property. Do an internet search for "county name> County GIS".

Previous Page | Next Page

Copyright © 2000 - 2021. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.005708
Mobile Version of Website