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Resources for Trail Builders

hoist, block, and tackle

CVTA is a resource for trail builders.

Do you want a trail in your town but wonder how to start? Or maybe you've got a good handle on things, and just want a few more folks to help with the heavy lifting?

Give us a call, we'd love to talk about working together.

And here are links to some good reference material . . .

XVT Fakebooks.

(real) How-to manuals and reference material.

  • Vermont Trails and Greenways Manual (PDF 3.6MB) produced by the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Planning and Design Manual produced by the Vermont Agency of Transportation is available for free online. The basic source of information for all the places where the Cross Vermont Trail follows regular roads, and for the places where the path is built as a developed "front country" shared use path.
  • Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access produced by Federal Highway Administration and available for free online. This is a good, clear description of common sense ways that trails can be built so that they are physically accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook and Hand tools for Trail Work produced by the US Forest Service and available for free online. Much good information on building and maintaining trails by hand, with volunteer work crews, and in less developed, forest land areas.
  • Trail Solutions: IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack produced by the International Mountain Bike Association. It costs money, but it's well put together - especially good at describing the nitty gritty of maintaining hand built trails in less developed settings. IMBA can be reached at
  • Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Fact Sheet Series produced by Vermont Departments of Environmental Conservation, and Fish and Wildlife, and Forests Parks and Recreation, of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Nature Conservancy of Vermont and available free at Learn which plants growing into the trail are noxious invasives that will need extra work to control.
  • Guide for the Development of Snowmobile Trails produced by Vermont Association of Snow Travelers. Contains much good information on trail building in general, as well as specific things to keep in mind when maintaining trails that are used by snowmobiles.
  • Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds produced by US Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration. Available free online at
  • Trails for the Twenty-First Century produced by the Rails to Trails Conservancy. It costs money, but is a good book - especially as an inspirational overview of the nationwide movement to create long distance multi-use paths. Rails to Trails Conservancy also has a clearing house of trail information posted online, which can be reached at
  • And last but not least - - The world's largest online trails resource.