Resources We Dig

Here are a few of our  member’s favorite trail-related resources.  (If you would like to submit a resource for inclusion in this list, please use the form at the bottom of the page.)


Trail Contracting Information

Contract Disputes

For contract disputes and hearings, one of the best sources of information is the book Administration of Government Contracts by Cibinic and Nash. It is published by the George Washington University group that teaches contract law to government contracting officers and others. It can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan. It addresses just about any weird or unusual, as well as ordinary and mundane, situation that you might ever get into as a contractor and what the boards have ruled on that. An amazing book.

– Krista Thie and Daryl Hoyt, Twin Oaks Construction

USDA Board of Contract Appeals

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Trail Bidding Information

Federal Government

Federal Business Opportunities— ( the single government point-of-entry (GPE) for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000

Forest Service – Region 1 bid info

Park Service – Denver Service Center

Forest Service – Western WA


State Government

California State Contracts Register

Colorado Dept. of Transportation

Alaska Dept. of Transportation

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Value of Volunteer Time

What is the value of volunteer time in dollars per hour? Check out national data from Independent Sector. Detailed data as web page.
Download short summary as PDF file (~ 23K)


Wilderness Volunteers

Wilderness Volunteers organizes week-long service trips in cooperation wtih public land management agencies. Since 1997, hundreds of folks have joined Wilderness Volunteers on projects all over the country.  Wilderness Volunteers provides volunteers (typically 12) and two trip leaders, and handles all camping, food and transporation logistics. Agencies need to supply supervisors and tools.

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Publications on Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance

We receive frequent inquiries for trail publications, so we’ve compiled an annotated list of some of the top reference trail design, construction, and maintenance books and publications for both begining and more advanced use. We encourage groups to develop trails on their own, but we also encourage you to contact us for questions or consultations.

PTBA recommended publications page.


Bibliographies and Trail-Related References

American Trails Online Bibliographies
American Trails maintains a partial library of online and print resources pertaining to all aspects of trails. While not comprehensive, it’s easy to search. Their bibliography main page is here. From American Trails’ Summer 2003 newsletter: “An excellent starting point for your trails research is the American Trails Bibliography containing over 2,400 trails- and greenways-related publications collected and compiled by Jim Schmid. The publications are organized in broad categories: book, conference proceedings, dissertation/thesis, journal-article, journal-whole, report, and video. Each citation lists the standard information including author, title, date, length, etc. What makes this bibliography special is that Jim wrote an abstract and assigned keywords (over 150) for each citation. He also lists where he found the publication to help you locate your own copy….If you have additions to suggest, contact Jim Schmid at

Trail Planning, Construction, and Maintenance Library and Online Bibliography
University of Minnesota Forestry Library, St. Paul, MN
This online bibliography is backed by a physical university library with the largest physical collection of trail-specific documents in the United States. While no one has everything, for many years this library has sought and catalogued trail information. Materials may be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan.

Glossary of Trails, Greenway and Outdoor Recreation Terms
Compiled by Jim Schmid and hosted online by American Trails. This online gem includes hundreds of definitions from glossaries and terms found in dozens of trail and greenway publications from the last 40 years. Jim says, “I think that this is more than just a useful list of terms. Spending some time with this list will provide quite an education about the various professions involved in trails and their terminology.”

Trail Quotations: Memorable Remarks on Trails Topics
Compiled by Jim Schmid and hosted online by American Trails. Lists several hundred quotes from historic times to the present on topics related to trails and the outdoors. Quotes are organized by topic and include date and citation. This might be just the source for making your point.


Non-profit Organizations

American Trails
American Trails is an excellent general source of trails information.

American Hiking Society

International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)

National Trails Day:

NOHVCC (National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council)
NOHVCC, as a national body of OHV recreation enthusiasts, develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or “tools”, to individuals, clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.

Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC)
Info on trail building, funding resources, ideas, policy, etc. In addition, RTC’s home page has links to its state field offices, which contain a wealth of state-specific trail information.

Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse
Run by the Rails to Trails Conservancy, this web-based clearinghouse lists suppliers of services and products for the trails community.


USDA Forest Service

Organizational Directory of the Forest Service
Lists USFS units and key personnel with mailing addresses.

US Forest Service Employee Search
The Website for Finding Anyone or any address in the USDA Forest Service. This searchable directory lists contact info and email addresses for all regions, forests, and employees of USFS.

Forest Service – All Regions

USDA Board of Contract Appeals

Contract disputes and hearings: One of the best sources of information is the book Administration of Government Contracts by Cibinic and Nash. It is published by the George Washington University group that teaches contract law to government contracting officers and others. It can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan. It addresses just about any weird or unusual, as well as ordinary and mundane, situation that you might ever get into as a contractor and what the boards have ruled on that. An amazing book. – Krista Thie and Daryl Hoyt, Twin Oaks Construction

Guidelines for Selecting Trail Bridge Sites and Structures (PowerPoint)
(Clicking on the link takes you to a USFS web page which has more info and from which you can do the actual download.)
By J. Scott Groenier, PE
Structural Engineer
Wood In Transportation Program
USDA Forest Service
Missoula Technology & Development Center, Missoula, MT
This PowerPoint presentation was given by J. Scott Groenier at the 2004 PTBA Conference in Reno, NV, on February 5, 2004. The audience was comprised of trail builders, trail contractors, federal, state and other interested trail groups. The presentation discusses the importance of good site selection, describes bridge types, the importance of trail bridge inspection and annual maintenance along with related topics of construction, including details for extending the lifespan of trail bridges. The live presentation was 2 hours—this is the PowerPoint presentation used with the live presentation.

Pacific Southwest Research Station:

Missoula Technology and Development Program
The Missoula Technology and Development Program has an online catalog of its many publications, some of which are about trails and trail-related issues and some of which are in online format. To access the list, follow these instructions:

  1. Click here to send email to “”. You’ll receive a prompt reply providing the username and password needed to access the site.
  2. Try visiting the following pages (you’ll be prompted to use the username and password you received):
    Home page for publications
    Search for publications
    Recreation Program publications
    The HTML version of the Trail Maintenance and
    Construction Notebook
    The cool new Trail Bridge Catalog, a unique online resource for trail bridge planning and design

The “Library Card” abstracts for newer pubs often contain links to an HTML
version for viewing and Acrobat files for printing.

USFS trail publications via Federal Highway Admin. (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program:
Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Photo Library Online
The Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Photo Library is now available online on the Forest Service’s accessibility web page at in the middle of the page.

What: These high-resolution photos all show people who have disabilities recreating in a wide range of outdoor setting along with other recreationists. The theme is that recreation is best when all people participate together…no separate of special programs just for people with disabilities.

The photos in this library all have photo releases for use by governmental or nonprofit organizations for the promotion of integrated outdoor recreation.

Why: One of the best was to share the message of inclusive outdoor recreation is by integrating photos of people who have disabilities INTO the photo displays, brochures, etc. used to highlight recreation opportunities. A picture sends a powerful message that all people are welcome here. With 54 million people in the U.S. who currently have a disability that significantly limits one or more of their major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, etc., one of every 5 in this country along with their family and friends need to hear this message. In addition, we are an aging population, with the baby boomers starting to turn 60 this year…by 2030 the over 55 population will be over 110 million in the U.S. with close to 80% of that number over 65. As we who are all gaining in years know…with age often functional limitations increase. The saying goes..if you live long too will join the ranks of those who have disabilities. By working to ensure there are inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities..with all people enjoying the same opportunities in the same manner….we all help to ensure those opportunities will be in place for ourselves and our families and friends as we age.

How: To open a photo file from this Library: Right click on file, select “Save Target As…”, select location to save file.

Adding More: If you have photos that illustrate inclusive outdoor recreation…showing people with and without disabilities recreating together, or even just great shots of people with disabilities recreating in a great outdoor setting that helps to send the message that despite disability people choose both the type of recreation and the setting in which to participate in that recreation according to their interests….I would be glad to consider them for addition to this Library. Each high resolution photo (digital, slide, or photograph) must have a signed photo release for use by any government or non profit organization for purpose of the promotion of integrated outdoor recreation. If you have a photo that meets this criteria, please send me an e-mail so we can work out the logistics of getting that photo into this Library to be shared with others.

Janet A. Zeller
Accessibility Program Manager
USDA Forest Service
Recreation and Heritage Resources


Recreation Trails Program – Federal Highways Association (FHWA)

New and improved and easier to use Recreational Trails Program website:

A quick partial directory of likely links:

* RTP Homepage:

* RTP Brochure:

* RTP State Trail Administrators list:

* RTP Overview:

* RTP Funding:

* RTP Legislation: — as codified in Title 23, with internal links. It also includes some other related legislation.

* RTP Guidance homepage: — this has links to the RTP Guidance itself, plus links to other guidance documents, such as accessibility guidance.

* RTP Guidance itself: — HTML version. The PDF is still available at

* RTP Publications:

* Trail Publications Order form:
* US Forest Service trail publications:
* RTP Report on State Trail Projects:
* Conflicts on Multiple Use Trails:

* RTP Events: If you have a conference of nationwide significance within the next year, please let us know. We might be willing to post some regional conferences as well. We don’t post State-specific conferences (but American Trails does, so pass along those to Stuart Macdonald at .

* RTP Links: If you represent, or know of, a nationwide trail organization that should be on our links page, please let us know, along with a very short one-line description. If the current description for your organization is not accurate, please provide us with the correction.

Thanks to Christopher Douwes for providing the above link info.


Other Federal Agencies

BLM National Training Center:

Contracting with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for Small Businesses

National Trails Training Partnership:

National Trails System:


State Agencies

Forest Trails: Plan for Success

Indiana Trails 2000

South Carolina Trails Program



Beneficial Designs, Inc.

Backpacking Magazine — links to lots of backpacking info

Univ. of California at Berkeley Earth Science and Map Library CD-ROM Collection (incredible collection of over 600 CD-ROMs of all types and scales of geologic, climate, mapping, aerial photos, and other data from around the world)


Do you have a suggestion for a Resource that should be included on this list?  If so, please fill out this form and the PTBA membership will review your suggestion for inclusion.  Thank you for your suggestion!

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