Extended Workshops 

Turns for the Better Workshop

March 30 – 31, 2014,
8:00am – 4:00pm each day
Instructors:  Mike Shields, Technical Consultant;  Gabe Travis, Interior Trails

2-day course covering the structural geometry of sweep turns and switchbacks at various slope angles, and its effects on turn point selection, turn layout, construction, drainage, traffic flow and wear, and maintenance. Field day exercises will include layout of both turn types on various slope angles. Attendees should bring a clinometer and a magnetic compass.
Maximum class size 24.

Creating Great OHV Trails Workshop

March 30 – 31, 2014,
8:00am – 5:00pm each day
Instructors:  Drew Stoll, Great Outdoors Consultants

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of OHV management, the trail design process, and evaluate the construction of an existing OHV trail. The trail design process will be practiced on site in the alignment of a new OHV trail. An existing OHV trail will be evaluated to understand construction methods and techniques that were used. The existing trail will also be evaluated for riding experience quality and sustainability. Participants will have the opportunity to share similar projects with each other.  Maximum class size 15.

Wilderness & Remote First Aid Workshop – American Red Cross 2-Year Certification Course

March 30 – 31, 2014
8:30am – 5:30pm each day
Instructor:  Larry Knutson, Penn Trails

The two day/16-hour Wilderness and Remote First Aid (WRFA) course is designed to provide people who work and play in the outdoors with a foundation of first aid principles and skills to be able to respond to emergencies and give care in areas that do not have immediate emergency medical services (EMS) response.  Maximum class size 12 (minimum of 6).

Chainsaw Safety & Certification Workshop – USFS Sawyer Certification Course

March 31 – April 2, 2014
1:30pm – 5:00pm on Monday, 8:00am – 5:00pm on Tuesday and Wednesday
Instructor:  Dennis Helton USFS (retired) and Chainsaw Trainer

This 2.5 day course will provide attendees an excellent overview of all aspects of chainsaw work for trails including: limbing, bucking, and felling operations. The goal of this workshop is to train and certify students in safe chainsaw use. It is designed to help students become familiar with OSHA and Forest Service standards, chainsaw maintenance, required safety equipment, proper saw use, situation awareness, hazard analysis and cutting plan. Successful candidates will be issued a USFS Sawyer Certification and a PTBA Chainsaw Operator Certification. Maximum class size 12 (minimum of 6).

Rigging for Trailwork Workshop

March 31, 2014
8:00am – 5:00pm
Instructors:  Lester Kenway, Trail Services

This one-day workshop is divided between classroom presentations and outside demonstrations of equipment and techniques. Safe practices in the use of wire rope and rigging equipment will be presented; a variety of winches and specialty tools will be available to apply in different situations. Applications ranging from simple pulling/dragging situations to overhead skyline systems hundreds of feet long will be described or demonstrated. Maximum class size 25.

Mechanized Trailbuilding Workshop

April 3 – 5, 2014
1:30pm – 5pm, Thursday, & 7:45am – 5:00pm, Friday-Saturday
Instructors:  Valerie Naylor, Valerie Naylor Trails Specialist;  Woody Keen, Trail Wisdom; Steve Thomas, Terra Firma Trails;  Bob Karriker;  Tony Boone, Tony Boone Trails;  John Gibson, Tri-State Company

This 2.5 day workshop will focus on giving participants plenty of time in the operators seat on a variety of machines. Guidance will be provided by professional trailbuilders with the machine hours and instructor experience to improve participants skills whether you are newcomers to mechanized trailbuilding or experienced operators looking to test out new categories of machines. Join us for this hot topic workshop and learn how to use machines, but yield a high level of finish and an “always been there” look. Maximum class size 25.

Working With Stone Workshop

One day workshop offered twice, Friday, April 4 & Saturday, April 5, 2014
7:45am – 5:00pm
Instructors:  Eddie Walsh, Tahawus Trails LLC;  Chris Ingui, Tahawus Trails LLC;  Erin Amadon, Peter S Jensen and Associates LLC;  Peter Jensen, Peter S Jensen and Associates LLC

Experience the process of finding & shaping stone, moving stone by hand and via cable rigging, and installation of stone cribbing and stone armoring. This 1 day workshop (repeated on Saturday) will focus on 3 parts which are all hands on.  Maximum class size 20.

“How Flow Should You Go?” – Planning for mountain bike optimized trails.

One day workshop, Friday, April 4, 2014
8:00am – 5:00pm
Instructors:  Rich Edwards, IMBA Trail Solutions

A classroom and field session focused on reviewing the various types of mountain bike optimized trail and their terrain, design, and maintenance criteria to allow for informed planning and management choices.

Bridge Building Workshop

One day workshop, Saturday, April 5, 2014
8:00am – 5:00pm
Instructors:  Jed Talbot, Off the Beaten Path and Charlie Dundas, Tri-State Company

Learn the basics of dimensional lumber bridge construction in a one day, hands-on workshop. This session will build on information covered the Bridge Building 101 Presentation and the half day Bridge Abutment Survey and Construction Mini-Workshop. Participants will construct an 18’ long, 5’ wide pedestrian bridge from dimensional lumber.

Topics covered will include site assessment, pedestrian bridge design criteria, materials options and transportation, sizing and moving stringers, post, rail, and decking options, essential and helpful tools, and leaving a clean, finished product and work site.

Participants should come ready to work with gloves, long pants, and boots. Personal protective equipment will be provided.

Jed Talbot is the owner of Off the Beaten Path, a trail contracting and training business based in Maine. Off the Beaten Path specializes in technical backcountry stone and timber structures, particularly those that require custom rigging systems. Jed has over 15 years of experience constructing and repairing pedestrian, mountain biking, accessible, ATV, and equestrian trails. Jed has led over 75 trail skills workshops to date for various local, state, and federal agencies, non-profits, conservations corps, and advocacy groups across the country.

Charles Dundas…”Charlie” began building trail, as a volunteer in 1958, while a Boy Scout. His company, Tri-State Company, has been building trail, professionally, since 1987. Tri-State’s market niche is remote site construction, often employing helicopter support. In the course of 24 years, they have built, designed, reconstructed or maintained over 500 miles of trail. They are, perhaps, better known as the “bridge people”, having built numerous bridges to include: cable suspension, glu-lam, steel, heavy timber, and their specialty, unique curvilinear screw laminated bridges/elevated walkways. Charlie views his company as more than a trail building company, he sees it as engaged in the art of “recreational infrastructure”.


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Core Conference Mini-Workshops

These great Mini Workshops are 3-3.5 hours in length, and allow more in depth exploration of a topic than can be had in a typical concurrent session. Mini-Workshops are all included in the registration fees, but do require pre-registration, so sign up soon to ensure your spot in one of these great opportunities.

Living History Tour of Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park

Join this fascinating walking tour of the mysterious Rock Cairns, prehistoric, Native American and Civil War history of the Stonewall area. West Virginia is celebrating 150 years of statehood this year, so Civil War history has been very popular. The primary interpretive focus of this tour is pre-historic through 18th century American Indian history, but other interests include 18th century European-American history and mid-19th century Civil War history. We will tailor this tour to the desires of the PTBA conference attendees. Doug Wood has been working on a book for several years now, which discusses the Indian Trails that once networked across The Mountain State.


Stone Splitting and Shaping Mini-Workshop

This course will teach students how transform native stone into smaller building stones for various stone structures. Materials to be covered include how to read and analyze a rocks structure so that it will yield the most material, how to split rock into the desired dimensions using rotary hammer drills, feathers and wedges, and how to shape stones using various shaping hammers and chisels including stone busters, points, sets and more. Even if you have no experience with any of the above tools, you will leave knowing how to shape stone into stone blocks for later use in construction and how manipulate stones for tight fitting construction.


Helical Pier Installation Mini-Workshop

Participants will take part in the installation of helical piers for a platform to be built for the Stonewall Resort State Park. Pier layout, design loads, equipment needed and setup, methods of installation, data recording, pier extension use, cross bracing, cutting piers to height, and installing timber cross beams will be covered. We will also delve into overcoming obstacles such as deep water and rocky ground. Various types of helical piers will be discussed. Participants must wear boots and long pants. Hearing and eye protection, as well as gloves, will be provided.


Trail Design/Layout for Universal Access Mini-Workshop

Participants will take part in the layout of a section of universal access trail which will become part of the Stonewall Resort State Park trail system. The newly approved federal trail accessibility guidelines will be used in this workshop. Each person will get hands on experience calculating grades, setting grade stakes and determining trail construction methods. All measuring tools will be provided. Participants must wear boots and long pants. Gloves will be provided.


Trail Construction for Universal Access Mini Workshop

Participants will take part in the construction of a short section of trail designed using the newly approved federal trail accessibility guidelines. Construction will entail use of a mini excavator, a tracked machine for hauling surfacing materials, plate compactor for surface material compaction, and hand tools for grading and finishing. We will also discuss retaining and drainage structure installation. Each participant will have an opportunity to use the various types of equipment. Participants must wear boots and long pants. Gloves, eye & ear protection, and hard hats will be provided.


Equestrian / Shared use non-motorized Trails “How does it all work together?”

This workshop highlights what is important for agency personnel as well as shared use trail enthusiasts and volunteer trail maintainers to know to be productive and effective. The emphasis will be from saving existing trails to enhancing the opportunities you have available. We will present best layout and management practices for sustainable, environmentally sound trails that are horse friendly, as well as fixing issues that can’t be avoided. Our goal is to have you go home and confidently put into practice what you learn.


Beyond Physical Sustainability: Developing trail specifications that satisfy complex user desires and managerial realities

This 3 hour mini workshop will focus on the steps needed to follow to develop the trails and trail systems that users are seeking: a wide range of trails with many different characters. Focus will be placed on the variety of trail experiences desired by users, trail types available (existing and future), as well as communication and effective implementation of trail planning efforts. Specifically, portions of the workshop will be dedicated to:

  • Public Outreach: communicating with trail users to gain an understanding of their needs and desires
  • Development of a Trail Planning document that prioritizes improvements for higher levels of physical, social, and managerial sustainability.
  • Developing trail specifications that will lead to higher levels of user satisfaction, improved maintenance and regulatory compliance
  • RFQ and RFP processes to hire the best-suited contractor for the particular project being undertaken
  • Management of trail contracts to assure a high quality project that is developed on-time and within budget.


Protecting our Urban Forestry with Ultra Low Impact Trail Planning, Design and Construction Techniques

One of the first steps, in this new process is to collect the data of the existing conditions within the proposed trail alignment. Employing a professional arborist with the experience to identify tree species and assess the individual tree’s health is a critical step. The original designed trail alignment is modified to react to the individual tree’s condition. Trail professionals now employ methods of air spading within the root protection zone of trees adjacent to the new trail tread alignments. This exposes the tree root networks enabling informed decisions to be made as to how best construct the tread to minimize the impact on our urban forestry. Selecting aggregates, (CU Soil) which provide voids for root growth/irrigation and support the intended trail tread loads, is the next step. Now with the trail route finalized, the materials selected and the building techniques decided, it is time to begin construction. During the entire on site construction process the established best practices of trail development are used. Tree trunk protection, construction barriers, trail tread drainage structures, tread materials and properly sized equipment all ensure a successful minimal impact finished product.


Water Trail Design, Layout and Infrastructure Mini-Workshop

This mini-workshop will be divided into four segments. The first will be an overview of the general characteristics of water trails and will focus on the user and their expectations especially how these expectations shape water trail standards. We will also discuss how to understand and monitor degrees of use and impact along a water trail.

The second segment will investigate the dynamic nature of water focusing on the forces at play in the transition areas where the water meets the land. General principals of geomorphology and river dynamics will be explored, especially in regard to how these processes influence water trail design and infrastructure needs.

The third segment will give an overview of adaptations made to trail infrastructure to accommodate the unique forces and challenges presented by a water trail. We will show examples of both rock and lumber transitions as well as adaptations to signage and human waste management infrastructure.

The fourth segment will be outdoors where we will use the shoreline of Stonewall Jackson Lake to discuss water trail design, layout, and have the ability to install and test devices that support the installation of low impact trail infrastructure.

Walter Opuszynski-NFCT Trail Director
Walter Opuszynski has been building, designing, and managing trails throughout New England and the Northern Forest for 15 years. He was educated at Unity College in Maine, receiving a background in the areas of education, land management and the natural sciences. For the past five years he has been the Trail Director for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a 740 mile waterway connecting Old Forge, NY and Fort Kent, ME. Focusing on stewardship efforts he has been working to develop a management system for the corridor that will accommodate sustainable use and retain the natural character the waterways and portages are known for while accommodating the diverse landownership and fostering the integration with trail communities.

Sam Brakeley-NFCT Regional Field Coordinator (NH, ME)
Sam is from North Andover, MA and a 2010 Colby College graduate where he majored in Environmental Studies. A life-long trails enthusiast he is an avid hiker, paddler, and skier who has thru-hiked the Long Trail in Vermont and the Appalachian Trail as well as thru-paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. He continues to spend as much time in the woods and on the water as possible. He currently resides in Norwich, VT where he works for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail organization as Regional Field Coordinator, manages his own trail business, Hermit Woods Trailbuilders LLC, and is in the midst of planning his next adventure.

Noah Pollock-NFCT Regional Field Coordinator (VT-QC-ME)
Noah hails from Delmar, New York and graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. In 2007 he earned a Master’s degree from the Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, where he studied sustainable community development and ecological economics. His thesis examined the economic impact of paddler tourism and recreation along the waterways that make up the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Noah was one of the NFCT’s first interns in 2007; a Field Coordinator for several summers, assisting with intern and waterway work trip programs; and a Community Outreach consultant building relationships with business partners in Vermont. An avid paddler and river enthusiast, Noah also assists with the Vermont River Conservancy’s conservation and river access projects, particularly the Connecticut River Paddlers Trail.


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