Customized Trail Design Workshop (Pre-Conference)

Dates: Sunday, March 17 and Monday, March 18 (8 am - 5 pm)
Cost: $380
Instructor: Troy Scott Parker, Natureshape LLC (PTBA Member)

NOTE: This workshop is also offered as a post-conference workshop

workshop description

This hands-on, small group workshop is the next best thing to a custom trail design workshop on your own site. We'll be in the field for all of both days; NO classroom time. Emphasis is on: 

• identifying problems and generating context-appropriate solutions

• optimizing trails and sites

• learning to work with trails as seasoned trail experts do, i.e., intuitively, structurally, and aesthetically at the same time

• shaping lively, wonderful, fun, and sustainable natural surface trails for any type of use you want to work with (hike, bike, horse, accessible, OHV, etc.)

The workshop is based on trailshaping and 30+ years of thought. Trailshaping is a self-structuring framework for expert-level decision making that makes trail experts smarter and that novices can quickly learn and use. It leads us to look for what matters most with any trail, for what most potently shapes it within its own unique context. It integrates intuition (our sense of what’s “just right” and what isn’t), logic, feelings, the site, aesthetics, nature, the user’s trail experience, user psychology, all physical aspects (soils, water, materials, drainage, stability, etc.), impacts of trail use, trail sustainability, trail structures, and all trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management issues within a context-appropriate framework. The framework grows itself, almost effortlessly, from the specific forces that most potently shape all trails. With it, we can understand, explain (in natural language), predict, and assess any existing or proposed trail.

Note: In addition to field days, you’re invited to meet with the instructor indoors during the evening before the first day and the evenings of both field days to discuss your own projects and interests in greater depth.

What to bring

Bring your hiking boots, imagination, an open mind, and photos and topo maps of your trail challenges, opportunities, and successes. 

About the Instructor

Troy Scott Parker, Principal of Natureshape LLC, a trail planning and education firm and PTBA member; developer of trailshaping; and author of Natural Surface Trails by Design: Physical and Human Design Essentials of Sustainable, Enjoyable Trails


Workshop includes a copy of the instructor’s book, Natural Surface Trails by Design: Physical and Human Design Essentials of Sustainable, Enjoyable Trails. (If you’ve already read it, this workshop goes much further.)