ContourLogic believes that trails can be used to achieve management objectives on public lands. Effective trail systems deliver:

  • Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources,
  • High Quality Recreation,
  • Desired Visitor Behavior, and
  • Long-term Support and Funding for Public Land Programs

We subscribe to the rolling-contour trail approach: precisely locating the tread where gradient, outslope, undulation and meander act together to manage erosion without foreign structures like water bars.

ContourLogic designs successful trail systems by combining land management objectives with four basic principles:

  • Understand erosion. Weather-based erosion is minimized by preventing water (and wind) from concentrating on the tread. User-based erosion is minimized by placing user forces to act on the tread primarily in compression rather than in shear.
  • Visitors choose the most attractive option. To keep users on designated trails we employee techniques to make the trails the most intuitive, fun and attractive route. We test designs by asking, “What will a visitor do?”
  • Trails are tools. Trails can be used to influence where visitors go (and don’t go), how they interact with each other, gain compliance with policies, and to build relevancy and stewardship support for lands.
  • Work with the land. Natural topography provides opportunities to climb, descend and shed water. Innate features such as boulders, trees, edges and views provide interest and help keep users on-trail. Cues from the native landscape provide users a sense of place.

We also bring a quiver of tricks for creating functional trail even in anomalous situations. Techniques include armoring soft soils or steep pitches, elevating the tread to separate it from watercourses, and placing corral items to keep visitors on trail and minimize user-conflict.

Trails are fun. Enhancing the user experience makes a trail system shine. We can tune the setting-specific character to deliver an accessible nature trail with interest at each bend or a rugged, rocky backcountry path. Similarly, variety is what makes one serpentine ribbon of tacky soil feel unique from a mountain biking experience laced with challenging obstacles and creative features.