Title: Optimized horse trail design for Illinois soil
Author: Jones, C.J.; Park, Logan O.;
Source: In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 267-268.
Publication Series: Abstract
Description: One of the fastest growing forms of outdoor recreation is equestrian trail riding. In a study examining long-term trends of use on Forest Service lands, equestrian-based recreation was identified as one of the top five activities experiencing growth. As the numbers of horse riders rise, the economic impact of equestrian recreation can be expected to increase across the country. However, equestrian use has been identified with several negative impacts on trail systems including soil compaction, increased trail width and depth, and reduced surface litter. Evidence shows that the problems associated with recreation impact are likely the result of poor planning and location rather than the type of use alone. Due to the role of landscape characteristics such as wet soils and steep slopes in influencing common trail issues (i.e., muddy sections and eroded treads), landscape considerations during the planning process should be able to prevent most impacts before they happen. Furthermore, observational evidence shows that factors such as trail position, trail slope alignment angle (TSA), grade, water drainage, and type of use are significant determinants in how a trail erodes. If a trail is properly designed, much of the degradation associated with heavy impact might be prevented.
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Jones, C.J.; Park, Logan O. 2014. Optimized horse trail design for Illinois soil. In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 267-268.
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