Building Utah's path to the greatest trails on earth

Utah Trails Forum 2021 Conference

Logan, Utah
September 22-24

Utah’s first statewide gathering brings together trail planners, builders, advocates, users, as well as tourism and local government leaders who wish to advance the building and care of natural surface trails. The Utah Trails Forum’s first annual conference will offer hands-on field workshops, sessions for both professionals and novices, fantastic networking opportunities, and collaborative meetings to further knowledge of all things trails.

Join us in Logan!

WEDNESDAY: The main Trails Forum conference will offer an afternoon of inspiring and educational sessions on the campus of Utah State University. This conference presents opportunities for everyone, whether you are new to trail planning and need guidance, or have been working on trails for years and want to keep up with best practices and tips. Classroom sessions will be offered in both a Trail Novice track and a Trail Professional track. Participants will have plenty of time for networking while at the trail expo or in the collaborative workshop sessions. Details coming soon.
Attend the Wednesday Trails Forum only (without a Summit ticket): $80
Add-On to your Summit registration: $65 (get your Trails Forum Add-On ticket early for an early bird price of $55!)

THURSDAY: Don’t miss the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit on Thursday! Through programming, networking, and outdoor activities, this event focuses on how we strengthen outdoor recreation communities, the outdoor recreation economy, and improve health and quality of life for all Utahns. Can’t get enough of trails? The Summit features special sessions as part of its Trails, Towns & Tourism track!
Click here to register for the Summit and join us in Logan, Kanab, or both!

FRIDAY: Utah State University Extension Service will host field workshops and you can receive USU Trail Master Steward program credits. The workshops will be held on location at a trail in the Logan area and participants should come dressed for the weather. Choose from one of three modules: Trail Maintenance, Trail Design and Trail Inventory. Workshops will be approximately 6 hours in length and participants will have snacks and lunch provided. This option is a separate sign-up as class size per module will be limited to 20 people or less.

  • Trail Inventory: It’s pretty challenging to assist in solving a problem if you don’t know how to effectively communicate what and where the problems exist. This workshop will teach and then demonstrate how to conduct two different types of trail needs assessments. The first assessment process you will learn is how to assess the trail system needs in your community and identify missing trail linkages and trail user groups with underrepresented needs. This assessment provides a foundational needs-based framework that can guide future trail planning.  The second assessment process that you will learn is an assessment of the current conditions of an existing trail. You will be taught a step-by-step process to identify, locate, and effectively report trail conditions, needs, and potential solutions to a management organization. This portion of the class will be in the field. This workshop provides foundational knowledge to “see” system-wide and on the ground trail issues and effectively communicate them with others. This workshop will be both in a classroom as well as in the field assessing a section of the local trail. This course is ideal for trail planners, trail organization leaders looking for new ways to engage and focus volunteer efforts that help land managers bring resources to their trail networks, and volunteers looking for a process to help and communicate with trail organizations and land managers. Students will leave with an understanding of these two assessment frameworks, associated assessment worksheets, and experience using these processes.
  • Trail Maintenance: Utah is home to an amazing resource – thousands of miles of trails! Routine maintenance is one of the key ways we take care of this incredible resource. Maintenance is something nearly anyone can do and it is something that is desperately needed in any part of the state and on all types of trails. If you want to help maintain trails but you are unsure of where to start when it comes to maintenance, and you want to learn to do it right… this is the course for you. This course will help you confidently identify trail maintenance problems and cover the basics of addressing common trail maintenance issues. This course will cover establishing and clearing the trail corridor, addressing common drainage issues such as restoring tread out-slope, clearing berms and slough, where and how to install different drain types.  The course will teach these concepts through hands-on learning while working on an actual trail in the Logan area. Representatives from trail organizations and the U.S. Forest Service will be the primary instructors and share their wisdom and demonstrate their tips and tricks for you to use in your trail maintenance efforts. Come ready to use an actual trail as your classroom. Be prepared to handle tools, work hard, learn a lot, and help maintain one of our local trails.
  • Trail Design: Have an idea for a new trail route, or do you really want to see a trail from someplace to another but you’re not sure how to actually design a trail route that can get you there? While connecting point A to point B seems like it should be really simple, there is a lot that goes into the process of designing a well-thought-out, sustainable, and buildable trail. Trail design is a series of interrelated steps that help you transition an idea into a well-reasoned plan. This course will take you through each of the steps in the trail design process. The instructors will teach you about designing trails for different user types and learning to understand and respond to the landscape. The course will teach you how to identify the opportunities and limitations you need to consider when designing a trail and include working in the field to design and a section of trail corridor on the ground. The class will finish with hands-on instruction about tight flagging a proposed trail route.

Special sponsored price: $25


Mission: The Utah Trails Forum advances trail access, quality, and stewardship through collaboration, education, and technical support.

Hiking trail sign against trees in Provo Utah