The first priority for trail work is to correct truly unsafe situations. This could mean repairing impassable washouts along a cliff, or removing blowdown from a steep section of a packstock trail.
The second priority is to correct things causing significant trail damage—erosion, sedimentation, and off-site trampling, for instance.
The third priority is to restore the trail to the planned design standard. This means that the ease of finding and traveling the trail matches the design specifications for the recreational setting and target user. Actions range from simply adding ‘reassurance markers’ to full-blown reconstruction of eroded tread or failed structures.
Whatever the priority, doing maintenance when the need is first noticed will help prevent more severe and costly damage later.
—WOODY HESSELBARTH, Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook, 1999
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