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Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience

Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience

A project of IMBA and the Bureau of Land Management

Every year more than 3.5 million mountain bikers ride the trails that are available on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). And there are more riders every year. The BLM is responding to this increasing demand by providing new and improved mountain bike trails so more Americans can experience their public lands on two wheels. But we are not doing this alone. We work closely with communities across the country and with national partners so we can be thoughtful, strategic, and sustainable in our approach.

The BLM collaborated with the International Mountain Bicycling Association and other partners to develop these “Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience” (GQTE), published in 2017. The guidelines will help improve the design, construction, and management of mountain bike trails all across the country. 

The overarching vision for the GQTE is to establish key characteristics that will define a range of trail-based experiences. When applied properly, the trail features will form the foundation for an experience that meets the targeted trail objectives and outcomes. The GQTE documents the BLM’s evolution as a land management agency, provides internal staff and the public at large a resource to better communicate what constitutes a quality riding experience, and sets forth a process for ensuring that targeted experiences and beneficial outcomes are realized. 

As a mountain biker’s quest for an extraordinary riding experience has evolved, so must the evolution of how trails are communicated, planned, designed, constructed, and managed. 

Download the complete GQTE book.


GQTE pages
GQTE pages
GQTE pages
GQTE pages
About the project lead
Image Richard Edwards

Richard has travelled the globe spreading the message of better trails and good stewardship. He has led trail projects, done assessments, and taught trail building clinics in 33 U.S. states and eight countries. Richard’s depth of experience includes teaching the latest in trail design,…

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