An ongoing investment
Trails are an investment that need to be cared for. This is true for all trails, and particularly trails featuring dynamic, bike-optimized features.
Hot Springs Stewards
Phase I of the Northwoods Trail System in Hot Springs, Arkansas features 15 miles of IMBA-designed and built jump trails, flow trails, hand-built technical trails, enduro trails, and cross-country loops. An innovative system deserves innovative investments—the city of Hot Springs hired a Trails Coordinator to expand the system and a Trail Specialist to manage routine maintenance. The Trail Specialist coordinates monthly trail work with volunteers from Trail Advocacy Coalition of the Ouachitas, an IMBA Local Partner, and works with the city, county, and national park. Maintaining a world-class experience for every rider is meaningful: ridership is exploding and Northwoods Phase II is in the works.
What is trail stewardship?
Stewardship is the local act of assisting land management partners with maintenance, promotion, and programming to protect the trails, landscapes, and experiences trails provide. Stewardship ensures that mountain bikers, trail users, and coming generations continue to enjoy these experiences.
Anticipating future stewardship and maintenance is a strong component of a successful trail plan. Trails can be staff-maintained by the land agency; volunteer-maintained by local trail groups; tuned up annually by professionals, or a collaborative combination. Programming like youth events, group rides, or races can ignite trail use and increase stewardship participation.