There are two general ways to begin a trail project in a community. The first method is for the community (client) to hire design or planning professionals such as landscape architects, urban planners or engineers to lead a trail project on behalf of the community. The second way involves a grass roots approach where a community gets the project started and develops the conceptual ideas on their own and then later brings in professionals during the design phase. Regardless of the approach for the initial phase, professionals need to be involved to eventually construct the trail(s) but how much of the process and outcome they influence is ultimately up to the community. For the purpose of this document, we will focus on the second method to help projects get started in the community by the community. Collaboration, coordination and partnerships are essential for the success of a project due to the linearity of trails and complexity of trail systems. The specific outcomes of a trail, its benefits, and costs for the community depend on the specific location, region and potential of the community group as covered in the Beyond a Path 1 publication.
Koo, Jayoung, "Trail Planning" (2016). Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications. 118.