Skip to content

American Trails and Eppley Institute Launch Free Foundations of Sustainable Trails e-Course Series

The Eppley Institute is proud to announce the newly launched Foundations of Sustainable Trails, developed and hosted in partnership with American Trails. This new five-part series of online courses is intended to provide those new to the trails workforce with a baseline understanding of terminology and concepts that give them a solid foundation to support their future trails education and ongoing professional development. 

These short self-directed courses are perfect for new crew members, volunteers, and students heading into in-person programs in trail planning, design, maintenance, construction, and management. The course curriculum focuses on core trail concepts, emphasizing what it means for a trail to be sustainable. The introductory course describes the lifecycle of sustainable trails, and four self-assessed mini courses cover the basics of trail hydrology, structures, tools, and tread & alignment. CEUs are available for a nominal fee.  

These courses were developed in partnership with American Trails. American Trails has partnered with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, the Professional TrailBuilders Association, the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Vermont University, NW Arkansas Community College, and many other agencies and universities over the past three years, to support the creation of a community of practice and consistent educational standards for trail workforce development. The Trail Competency Framework, a project authored by the Eppley Institute, was the product of the first collaboration and is the foundation of American Trails’ Trail Skills Project website.