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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
say i have a plot of land (privately owned) that i want to cut a simple trail through..

will hacking by on foot with a machete followed by steady bike traffic on the trail establish it or is it really necessary to take a hoe or mcleod to the dirt and break some real sweat?

just looking for singletrack really and cut my teeth on trails local parks that i always assumed were kept going by locals simply riding them often.

i figure as weather and conditions expose the limitations of the terrain i can incorperate some fun structures here and there while remedying flood/erosion/etc issues that arise.

its all fairly flat though so dont forsee anything crazy.
 

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Delirious Tuck
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Buy the IMBA book first, then go out. Just hacking away will leave a mess, I've seen what was good riding but poorly built turn into poor riding over 3 years because the trail was just hacked in. Which sucks because I used to love riding that spot and no its ho hum or washed out.
 

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Trails should generally contour along a hillside. If the hillside is steep enough for the trail to drain well, it is generally too steep to ride so you have to dig a bench into the hillside. If your area is generally flat, you still want to contour along the gentle hillsides but can ride in the trail rather than dig it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
alright well theres still snow out so i can see more drastic slopes if you can call them that in this terrain, and the lack of foliage allows good sight lines so i can connect a little mental picture of what i want to do as i go along.

should be a good opportunity to get out there and have at it. i'll be sure to take my time and consider where drainage is ideal.

thnx
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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sm4k said:
alright well theres still snow out so i can see more drastic slopes if you can call them that in this terrain, and the lack of foliage allows good sight lines so i can connect a little mental picture of what i want to do as i go along.

should be a good opportunity to get out there and have at it. i'll be sure to take my time and consider where drainage is ideal.

thnx
perfect time of year to plan trails.
 

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Find out someplace in your area that has built a bunch of new IMBA standard trails in the last few years. Riding those trails will help you better envision what your new trail could/should look like.
 

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local trails rider
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As said in a few other threads too, it depends.

Where I live, just using it and trimming the vegetation works very well. Also, the needs are different depending on how much use (wear and tear) the trail sees.
 

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featherweight clydesdale
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sm4k said:
will hacking by on foot with a machete followed by steady bike traffic on the trail establish it or is it really necessary to take a hoe or mcleod to the dirt and break some real sweat?
The one thing you can't change is the topography of your site. The alignment of your trail is the most important part. If you get that wrong, it won't matter if you ride it in or bench it, not that you can bench a fall line anyhow.

Route your trail across the side slope and ascent/descend at no more than 1/2 of the maximum hillside steepness. Don't go straight up and down hills, even if its a very shallow hill. In that manner, the topography is dictating the direction of your trail.

If it's your personal and low use trail, machete and ride it in, if you're uncertain. You can always bench later or just bench a little here and there. It's hard to "unbench" something. If the trail were in a public park or higher use/multi-use place, I'd say go ahead and bench it.
 
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