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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have 40 acres of thick trees, underbrush, etc in Wisconsin. The land has minimal trails. So, we'd like to continue winding trails throughout the property, as well as dig for a man made lake too, all for recreational use.

We are looking at hiring out to get it done way faster, but wonder if it's a better option to buy a machine instead, if we can find an inexpensive and efficient one.

Ideally, we would eventually like to slowly add campsites along the trail system, which is why we're considering buying equipment vs hiring out, because of this long term project idea.

Regarding underbrush growing back, how do we prevent that from happening?

Most of all we could use suggestions on what type of equipment would be ideal for our plans? We'd like to keep the equipment cost as far under $15,000 as possible, if possible.

Lastly, what is the best way to cover the trails for future use, especially durable enough for family and friends to drive their atvs or campers on?

Any experiences and advice regarding all of this would be so appreciated.
 

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Just a couple comments to give you an idea, the last project I had bid was $3.80 a linear foot for machine built trail for North Dakota prairie sod and tree mix in 2019. And $15,000 might get you a used walk behind skid loader, but I'm not sure what the used market looks like right now for Bobcat, Ditch Witch or Vermeer.
 

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Getting a little Kubota BX25 would be okay for ATV sized trails, and useful for other projects. Pay attention to drainage issues when planning out routes, and you'll have to maintain trails by cutting back the brush every year. A medium sized chainsaw would serve you well.
 

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Hi mfb4. Congrats on the land and the trail plans. If you're looking to create singletrack biking trails, I'd be happy to share my experience building this one in central MN where the forest is likely similar: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/ashmun-hills/

Warning, it's WAY more work than you'd expect. I (almost embarrassingly) have hundreds of hours into this mile and a half with an old skid steer, ATV and winch, chainsaw, loppers, backpack leaf blower, and a Travis trail tool.
 
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