Part of having excellent trails is understanding both the sustainability and the desired experiences of users. Regular condition assessments help us to identify issues with both sustainability and experience in order to build a plan of attack. Assessments allow volunteers to assist in prioritizing and developing a strategy with our land managers for improving existing trails and trail systems.


The US Forest Service is partnering with SORBA and IMBA through a cost-share agreement to develop training for both volunteers and Forest Service employees on how to assess the current conditions of trails within our National Forests. This training is for all non-motorized trail users, hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.


The training will be led by IMBA Trail Solutions regarding best practices for assessing trails that are currently in use. IMBA has been at the forefront of sustainable natural surface trails for the last 30 years. Using their extensive knowledge, IMBA will train volunteers and Forest Service employees to properly assess current trail conditions. These assessments will then be used to develop a maintenance plan and program of work to keep the trails in a sustainable condition. Action items identified will help guide the agency and our partners to assist in developing cost estimates for completing the identified work so these trails can be enjoyed for years to come.


Through funding from the US Forest Service, this training will consist of two virtual training sessions and one required day in the field. The course will be capped at 25 participants. We are seeking participants who actively participate in volunteer efforts within their local National Forest or are currently employed by the US Forest Service. We encourage applications from all non-motorized user groups to participate! The virtual training will be held on October 25th and November 8th, 2023 from 4:00 – 6:00pm. The on-site portion will be held on November 17 or 18, 2022 in Ellijay, Georgia. You will need to select one of the two days for your field portion. All applicants will need to provide their own travel expenses for the on-site training.


To assist with your travel arrangements, Mulberry Gap has provided this awesome landing page with housing and meal options for our stay. Make sure to book early as fall can get busy!