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Introduction to Foundations of Sustainable Trails: A Trail from Start to Finish



Full course description

Course summary:

A Trail from Start to Finish is an introductory, short "micro-learning" targeted to developing trail workers. Anticipated to take about 15 minutes to complete, this microlearning discusses what it means for a trail to be sustainable and describes the lifecycle of sustainable trails and each of the stages of that cycle.

This micro-learning will introduce topics such as inclusive trails, common pitfalls in trail sustainability, lifecycle phases of a trail, and more—all through the lens of what it means for a trail to be sustainable.

Course objectives:

After completing this course, learners should be able to:

  • ​​​​Define "sustainable trails."
  • ​​​​D​​escribe the iterative phases of a trail project.
  • ​​​​​Identify key resources to support the planning and implementation of a sustainable trails project.​

Course topics include:

  • Sustainable Trails
  • Trails Step-By-Step

Elements of the course:

  • Interactive practice activities
  • Supplemental reference materials

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need.

Recommended background

There are no prerequisites for this microlearning. This microlearning is a recommended starting point for anyone interested in one of the Foundations of Sustainable Trails courses on Tread & Alignment, Structures, and Tools.

Course creators:

This micro-learning course was developed by the Eppley Center for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University in partnership with American Trails. It serves as a brief introduction to the Foundations of Sustainable Trails courses, presents a definition for sustainable trails, and describes the sustainable trail lifecycle.

How to access:

Upon enrolling, you will receive instructions and the link to the Canvas course. Note: When you register, you will receive an email invitation. Be sure to accept that invitation, or Canvas will not allow you to open the course modules.

Enrollees can move through content modules at their own pace within the course timeframe.


Length: Self-paced


Eppley Center for Parks and Public Lands


Audience: Anyone working in parks, recreation, or public lands

Sign up for this course today!