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Trail Building
I am thinking of building some basic trails. Without permission admittedly. Has anybody done this (Breezer)? If so, do you have any wisdom you can share?
My current plan involves a rake and as little digging as possible.
Yes just started a couple of months ago in the FC woods behind my house. Permission.....well, all I am essentially doing is moving stuff around thats on the ground. If you start building jumps and north shore then land owners whether they are private or forestry comission will get agitated and rip it down. The most ive done is a couple of small ramps/jumps to get over fallen trees.

Good rake is essential and ive also got a spade and pitch fork hidden up there. Riding with them was lethal so no way im bringing them back each time! I lay large sticks or old harvested logs down to mark the trail if needed. Some bits dont need it but a lot of it up there looks the same so you have to. If you have a big wood in mind then have a look on the OS map for the contours and work with them. I had a good walk around the area I am using then started plotting where to put them with a rough idea then just kinda set off with the rake. They are all quite short 250m or less and nothing mega technical but I like them, variety of fast, tight and twisty. I found an old log jump that must have been deserted years ago so incorporated that into a run but not had the balls to do it yet. Had one crash on this rooty bit I put through some trees.

Its really knackering doing short thrashes then walking back up and repeating plus you get to try different things out. Im working on my 4th one now which is going to be longer, its currently just over 250m according to the gps and will be about 450 when done, this one has a couple of small bits of uphill in just for a bit of variety. Uploaded a video of my 1st run in the helmet camera thread but for the reasons mentioned there, you dont get an idea of the gradient etc when filming alone
Cheers Breezer. I have already found some great terrain and plan to start as soon as my cast comes off. I have no desire for jumps, im all xc. so it'll be twisty st only, with some bombholes.
Do you compact the trail in any way?
I don't jump either and it sounds like far to much work to make them heh, rather go somewhere that already has them! Nope no compacting. The only real issue ive had is due to the pine needles making the ground a bit soft in places, especially the natural dips and holes and a couple I had to spend blinking ages with the pitch fork etc digging them out to find a solid enough base to ride over. Ie this one, its actually quite long and about a metre drop in height down the slope into, nice when you hit it fast, big awful root right in the middle you have to avoid as well heh

If anyone is interested in trailbuilding or trail improving then i would recommend going to the American IMBA site,then click on "resources".This shows you everything you need to know or do.
Im going to go and scout/survey some new trails tomorrow on foot about noon. If anybody over this was fancies coming along and offering some input or knowledge drop me a pm. You can help me find my rake and spade too!
would have thought a lot of trails (xc) type in places may be overgrown in some of the woods near you and probably best to clear some overgrown stuff and use a billhook/sicle and large pruners and then get people to ride them in. Or possibly to clear some new trails like thru trees and  get some good lines this without digging etc. more trail maintenance to start with and relatively low key. Also start we'll away from footpaths and popular tracks.

if start digging and cutting berms need to make sure you're not too close other trail builders unless you've met/asked them. keep well away from any public rights of way or popular paths and don't publish route details etc.

if ride in trails first the lines should be better and then some improvements can be made but you won't waste time digging berms etc before you get the line right.

be prepared to have your work trashed or trees felled across  or for other trail builders to modify it by buidling jumps and drops, especiallyif you build across decent slopes


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