The influence of layout on Appalachian Trail soil loss, widening, and muddiness: Implications for sustainable trail design and management
Marion, Jeffrey L.
MetadataShow full item record
This research investigates the influence of layout and design on the severity of trail degradation. Previous trail studies have been restricted by relatively small study areas which provide a limited range of environmental conditions and therefore produce findings with limited applicability; this research improves on this limitation by analyzing a representative sample of the Appalachian Trail with significant topographical, ecological, use-related, and managerial diversity. Many trail science studies have also focused on a singular form of trail degradation, whereas this study investigates all three core types of trail impact: trail soil loss, widening and muddiness. Relational analyses with all three indicators provide a more cohesive understanding of trail impact and reveal interrelationships between trail degradation processes. ANOVA testing of the mean values for these trail impact indicators across categories of influential independent factors confirms and refines the relevance of core trail design principles, specifically the sustainability advantages of trails with low grades and side-hill alignments. Findings also reveal and clarify the importance of landform grade in determining the susceptibility of trails to degradation and the influence of routing decisions; these relationships have received relatively little attention in the literature. The results also reveal several methodological considerations for trail alignment metrics and trail impact indicators.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Application of airborne LiDAR and GIS in modeling trail erosion along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, USA Eagleston, Holly; Marion, Jeffrey L. (2020-06)Recreational activities can negatively affect protected area landscapes and resources and soil erosion is frequently cited as the most significant long-term impact to recreational trails. This study applied extensive ...
Bartolome, Abigail Joy (Virginia Tech, 2018-08-08)While many people enjoy hiking as a weekend activity, to many outdoor enthusiasts there is a hiking culture with which they feel affiliated. However, the way that these cultures interact with each other is still unclear. ...