McDonald Hollow Trail Network Visitor Use and Trail Impact Study: A First Look

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The recent construction of the McDonald Hollow Trail Network located in Blacksburg, Virginia presents an important opportunity to explore early stage soil degradation and visitor use patterns on a public multi-use trail. Through the creation of permanent transects along each trail and the implementation of a visitor use survey, initial usage and impact patterns can begin to be observed. This not only addresses a gap in the outdoor recreation literature in regard to early stage trail impacts, this report will also serve to provide the Town of Blacksburg and other stakeholders a robust tool and dataset to guide future maintenance and trail development on Brush Mountain. The following chapters will provide protocols for the implementation and data collection processes for visitor use and trail impact monitoring as well as an examination of data collected during this initial study period (Fall, 2021 to Summer, 2022). In doing so, the groundwork will be laid for the continual monitoring of visitor use and trail impacts at McDonald Hollow moving forward.

McDonald Hollow, McDonald Hollow trail network, Brush Mountain, Survey, Trail monitoring, Visitor use, Hiking, Mountain biking, Outdoor recreation