Trail Design

Planet Zero Gravity has a certification in sustainable trail layout, design and maintenance. We use UAVs and GIS software for mapping to help people better visualize planned and existing trails and mountain bike parks.

trail design for mountain bike singletrack and hiking

Trail Design – Build Better Trails and Bike Parks


Building a successful trail network or bike park takes lots of planning, and lots of support. Many different stakeholders should be involved in the entire trail design process.

When it comes to mountain biking, well-designed singletrack trails can have flow, features and obstacles. What makes them fun to ride often does not have much in common with what a hiker or runner may enjoy. Planning and designing them takes creativity and knowing what makes a great trail.

Planet Zero Gravity can provide trail design support for your project as follows

Trail Layout

Whether you are looking to show stakeholders a new parcel of land to build a trail network, need a detailed contour map to reroute a difficult section of trail, or want a terrain map so your bike park builder knows what they have to work with, aerial photography, photogrammetry and GIS provides the detail you need.

Conceptual Trail Design Plans

Our Conceptual Trail Design Plans begin with a discussion of your vision and objectives. We gather background information and ask for any related documents, maps, and comments from the community to help us get a better understanding of your project. Our conceptual design plans will have site specific information that you can take to your preferred builder for construction. Here are the important items these plans can include:

  • GIS and aerial maps
  • Desired project outcomes and user experience
  • Feasibility analysis of area
  • Real estate ownership
  • Permitting requirements
  • List of project stakeholders
  • Access to area and parking
  • Opportunities and challenges
  • Current assets in project area
  • Recommended best practices
  • Proposed trail routing
  • Estimated costs
  • Next steps

Trail Assessment for Maintenance

There are thousands of miles of trails in the U.S. alone that are in dire need of maintenance. This is because of a lack of funding, lack of staff and sometimes not having the time or ability to put together a work plan to address these needs.

Planet Zero Gravity can help to document needed maintenance by taking aerial footage combined with GIS maps of the area, saving time in the field by allowing much of the planning and calculations to be done from a computer.

trail assessment for maintenance

GIS Trail Grade and Sustainability Analysis

Using techniques within GIS, we can look at your entire trail – planned or existing, and see if there are any segments that seem unsustainable, and will create re-occuring maintenance issues in the future. This is an extremely valuable analysis, especially for planned trail networks before they go into the construction phase. It is much easier to make changes earlier in the process, saving potentially thousands of dollars as a result of poor planning. We are also available for site visits to give other suggestions on making your trails more sustainable.

trail grade analysis with GIS

Trail Maps

Need new GIS trail maps, or maybe your existing ones are outdated? We can help! Have trails that are not documented yet, we will go out and collect the GPS data for you.

we create GIS trail maps

Creating a geo-referenced orthomosaic from collected aerial drone photos and importing it GIS brings map creation to the next level!.

using drone orthomosaics to create GIS trail maps

Some say trail design is like creating artwork. We believe that to be true!