I have been designing and building hiking and biking trails since 2005. I became the Trail Steward of Boulder Park in Dallas about three months after getting into mountain biking. I re-routed this maze of trails into an organized loop of 4 miles. Then over the next two years we added 6 miles, making it one of the more popular riding spots in the area.
I was then asked to build trails on land owned by the Texas Land Conservacy. We built 8 miles of trail for them on what became the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve. It was very rewarding to work with volunteers from DORBA and TLC in building this urban trail.
I spent two years (2012-13) on the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association (DORBA) as the Vice President of Trails. In this position I was responsible for working with the individual trail stewards to coordinate the maintenance of all our local trails. I also worked with local governments and land owners to make sure we upheld our MOA agreements. Working to secure new MOA's with existing properties, I was able to strengthen Dorba's relationships. We were also successful in adding three new properties.
In 2009 I got the opportunity to build Big Cedar Wilderness Trails on some of the highest elevation in Dallas.
From 2005-2015 I put in over 7000 hours. It was at this point that I started Shadow Trail Designs and stopped doing volunteer work.
In addition to the above Trail Design work, I had training in civil engineering at a trade school. I spent 20 years in the golf course industry working my way up from grounds crew to Superintendent. I helped build 2 courses in San Antonio, working hand in hand with the Architect and Construction Superintendent.
I started racing in 2005 and quickly moved from Cat 3 (beginner) to a Cat 1 (pro. in the 50 plus age group). I had many podium finishes, with several 1st Place wins. Racing helps give me great insight into what highly skilled riders are looking for in a trail. Many XC as well as Endurance races have been held at the trails I've built to rave reviews.
What we can do for you!
CONSULTATIONS We can come out and walk your property to evaluate the potential. We can let you know approximately how many miles you might be able to get, what types of users you may attract, and discuss what the project could cost.
DESIGNS If you have the crews and/or volunteer labor, but do not know how to lay out a proper trail, we can help. We can cut your initial corridor, and flag out your routing.
EDUCATION We can teach your crews and workers the proper techniques to build a sustainable trail.
CONSTRUCTION We can bring in a crew to build your trail or work hand in hand with your people. If budgeting is an issue and time is not, I can work by myself to keep your costs down.
42 ft over ravine
Built using 3 telephone poles. It is 6ft wide with rope railings.
Spanning a ravine of huge boulders with uneven sides. We used concrete bags to level the ends.
Over live tree
Beautiful Bur Oak that fell. This bridge brings you up close and person while still protecting it's growth.
We used downed Cedar trees for pilings and reclaimed planks from an old deck.
This is the first of 3 drops. Local builder donated the stone used to armore edges to keep them from breaking down.
Water flows through here during storms. We were lucky and found all amoring material in creekbed.
Cool old spillway
Stumbled across this while scouting new trail. Finished bermed feature is shown above.
Crew building bridge
This was an organized workday utilizing local volunteers. This trail has 96 bridges of various widths and lenghts.
This is step one, clearing a walking path. Then stumps are removed, areas leveled, tread raked and then weedeated.
Using the land
We look for trees with cool branching or nice groups to go through. A properly built trail is fun, flowy, technical and artistically pleasing.
Easy and fast to build. While wooded terrain is fun, there can be much beauty found crossing prairie lands.