Building and maintaining trails is at the heart of RFMBA’s mission. We’ve seen how both communities and individuals benefit from having accessible recreation experiences. Having an extensive trail network within your community encourages wellness, enriches value, and provides a meeting point for the community.
This is why building trails is so important. Not only are trails incredibly beneficial, but building trails carries with it tremendous benefits for volunteer trail builders. This post explores how you too can benefit from the productive digging of dirt at your favorite trail network. Let’s go beyond the obvious (creating awesome trails for you and others to enjoy), and looks at how trail work builds strength, character, and community.
One things is for sure, trail building is hard work. Physical labor builds tremendous strength, something every mountain biker could use more of. Swinging the pick-mattock, dragging the McLeod, squeezing the loppers, or even good ole fashion shoveling all represent their own workouts, and all definitely build strength. Just like riding your bike, make sure to stretch first and always user proper form and safety protocols when handling heavy tools.
Just like a long and adventurous day in the saddle, a day of trail work is not without challenges. Whether it’s the hot sun, a particularly rocky section of earth to be dug up, or determining the perfect gradient for a trail tread or berm, these challenges require focus, determination, and grit to get the job done right. These are also great ways to build your mental toughness and character.
For communities that have accessible trail networks, they often serve as a community meeting point, and function to drive economic development within the community. A recent report from the Outdoor Industry Association stated that outdoor recreation created 229,000 jobs generating $9.7 billion dollars in wages, driven by $28 billion in consumer spending. This all generated $2 billion in tax revenue. This is just in Colorado!
It’s pretty clear, the benefits of building trails are significant. A day toiling in the dirt makes you stronger and wiser, and makes your community a better place to live. Let’s not forget you are building something everyone will enjoy for years and years to come.
We have opportunities to help build trails all season long. Check out our events page for the latest information.