How to Make a Mountain Bike Trail

Making your own trail can be easier than one might think. The more money spent, the easier. Here's how to make your own single track to ride on.


  1. Image titled Make a Mountain Bike Trail Step 1
    Find a location. Find a place that is legal, not wilderness boundary, not someone else's yard and not your mom's garden. An ideal place is your own undeveloped private property, or somewhere the city has permitted you to develop. Make sure there are no cliffs or other extreme hazards on the way.
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    Plan the trail. This requires an engineer and people to look at the path the trail will take. If it is a personal trail and you already have an idea in mind, walk through it and make sure it is what you want.
  3. Image titled Make a Mountain Bike Trail Step 3
    Clear the trail. Even with a flow trail, which is an easy way to make smooth trails (discussed later) needs to not have trees, rocks, or excess shrubbery in the way. This may require getting help from volunteers or workers. To clear trees, dig around until the top of the first roots are exposed, then cut there. This ensures it won't grow back, and that it won't stick up as a stump. Rocks require creativity. Use tools to lever out bigger boulders. Smaller rocks can be picked by hand or raked.
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    Clear other growth. To make your trail just dirt, depending on the location, soil, length of trail, and available resources, there are different methods. Raking out by hand all the grass and weeds can be tedious. Tearing up the trail, churning the soil is good for long lasting smoother trails. A tiller machine or hand pushed tiller could work. If you are willing to spend a little, make a flow trail. They are incredibly smooth and can be made with perfect berms and jumps. The machines to make a flow trail can be rented or bought. Look them up online for more info.
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    Pack the trail. A steamroller or pulled roller can pack down the course initially. Vehicles may be required to ride it down to be more solid, as long as the riders refrain from skidding and peeling out. Ride or hike over the trail to get it even harder. Do not allow horses on your trail for the first year or so.
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    Ride the trail! Take your bike and try it out. Build on jumps, adjust berms, make temporary spit-offs for bigger jumps. Add wooden obstacle trails. A fun idea that is common in trails with wooden ramps is a see-saw. Make a wide slot in a fixed stump or secure base between 1 and up to even 6 feet (1.8 m), depending on the length of the see-saw and steepness you want. These are used by riding up, and getting dropped of on the other side. They can be put in steep drops for fun or to smooth the descent, or on a flat length just for fun. They are not suggested on turns or berms. Another wooden obstacle is a fixed log for balancing. This can extend forward and have a safe sloping drop on either side and in front.
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    Share the trail. Don't let all the work go to waste! tell your friends and have events or even races at your new trail. If it is your own it is suggested to keep horses off so they don't tear it up and poop in your way.


  • Some dangerous animals and protruding obstacles can be deadly and cause injury. It is good to be as safe as possible, but accidents happen.

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Categories: Merge | Mountain Biking