The selection of surface material for
trails and paths is primarily based on anticipated type and
intensity of trail use, as well as terrain, climate, design
life, maintenance, cost, and availability. Soft surface
materials are low cost, but require substantial maintenance
and are not suitable for many of the recreational activities
today's trails and paths are used for. Hard surface materials,
specifically concrete and asphalt, provide years of service
with low maintenance.
The following are the key elements to consider in building
quality asphalt trails:
proper sub-grade compaction
adequate pavement thickness
adequate pavement compaction
Bike paths and walking trails in Northeast Ohio should be
constructed to match the existing topography as closely as
possible however, longitudinal slopes should not exceed five
percent and a cross slope of two percent is desirable to
provide adequate drainage away from the pavement surface.
Proper drainage is one of the most important factors affecting
pavement performance. Proper drainage entails efficient
removal of excess water from the trail. Surface water runoff
should be handled using swales, ditches and sheet flow.
Catch basins, drain inlets,
culverts and underground piping may also be necessary. These
structures should be located off of the pavement path.