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Use trail-user feedback to keep information current

Summary – Although it may be cost-prohibitive for agencies to constantly visit and monitor their trail systems, it is essential to keep information current and updated.  Trail users can provide that valuable information if there is a method of reporting back.

Description – Way too much information is posted on the internet without indicating its date, undermining the credibility and relevance of the information.  Especially, for people with disabilities, it is essential to understand the current condition of published materials and the facilities themselves.  To receive valuable information directly from the site, there is great potential and benefit of receiving and assimilating user feedback from trail users.  Therefore, encourage feedback by installing comment opportunities on the website.

Importance/Purpose – Updated and current information lets the user know when the information was posted and whether that information reflects current conditions.   Current conditions could be influenced by weather, natural disasters, or other unforeseen influences that could impact or prevent usability, such as fallen trees, flooding, ice and snow, and trail washout.


  1. Indicate when the publication or webpage was last updated or signage was posted.  The placement of this information, is less crucial than contact information and therefore can be located on published materials, at the discretion of the webpage designer or the facility provider.

  2. Utilize community input through on-line feedback mechanisms to provide user reviews: social networks, wikis, “Friends of” type groups, etc.

  3. Link a website to other websites with more current conditions on trails or make this statement “for latest conditions contact ….”

  4. Link to accessibility information (“accessible programs, activities and facilities" or it can say "trails" and have the international symbol of accessibility next to the ones that are accessible).

  5. When a site links to another, care should be taken to ensure the quality of information remains true.

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Graphics 1 and 2

The two linked images above are examples of how other trail users can provide live feedback on the condition of trails and other insights

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