by Patrick Slaughter

Dipping into Soil Science for Trail Construction Techniques

During Wilderness Skills Institute 2015, field work included identifying locations for and the installation of rolling grade dips to control water by getting it off the Trail. As part of that training, Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Trail Specialist Chris Binder explained why soil science is important to establishing the Trail and its features.

In this video Chris explains how familiarity with soil types will help in the construction of rolling grade dips.

For more information about rolling grade dips refer to the USFS publication Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook 2007 Edition, page 35. There is also more on laying out and building dips in A.T. Design Construction and Maintenance (2000), pages 63-64.


This was taught as part of the Essential Trail Maintenance course at the 2015 Wilderness Skills Institute, hosted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, U.S Forest Service, and Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards.