Trail Difficulty Rating System

‚ÄčTrail Difficulty Rating System

The purpose of the rating system is to provide users with a method to select a route that may be safe and usable by them. The rating system is determined by the primary elements that affect the ability to use a trail, including type of surface, grade, cross-slope, and distance between features.  Each rating is first defined using these base definitions but may need to be adjusted to reflect unusual conditions. Note that these ratings are focused on pedestrian use and use by persons with mobility impairments and are separate from the mountain bike trail difficulty rating system.


Hard/paved or compacted, crushed-rock surface, minimum 5 feet wide, grades 5 percent or less, cross slopes 2 percent or less.  Individuals using mobility devices should be able to use this trail with little or no assistance.




Hard/paved or compacted, crushed-rock or natural surface, minimum 3 feet wide, grades 5 to 8 percent, cross slopes 2 percent or less, with resting areas a maximum of every 100 feet.  Individuals using mobility devices may require assistance.




Hard/paved or compacted, crushed-rock or natural surface, minimum 3 feet wide, grades sustained at 8 to 10 percent, cross slopes 3 percent or less, with resting areas a maximum of every 200 feet.  Uneven, rocky or natural barriers exist.  Most individuals using mobility devices will need assistance.



Natural surface, 3 feet minimum wide path, no resting areas, uneven rocky or natural barriers exist, constructed mountain bike trail features 8" high or less, sustained grades 10 percent and greater, cross slopes 3 to 5 percent.  Use of mobility devices not recommended.