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Trail Standards

Adaptive Mountain Bike Trail Guidelines

Adaptive Mountain Biking is growing in popularity. This page is designed to help you determine what an inclusive trail looks like. For the sake of this page, we will refer to these personal wheelchairs as adaptive mountain bikes. However, it should be noted that if these “bikes” fall into the ADA guidelines then these wheelchairs are allowed on any public land e-assist or not unless they fall into the category of an OPDMD (most do not).


HERE is a list of bikes we used to test these trails. The bikes that may have difficulty accessing some of the more difficult trails are any modified road bikes to ride on dirt, and kid’s bikes. We have experienced limited clearance with both styles and recommend reading TrailFork reviews prior to accessing the trail.

We do not rate these trails because overall, ratings across the country are subjective. What might be rated a black diamond in one region might be a blue square in another. We strongly recommend using our universal image for all trails that are accessible and keeping the current difficulty rating of any modified trails or matching your new adaptive trail rating with the rest of your trail systems rating.

Adaptive Trail Building Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to provide access to the average adaptive mountain biker. There are trails that do not fall into these guidelines that are still accessible and some that fall into these guidelines that are not accessible to everyone. However, these guidelines have been tested by a wide variety of trikes, tandems, handcycles, and upright bikes and we have found that a majority of the population can ride trails that fall under these guidelines. Because there are advanced riders pushing the boundaries every day, the minimum standards we recommend to mark your trail as accessible is having a minimum trail width of 38 inches and when climbing, a maximum obstacle height of 6 inches. However, below are some guidelines when it comes to making a new trail and/or modifying an existing trail.

Trail Width
Average: 48″ (1.2m)
Minimum: 38″ (1m)
Safety shoulder: 8″ (0.5m) minimum

Can be widely variable
Must be predictable
Majority: 95% compacted

Running Slope
20% (11 degrees) or less
8′ (2.5m) or more between rollers

Cross Slope
Straightaways: 8-14% (5-8 degrees) or less
Turns, berms, Technical Terrain Features: 58% (30 degrees) or less

Corner Radius
Straightaways: 20′ (6m) or more
Turns, berms, Technical Terrain Features: 15′ (4.5m) or more
Exits lower than entries

Full-width Technical Terrain Features: 6″ or less
Partial width Technical Terrain Features: 4″ or less

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