Dirt Bike Trail Building Tips – Know The Land

After long and hard work of building a loop of riding trails, it’s a blast to get on them right away. Unfortunately, they will quickly get boring…. That is, unless, you incorporate some obstacles in them. These “obstacles” can range from: fallen trees, to large rock sections, all the way to rutted hill-climbs with a combination of logs, rocks, and tree trunks all the way up.

For most of us that don’t have machinery that can move and haul equipment and obstacles as such, we have to get more creative. Depending on how technical you want your trails to be, the goal is to make the trail so that you can incorporate as many obstacles as possible with minimal/no effort in moving them. I try to make it so that if there is a large/difficult obstacle, such as a downed tree, I make a line that goes over it, as well as one that can go around for less-experienced riders (if possible).

Always be on the lookout for more/better trails

Even if you have a trail loop already, you can still go back and scrutinize what you can add to the trail. Who knows, you may find an even better route than what you had before. Go ahead and change it up if that’s the case, even if you didn’t find any obstacles to include.

Single track trails at home

What I try to look for are some nice rounded logs/downed trees, long fly-aways, steep hills/hill-climbs, valleys, and anything else that will mix it up, while still keeping the trail flowing, which is key (more about that in a later article). For logs, I usually make the trail go perpendicular over them (better for beginners), and sometimes stack them up in a pyramid-like shape to make it more challenging.

If there are any hills, I look for a line to make a sweeping corner that turns and goes up the hill. Once I get near or to the top, I make a 180 degree turn to go back down, if possible. It’s hard to tell you what to look for exactly, since every woods is different. You just have to look for lines that connect and flow well, and possibly include obstacles.

Next step in building your dirt bikes trails is marking where the actual trail will go. Using elevation makes adds a lot of fun to trail riding, but there’s one key mistake that I made when I first started building dirt bikes trails. To learn more about making the trail layout click here.

Kelley Fager

I help new riders learn how to safely ride and understand how to tune and fix their dirt bike in their garage.

3 Responses

  1. Clay says:

    Hi, I’ve read all your articles on building trails, and you were a great help! I recently got a dirtbike, not being that well experienced. however, I bmx and love to ride trails. I have about 30 acres of woods and they are full of weeds and thorns. the thorns are unbearable to deal with. I figured i could just ride through an area over a period of time to form a trail but that didnt go so well. I spent months working on trails ahead of time before i got my dirt bike. my woods are also full of obstacles including ravines that drop 200 ft and are 80 degrees steep. Being unexperienced with the great amount of terrain and obstacles i have, my trails are some what limited. with your advice i’m pretty sure i can make the most out my trails.
    Kind regards,

    • Tom Stark says:

      That’s great to hear, glad they helped and you’re getting into this awesome sport. I’d love to have elevation like that around here… Good luck!

  2. Clay says:


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