Tools for Trail Maintenance

The tools we need on a trail maintenance work day depend on where we are working and the tasks we have to do.  The following list comes from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference’s guide for trail maintenance.  They are appropriate when we are cleaning up an existing trail and want to remove plants that have fallen or grown into the trail.

Equipment for trail maintenance:

  • Cheap folding pruning saw – just for cutting small trees at ground level.
  • Large bow saw (24″ – 30″) or folding backpacking Sven saw or collapsible 26” bucksaw, capable of cutting a 5-6” log.  This is critical on state land where we cannot use a chain saw.
  • Small pruning shears (loppers) – much handier to use than the long-handled kind, are very useful, particularly for branches within easy reach. Anvil type is usually better than scissors type.
  • Weed-whackers – Bow-type hand swung whackers (with double-edged blade and supported bow shaped frame) are very good for this type work. Or a power string trimmer or scythe.
  • Work gloves – to protect your hands from blisters and thorns.  These are critical if there are roses in the area.
  • Plastic bag – for litter removal.
  • Long-handled pruning loppers – may be inconvenient to carry, but they may be critical for reaching the inner stems on the roses. Anvil-headed loppers are very good for this type work.

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