Today we’re starting a regular spot to answer some common questions that come up about trail care and construction.

Q:  Can I clear deadfall from the trail? Can I cut out fallen trees?

A:  Help clearing trails is always welcome but always do so in a safe and responsible manner. Removing debris keeps the trails open and free from braids that can develop around obstacles. Clearing pine needles from the drains, removing fallen branches, and dragging deadfall off the trail are easy ways to show your care for the trail. Never remove anything that’s still alive.

But what if there’s a log or tree that’s too big to be dragged off the trail? Please leave larger deadfall that requires either a hand saw or chainsaw for the land manager or permitted trail builder to look after. Policies vary between different Land Managers. Some prefer to remove the deadfall themselves while others allow permitted trail builders to take care of the issue.

What can you do? If you spot an issue that needs attention, please report it via Trailforks. Include the specific location on the trail and a description of the obstacle. How big is it (e.g. diameter of a baseball or basketball)? Is it on the ground, or suspended across the trail?  If you can, upload a photo with your report too.

The two rules of thumb are:

  1. Be careful. Don’t endanger yourself or others.
  2. Don’t cut anything. Only carry or drag obstacles off the trail.

If you have a question for our Q & A, or any other questions, please email us at