Abstract

Trails made with wood chips are difficult for those who use mobility aids because the surface is soft, uneven, and shift-ing. This report describes the development of a concept for stabilizing engineered wood fiber (EWF) to improve wheel-chair and walker accessibility for outdoor recreational trails where traditional paving would be costly and would detract from the natural aesthetics. The applicability and field per-formance of two binder–EWF systems previously developed for an outdoor playground were tested on a beach path and two bridle trails. The stabilized EWF (SEWF) system en-hanced accessibility and should reduce erosion and mainte-nance costs for trail systems. Overall, the two systems per-formed well on the beach path but were not adequate for the bridle paths. Cost estimates and step-by-step instructions are provided for installing SEWF.

Keywords: wood, fiber, surfacing, accessibility, walkways, paths, ADA, composite, polyurethane, playground, durability, installation, cushioning