I attended a NY/NJ Trail Conference class on Trail Layout and Design last Saturday (4/14). The class was held at the Trail Conference headquarters in Ramapo NJ and consisted of 3 hours of class work and 3 hours of Trail work. The class was pretty interesting and after taking it you will never look at a trail the same way. Good trails don't just happen, they are planned. There are a lot of considerations with regard to layout that is synchronized with the topology of the trail and a lot of consideration on how to handle the water.
For our trail work we went to Ramapo Valley County Reservation. The reservation trails are very popular and on a nice day like last Saturday, very busy. The park is still recovering from the torrential rains we had last year from Hurricane Irene and those near the river lost a lot of topsoil. The rocks and roots from trees have created a big maintenance problem and will require some re-routing to restore the trails to be considered in good shape.
I found a couple of resources on the web regarding trail maintenance and design provided by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. This information is very aligned with what was presented in the class.
When I get some time I plan on taking the Intro to tool use and safety and the Basic First Aid course. And applying the concepts to maintaining my section of the trail.