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By: Robert Janis

Marshall University

Marshall University’s On-Campus and Online Course
Prepares Designers, Builders, Managers of OHV Trail Systems

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It is hoped that Construction of OHV Trail Systems and Operation and Management of OHV Trails Systems will be online in the not-to-distant future.

Each course covers the following:

  • Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation
  • History and evaluation of OHV recreation
  • Equipment and accessories
  • Participation, use, and demand
  • Areas and facilities
  • Legal, legislative, and use issues
  • Conflict resolution
  • OHV parks

Planning and Design of OHV Trails and Parks

  • Planning and design practices
  • Design considerations
  • Land capability analysis
  • Factors that influence design
  • OHV parks
  • GPS and GIS Technology

Construction of OHV Trail Systems

  • Construction tools and equipment
  • Preliminary construction activities
  • Tread foundation and tread
  • Trail reinforcement techniques
  • Trail construction in wet areas
  • Modifying and rehabilitating existing trails

Operation and Management of OHV Trail Systems

  • Organization structure options
  • Operational procedures and policies
  • Protection and law enforcement
  • User conflicts
  • Liability and risk management
  • Trail maintenance
  • Public relations, consumer services, and marketing
  • Special events and activities

According to Busbee, the courses do not include internships per se, but they do include “field projects.” For example, in the introductory class, students are required to visit an operational OHV trail system and prepare an extensive report on their observations.  In the planning and design class, students have to visit an operational OHV trail system in their area and prepare a research paper on the planning and design features of that trail system.

Busbee noted that the Marshall University on-campus and online program does not assist students in finding jobs after they complete the courses. However, he did volunteer that NOHVCC and the National Trails Training Partnership have employment databases to which students have access. These databases can be used to help them find jobs.

Busbee has been teaching trail development and design in higher education for about 40 years. He got specifically involved in OHV trails when the Hatfield-McCoy Trail planning began.

He has retired from teaching the on-campus curriculum but continues to teach and develop the online courses. Marshall University has hired Dr. James Farmer to handle the on-campus part of the program. Dr. Farmer will convert the two remaining OHV courses to online capability. He begins his duties in August.

For more information visit the Marshall University website (, the NOHVCC site ( or the National Trails Training Partnership website (

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