Mark Schmidt began developing trails in the mid 1990’s, while volunteering for several trail organizations throughout Ontario.
In 2001 Mark turned his hobby into a profession and now has over 15 years of professional trails experience including trail design/planning, trail construction, trail management, trail assessment and trail restoration. Mark has also lead over 150 trail education workshops focusing on a range of trail topics from trail design to advanced trail construction.
He joined Parks Canada, as National Trails Analyst, in January 2010 and is responsible for the creation of national trail guidelines, creating new trail resources, working with external partners, and providing trail support for Parks Canada’s field units. In the last 5 years Mark has worked in over 28 Parks Canada sites across the country.
Mark has travelled the world working on trail projects but has spent most of his time working with land agencies in North America. Mark has consulted and worked on trails in almost all the USA States and all Canadian Provinces and Territories. In addition to consulting on trails Mark has experience teaching at Capilano University in British Columbia as lead instructor in the Park and Trail Design courses and as a program convenor.
Mark spends most of the time exploring the world with his wife and 3 little girls. Any leftover time is spent mountain biking, hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
Parks Canada manages a large network or trails across the country. These trails range from high alpine routes in the mountains to flat surfaced trails in the prairies and include a large variety of different uses. Parks Canada’s Lead Trails Analyst will share new approaches being used to ensure that the trails we use today will be around for future generations and how these trails are managed for the variety of uses that modern trails are seeing. Some of the tools being covered include market segmentation and understanding user’s needs, trail conflict resolutions, trail themes and classification, and more.
Mark will be talking to trail leaders in Hastings about trail classifications, standards and best practices in trail management. The Ontario Trails Council is grateful for his participation.