Trail Planning & Green Design​

At Ecotrailbuilders, we care deeply about the environment and pay special attention to each one we design and build in order to leave as soft a footprint as possible. Typically, our masterplan will include ecological, cultural, and social surveys, with a final costing based on a prescribed budget. We also take account of local resources, the availability of volunteers and in-kind services. To complete our initial masterplan survey, prospective trails are ground-truthed, and mapped for aesthetic values and GPS.

Sustainable Trail Construction

A well-constructed trail will save money in maintenance in the long term. Our team has studied the techniques of trail building across the globe. In New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Arizona, Maine and Vermont. Using preferred eco-friendly hand-tools for sculpting natural-base trails, we use compacting material and excavating machinery only when absolutely necessary. From the use of bio-degradable saw chain oil lubricant to “green” sourced building materials, our goal is to lessen the environmental impact of trail building. Trails are ‘surgically’ placed within the natural environment and, in most cases, constructed using hand tools only. Our construction techniques are based on the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) sustainable trail manual guidelines.

Trail and Support Structures

Whether engineered or simple, boardwalks and bridge construction is our specialty. Boardwalks built over partially wet low areas are typically “floating” structures sitting on cribs; modified plankway-type boardwalks or “puncheons” often skirt areas of sensitive vegetation. Bridges up to fifty feet in length are built over small creeks and rivers. Our structures are built to last and some of them have lasted more than three decades. Our first bridge was built in 1978 and still stands strong.

Support structures can really enhance the trail experience. Wildlife viewing decks, observation or lookout decks, warm-up chalets, sugar-shacks and trailhead kiosks, all contribute to an enriched usage of your trail system.

Wayfinding & Signage

Wayfinding and signage are key elements in maintaining a safe protocol for risk management. We have a solid background in safety-coded directional signs and wayfinding systems, artistic cartography, easy-to-read trail maps, interpretive signs and trailhead kiosks.

trailbuilding-Junction wayfinding-photo

Canoe & Kayak Water Trails

We are the only trailbuilding company actively engaged in mapping out water trails and portage routes. Considered Canada’s first routes, these trails are very much a part of our National and Cultural identity. Since 1977 we have been researching, mapping, and producing guidebooks for water trails. All our routes are graded using the International River Grading System (IRGS) for classifying moving water. Detailed maps highlight rapids, falls and campsites, with care taken to respect First Nations traditional land ownership. A full cultural and environmental survey is completed on all routes, along with detailed cartographic representation.


Remote & Unique Builds

Many contractors avoid taking on remote or hard-to-build projects such as remote cottages, cabins or saunas. No matter the season, we’ve devised ways of transporting materials economically to a building site. This often entails the use of floatplanes, ATV’s, motorboats, canoes or snowmachines. Unlike other trailbuilding companies, our team is prepared to work and stay at the building site for extended periods; this drastically reduces your cost and accelerates the completion date.

Remote sauna build

Saunas are a specialty

hap-2.5 km new trail-photo
2.5 kms of new trail 

Risk Management Consulting

Risk management is an important facet of trail design, installation, and regular maintenance. All trails present certain types of risks and it’s essential to have a risk management protocol in place. Particularly if you are operating a public trail system. Our complete trail design package includes a “duty-of-care” approach to compiling an informative risk management assessment and user-manual. This includes evacuation logistics, specific safety concerns, and maintenance scheduling.

Education & Training

We are fully engaged in skills training and volunteer initiatives. Talk to us about setting up a program regarding sustainable trail construction, maintenance and risk management.

Photography, Video & Marketing

If you are planning to install trails as part of your amenity package for public use, we have 35-years experience in graphic design, photography, brochure and map design, social media and marketing promotions.


The foundation of all our construction lies in the care we take in preserving earth’s natural habitats and wonders. We utilize on-site materials, repurpose when possible, and purchase lumber from environmentally managed forests. Often we’ll integrate historic items with new construction, working closely with the client to create something new but still retain the historic charm of the old.
Ecotrailbuilders is a corporate member of the Ontario Trails Council.


Our Clients Include: Canada Parks, Trans Canada Trails, Canadian Heritage River Systems, Manitoba Tourism, Manitoba Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources, Ontario Nature Federation, Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association, Township Of Seguin, Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, J.W. Marriott Resort Inn Muskoka (200km. Ski, Bike & Hike), Inn At Manitou Relais Et Chateau, Earthroots, Rosseau College, Gangler’s Resort MB, town of Penetanguishene, Pickering College, Town of Bracebridge, Over 75 private land owners.


Pleasure to Work With
"Hap and his crew at Eco-Trailbuilders were a pleasure to work with. Their passion for both customer satisfaction and the natural environment was evident throughout the process. We are pleased with the outcome and confident that the residents of our municipality will enjoy the trail for generations to come".
Sherry Desjardins
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
A Rare Team
“It’s rare you find a team like Hap and Andrea Wilson of Ecotrailbuilders. Extremely talented, detailed and trustworthy, they have far exceeded our expectations.”
Brian and Leah Root
Chicago, Illinois
Hap Wilson and his amazing team at EcoTrailbuilders designed The Bear Stand’s incredible network of private hiking trails: kilometres of professionally groomed and sign-posted footpaths, marsh boardwalks, scenic overlooks and nature viewing platforms. Hap’s respectful and eco-sensitive work allows hikers and nature enthusiasts to experience the raw, wild beauty of the pristine interior wetlands on our property.
Sharon Leece
The Bear Stand Luxury Retreat, Haliburton, Ontario.


Creating spaces that can be explored and shared for generations while preserving Earth's natural habitats