1. Patrol early in the spring and after the leaves are down in the fall.|
2. Patrol in midsummer if your trail has sections of high grass, brambles or heavy undergrowth. Trails open to the sky will require more maintenance than those in mature forests with high canopies. Paths through open meadows and swamps need late summer clearing. Check for blazes obscured by foliage.
3. Patrol more frequently if heavy use and litter are problems.
4. Patrol as soon as possible after severe storms, fires, or periods of heavy use.
5. Keep a trail maintenance log in which you record the location and size of all the blowdowns and other problems that will require additional maintenance so that you can report this to the Section Maintainer or Coordinator. You can report the location using GPS coordinates or by how far it is from a landmark like a stream or road crossing. A picture of the blowdown with a person or a backpack in it will help identify its size.
6. Assess the trail for possible hiker safety issues, such as hazardous trees, confusing or missing blazes, loose or broken components of bridges or other structures, winter ice conditions, etc. Report these issues to the Section Maintainer or Coordinator.