About Vinson Trail Works

Doug has been playing in the woods and building trails and dirt jumps since he was a kid with a BMX bike. He picked up the mountain biking habit in the late 80's, and began exploring the local world off road, by trail. In 1996, with his twin brother, he through hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Including that trip, he has logged over 3,000 miles with a pack on his back, over all kinds of terrain and all sorts of weather. These experiences taught Doug many important things about trails, what they should and should not do, what their purpose is, and why people need them.

Doug spent many of those early post college years as a carpenter, a tree climber, and as a purveyor of quality outdoor gear at two outfitters in the Richmond, VA area. He planned and led backpacking trips for customers new to backpacking and gave many presentations and talks on backpacking, long distance hiking and mountaineering.

More recently, Doug was employed as a Park Ranger with Virginia State Parks. There, he designed and built numerous landscape and hardscape projects, designed and built a cabin addition, and managed the maintenance of his parks 13 mile trail system. He soon realized that no amount of maintenance would make the existing trails sustainable, that everything he did was just a band aid on a mortally wounded trail. He lobbied for years to build new trails and to properly close the old, unsustainable trails, and in 2008, got his wish as cabin and campground construction in the park disrupted or obliterated much of the old trail system.

Doug partnered with Rich Edwards from the International Mountain Bike Association to design a new trail system. Rich designed the new trail system on a topo map, and Doug and another ranger set off on the ground, marking the new trail alignments with pin flags, thoughtfully and carefully laying out the new trails. Doug recruited a handful of dedicated volunteers, and the park hired a trail crew, and the trails were ready to be built. Doug built and supervised the construction of 8 new miles of trail before he left for his next assignment.

In September 2009, Doug started work with the Federal Bureau of Land Management to refurbish an existing trail system on public lands in Northern Virginia. When the project ends in September 2010, he will have built 5 miles of new sustainable trail, converted 4 miles of old roads used as trails into sustainable trail, and properly closed and re-vegetated 4 miles of old unsustainable trails.