Bridges are often the best solutions for crossing perennial streams with occasional flood flows. Southfork Cottonwood Creek Trail, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, MT. Bridge is a 20 foot stock bridge, 6 feet in width. Three pressure treated log stringers under the decking. All was helicoptered in over a mile in the back country, then assembled on site. We also obliterated the old original bridge.
Turnpike—raised earth retained by stones or logs on the sides—is one method for crossing wet but relatively stable ground. There is a carefully concealed culvert near the center of the photo. Tread is 36" wide.
Boardwalk/puncheon can cross very wet areas. Southfork Cottonwood Creek Trail, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, MT.
Culvert with rock and log headwall. Culverts provide a smooth trail crossing over small drainages that don't have to carry flood-level flows.
Open culverts can be used for hiking and horse trails, especially in backcountry-type trails. Appropriately constructed, they become rustic water features along the trail and highlight natural water in the site. Pacific Crest Trail/Bald Mt. Trail, Mt. Hood National Forest, OR.
The most common drainage crossings cross normally dry drainages without using structures. The trail is formed so that water in the drainage crosses the trail at a low point and continues down the slope. A trail traversing a sideslope may have many of these. In wetter climates, stone is sometimes added to the channel bottom. [Left] Windgate Pass Trail, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, City of Scottsdale, AZ. [Right] Hawes Loop Trail, City of Mesa, AZ.