Category Design for Outdoor Recreation

Boat facilities

At many sites with water access, people want to be able to launch boats. These may range from small kayaks and canoes that can be easily carried from a car roof rack to the water, to larger sailing or motorboats, which need ramps into the water to launch them. In remoter locations it might be appropriate to allow only those craft that can be manhandled, while in the busier areas nearer cities boat launch areas, mooring jetties or even fully fledged marina facilities with refuelling places might be provided. This is partly to reduce the degree of development, the number of artefacts and the use of motorboats in wilder places. The use of materials

Boat facilities

Boat launching-ramp designs: (a) The basic requirements of gradients and water depths for a functional and safe boat-launching ramp...

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River bathing areas

If rivers are to be used for bathing, planning must address issues of zoning for different users along different stretches, such as boats fishing and swimming, which may conflict with each other or require particular qualities of river water depth, speed or riparian vegetation.

Rivers may provide good swimming opportunities, although the water is usually colder, which, together with currents, may make them less safe for children or inexperienced swimmers in an unsupervised location. Shallow pools with gravelly bottoms and stretches of potholes, natural chutes or slides and ledges are very attractive, allowing safe and exciting activities...

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Lake bathing areas

That part of a lake set aside for swimming should be planned and laid out for safety and to give people an enjoyable experience. The choice of swimming area should take into account several factors. The suitability of the water is important, particularly its cleanness and temperature. The shelter or exposure of the area and the likelihood of insects if it is too sheltered should be considered. The character of the lake bottom is also important. Firm sandy or gravelly conditions, gently sloping with no sudden drops, are essential so that inexperienced swimmers do not suddenly find themselves out of their depth. Sand or gravel beaches are more likely to be backed by grass or forest vegetation instead of cliffs, sand-dunes and

Lake bathing areas

Changing-room designs: (a) A

monopitch building with high-l...

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Lakeshore protection

Constant wear and tear along the landward edge of a beach should be prevented. This can be achieved by access control in the most vulnerable places such as wetlands, stream mouths and steeper banks, and by edge reinforcement where access is permitted. Low, rockwork walls or timber edges help to define the edge and stabilize it.

Rockwork walls can vary from the use of locally obtained natural boulders laid fairly roughly to maintain a natural character, to well-laid drystone or mortared construction in keeping with a more rural or urban character, and where use is heavy. Ramps and steps should be provided along obvious access lines from parking areas to the water’s edge...

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Freshwater bathing areas

In the summer months, especially during long periods of hot weather, lakes become warm and rivers and streams present tempting opportunities for cooling off. In the wilder places people may wish to swim in a lake or stream and delight in the remote, solitary nature of the place. Other more gregariously used places may become busy and subject to potential problems of hygiene, litter, safety and site damage, which reduces the pleasure and spoils the setting.

Hygiene requirements may include toilet blocks, showers, changing cubicles, drinking water supplies, litter management and restrictions on taking pets in or near the water. Ideally, bathing facilities should be grouped within a single building to reduce the impact of several structures in the landscape...

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. Fishing from a riverbank or lakeshore

Game fishing involves access to the bank or shore and wading into rivers. Access routes and paths need to be planned and designed unless the use is low enough to involve little wear and tear. The wilder character of many rivers and lakes may suggest as little path construction as possible. The next requirement is for vegetation management to maintain space for casting flies. This may involve removal of trees or trimming of branches, which should be carried out so as to prevent unsightly disfigurement to trees or bushes. If boats are used, launch areas and jetties are required (see below for details).

Подпись: A fish-cleaning station with cutting surfaces and vermin-proof lids over plastic buckets, which can be used to collect and dispose of fish guts. Derived from a design by the Alberta Forest Service, Canada.

People who go coarse fishing (that is, for fish other than trout, sea trout or salmon) normally sit on the bank of a lake or stream, or use a boat...

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Water-based recreation

Water in almost any form is an attractive feature in the landscape. As well as its aesthetic qualities it is highly valued as a recreation resource for fishing, bathing and boating.

Planning for water-based recreation to cater for the often conflicting demands of various activities is essential. This is a large subject, and this chapter is not intended to explore it in any detail. Its purpose is to consider the design of facilities needed by the main forms of water-based recreation, and measures needed to prevent site damage at the vulnerable land – water interface. Site layout should consider the segregation of different uses, such as boat launches and jetties, fishing from the shore, sunbathing and swimming, together with the protection of sensitive shoreline habitats...

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Cross-country ski trails

Another growth area of trail use is cross-country or nordic skiing, used to follow trails during the winter season. The same principles of trail route design should be followed as have already been described, as one of the enjoyable aspects of such skiing is the chance to see wildlife, frozen waterfalls and lakes and splendid snowy scenery. Routes through forests are frequently preferred, as the trees catch the snow, and the day-long shade in the winter reduces the thawing. There is also less chance of the snow being blown off the trail.

In many urban fringe and accessible forests in Scandinavia or parts of North America, extensive systems of specially prepared trails are provided. These are of different lengths and for different levels of proficiency...

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Horse trails

In many areas people enjoy exploring the outdoors on horseback. For some this will consist of riding from home, a livery stable or paddock into a woodland, across a common or along a bridleway. Some might take their horse to a particular destination by car and trailer, ride some trails and return home in a day. Others might go on a guided pony trek as part of a residential holiday or from a dude ranch. Finally, some will plan to ride a trail over several days, camping at places along the route where fodder and corral facilities are located. Whatever the way a trail is ridden, the route, the surface and the facilities such as loading areas, hitching rails or corrals need to be carefully considered in their planning and design.

The trail may be an established route such as a British bridlewa...

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Trails and dogs

Many people, particularly in densely populated areas, walk on a daily basis to exercise their dogs. This means that paths can be fouled by dog mess, presenting a hazard underfoot and a risk to health, particularly for children. Hence it is important to plan for dog walking from the outset, or redesign the trail system if it is currently a problem.

One method of coping with dogs is to devise special loops along which people can be encouraged to take their dogs when they first enter the recreation area. This enables dogs to do their business before a longer walk along the main paths commences.

The second method, more appropriate at car parks, is to set aside an area for dogs to use—a ‘dogs’ toilet’...

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