A Landowner’s Guide to Building Forest Access Roads


Learn more about how to build Forest Access Roads: 

Do you maintain a forest road around Pleasant Lake?

Want to learn more about how those forest/dirt roads should be build?


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service has published a report on how best to build forest access roads, want to read the report, click here!

Roads provide needed access to small woodlots; however, high costs, land disturbance, degradation water quality, and destruction of fish habitat can all result from poor development, construction, and maintenance of forest roads. This guide was developed to give private owners of small woodlots the basic information needed to avoid these problems and protect valued natural resources. This guide is designed for landowners in the northeastern United States who will use a tractor and ordinary earth moving equipment to build the simplest access roads on their property, or who will contract for these services. Logging roads on small woodland properties are usually constructed by t logging contractor, sawmill operator, or by a road contractor.

This guide applies to low-speed forest roads with a 12-foot-wide running surface that are needed only temporarily or only during certain times of the year. Recommendations in this guide cover basic planning, construction, drainage, maintenance, and closure of such forest roads. The recommendation incorporate best management practices, which are designed to reduce nonpoint-source pollution, as can occur during road building. This guide also covers special situations involving water that require individual consideration: stream with or without migratory fish, beaver ponds, and wetlands. Each of these situations is covered in a separate section. Landowners should read each section that applies to their land.