The Ins and Out of MTB Trail Building, with Mike Repyak at IMBA Trail Solutions

Mike Repyak explains how trail planners design rider experiences, outlines the cost of trail building, and fills us in on exciting builds that are in the works.

Mike Repyak is the Director of Planning and Design at Trail Solutions, the trail development arm of the International Mountain Biking Association. He’s been involved in recreation planning and trail network design for many years and is currently based in Madison, Wisconsin.

In this episode we ask:

  • How is Trail Solutions related to IMBA, and what does it do?
  • What are some ways designers can influence trail riders’ experience?
  • Would you say we generally have the right mix of green, blue, and black trails in most places in the US? 
  • How does the cost to build a new trail today compare to 10 years ago?
  • Are there enough experienced, quality MTB trail builders in the US?
  • How do maintenance considerations play into trail planning?
  • Is chipseal something that is helpful in building low-maintenance trails?
  • What are some current mountain bike trail projects you’re stoked about?
  • From your perspective, is there a connection between the growth of MTB participation with the growth in trail building? Does a growing sport make it easier to get projects approved and funded?

Find out more about Trail Solutions at, and for information about current, open positions at IMBA, visit

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