Trim Trails – Equipment, Benefits, and Materials

What are trim trails?

A trim trail is essentially a fitness trail that is made up of a path or obstacle course. It is an outdoor trail consisting of different obstacles and physical activities that are used to promote fitness and wellbeing. These can be used for both children and adults in different ways as a great way to keep fit and healthy. Trim trails can often be found in public and private places such as:

  • Schools – Promoting physical activity for children.
  • Outdoor gyms – Fields, public places.
  • Walking trails – Forested areas, footpaths.
  • Farms and activity centres.

In public places, these trails are often accompanied by a sign that explains what each piece of equipment is designed for. Different equipment can be used to develop specific areas such as strength, balance, and coordination. They range in difficulty level from easy to hard but can be designed for a variety of age groups. These series of wooden exercise courses can be built as individual scattered stations, or as one complete trail, depending on the level of space that you have available to you. Trim trails can also be designed to encourage the development of certain areas like core strength, upper body, and lower body. There are many variables that can be considered when choosing what type of trail you would need.

Trim trails vary in size but are typically larger in public areas than they would be in schools. This is so they can accommodate a wider range of ages. Larger trails are great for family bonding whilst being active at the same time. In a typical playground, the equipment is specifically for children, but trim trails can offer fun for all ages. These trails provide quality entertainment for families, allowing them to have fun and keep fit at the same time.

Trim trails in schools.

Trim trails are the perfect way to encourage children to engage in physical and interactive play whilst at school. They provide children with different challenges that are designed to test and develop their capabilities. As children overcome new challenges, they are also able to boost their confidence and self-awareness. Outdoor learning has proven to be particularly beneficial for children, and trim trails are a great way to promote this. Whilst trim trails can be used at school break times as a break from learning and an opportunity to reduce stress, they can also be incorporated into physical education curriculums as a learning resource.

School playgrounds are a place where children are able to freely communicate and play with children around them. They are able to learn valuable social skills through play, particularly in problem-solving environments. Trim trails allow children to work both collaboratively and independently, which enables them to improve their teamwork skills and also helps them to build confidence. It also teaches them how to share and take turns.

Studies have shown that children who engage in physical play at a young age, are more likely to maintain these levels of physical activity later in life. These trails also teach children valuable skills that they will need when they are older. They teach children how to problem solve, take risks, and even develop a strong sense of resilience. These are all important life skills that can also be used in the classroom. 

The challenging nature of trim trails is a great motivator for children that inspires them to get active. It is also a chance for them to expand their imagination and explore different creative possibilities at the same time. These trails are an opportunity for children and young people to keep active, build strength, and develop physical skills. One of these essential skills is balance and coordination. Activities such as balance beams and log steps encourage children to use their balance in order to navigate their way across. These activities also encourage them to practice hand-eye coordination and focus on concentrating, which gives them the opportunity to expand on and improve their abilities. 

Different types of trim trails and how much do they cost?

There are many different types of trim trails available. These range in size and difficulty to suit the needs of different ages and capabilities. Some different types of trail equipment are:

  • Balance beams, wobble boards, parallel ropes, stepping logs – Helps to develop balance and coordination.
  • Tunnels, bridges, climbers, climbing walls, hurdles – General physical activity.
  • Pull up bars, trapeze rings, monkey bars – Upper body strength.

These are just a few of the many different types of trim trails that are available. Whilst these can be bought as individual trail activities, they can also be combined to make them even more challenging. They can be combined into different shapes, such as a cube trail, or even a long line trail of activities.

The cost of a trim trail depends on how many different sections you want to include. The more components that you want, the higher the cost will be. The costs of each individual component varies depending on the size of it and the materials used. An advantage of a trim trail is that it doesn’t have to all be built at once. If you have a smaller budget, you can add to your course over time to get your desired result.

The benefits of trim trails.

The most obvious benefit of trim trails is that they support physical activity and exercise. Physical activity has many physical benefits and can reduce your risk of a variety of health conditions. It is also known to boost sleep quality, mood, energy levels, and self-esteem. In turn, physical exercise can improve your mental health and reduce stress. 

Trim trails are becoming more integrated into urban areas of society to encourage a fun way of exercising for both adults and children. They are typically divided into four different categories: early years, simplified, intermediate, and advanced. The obstacles and objectives of each piece of equipment become increasingly more challenging, the higher the category level. This ensures that every age group can use these facilities and that businesses can choose suitable equipment for their target age group. For example, early years equipment is going to be designed for very young children and so monkey bars may not be suitable for them, whereas a wobbly bridge may be more suited. This ensures maximum learning possibilities for every age group.

What materials should you use to build a trim trail?

Different materials can be used to create trim trails depending on the trails that you are looking for. One of the most popular materials to use is timber. Structurally, timber can be used for round poles that create the entire frame for a trail section. These can be constructed into different shapes and sizes to create many different types of frames for different equipment. Timber is also considered to be one of the most sustainable materials. It is renewable and can be recycled. There are also other different types of wood available to use for construction such as oak, robinia, and pine wood.

Rope is also a popular material for trim trails, as it helps to create different aspects of the trail such as ladders and climbing ropes. A great material for this is hemp rope. This type of rope doesn’t change shape when wet and is very strong and durable. It is often used for outdoor play equipment like swings, due to these qualities. Hemp is known to be one of the strongest natural fibres in the world. It is also environmentally friendly as it is made from hemp plant fibres. A cheaper alternative to natural hemp rope would be synthetic hemp rope, which is also very strong and is resistant to rot. It is also known to be soft and kind to skin, which is why it is often used for climbing equipment.

Whilst many trim trails are built over natural grass, not all areas will have grass and you may need to consider safety surfacing. A popular option for safety surfacing is artificial grass with shock absorption underlay. Artificial grass is very durable and requires low maintenance, making it a great option. There are other types of safety surfacing such as wetpour, wooden or rubber mulch, and asphalt.

Are trim trails safe to use?

Trim trails are very safe to use as safety is a very important factor that is considered during planning, design and construction. Whilst outdoor play does have a slightly higher risk factor than other indoor activities, it allows children in particular to push boundaries and become good at assessing risks. Trim trails that are aimed towards young children are usually lower to the ground to avoid fall heights. Typically, these trails have safety surfacing underneath to lessen the impact of trips and falls. Some trim trails have a critical fall height, where it is then a requirement to have shock absorption layers underneath the safety surfacing that is in place. This means that if somebody were to fall, it would absorb and cushion the impact, making it a safer environment.