A Road? Why do I need a ROAD on my Land?
In every article I have ever written, I stress the importance and benefits of a good road on your land. From an early age growing up on a large plantation, the importance of a good road system has always been obvious and a huge factor in the success, management, and recreational enjoyment of land. Everything flows from the utility of a good road system. Below are bullet points showing the necessity and benefits of a good road system provides:
- Ability to access your land helps in managing your land
- Enhances marketing, character, and value of property
- Allows you to reach remote areas that would normally not be utilized
- Roads do “double duty” as firebreaks within a property
- Roads can be utilized as shooting alleys and game patches
- Game utilize grassy roads for foraging, bugging and nesting
- Improved main roads are more easily accessed by log trucks, improving timber prices
- Improved all-weather roads enhance year-round access for recreation, and management, increasing the utility and value of your land
- Enhances time efficiency for all activities on your land
- Allows more frequent utilization of land due to ease of access.
- Is aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to use
I can continue to name good reasons for a good roads system, but the main point is that roads enhance everything about your land. Access is key to a quality property, and as a land broker and forester for decades, I have seen the increased value (including monetary) in an improved road system. You will get a great return on your investment by improving your roads and they are a huge marketing tool as well. Even if you are not interested in selling your land, a good road system will make using your property easier and more enjoyable.
What Qualities Help Make a Great Road System
Your road system needs to have a plan regarding utility and purpose. Planning a road system requires some groundwork prior to building to ensure success. When we inventory timber, we make notes as we delineate boundary lines and dissect the property looking at the timber. These notes help us determine the best place to put roads and access key areas. Below are points to keep in mind while planning:
- Where is access needed?
- Where are the ridges, valleys, and branches?
- Stream crossings need to be 90 degrees and stabilized
- Roads should run on ridges avoiding low areas
- Log trucks need straight, long curves
- Where to put in logging decks, and can they be utilized as game patches?
- Success of a good road is Water Management – you must keep water away from road!
- Entrance to the property should be from a main access point – county, state, or public road
- Avoid dead end roads if possible
The above outlines design criteria, and now we need to build the road. The key to building a dirt woods road is having dry access. Water management is the foremost criteria in a successful road system. Access and dry roads are of significant importance for a successful, top dollar timber sale. In a logging operation, one weak link in the system can shut the entire system down. If your road system works for logging, everything else will flow. Some tools we use or apply in road building are listed below:
Water Bars Broad Based Dips Turnouts
Gravel & Rock Fabric for road base Culverts
Bridges Forges Crowned Roads
Ditching Seeding for Stabilization Daylight Road
Notice that all these tools are designed to manage water flow away from roads. Wide roads will manage more water and allow sunlight on the road. Roads do tend to be costly, but over time the benefits outweigh the cost.
We hope this article provides insight on why a road system is so important, and that our list of tools for building a successful road system are helpful.