Where dirt paths traverse embankments, foot traffic causes erosion. Although bicycles make it worse, the fix is easy: Harden just that small section of the trail with a flight of stairs.
But carrying a bicycle up the stairway isn't fun, and down tempts kids to try it on the fly. What to do?
Here's a wonderful design for Bicycle Stairs. The gutter you see on the right is made of 2x4 lumber.
To ascend the Bicycle Stairs, put your bicycle tires into that gutter. Then push the bike up a step, and squeeze the handbrake levers. Pull on the handlebars to bring yourself up a step, then release the brake levers and push the bike up another step. Repeat until at the top. It's surprisingly easy uphill - and even easier in the down direction.
Bicycle Stairs! Try them out on the Cochituate
Aqueduct Trail in Wellesley, Massachusetts (at the intersection of Woodlawn
and Fuller, just north of Route 16).
Starting down the bicycle stairs. Note the good
kiosk and trail map, trail blazes on the stair post, etc.