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Get a Mattock:
Definitely establish your line and familiarize yourself with it before you actually cut it. Work with/encorporate natural pumps and features into the whole trail. These are always interesting and fun to ride. Never build in a low area that will collect and hold water. My best advice is build everything with rocks. Logs rot, collapse, are almost never solid, look like shit and require constant attention. Dont half ass anything, it will be worth it when you're riding it rather than fixing it.