Long-distance trail


Long-distance trail

Long-distance trails (or long-distance tracks, paths, footpaths or greenways) are the longer recreational right-of-way routes mainly through rural areas, used for non-motorised recreational travelling (walking, backpacking, cycling or horse riding).

Any route named as a "trail" (or "way", in the UK) will probably be waymarked, or identified on a map, but it will usually only be described as "long-distance" if it takes the average user more than one day to travel from end to end. Typically, a "long distance" trail, way or path will be at least 50 kilometers (31 miles) long, but some in Britain are several hundred miles long, and many in the US are much longer.

In some countries, official "trails" will have the surface specially prepared to make the going easier.

In the UK long-distance paths are simply existing rights of way (over private land) "joined together" (perhaps with specially-negotiated linking sections) to make a named route. Generally the surface is not especially prepared (which can come as a surprise to pampered walkers from abroad, who find their distance-covering estimates need to be rethought to take rough ground into account) except in special places such as converted rail tracks, or some "busy" hilly areas where stone slabs are laid to prevent erosion.

Types of long-distance trails

Bicycle trails

These are used by bicyclists. Some are restricted to use by only non-motorized bikes while others are multi-use recreational (hiking, horseback riding, jogging, rollerblading or walking). Bike trails can range in length from under a mile to hundreds of miles, such as the EuroVelo routes, Australia's Munda Biddi Trail or [http://ridethisbike.com/bike_trails-north_america.htm Bike Trails in North America] .

Canal system trails

These follow canal systems. A good example is the convert|525|mi|km|sing=on long New York State Canal System in New York.

Coastal trails

These follow coastlines of which good examples are the South West Coast Path and the Isle of Wight Coastal Path in England, and the Otter Trail in South Africa. A shorter example is the Gold Coast Oceanway in Australia.

Coast-to-coast trails

These may be cross-country paths, or may follow roadways, or other ways, and often intersect with many other trails in the process. A good example is the Coast-to-Coast path in northern England, which - despite being perhaps the most famous long-distance walking route in England - is not an official National Trail, simply a series of connected pre-existing rights of way.

The American Discovery Trail crosses the continental United States from east to west.

Mountain trails

Long distance mountain trails are of two broad kinds, linear trails and loop trails.Notable linear examples include the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.Notable loop examples include the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Wonderland Trail, which encircles Mount Rainier, and the Tour du Mont Blanc, which passes through the Alps of France, Switzerland, and Italy.

National Trails

National Trails are a network of well-maintained and well-waymarked routes across England and Wales. Examples are the Pennine Way and the South West Coast Path. The equivalent routes in Scotland are Long Distance Routes such as the West Highland Way.

Peninsular trails

The Kerry Way in south-west Ireland circumnavigates the highest mountain range in Ireland. Along with the adjoining Dingle Way it is noted for its scenic views of the Atlantic, loughs and mountains.

Cross-country trails

Among the longest, the Trans-Canada Trail.
* Te Araroa Trail - New Zealand
* Continental Divide Trail - United States
* Countrywide Blue Tour in Hungary - Hungary
* Shvil Yisrael (Israel National Trail) - Israel

Cross-continent trails

Among the longest is European walking route E8.

Rail trails

Rail trails are trails on old railway rights of way. There are two major kinds, rails to trails and rails with trails. In the UK rail trails generally are rather short; an example is the Longdendale Trail. In the US rail trails generally are among the longer trails apart from the major cross-continent trails.

ee also

*Trail
*List of long-distance footpaths
*Walking
*Hiking
*Backpacking
*Long-distance trails in Australia
*Long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland
*Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom
*Long-distance trails in the United States
*GR footpaths (long-distance trails in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain)
*New Zealand tramping tracks
*European long-distance paths
*EuroVelo
*Multiday race
*Ultramarathon
*Cavalcade


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland — is a link page for any long distance trails in the Republic of Ireland.*Ballyhoura Way *Barrow Way *Bealach na Gaeltachta Chonamara *Bealach na Gaeltachta Dhun na nGall *Beara Way* *Blackwater Way* *Dingle Way *East Clare Way *East Munster Way*… …   Wikipedia

  • Long-distance trails in the United States — The following is a partial list of long distance trails in the United States:* Allegheny Trail : A 330 mile trail, mostly in West Virginia, through the Appalachians/Allegheny Mountains from the Mason Dixon line to the Appalachian Trail in… …   Wikipedia

  • Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom — The following long distance footpaths can be found in the United Kingdom:England and Wales: National TrailsNational Trails are distinguished by being maintained by the National Trails organization [http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/] . As of|April… …   Wikipedia

  • Long Distance Routes — Long Distance Route (sometimes referred to as LDR ) is an official term for maintained long distance footpaths in Scotland that require several days to walk. Legislation to create them was passed in 1967, but the first one was not opened… …   Wikipedia

  • long-distance routes — [long distance routes] a network of paths for walkers and cyclists across Scotland, managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. There are five long distance routes: the West Highland Way, the Southern Upland Way, which runs from coast to coast across… …   Useful english dictionary

  • long-distance paths and national trails — Walking, taking long walks in the countryside for pleasure, is a popular hobby in Britain, and many people go walking in national parks and other country areas at weekends. Walking is also called rambling (BrE) or hiking. Many routes go along… …   Universalium

  • long-distance routes — a network of paths for walkers and cyclists across Scotland, managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. There are five long distance routes: the West Highland Way, the Southern Upland Way, which runs from coast to coast across southern Scotland, the… …   Universalium

  • List of long-distance hiking tracks in Australia — This is a list of published trails in Australia, suitable for walking in 3 days or longer.ee also*Trail *Long distance trail *List of long distance trails *Walking *Hiking *Backpackingources*http://www.john.chapman.name/longwlk2.htmlExternal… …   Wikipedia

  • List of long-distance footpaths — This is a list of some long distance footpaths used for walking and hiking. The AmericasArgentina*Los Glaciares ** Various Options to Laguna Torre, Cerro FitzRoy, or even out onto the Southern Patagonian Ice FieldBolivia*Cordillera Real ** 7 Day… …   Wikipedia

  • Trail — This article is about paths, tracks or other routes used for travel. For other uses, see Trail (disambiguation). A hiking trail in autumn …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.