chapter  9
54 Pages

Trails

Visitors may wish to explore the outdoors on foot, on horseback, on cross-country skis or by all-terrain bicycles. Some may wish to navigate by themselves using map and compass. Others, perhaps a majority, may need a path or trail to follow. The trail might disturb fragile habitats and increase pressure by concentrating visitors in one area. In many cases the effect of trail development on the special qualities of a place is outweighed by the need to prevent wear and tear and to control the access to an area by visitors. A key aspect of trail design is the choice of the route, not only in terms of length and gradient but also in the way the landscape is experienced. The design and layout of trail routes and surfaces depends on the degree of wildness desired and the wear and tear expected.