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WikiProject Hiking trails (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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WikiProject Backpacking    (Inactive)
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Merging with Hiking[edit]

I think that merging is not a good idea. Trail is obviously about all sorts of different trails, including cross-country ski trails and vehicular trails. Hiking trails are just a subset. I think they should remain distinct articles. -- hike395 05:25, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. Also, even if there were none of these other kinds of trails, it would make sense to have two separate articles, just as we have separate articles on skis and skiing. --Smack (talk) 17:56, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Don't merge Trail article with Hiking article[edit]

Trail is a noun regarding a trail, and many trails also have mountain bikers, vehicles, etc., while "hiking" is a verb that occurs elsewhere besides only upon hiking trails. -- (talk) 05:38, 6 October 2009 (UTC)--

External links[edit]

The links being posted at Hiking tend to overlap with the links here. (Also, many of the links have questionable merit, but that's a different story entirely.) We should probably figure out what topics belong here, what topics belong there, and what kinds of sites should not be linked to at all. --Smack (talk) 21:18, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Trail administration[edit]

I think that we can write quite a bit about trail ownership, rights of way, easements and such. --Smack (talk) 23:42, 2 July 2006 (UTC)


The hatnote should be right because the rest of the world calls a trail a footpath, but unfortunately someone has made footpath the disambiguation page and footpath (disambiguation) redirects to it, so as it stands the hatnote is actually incorrect. Can an administrator please swap footpath and footpath (disambiguation). --Bermicourt (talk) 19:33, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

  • There seems to be more than enough material about longer distance rural and wilderness trails for this article. The content about urban pedestrian/cyclist paths is almost completely lost in the article (in the 'Urban and suburban trails' section). The usage, construction and management of urban paths is very different so... should we split it out. I do note that in British English a Trail is a longer distance path which is more challenging rougher and always through open-country or hills (ie the main subject of this article). A footpath by contrast could easily be in a town and be used to get to school or the shops. Should we merge the section on urban trails into the new Footpath article and develop it there and reduce the scope of this article to rural and wilderness paths? PeterEastern (talk) 07:22, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Okay I know everyone's seen a trail but......[edit]

......the nature the animals the peace and quiet what could be better Gabby8282 (talk) 14:58, 6 March 2010 (UTC)GAbby


Changed "Etymology/Usage" to "Usage" as there is nothing in the article as it stands about the etymology of the word. Regarding usage, it should perhaps be pointed out that the meaning of "trail" as it emerged in the 19th century is that of "a path or track worn in the wilderness" and the term is therefore of limited appropriateness in the Old World, which has little in the way of wilderness. The words "(foot)path" (for pedestrians), "(bridle)way" (for horses), and "(field)way" or "(farm)track" (for vehicles) are thus more appropriate in a European context. -- Picapica (talk) 18:09, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Alternate efinition[edit]

I've always understood a trail as being differnt from a road or path. In the Old West there were alot of trails but, generally, none of these were roads, more like guidelines from point to point. In scouting, a "trail" refers to the signs left behind by a person or animal when they travel, whether its on a road or through the middle of the wilderness. Just felt I should bring this up, thanks.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 01:11, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

See also -- what should be included[edit]

I suggest that this list should just include different types of trail, and exclude named trails and similar links, as this is not an article about long distance paths. Rwood128 (talk) 13:42, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

In the USA, there is no such thing as a "long distance path," we call them "trails or maybe "long-distance trails." That said, the see also list is bloated and maybe should be made into a List of trails and long-distance paths or something. Thoughts? Montanabw(talk) 19:15, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I was thinking that the list should just be for types of trail/path and that long distance hiking routes don't need to be listed here. A list already exist, List of long distance trails, and an article, Long distance trail. Is there any objection to the removal of Bicentennial National Trail, etc? Rwood128 (talk) 21:34, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

The problem I see is that in the USA, "trail" can be of any length, the "long-distance trail" concept is almost an oxymoron, particularly in the American West. I do agree that a laundry list of trails is not needed in this article, though...for any nation. I concur wholeheartedly in removing all of those from the see also to the List of trails... Montanabw(talk) 23:20, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Urban and suburban[edit]

Are not urban footpaths and alleys more prevalent in North America than is suggested here, especially in the cores of older cities? Also are there not also river and canal paths in some North American cities? In addition, in places like St John's, Newfoundland, Canada a large network of new urban trails has been created around lakes, along rivers and through other public land. And a quick check indicates that there has been a similar development in Toronto, Canada. Rwood128 (talk) 14:16, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

An "alley" in America is usually that dark, damp place that cuts a block in half, usually where the trash dumpsters reside outside the back doors of various establishments. Definitely not a place for hiking! (grin) There are urban footpaths of various sorts, usually within parks or along various abandoned road right of ways. Rock Creek Park in Washington DC is an example. And yes, there are a lot of riverfront (and where we have canals) canal footpaths. But they are often called "trails" too. Do you have an idea to add these? No objection here if you do. Montanabw(talk) 19:21, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

I noticed images of two US alleys on the Alley article, including a very attractive one in California, but yes I imagine many should be avoided. There are two kinds of alley, as far as I can see, the one which is an urban footpath, and the other a 'back lane' or a service path. As I live in a North American city full of old path ways of all kind, as well newly created ones, I was curious about other places and was seeking further information. Quite what the differences is between an alley and an urban footpath I'm not sure, though I think of an an alley as a narrow pathway between buildings, which are usually very short and straight (I grew up in London, England). Park paths are another 'genre', designed for recreation rather than a link between places.

I've just done some more research and found that Philadelphia, as I had suspected, has alleys, including the following most impressive example, Elfreth's Alley. Also both Montreal and Los Angelas are working on 'greening' their back lanes, or alleys. Rwood128 (talk) 21:18, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Having researched alleys more, I see that North America does in fact have some very attractive alleys, including steps (stairs) in the steeper cities like Pittsburgh and San Franscisco. Some are pedestrian routes and other narrow lanes that are pedestrian friendly. There is also frequent reference to urban walking, along with jogging, descriptions of extended urban walks or hikes, and the greening of alleys. The Grand Concourse in Newfoundland, Canada, is an extensive, network of trails within several municipalities, some old rights-of way and others newly created on public land, and there must be other similar projects. North America is, therefore, not entirely different from Britain, and does have some urban footpaths, and a number are four hundred years old! I'll try and add something. Rwood128 (talk) 14:56, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Oh indeed, major urban areas are working on this, and the older cities here have features akin to those in the UK, I'm not saying they don't have "trails" or greenways or pathways, but it's a terminology issue - we don't really say "back lane" much, and generally, an "alley" in a city conjures up the dark, dirty, scummy, icky places behind buildings where the dumpsters go and people traveling them as a shortcut risk getting robbed. Phrasing like "urban trails" or "greenways" is better, saving "alley" only for places so named, such as your example above. As a U.S. westerner, an urban greenway is nice, but a "trail" implies something a bit more unkempt and natural (though even in the west we have trails within towns and cities, particularly along riverbanks and in parks). I won't speak to use of language in Canada, but maybe User:Diannaa could comment on Canadian concepts. Montanabw(talk) 23:20, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Re recent edit. This is a minor point but isn't jogging quite different from running? I used to be told that I was affected because I said that I'd gone for a run (I didn't like the word jogging). But now for me exercise stations suggest jogging rather than running. But it looks like usage has changed and that jogging has become dated. All the same it is a useful word (and activity), and I don't confuse joggers with runners when I meet them. Rwood128 (talk) 14:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Not sure what usage is in the UK, but over here, "jogging" is passé, right along with snug shorts and a walkman! LOL! (grin) Montanabw(talk) 23:47, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Start class?[edit]

While this article certainly needs improving the rating 'start class' is very odd.Rwood128 (talk) 15:19, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

You're right, I boldly upgraded it to C-class, probably hadn't been reviewed in a while. Montanabw(talk) 19:53, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

National Trails Systems[edit]

Re the recent edit,

  • "The National Trails System includes highways and water routes, as well as hiking trails";

the National Trail System doesn't seem to include highways. Rwood128 (talk) 21:05, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Bicycle Trails[edit]

Doesn't some of the discussion in the section 'Bicycle trails' belong under 'Trail construction'? Rwood128 (talk) 18:27, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Trail system layout[edit]

Is this section really needed? What does it add but what is obvious? I've never met these terms which sound bureaucratic. Any objection to deleting it? Rwood128 (talk) 01:46, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Not from me. Obscurasky (talk) 09:48, 6 January 2015 (UTC)