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Encyclopedia > Long distance trail

Long-distance trails (or long-distance tracks, paths, footpaths or greenways) are trails or footpaths covering large distances, typically 50 km or more, used for rambling (that is, hiking or backpacking). Some long-distance trails are multi-use and are used for cycling or horse riding.


Types of long-distance trails

Coastal trails

These follow coast lines. A good example is the South West Coast Path in England

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.

Mountain trails

Two good examples of mountain trails are the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. The Haute Route, through the Alps of France, Switzerland and Italy, comprises about 170km of high altitude hiking and usually takes 8-10 days.

Peninsular trails

The Kerry Way in South West Ireland circumnavigates the highest mountain range in the British Isles. 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.

Cross-continent trails

Among the longest is the European walking route E8.


These are trails on old railway beds, generally rather short; an example is the Longdendale Trail.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
MassGIS - Long Distance Trails Datalayer Description (151 words)
The Long Distance Trails Datalayer is a line coverage representing trails that are longer than 25 miles.
The data was created for the purpose of regional planning and mapping by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and was modified for DCR (then DEM) by the University of Massachusetts in 1997.
At scales of 1:50,000 or smaller the data is reliable for all trails; between 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 the data quality of some trails may be significantly inaccurate; for scales greater than 1:25,000 the quality of most trails will be significantly inaccurate.
Long Distance and National Trails Walking and hiking holidays in with baggage transfer, Celtic Trails (1128 words)
The Snowdonia Trail is an outstanding walking holiday of approximately 140mls (220km), for the connoisseur of unspoilt mountain scenery.
Often called the model for a long distance footpath for its unique rich landscape and wealth of cultural and historical attraction to be encountered along the way, the Cotswold Way, has now been deservedly designated as a National Trail.
The Tarka Trail is a looping figure of eight footpath of over 180 miles/280 km in length through the beautiful North and Mid Devon countryside, tracing the travels of Henry Williamson's much loved `Tarka the Otter' depicted in his best-selling 1927 novel.
  More results at FactBites »



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