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Hiking and Walking Tracks

Many of the impacts on vegetation, soils and trails are similar for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding but there are also differences in severity.Read more

Many of the impacts on vegetation, soils and trails are similar for hiking, 'mountain biking' and 'horse riding' but there are also differences in severity.

Hiking is an immensely popular activity in protected areas. Walking tracks are a fundamental part of park infrastructure providing recreation opportunities and concentrating use.

Recent research in Australia undertaken by the STCRC indicates that:

  • Degradation of tracks is widespread and this is of major concern to both managers and users.
  • A first step in managing tracks is initial assessment of their condition.
  • Three common methods for determining the condition of walking tracks:
      • Condition class surveys.
      • Track problem surveys.
      • Point sampling techniques.
  • Track management is a challenging task for park managers. The sharing of track management and walking track research and knowledge is important tool in improving management practices (see Mountain Walking Track Management).
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