Lengths of trail

Different people may be interested in different types and lengths of walk, depending on who they are, how fit they are and how much time they have. These needs can often be fitted into a range of circular loop walks. Walks of around one hour’s duration are quite popular. A half-hour jaunt to a particular beauty spot or vista is also attractive for those with little time. Both of these types should have no barriers, in order to cater for people with disabilities.

A two to three hour or longer trail may be attractive to those who want to spend more time in the fresh air and to go into wilder places. The length of time to walk such a trail by an averagely fit person should be increased to allow for stops to eat, look at views, swim in pools and so on.

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Trails laid out in loops of different lengths offer people a range of physical challenges, timescales or both.

Even longer trails, taking several days to complete, might be part of a network connecting up with others and ending up at different locations. Walking these routes requires careful planning in terms of food, clothing, accommodation and transport. Examples of these long-distance trails are the Pennine Way in England and the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA.