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A footpath (also pedestrian way,
walking trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath A footpath (also pedestrian way, walking trail, nature trail) is a type of thoroughfare that is intended for us ...

walking trail
,
nature trail An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural science, ...

nature trail
) is a type of
thoroughfare A thoroughfare is a primary passage or way as a transit route through regularly trafficked areas, whether by road on land, dry land or, by Extension (semantics), extension, via watercraft or aircraft. On land, a thoroughfare may refer to anythin ...
that is intended for use only by
pedestrian A pedestrian is a person travelling on foot The foot (plural: feet) is an anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, inc ...

pedestrian
s and not other forms of traffic such as motorized vehicles, cycles, and
horses The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a Domestication, domesticated odd-toed ungulate, one-toed ungulate, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant subspecies of wild horse, ''Equus ferus ...
. They can be found in a wide variety of places, from the centre of cities, to farmland, to mountain ridges. Urban footpaths are usually paved, may have steps, and can be called
alleys An alley or alleyway is a narrow lane, path, or passageway, often reserved for pedestrians, which usually runs between, behind, or within buildings in the older parts of towns and cities. It is also a rear access or service road ( back la ...
, lanes, steps, etc.
National parks#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state dec ...

National parks
,
nature preserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area), is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are ...
s,
conservation area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the ena ...

conservation area
s and other protected
wilderness Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally re ...

wilderness
areas may have footpaths (
trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath A footpath (also pedestrian way, walking trail, nature trail) is a type of thoroughfare that is intended for us ...

trail
s) that are restricted to pedestrians. The term footpath can also describe a pavement/
sidewalk A sidewalk (North American English), pavement (British English), footpath (Oceania, Oceanian English), or footway, is a path along the side of a road. Usually constructed of concrete or asphalt, it is designed for pedestrians. A sidewalk may acc ...

sidewalk
in some English-speaking countries (such as Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland). A footpath can also take the form of a
footbridge A footbridge (also a pedestrian bridge, pedestrian overpass, or pedestrian overcrossing) is a bridge A bridge is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system ...

footbridge
, linking two places across a river.


Origins and history

Public footpaths are
rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on l ...
originally created by people walking across the land to work, market, the next village, church, and school. This includes
Mass path A mass path is a pedestrian A pedestrian is a person travelling on , whether or . In modern times, the term usually refers to someone walking on a or , but this was not the case historically. The meaning of pedestrian is displayed with ...
s and
Corpse road Corpse roads provided a practical means for transporting corpses, often from remote communities, to cemeteries A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cem ...
s. Some footpaths were also created by those undertaking a
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, aft ...
. Examples of the latter are the
Pilgrim's Way The Pilgrims' Way (also Pilgrim's Way or Pilgrims Way) is the historical route supposedly taken by pilgrims from Winchester, Hampshire, Winchester in Hampshire, England, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent. This name, of compara ...
in England and
Pilgrim's Route The Pilgrim's Route, (''Pilegrimsleden'') also known as St. Olav's Way or the Old Kings' Road, was a pilgrimage route to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, the site of the medieval tomb of St. Olav. The main route is approximately lon ...
(St. Olav's Way or the Old Kings' Road) in Norway. Some landowners allow access over their land without dedicating a right of way. These permissive paths are often indistinguishable from normal paths, but they are usually subject to restrictions. Such paths are often closed at least once a year, so that a permanent right of way cannot be established in law. A mass path is a
pedestrian A pedestrian is a person travelling on foot The foot (plural: feet) is an anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, inc ...

pedestrian
track or road connecting destinations frequently used by rural communities, most usually the destination of
Sunday Mass
Sunday Mass
. They were most common during the centuries that preceded motorised transportation in Western Europe, and in particular the British Isles and the Netherlands (where such a path is called "kerkenpad" (lit. Church path). Mass paths typically included stretches crossing fields of neighboring farmers and were likely to contain
stile A stile is a structure or opening that provides people passage over or through a boundary via step Step or Steps may refer to: General * Stairs * Walking * Dance move, the building block of many dances * Military step, a regular, ordered and ...

stile
s, when crossing fences or other boundaries, or plank
footbridge A footbridge (also a pedestrian bridge, pedestrian overpass, or pedestrian overcrossing) is a bridge A bridge is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system ...

footbridge
s to cross ditches. Some mass paths are still used today in the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
, but are usually subject to Ireland's complicated
rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on l ...
law. Corpse roads provided a practical means for transporting corpses, often from remote communities, to
cemeteries A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifically designated as a burial ground an ...

cemeteries
that had burial rights, such as parish churches and chapels of ease.Muir, Richard (2008), ''Woods, Hedgerows and Leafy Lanes.'' Tempus, Chalford. ; p. 163. In
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
, such routes can also be known by a number of other names: bier road, burial road, coffin road, coffin line, lyke or lych way, funeral road, procession way, corpse way, etc. In the
Ashanti Empire The Asante Empire (Asante Twi Asante, also known as Ashanti, Ashante, or Asante Twi Twi (), also known as Akan kasa, or Akan-speak, is a dialect of the spoken in southern and central by several million people, mainly of the , the large ...
, footpaths were described according to British accounts, as being constructed for military purposes. One 1844 British commentary on Ashanti tactics claims that the Ashanti army commenced operations by cutting a number of footpaths in order to approach and encircle the enemy force. Once reaching the initial jump-off point, Ashanti troops formed in line and attacked. Nowadays footpaths are mainly used for recreation and have been frequently linked together, along with bridle paths and newly created footpaths, to create
long-distance trails , Vancouver Island Vancouver Island, often simply "the Island" to residents of southwestern BC, is in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, and part of the Canadian Provinces and territories of Canada, province of British Columbia. The island is in l ...
. Also, organizations have been formed in various countries to protect the right to use public footpaths, including the
Ramblers Association The Ramblers (officially the Ramblers Association) is Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the Li ...
and the
Open Spaces SocietyThe Open Spaces Society is a campaign group that works to protect public rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or ...
in England. Footpaths are now also found in
botanic garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a ...

botanic garden
s,
arboretum An arboretum (plural: arboreta) in a general sense is a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. More commonly a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for ...

arboretum
s,
regional park A regional park is an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreational use or other reason, and under the administration of a form of local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tie ...
s,
conservation area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the ena ...

conservation area
s,
wildlife garden A wildlife garden (or wild garden) is an Biophysical environment, environment created by a gardener that serves as a sustainable haven for surrounding wildlife. Wildlife gardens contain a variety of habitats that cater to Native species, native ...
s, and
open-air museum An open-air museum (or open air museum) is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that cares for and displays a collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, th ...
s. There are also
educational trail An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or foot ...
s, themed walks,
sculpture trail A sculpture trail - also known as "a culture walk" or "art trail" - is a walkwayImage:Legaransegget.jpg, left, The Legaran Segget walkway in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. In American English, walkway is a composite or umbrella term for all engineered su ...
s and historic interpretive trails.


Rights of way

In
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
, public footpaths are
rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on l ...
on which pedestrians have a legally protected right to travel. Other public
rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on l ...
in England and Wales, such as
bridleway A bridle path, also bridleway, equestrian trail, horse riding path, ride, bridle road, or horse trail, is a path, trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or ...

bridleway
s, byways,
towpath A towpath is a road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. Roads consist of one or two roadway A carriageway (British English ...
s, and green lanes are also used by pedestrians. In Scotland there is no legal distinction between a footpath and a
bridleway A bridle path, also bridleway, equestrian trail, horse riding path, ride, bridle road, or horse trail, is a path, trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or ...

bridleway
and it is generally accepted that cyclists and horse riders may follow any right of way with a suitable surface. The law is different in both
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
and the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
and there are far fewer rights of way in Ireland as a whole (see
Keep Ireland Open Keep Ireland Open is a voluntary campaign organisation established to promote access to the Irish countryside and walkways. Founded in 1994, its chairman is former Green Party A Green party is a formally organized political party A polit ...
).


Definitive path maps

Footpaths and other rights of way in England and Wales are shown on
definitive map A definitive map is a record of public rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a ...
s. A definitive map is a record of public
rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on l ...
in England and Wales. In law it is the definitive record of where a right of way is located. The highway authority (normally the
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries. Members are elected in County Council elections. Ireland The county councils created und ...
, or unitary authority in areas with a one-tier system) has a statutory duty to maintain a definitive map, though in national parks the
national park authorityA national park authority is a special term used in the United Kingdom for legal bodies charged with maintaining a national park of which as of December 2016 there are ten in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland. The powers and duties of all s ...
usually maintains the map. The
Inner London Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up the ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the ...
boroughs are exempt from the statutory duty though they have the powers to maintain a map: currently none does so. In Scotland different legislation applies and there is no legally recognised record of rights of way. However, there is a National Catalogue of Rights of Way (CROW), compiled by the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society (Scotways), in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, and the help of local authorities.


Open Spaces Society

The
Open Spaces SocietyThe Open Spaces Society is a campaign group that works to protect public rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or ...
is a charitable British organisation that works to protect public rights of way and open spaces in the United Kingdom, such as
common land Common land is land owned by a person or collectively by a number of persons, over which other persons have certain common rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect wood, or to cut turf for fuel. A person who has a ...
and
village green A village green is a common Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone County Tyrone (; ) is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an is ...
s. It is Britain's oldest national conservation body. The society was founded as the Commons Preservation Society and merged with the National Footpaths Society in 1899, and adopted their present name.Open Spaces Society
/ref> Much of the Open Spaces Society's work is concerned with the preservation and creation of public paths. Before the introduction of
definitive map A definitive map is a record of public rights of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a ...
s of public paths in the early 1950s, the public did not know where paths were, and the Open Spaces Society helped the successful campaign for paths to be shown on
Ordnance Survey , nativename_a = , nativename_r = , logo = Ordnance Survey 2015 Logo.svg , logo_width = 240px , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = , picture_width = , picture_caption = , formed = , preceding1 = , di ...
maps. It advises the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), ...
and National Assembly for Wales on applications for works on common land. Local authorities are legally required to consult the society whenever there is a proposal to alter the route of a public right of way.
The Ramblers The Ramblers is the trading name of the Ramblers Association, Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such a ...

The Ramblers
are another British organisation concerned with the protection of footpaths.


Urban footpaths

There are a variety of footpaths in urban settings, including paths along streams and rivers, through
park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is ...

park
s and across
commons The commons is the culture, cultural and nature, natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons c ...
. Another type is the
alley An alley or alleyway is a narrow lane In road transport, a lane is part of a roadway that is designated to be used by a single line of vehicles to control and guide drivers and reduce traffic conflicts. Most public roads (highways) ha ...

alley
, normally providing access to the rear of properties or connecting built-up roads not easily reached by vehicles.
Towpath A towpath is a road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. Roads consist of one or two roadway A carriageway (British English ...
s are another kind of urban footpath, but they are often shared with cyclists. A typical footpath in a park is found along the
seawall A seawall (or sea wall) is a form of coastal defence constructed where the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers appro ...

seawall
in
Stanley Park Stanley Park is a public park An urban park or metropolitan park, also known as a municipal park (North America) or a public park, public open space, or municipal gardens (UK), is a park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural o ...

Stanley Park
,
Vancouver, British Columbia Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the List of cities in British Columbia, most populous city in the province, the 2016 Canadian census, 2016 census recorded 631,486 pe ...

Vancouver, British Columbia
, Canada. This is a segregated path, with one lane for skaters and cyclists and the other for pedestrians. In the US and Canada, where
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. ...
has begun to strike even the most rural communities, developers and local leaders are currently striving to make their communities more conducive to non-motorized transportation through the use of less traditional paths. The
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is an American philanthropic Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initi ...
has established the Active Living by Design program to improve the
livability Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United ...

livability
of communities in part through developing trails, The Upper Valley Trails Alliance has done similar work on traditional trails, while the
Somerville Community Path The Somerville Community Path is a paved rail trail signage in Victoria, Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Austral ...
and related paths, are examples of urban initiatives. In St. John's,
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...

Newfoundland
, Canada The Grand Concourse, is an integrated
walkway In American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Ame ...

walkway
system that has over of footpaths which link every major park, river, pond, and green space in six municipalities. In
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...
, England, there are several long-distance walking routes which combine footpaths and roads to link green spaces. These include the Capital Ring,
London Outer Orbital Path The London Outer Orbital Path — more usually the "London LOOP" — is a 150-mile (242 km) signed walk along public footpaths, and through parks, woods and fields around the edge of Outer London Outer London is the name for the ...
and the
Jubilee Walkway The Jubilee Walkway is an official walking route in London. It was originally opened as the Silver Jubilee Walkway to commemorate Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II's accession; the Queen herself opened it on 9 June 1977 during her Silver Jubilee ...
, the use of which have been endorsed by
Transport for London Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for most of the in , . TfL has responsibility for various rail networks including the and , as well as London's , , principal road routes, cycling provision, , and . It doe ...
.


Alley and steps

An
alley An alley or alleyway is a narrow lane In road transport, a lane is part of a roadway that is designated to be used by a single line of vehicles to control and guide drivers and reduce traffic conflicts. Most public roads (highways) ha ...

alley
is a narrow, usually paved, pedestrian path, often between the walls of buildings in towns and cities. This type is usually short and straight, and on steep ground can consist partially or entirely of steps. In older cities and towns in Europe, alleys are often what is left of a medieval street network, or a
right of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on ...

right of way
or ancient footpath. Similar paths also exist in some older North American towns and cities. In some older urban development in North America lanes at the rear of houses, to allow for deliveries and garbage collection, are called alleys. Alleys may be paved, or unpaved, and a blind alley is a
cul-de-sac A dead end, also known as a cul-de-sac (, from French for 'bag-bottom'), no through road or no exit road, is a street with only one inlet or outlet. The term "dead end" is understood in all varieties of English, but the official terminology ...

cul-de-sac
. Some alleys are roofed because they are within buildings, such as the
traboule Courtyard of a traboule (Vieux Lyon) Traboules (from Latin ''transambulare'' via vulgar Latin ''trabulare'' meaning "to cross") are a type of secret covered passageways primarily associated with the city of Lyon, France, but also located in the F ...
s of
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
, or when they are a pedestrian passage through railway embankments in Britain. The latter follow the line of rights-of way that existed before the railway was built. Because of
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an ...
, steps (
stairs Stairs is a structure designed to bridge a large vertical Vertical may refer to: * Vertical direction In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natu ...

stairs
) are the predominant form of alley in hilly cities and towns. This includes
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. A population of 302,971 residents lives within the city limit ...

Pittsburgh
(see
Steps of Pittsburgh The Steps of Pittsburgh refers to the collection of nearly 800 sets of city-owned steps in the City of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvan ...
),
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...

Cincinnati
(see Steps of Cincinnati),
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the list of cities in Oregon, largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat, seat of Multnomah County, Oregon, Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacif ...

Portland, Oregon
,
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
, and
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
in the United States, as well as
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
, and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
.


Long-distance paths

Footpaths (and other rights of way) have been combined, and new paths created, so as to produce long-distance walking routes in a number of countries. These can be rural in nature, such as the Essex Way, in southern England, which crosses farmland, or urban as with various routes in London, England, or along a coastline like the
South West Coast Path The South West Coast Path is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath A long-distance trail (or long-distance footpath, track, way, greenway (landscape), greenway) is a longer recreational trail mainly through rural areas used ...
in the
West of England The West of England is a loose and unspecific term given to geographically western portions of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
, or in the high mountains, like the
Pacific Crest Trail The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), officially designated as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, is a long-distance hiking Hiking is a long, vigorous walk Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomo ...
in the US, which reaches at
Forester Pass Forester Pass is a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada. Located on the Kings-Kern Divide on the boundary between Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, Forester Pass connects the drainages of Bubbs Creek and the ...
in the
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...

Sierra Nevada
.


Maintenance

Many footpaths require some maintenance. Most rural paths have an earth or grass surface with
stile A stile is a structure or opening that provides people passage over or through a boundary via step Step or Steps may refer to: General * Stairs * Walking * Dance move, the building block of many dances * Military step, a regular, ordered and ...

stile
s, and or gates, including
kissing gate A kissing gate is a type of gate that allows people, but not livestock, to pass through. The normal construction is a half-round, rectangular, trapezoidal or V-shaped part-enclosure with the free end of a hinged gate trapped between its arms. Wh ...
s. A few will have
stepping stones Stepping stones or stepstones are sets of stones arranged to form a simple bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body of water, valley, or road, without closing ...
, fords, or bridges. Urban footpaths may be constructed of
masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps betwe ...

masonry
,
brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also used informally to denote other chemically cured cons ...

brick
,
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
, asphalt, cut
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

stone
or . Crushed rock, decomposed granite, fine
wood chips Woodchips are small- to medium-sized pieces of wood formed by cutting or chipping larger pieces of wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with ...
are also used. The construction materials can vary over the length of the footpath and may start with a well constructed hard surface in an urban area, and end with an inexpensive soft or loose surface in the countryside. Stairs or steps are sometimes found in urban
alley An alley or alleyway is a narrow lane In road transport, a lane is part of a roadway that is designated to be used by a single line of vehicles to control and guide drivers and reduce traffic conflicts. Most public roads (highways) ha ...

alley
s, or cliff paths to beaches.


Issues

The main issues in urban areas include maintenance, litter, crime, and lighting after dark. In the countryside there are issues relating to conflicts between walkers and livestock, and these occasionally result in people being injured or even killed. Dogs often contribute to such conflicts – see in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. Also footpaths in remote locations can be difficult to maintain and a route along a country path can be impeded by ploughing, crops, overgrown vegetation, illegal barriers (including barbed wire), damaged
stile A stile is a structure or opening that provides people passage over or through a boundary via step Step or Steps may refer to: General * Stairs * Walking * Dance move, the building block of many dances * Military step, a regular, ordered and ...

stile
s, etc.


Confrontation with landowners in the UK

There have been numerous problems over the years in England and Wales with landowners. One notable example was with the millionaire property tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten who had a long-standing dislike of and dispute with ramblers, describing them as "scum of the earth". In 1999 Hoogstraten erected a large fence across a footpath on his country estate in East Sussex. Local ramblers staged a protest against the erection of the fence outside the boundary of Van Hoogstraten's estate. On 10 February 2003 and after a 13-year battle and numerous legal proceedings, the path was finally re-opened.


Isle of Man

Another conflict involved Jeremy Clarkson, a TV presenter and ''Top Gear (2002 TV series), Top Gear'' host who lives on the Isle of Man. He became frustrated at the lack of privacy at his home when ramblers deviated from a pathway to take photographs of his dwelling. Clarkson's property bordered a small 250-metre strip of land that had no definitive status as a public right of way but was used by walkers regardless. Clarkson aimed to close access to this small strip of his land, thereby forcing ramblers to take a small diversion to stick to the official public
right of way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on ...

right of way
and therefore protecting his claimed right to privacy on his own property. In May 2010 the former transport minister, Hon. David Anderson (Manx politician), David Anderson MHK, accepted the conclusions of a public inquiry that all except five of the paths claimed at the inquiry as public rights of way have been dedicated as public rights of way and should be added to the definitive map.


See also

* Ancient trackway * Drovers road * Footpaths of Gibraltar * Hiking * Pedestrian zone * Rail trail * Sunken road * Walkability


References


External links

*
Footpath Map — a map of footpaths in the UK
{{Road Footpaths, Garden features Hiking Urban planning Trails Walking