Saturday, December 1, 2007

Trails - then and now

Trails co-evolved with animals and humans. History can be read about in books, but it happened on and along trails and all the places they connect(ed). Many trails disappeared over time. Others grew bigger. So did many places; and now there are big cities connected by multi-lane highways and roads leading to large parking lots. Where are the trails now? "Trailing Ahead" (www. is searching for trails, exploring them and telling their stories.

Today, in many countries of the world old trails are revived and new trails are designed. "Green" urban development includes pedestrian walkways, underpasses, bridges, and bike lanes. In our fun-loving, adventure-seeking, and health-oriented society we commonly think of trails as tracks for challenging exercises or leisurely walks: hiking, jogging, biking, horse riding, and during the snow season snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. Trails are found in open space, parks, urban areas, around lakes and along rivers and beaches. Many cities feature well-marked historic walking tours. Some nearby biotope may have an educational nature walk. Trails gain territory. Just think of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) or the Bay Area Rim Trail (B.A.R.T.).

Hopefully, future development and land management preserves open space and remaining spots of wilderness and keeps trail connectivity in mind since easily accessible trails in our backyards are a service to both us and nature - reminding us that we are part of nature.

No comments: