By Rob Gunstone
Photos: Nick Waygood, Blue Derby Wild, Tim Bardsley-Smith, Cam Mackenzie
An increasingly heated conflict between environmentalists and loggers is playing out alongside some of the best trails Derby, Tasmania, has to offer. What happens when the competing economic forces of forestry and tourism start to play tug-of-war on the doorstep of one of the world’s best mountain bike riding destinations?
What inspires mountain bike riders to hold a trail network like Blue Derby in high regard?
For most riders it is a combination of factors from the quality and length of the network, ease of access to a variety of trail experiences, and the all-important ‘yiew’ factor that brings smiles to the faces of anyone who rides there.
It is also the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful environments in the country on our own terms.
The north-east of Tasmania, and the former mining town of Derby in particular, has embraced all of these factors over the past six years and built one of the most desirable riding destinations in the world. The international status of the Derby network has been cemented by the regular return of the Enduro World Series (EWS), and the awarding of the prestigious EWS Trail of the Year award to Detonate in 2017, followed by the Kumma-Gutza/Air-Ya-Garn run in 2019.
Many of the trail experiences in Derby are now iconic to Australian riders who travel from across the country just to spend a few days in this small part of regional Tasmania. It is not uncommon to see fully kitted out parents sharing the seat on the shuttle bus to the Black Stump carpark with their children ready to share the stoke and build family memories, or lines of young riders waiting for their turn to drop in and test their skills on the recently installed pump track at the trail head.
One experience is to stop on the trails and admire the forest surrounding the trails, with the giant tree ferns and mighty eucalypts towering overhead. These forests provide a glimpse to the wider environment past and allow riders to imagine an escape from the modern world.
There are no doubts the loamy dirt ribbons running through the Derby network provide riders with one of the best experiences in the country, all accessed just a stone’s throw from your accommodation (and in easy access of a post ride beverage), but the trails have come with a legacy which has the potential to affect the impression of a pristine, ancient environment.
What’s the problem?
A conflict is occurring in Derby with logging close to the trails, along sections of rider-favourite trails Krushka's and Atlas, set to commence before the end of the year.
On one side is the forestry industry, which provides local employment in the harvesting, transport and processing of timber, and the other is the mountain bike tourism and local environmental activists calling for an end to logging.
Despite the recent explosive of growth, mountain bike tourism (plus the wider tourist industry) is just one aspect of the Derby economy.
According to Cr. Greg Howard, the Dorset Council mayor and a qualified forest practice officer, tourism sits third behind agriculture and forestry in terms of the economic impact on the wider community, and without the forestry industry there would not be enough space for trails to make Derby as successful as it currently is.
“The first trails that were built were constructed in a Crown land reserve, and that accounted for around the first 30-40kms,” Cr Howard said. “Beyond that we ran out of Crown land reserve so the only way we could expand the trail network was to move into the Sustainable Timber’s land, that land was dedicated as part of a permitted timber zone.”
Cr Howard said the Dorset Council came to a compromise with Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT) regarding the placement of the trails and plans for future logging around the outside of the trail network.
“We came to a compromise and shook hands on it,” Cr Howard said. “And as far as I’m concerned a handshake is as good as a signature on a piece of paper. So, we went ahead and built trails in the full knowledge there would be coupes outside of the trail network which are planned for future harvesting.
(Video) SHE DIDN'T KNOW THERE WERE CAMERAS... LOOK WHAT SHE DID!
“Without the STT agreement and assistance there would not be a big enough trail network to make Derby as successful as it is today. It would have become a little boutique set of trails rather than the 140kms of trails. Without the STT land we would only have about 50-60kms (of trails) or something like that.”
Cr Howard stressed there are no plans for any logging coupes inside the Derby trail network.
Louise Morris, a local rider and coordinator for environmental conservation organisation Blue Derby Wild, described the push for logging in the region as ‘bloody minded’.
“The wrongheaded approach of logging because (the council) said we are going to in areas such as Krushkas, Atlas, Weld Hill or Blue Tier just makes no sense ecologically, economically or socially,” Morris said.
“What we have got here is really special and it is worth protecting.”
Morris acknowledges the need for economic diversity in Derby is extremely important and highlights the opportunity to make the town a hub for nature-based tourism in Tasmania’s northeast.
“Initially the trails were designed (by the council) for men in lycra who just wanted to ride fast and didn’t care what they were riding through,” she said. “Now we have the opportunity with Derby to create a hub town where people can go for walks, explore the cultural history of the tin mining, the Chinese Dragon Trail, and the indigenous history. People can go to Scottsdale Brewery, gorge on local cheese, or drive to the coast at St Helens and explore one of the most beautiful beaches.”
Places That Rock: St Helens
“It’s always been a conversation that this town can be more than just extreme mountain bike riders.”
What are the economics of Mountain Bike Riding?
Since the trails were developed and opened to the public in 2015, the riding community has flooded to Derby. Accommodation providers have taken over all of the available houses, there are queues at the coffee shops in the morning and the pizza shop at dinner time.
Regarding the economic impact of mountain bike tourism on the town, a report prepared by AusCycling in March 2021 stated:
Blue Derby is an excellent example of the success of mountain biking tourism in achieving economic benefits for local communities. Derby, a small town in north east Tasmania was on the brink of collapse (due to a downturn in traditional mining and forestry industries) before $3.1 million was invested in mountain bike trails in 2015. Now, more than 30,000 tourists visit the trails each year. These visitors generally spend four to five nights in Derby, then another five nights elsewhere in Tasmania, injecting more than $30 million back into the Tasmanian economy each year. (Mountain Biking in Australia: An Economic and Participation Analysis, p1)
Big Mountain Derby is one business that has opened its doors in Derby in recent years. Owner Adam Campbell said establishing a bike hire and guiding business was a “natural commitment to the region” after running tour groups to the town from his Queensland base for several years.
“We have been running tour groups through Derby since 2018,” Campbell said. “I currently employ three people in the store but are looking to double this number. We have one local girl employed as an apprentice, and we are currently recruiting staff and have had applications from all over the world. On a global scale Derby is on the map.”
He said the riders who participated in his Derby tours travel to the area for the trail network as the “first and most obvious” reason.
“We can all agree this is one of the best trail networks in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world. The dirt ribbons here are just glorious.”
Campbell said riders coming along have “seen the videos and read the articles” and expected the trails to be of outstanding quality. What riders don’t expect is just how beautiful the trail network is, and that the scenery itself is an important part of what Big Mountain offers.
“You are riding through rainforests, ferns, some of the biggest trees you will ever see. The scenery itself is breathtaking. When we are on our tours, we tell people to stop along the way and breath it all in,” he said. “It is really iconic and unique to Derby, it’s just stunning.
“People want to travel to Derby for the lifestyle, for the mountain biking. But if the trail network is destroyed because of logging, those opportunities may be lost. It’s been a long time since towns like Derby have been able to generate opportunities for locals in terms of employment and now that could all go away.”
Jules Seymour is another rider who has moved to Derby from Margaret River five years ago to enjoy both the quality riding and the lifestyle in the region.
“I feel so lucky to be here, I love my diving and hiking and there is all of that within an hour of here,” Seymour said.
After working as a mountain bike guide, Seymour started a property management business and now employs a range of local subcontractors to work on the 20 properties she manages. She said the business operates at a 90% occupancy rate during the riding season, well above the industry average.
“It’s pretty flat out,” she said. “It’s incredibly hard to find people in this area, if there are workers there is nowhere for them to stay and there are no locals around Derby or the surrounding towns, so people have to travel from Scotsdale. For a Tasmanian, 25-30mins travel is too long.
“Most of my properties have one or two free days per month through the last season. This is incredibly high for the industry, averaging you would be happy if your occupancy was around 70% but with all the hype around Derby and people knowing what the trails and the scenery is like people are flocking here.
Eat, stay, ride Blue Derby
“I see all of these families riding around Derby, it’s not just the shredders anymore. There is families and young kids who are the future of regions like this. How is it going to affect the sustainability of a region like this if half of the forest is gone?"
“A lot of people don’t just come for the riding, they come for the feeling of being in the beautiful glacia refugia forest, the beautiful old growth forest, they don’t want to be riding through logged areas. I remember doing that in Rotorua and I hated it, it’s not nice.”
Seymour is worried about the impact of the logging close to the core Derby trails.
“It’s hard because I understand both sides, the guys working in (the logging) industry are just trying to feed their families. They have a job to do. There are a few guys working in this industry who think it’s wrong as well, but what choice do they have. My argument is not with plantation, it’s with logging old growth forest. There is biodiversity in there and species which are on the brink of extinction as it is. You are only going to make it worse by chopping their homes down."
“They are planning on closing the trail during the time they are logging it. But this is affecting the rideability of the network. Is it going to affect visitation? If people will think they can’t ride Krushka’s or Trouty’s or other trails on that ridge, will they decide to come down? I 100% think that it will.”
Edge effect and the potential for trail damage.
Louise Morris is concerned about the potential for damage to the Krushka’s and Atlas trails running along the edge of the logging coupes.
“We are seeing more and more erosion along the trails which have already been impacted by the logging near Big Mama tree,” she said. “The trails that are being targeted are really central to the Blue Derby brand, and Atlas has also been put on the list for next year.
“We have also just had a bunch of trees come down on Krushka’s along the edge of the (previous) clear-fell, because of the edge effect where the winds are stronger and the trees aren’t protected by the forest anymore.”
The edge effect occurs along the sides of the clear-fell logging coupes where trees previously protected by surrounding forest are now exposed to the wind, sun and other weather events. Soils (and therefore trail surfaces) are also exposed to more sun resulting in them drying and hardening.
Campbell pointed to the impact of logging on the Rotorua as a ‘perfect example’ of what can happen to the trails.
“You go from moist, tacky, loamy trails when you have the canopy, and then you enter the area that has been logged and it’s exposed,” he said. “The surface of the trail becomes hard, rocky and janky. It’s just not enjoyable to ride.
Loam be gone. Photo: Cam Mackenzie
“The trails will be absolutely decimated; New Zealand and Derby are not dissimilar. It looks like a warzone, trees are just gone, and all you have is a vast wasteland, and that is what will happen. Even if they create a buffer, there is going to be an impact to the trail network.”
Cr Howard does not believe the edge effect will be as damaging to the trails as others believe.
“We didn’t notice any edge effect from the previous trail that was harvested (alongside Krushkas in 2016),” he said.
Cr Howard said the drying out of soils because of the edge effect occurs mostly on north facing edges. “These edges close to the trail will be either southern facing or west to south-west facing edges, so we expect the edge effect to the trails will be next to negligible,” he said.
He said a 50m buffer zones has been planned to run between the trails and the logging coupes, and this will work to protect the trails.
“(The buffer) will vary because the trail is not a straight line and nor is the boundary of the coupe, but it won’t come any closer than 50m and for a fair bit of it will be further away. Riding down Krushkas you would never know that harvesting had taken place.”
Where to next?
Louise Morris is hoping Blue Derby Wild will have a similar level of success to when the group managed to get previous logging activity stopped around the central trails of Flickety Sticks, Return to Sender and Roxanne.
“Those areas were supposed to be logged a few years ago, and we had some interesting barneys with the local council, we managed to get logging coupes stopped in those areas which would have been more visible from the main street much more than these (current areas) are,” she said.
“Now we are having more people come here then just riders, the development is happening despite the lack of planning.”
“You can spend a week up here and still do a tiny amount, from the orange rocks of the coast, through to the big forests, or the amazing button grass plains on the peaks of the highlands.”
And of course, ride to your edge along the amazing Derby trails.
Definitions: Sustainable forestry vs clear-fell logging?
According to an article published by the Rainforest Alliance in 2016, sustainable forestry is about ‘balance’ in timber harvesting. The process involves mimicking natural processes of ‘disturbance and regeneration’. Basically, selecting individual trees to be harvested, leaving a canopy and understory behind to maintain an ecologically stable environment.
Working in this fashion is more expensive, and more challenging to remove the harvested timbers from the forest area, than clear-fell harvesting.
Cr Howard said the wet sclerophyll forest coupes bordering the trail network are not suitable for the selected harvesting method.
“Wet sclerophyll forests are essentially dominated by eucalypts and they have a very different set of understory depending on the location,” he said. “If you selectively harvest them then you probably won’t get any regrowth because the eucalypt seeds need to land on bare earth for them to germinate. If they land on logging slash or understory left behind, you won’t get any regrowth. That is essentially why they do clear-fell, burn and sow in wet forests.”
Cr Howard said in some instances a thinning operation might be undertaken where the eucalypts were so dense some trees were starting to die because they were outcompeted. In this case the only bare ground available would be where the machines were driven, limiting the opportunity for regrowth.
“One of the advantages Tasmanian forestry has is where we have commercial forestry there is really high rainfall and really good soils, and not only the trees but the undergrowth comes back very quickly and strongly,” Cr Howard said. “This allows the area to be repopulated by the native animals, they move back in in a couple of years.”
Want to have a bit on input? Email us at AMB@nextmedia.com.au, or take part in our survey, you might even win 1 of 4 $500 vouchers for the Blue Derby Pods Ride experience!
Blue: An easy trail with a gentle slope that is for beginning skiers or skiers who wish to ski on an easy trail. Red: An intermediate slope that is steeper (or more difficult) than a Blue trail.What does Blue Trail mean? ›
A Blue Trail is a river adopted by communities that are dedicated to improving family friendly recreation such as fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife-watching, and to protecting rivers and surrounding lands. They are voluntary, locally led efforts that improve community quality of life.Who Built Derby trails? ›
These are the purpose constructed, Glen Jacobs designed, World Trail built, Blue Derby bike trails, embracing the temperate Rainforest around the small former mining town of Derby, County Dorset, population 250.What color trail is the easiest? ›
Green Trails (Easiest)
Green trails are used by riders of all abilities, leading to more difficult sections of terrain. The steepness of uphills and downhills is short-lived, and top out at around twenty percent grade in places.
Ski slope colors refer to the steepness of the gradient and the level of difficulty. Green is an easy shallow & wide slope for beginners. Blue is for intermediate skiers who can turn on steeper faster gradients. In Europe, Red is for very good confident skiers that like a challenge.What do the trail colors mean? ›
Red blazes are used to mark shared-use trails. Shared-use trails are open to horseback, mountain bike and foot travel. Trails designated as state forest hiking trails are blazed in orange. These trails are intended to be for foot travel only. Cross-country ski trails are marked with blue blazes.How long does the blue trail take? ›
Length: 800 m / 0.5 miles. Journey time: 15-30 minutes. The trail is inaccessible at some places. Reason: It is dangerous, you can do it but pay close attention.What does pink blazing mean? ›
Pink Blazing: when a hiker intentionally speeds up or slows down to hike with a potential love interest.What percentage of Derby is black? ›
|• Ethnicity (Office for National Statistics 2011 Census)||80.2% White 12.6% Asian 3.0% Black British 1.3% Other 2.9% Mixed Race|
A black flag means that a driver has been disqualified and must stop their car immediately. All cars must complete an aggressive hit on another competing car within a 90 second time limit. Definition of a hit is when a car hits another car and causes the other car to move or be damaged. No hitting of the driver's door.
Owned by Glenn Jacobs World Trail is a world leader in trail construction and design, designing and constructing many of Australia's best trails.Do you need full face for trail riding? ›
Trail riding is the only time where you might see riders of off-road machines wearing open face ¾ style helmets. Maximum head movements while winding your way through obstacles at exceptionally low speeds may be required in some types of trail riding.Can you ride Leadville on a gravel bike? ›
Having raced Leadville in 2015 on my full suspension ( Kona Hei Hei), I knew the course was mostly rideable on a gravel bike.Can you ride the Gdmbr on a gravel bike? ›
Bikes for the GDMBR
From four-pannier touring bikes to fast-and-light gravel racing setups, you really can ride this route on almost anything.
Banana-blaze (verb) – To follow a man down the trail out of romantic interests, usually done by a woman.What is basic trail etiquette? ›
If you're descending the trail, step aside and give space to the people climbing up. Bicyclists yield to hikers and horses or other pack stock. Come to a full stop and step to the side to give the right of way. Be mindful of the plants or animals that are near the trail if you must step off the trail.What does blue blazing mean? ›
Blue Blazing — An act of “cheating” on the Appalachian Trail where hikers take side trails as shortcuts.How steep is a blue run? ›
Blue: Slope gradients between 25% and 45% (15-25 degrees) are ideal for intermediate skiers and typically are too steep for development.What is the most difficult trail on a ski slope marked by? ›
Green Square for “easiest”, Yellow Triangle "more difficult,” Blue Circle "most difficult,” Red Diamond "extreme caution.”Do blue ski runs have moguls? ›
Blue runs vary by difficulty depending on the resort you're skiing at and the area of the country you're in (steepness can range from 25 to 40 degrees), but for the most part, you're unlikely to find moguls or long pitches of super-steep terrain.
If you see three trail markers in a triangle pointing upwards it means that is the start of the trail system. If you see one trail marker straight ahead it means, go straight. If you see two trail markers, one slightly higher on the left it means make a left turn.What does a blue trail mean on AllTrails? ›
Legend: Trails on the 'AllTrails' map type are represented as black single dashed lines. Blue dashed lines mean that bikes are permitted for trails. Red squares represent trail intersection markers with the trail distance shown for each major segment.What does a blue blaze trail mean? ›
Blue Blazes: A Blue Blaze is a spur trail branching off of the Appalachian Trail. Blue blazed trails could lead to a vista, water source, shelter or campground, or some unusual natural feature. The blue blazed trails may be dead ends, so that it would be an out and back walk to something like a vista.How hard are blue mountain bike trails? ›
Blue Square: More difficult/Intermediate: Most likely a singletrack trail with moderate gradients. Some surface variables and small obstacles.How long is the Blue Mountain Loop? ›
The entire Blue Mountain Loop is a 17-mile circuit of Stokes. This route uses Tinsley to bisect the trail into upper and lower loops, but you can just keep following those blazes and do the whole thing.Are Blue mountain trails free? ›
Starting June 6, anyone wanting to use Blue's hiking trails will have to buy an “Explore Pass” at $59 for adults, $49 for young adults, $39 for youth and $19 for children four and under. The passes also provide access to gondola service.What is a white blaze? ›
The Appalachian Trail is marked with 6-inch-long by 2-inch-wide white paint marks on trees. These “white blazes” serve as markers to let hikers know they're on the right track.What is slack packing? ›
In short, slackpacking is backpacking without carrying a full backpack. Generally, you'll carry a daypack, but not all your gear, like your tent and sleeping bag. Slackpacking specifics can vary. Some people carry more or less gear depending on where they are and who's moving their gear from spot to spot.What is aqua blazing? ›
Aquablazing is the terminology used when Appalachian Trail thru-hikers canoe or kayak a portion of the trail's length. It's most commonly done through the Shenandoah River, just to the west of the Shenandoah National Park, a very beautiful stretch of the trail in Virginia.Has a black horse ever won a Derby? ›
Black Gold (horse)
|Breeder||Rosa M. Hoots|
|Owner||Rosa M. Hoots|
1) The most common color of Kentucky Derby winners is bay with 56, inclduing Mandaloun in 2021, followed by chestnut with 48 winners and brown with 17. Eight Kentucky Derby winners were gray or roan, most recently Giacomo in 2005.Is Derby a deprived area? ›
Derbyshire Dales is the least deprived district, ranking 265 out of 317. 10% across England. The NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG is ranked 102 out of the 191 CCGs, with 7% of LSOAs falling into the 10% most deprived nationally.Can you wear blue jeans to the Kentucky Derby? ›
Jackets preferred, blazers, vests, shirts with collars, sweaters, dresses, pantsuits and slacks and capri pants are appropriate. Jeans/denim, shorts, t-shirts, halter tops, athletic wear and tennis shoes are not permitted in these areas.Can a woman wear pants to the Kentucky Derby? ›
Choose spring dresses for your Kentucky Derby outfit
But keep in mind, there's no rule that says you have to wear a dress, though most women do. "Some women are more comfortable in pants and that is fine, too.
NO limos, hearses, vans, jeeps, or trucks. NO 1974 or older Chrysler Imperials allowed. No 1974, or older Imperial sub-frames, 4X4s or ambulances. All glass must be removed from car.How many days do you need at Blue Derby? ›
Time Is Everything
We'd suggest a minimum stay of 3-4 days if you're keen to explore the extensive trail network of more than 150km. It pays to take into account things like travel time also, as having at least one full day on the trails is not only a must, it will allow you to experience the full magic of Derby.
Located in the Derby Forest Reserve, these Philp Lighton Architects designed pods offer a designer experience for mountain bikers in Tasmania's remote north-east. Nestled within the Blue Derby Mountain Bike trails network, the pods appear to float in the forest as the curved walls swoop in and embrace guests.Should I put boots on my horse for trail riding? ›
While unshod horses often do well being ridden or turned out on soft terrain, some require the help of hoof boots to stay comfortable and sound on trails or during long rides. Hoof boots are also handy to have on hand in the event of a lost shoe, and some riders carry one with them while hacking for just that purpose.Does weight matter on a trail bike? ›
A study by Dr Paul Macdermid showed that heavier bikes were slower up hills—no surprise! A bike 21% heavier was 3.3% slower for a 95kg rider. This same study indicated that a dropper post will lose you only 1 second up a steep climb. Rotating weight is important, and get even more important as the diameter gets bigger.Why do enduro riders stand up? ›
By definition, standing raises the mass of your body rather than lowering it. The true benefit of standing is that doing so correctly disconnects your body weight from the top of the bike. It allows the bike to bounce around beneath you while your arms and legs act as additional shock absorbers, like a horse jockey.
Though trails can be muddy this time of year, temperatures are ideal, averaging in the mid-50s. The higher your elevation, the thinner the air is. This can make it hard for your body to get enough oxygen and ultimately cause altitude sickness.Is Leadville a ghost town? ›
Prospectors seduced by the calls of gold and silver raced to Colorado in hopes of striking it rich. Following them were the merchants, proprietors, madams, and gamblers. Together, these new arrivals turned mining camps into towns where the wild west came alive.What percentage of people finish the Leadville 100? ›
Leadville is still relentless.
Of the 681 starters, just 321 finished. Historically, less than 50 percent of entrants finish the 100-mile, out-and-back course before the 30-hour cutoff.
Gravel bikes can be ridden over normal asphalt roads to gravel trails and service roads and back home again without any trouble. Put simply, it's a jack-of-all-trades.What terrain can a gravel bike handle? ›
Gravel bikes are suited to riding in rougher terrain, such as in rocky, bumpy back roads or through mountain paths.Can gravel bikes ride on trails? ›
Gravel bikes are renowned for their versatility. Even though some of them are designed with roads in mind, and others with adventure cycling, all of them perform well both on paved roads and dirt tracks.Are blue mountain bike trails hard? ›
You might encounter some roots, small rocks or short, steep slopes, but nothing that a basic mountain bike with wide, knobbly tyres can't handle. Suitable for: Intermediate cyclists or mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills.
Everest Base Camp (EBC) The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas in Nepal is one of the most famous and also, the hardest hikes in the world.Is Blue Mountain good for beginners? ›
Learn to Ski or Snowboard Together
Blue Mountain Resort knows you learn better AND have more fun when you're together! That's why our award-winning Learning Center created the Family & Friends Beginner Lesson, designed to keep your group together regardless of age, ability, or whether you choose to ski or snowboard.
Challenge yourself to complete the Blue Burn- a 4.5 mile course around the mountain that takes you from the prairies to the top of the steepest ski trail and back down again.
Beginners and Intermediates:
The easiest terrain is located at the Southern end of the resort (left side of the mountain on the trail map). Beginner introduction lessons are taught on three beginner levels here: stage I, II and III which are various levels of difficulty of a green beginner slope.
Cross-country ski trails are marked with blue blazes. These trails are also typically marked with the international symbol of a white skier on a brown background, posted at the trailhead. Finally, local hiking trails are blazed in yellow.Are blue Mountain trails free? ›
Starting June 6, anyone wanting to use Blue's hiking trails will have to buy an “Explore Pass” at $59 for adults, $49 for young adults, $39 for youth and $19 for children four and under. The passes also provide access to gondola service.What do the different colored trail markers mean? ›
A Note on Color
In North America, trail blaze colors have no purpose other than to represent an individual trail. In other words, trails are typically marked in a single color from beginning to end. The Appalachian Trail, for example, uses white, while the Pinhoti uses yellow.
Our real-time air quality index is represented via a color-coded heatmap, where green indicates the cleanest air and red indicates the most polluted. Pollen concentrations are represented in a color-coded heatmap where green indicates the lowest concentration of pollen and red indicates the highest concentration.What makes a hike hard on AllTrails? ›
When we rate a trail hard, it should be because the trail has many inclines or steep hills; a long, steady climb; many steps or stairs; and roots, slippery rocks or other difficult terrain. Footing is usually very irregular, uneven or otherwise more unpredictable.Which trail is the steepest? ›
|||Appalachian Trail||Pacific Crest Trail|
|Steepest Climb||Pinkham Notch to Wildcat E (2000′ in 1.5 mi, with one 1000′ climb in 0.5 mile)||Old Snowy Mountain (about 700′ in 0.6 mi).|
|Average Grade (ft / mi)||2000 ft / mi||1167 ft / mi|
The Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, runs for a rather daunting 14,912 miles (or 24,000km) and is currently the longest hiking trail in the world. There are also some stunning options elsewhere, travelling through Italy, Japan and even along the coast of England.