A trail is a linear path segment that is naturally or intentionally created by users (humans and/or animals) to traverse their landscape and connect destinations. As a collective, a trail system is comprised of multiple paths that are connected in an overall network that may include paths exclusively in towns or in nature, but also connect one place to another place. Effectively laid out trails can fulfill multiple goals and objectives and also have significant indirect benefits for communities. Depending on the form or function, there are different types of trails to be considered (Table 1). Trail systems can include a mixture of different types of trails such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, or water trails.

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This is Part 1 of the Beyond a Path series.