A footpath (also pedestrian way, walking trail, nature trail) is a type of thoroughfare that is intended for use only by pedestrians and not other forms of traffic such as motorized vehicles, cycles, and horses. 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, lanes, steps, etc.
National parks, nature preserves, conservation areas and other protected wilderness areas may have footpaths (trails) that are restricted to pedestrians. The term footpath can also describe a pavement/sidewalk in some English-speaking countries (such as Australia and the Republic of Ireland).
A footpath can also take the form of a footbridge, linking two places across a river.
Public footpaths are rights of way originally created by people walking across the land to work, market, the next village, church, and school. This includes Mass paths and Corpse roads. Some footpaths were also created by those undertaking a pilgrimage. Examples of the latter are the Pilgrim's Way in England and Pilgrim's Route (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 track or road connecting destinations frequently used by rural communities, most usually the destination of 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 stiles, when crossing fences or other boundaries, or plank footbridges to cross ditches. Some mass paths are still used today in the Republic of Ireland, but are usually subject to Ireland's complicated rights of way law.
Corpse roads provided a practical means for transporting corpses, often from remote communities, to cemeteries that had burial rights, such as parish churches and chapels of ease. In 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.
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. Also organizations have been formed in various countries to protect the right to use public footpaths, including the Ramblers Association in England. Footpaths are now also found in botanic gardens, arboretums, regional parks, conservation areas, wildlife gardens, and open-air museums. There are also educational trails, themed walks, sculpture trails and historic interpretive trails.
In England and Wales, public footpaths are rights of way on which pedestrians have a legally protected right to travel. Other public rights of way in England and Wales, such as bridleways, byways, towpaths, and green lanes are also used by pedestrians. In Scotland there is no legal distinction between a footpath and a 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 and the Republic of Ireland and there are far fewer rights of way in Ireland as a whole (see Keep Ireland Open).
Footpaths and other rights of way in England and Wales are shown on definitive maps. A definitive map is a record of public rights of way 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, 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 authority usually maintains the map. The Inner London 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.
The Open Spaces Society is a charitable British organisation that works to protect public rights of way and open spaces in the United Kingdom, such as common land and village greens. 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.
Much of the Open Spaces Society's work is concerned with the preservation and creation of public paths. Before the introduction of definitive maps 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 maps. It advises the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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 are another British organisation concerned with the protection of footpaths.
There are a variety of footpaths in urban settings, including paths along streams and rivers, through parks and across commons. Another type is the alley, normally providing access to the rear of properties or connecting built-up roads not easily reached by vehicles. Towpaths are another kind of urban footpath, but they are often shared with cyclists. A typical footpath in a park is found along the seawall in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This is a segregated path, with one lane for skaters and cyclists and the other for pedestrians.
In the USA and Canada, where urban sprawl 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 has established the Active Living by Design program to improve the 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 and related paths, are examples of urban initiatives. In St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada The Grand Concourse, is an integrated walkway system that has over 160 kilometers (99 mi) of footpaths which link every major park, river, pond, and green space in six municipalities.
In London, 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 and the Jubilee Walkway, the use of which have been endorsed by Transport for London.
An 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 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. Some alleys are roofed because they are within buildings, such as the traboules of 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, steps (stairs) are the predominant form of alley in hilly cities and towns. This includes Pittsburgh (see Steps of Pittsburgh), Cincinnati (see Steps of Cincinnati), Seattle, and San Francisco in the United States, as well as Hong Kong, and Rome.
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 in the West of England, or in the high mountains, like the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA, which reaches 13,153 feet (4,009 m) at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada.
Many footpaths require some maintenance. Most rural paths have an earth or grass surface with stiles, and or gates, including kissing gates. A few will have stepping stones, fords, or bridges. Urban footpaths may be constructed of masonry, brick, concrete, asphalt, cut stone or wood boardwalk. Crushed rock, decomposed granite, fine wood chips 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 alleys, or cliff paths to beaches.
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 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 stiles, etc.
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 Mr 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.
Another conflict involved Jeremy Clarkson, a TV presenter and 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 and therefore protecting his claimed right to privacy on his own property. In May 2010 the former transport minister, Hon. 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.
Media related to Public footpaths at Wikimedia CommonsBurtonhole Lane and Pasture
Burtonhole Lane and Pasture is a 6.5 hectare Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade II, between Mill Hill and Totteridge in the London Borough of Barnet. It consists of Burtonhole Lane between Partingdale Lane and Burtonhole Close, a footpath east from Burtonhole Lane towards Folly Brook, two fields south of the footpath, and a narrow belt of privately owned woodland north of the footpath. Burtonhole Brook, a tributary of Folly Brook, crosses Burtonhole Lane and the fields.Burtonhole Lane is an old green lane which is now a public footpath and bridleway. It is flanked by tall hedgerows and woodland strips, which support a good variety of shrubs and a number of stately trees, most of them oak and ash. Birds include chaffinch, goldcrest, and green woodpecker, while mammals include stoat, weasel and bank vole. Frogs breed in a wet ditch at the base of the hedgerows.The fields are old London clay grassland, dominated by Yorkshire fog with some tufted hair-grass. Damper areas and Burtonhole Brook support a much more diverse flora.Care of Footpath
C/o Footpath (or Care of Footpath) is the first film produced by the Kiran Movie Makers of Bangalore, India. It was directed by the world's youngest film director, Guinness Record Holder Kishan Shrikanth.It was originally shot in the Kannada language. It was dubbed into other Indian languages including Hindi, Oriya, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil as well as English.
C/o Footpath had a budget of 20 million rupees (about $450,000). The shoot lasted for 55 days, over a period of 5–6 months. Filming took place in Mumbai.The film was released in 2006 with a running time of 135 minutes. It received the Best Children's Film Award at the 54th National Film Awards.Dolomites
The Dolomites (Italian: Dolomiti [doloˈmiːti]; Ladin: Dolomites; German: Dolomiten [doːloːˈmɪtn̩] (listen); Venetian: Dołomiti [doɰoˈmiti]: Friulian: Dolomitis) are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Italian: Valsugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
Other mountain groups of similar geological structure spread along the River Piave to the east – Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave; and far away over the Adige River to the west – Dolomiti di Brenta (Western Dolomites). A smaller group is called Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites), located between the provinces of Trentino, Verona, and Vicenza (see map).
The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and many other regional parks are located in the Dolomites. In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Footpath (2003 film)
Footpath is a 2003 Indian bollywood crime thriller film directed by Vikram Bhatt starring Aftab Shivdasani, Rahul Dev, Bipasha Basu and marked the debut of Emraan Hashmi. The film failed to do well at box office. This film is inspired by the Hollywood flick State of Grace. Angaarey starring Akshay Kumar & Pooja Bhatt is also based on State of Grace.GR footpath
The Grande Randonnée (French), Grote Routepaden or Lange-afstand-wandelpaden (Dutch), Grande Rota (Portuguese) or Gran Recorrido (Spanish) is a network of long-distance footpaths in Europe, mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. The trails in France alone cover approximately 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi). Trails are blazed with characteristic marks consisting of a white stripe above a red stripe. These appear regularly along the route, especially at places like forks or crossroads.
The network is maintained in France by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre (French Hiking Federation), and in Spain by the Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (Spanish Mountain Sports Federation).Many GR routes make up part of the longer European walking routes which cross several countries.Genoa River
Genoa River is a perennial river located in the Monaro region of New South Wales and flows into the East Gippsland region of Victoria in Australia. It used to be known as Bondi Creek or Yard Creek. The river's name derives from the First People "jinoor" ("footpath").Long-distance trail
A long-distance trail (or long-distance footpath, track, way, greenway) is a longer recreational trail mainly through rural areas used for hiking, backpacking, cycling, horse riding or cross-country skiing. They exist on all continents except Antartica.
Many trails are marked on maps. Typically, a long-distance route will be at least 50 km (30 mi) long, but many run for several hundred miles, or longer.
Many routes are waymarked and may cross public or private land and/or follow existing rights of way. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, and there are often rough ground and uneven areas, except in places such as converted rail tracks or popular walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. In some places, official trails will have the surface specially prepared to make the going easier.Midsummer Hill
Midsummer Hill is situated in the range of Malvern Hills that runs approximately 13 kilometres (8 mi) north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border. It lies to the south of Herefordshire Beacon with views to Eastnor Castle. It has an elevation of 284 metres (932 ft).
To the north is Swinyard Hill.
It is the site of an Iron Age hill fort which spans Midsummer Hill and Hollybush Hill. The hillfort is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is owned by Natural England. It can be accessed via a footpath which leads south from the car park at British Camp on the A449 or a footpath which heads north from the car park in Hollybush on the A438.Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is a waterfall located in the Columbia River Gorge, east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, Oregon, United States. The waterfall is accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate 84. Spanning two tiers on basalt cliffs, it is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon at 620 ft (189 m) in height.The land surrounding the falls was developed by Simon Benson in the early-twentieth century, with a pathway, viewing bridge, and adjacent lodge being constructed in 1925. The Multnomah Falls Lodge and the surrounding footpaths at the falls were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Contemporarily, the state of Oregon maintains a switchback trail that ascends to a talus slope 100 feet (30 m) above the falls, and descends to an observation deck that overlooks the falls' edge. The falls attract over two million visitors each year, making it the most-visited natural recreation site in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.Old Park Wood
Old Park Wood is a 16.7-hectare (41-acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest in Harefield in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The south-east part is an 8-hectare (20-acre) nature reserve owned and managed by the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.
The site is ancient woodland which dates back to the Domesday Book. It was part of Harefield Park, which had an eighteenth-century house which later became the site of Harefield Hospital.The hilly site is almost wholly wooded, and one of the floristically richest ancient woods in the London area. Its highlight is the abundance of flowers in spring, with a carpet of bluebells together with yellow archangel, lesser celandine, wood anemone and the rare coral root bittercress (cardamina bulbifera).The site is dissected by small valleys and has a variety of types of soil and plants. The trees are mainly oak, birch, hornbeam and ash. Golden saxifrage and marsh marigolds grow along small streams and there is a pond which is important for dragonflies and invertebrates. There is a good variety of birds, including nuthatch and all three British species of woodpecker.The site lies behind Harefield Hospital. There is no access from the hospital, but a footpath along its border fence from Hill End Road leads to the Herts & Middlesex nature reserve. This may be closed as a developer disputes the right of way. Another footpath between Summerhouse Lane and Hill End Road goes through the SSSI, skirting the northern boundary of the nature reserve. The London Loop goes along this footpath.Pensnett Halt railway station
Pensnett Halt was a small railway stop on the Wombourne Branch Line. It was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1925 and closed in 1932. The halt served the small town of Pensnett.
The sidings around the station survived until about 1994, thanks to the Perrier distribution centre. The line north of these sidings has now been lifted.
The trackbed between Gornal Halt and Pensnett Halt has become a wasteland with the bridge that took the line under High Street and towards Tansy Green Road being fenced off and has since been overgrown. At one point, the line from Pensnett Halt to Brockmoor Halt railway station became a footpath but has since been hardly used and is now overgrown with only the single track that carried the line to Gornal Halt still in situ and a steep, dangerous footpath from Gibbons Lane.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". This article is mainly about access by foot, by bicycle, horseback, or along a waterway, and Right-of-way (transportation) focusses on highways, railways, pipelines, etc. A footpath is a right of way that can only be used by pedestrians.
A similar right of access also exists on some public land in the United States. In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, such land may alternatively be called Crown land.
In some countries, especially in Northern Europe, where the freedom to roam has historically taken the form of general public rights, a right of way may not be restricted to specific paths or trails.
When one person owns a piece of land which is bordered on all sides by lands owned by others, a court will be obliged to grant that person a right of way through the bordering land.Rights of way in England and Wales
In England and Wales, other than in the 12 Inner London Boroughs and the City of London, the "right of way" refers to paths on which the public have a legally protected right to pass and re-pass. The law in England and Wales differs from Scots law in that rights of way exist only where they are so designated (or are able to be designated if not already), whereas in Scotland any route that meets certain conditions is defined as a right of way, and in addition there is a general presumption of access to the countryside ("right to roam"). Private rights of way or easements also exist (see also Highways in England and Wales).Sidewalk
A sidewalk (American English) or pavement (British English), also known as a footpath or footway, is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade (height) and is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb. There may also be a median strip or road verge (a strip of vegetation, grass or bushes or trees or a combination of these) either between the sidewalk and the roadway or between the sidewalk and the boundary.
In some places, the same term may also be used for a paved path, trail or footpath that is not next to a road, for example, a path through a park.Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail, also known as the SHT, is a 310-mile (499 km) long footpath in northeastern Minnesota that follows the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior for most of its length. The path is 18 inches (46 cm) wide and is set in the middle of a 4-foot (1.2 m) clearing. The footpath travels through forests of birch, aspen, pine, fir, and cedar. Hikers enjoy views of boreal forests, the Sawtooth Mountains, babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The lowest point in the path is 602 feet (183 m) above sea level and the highest point is 1,829 feet (558 m) above sea level. The footpath is intended for hiking only. Motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, and horses are not allowed on the trail. Many people use the footpath for long-distance hiking. Facilitating this purpose are 93 backcountry, fee-free campsites.Swan's Way (footpath)
Swan's Way is a long distance bridle route and footpath in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, England. It runs 65 miles (105 km) from Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire to Goring-On-Thames, Oxfordshire. Although designed for horseriders by riders, it is a multi-use trail also available to walkers and cyclists.
For walkers the path links with the Ridgeway National Trail, the western end of the Icknield Way Path, the Ouse Valley Way and the Three Shires Way.Swyre Head, Lulworth
Swyre Head, Lulworth is a hill and sea cliff which lies on the Jurassic Coast between Bat's Head to the west and Durdle Door to the east, close to Lulworth (further to the east) in Dorset, England. It is located approximately 8 miles (12.9 km) east of Weymouth and 14 miles (22.5 km) west of Swanage.
Swyre Head, Lulworth, lies only about 8.5 miles (13.7 km) west of another Swyre Head, which is located close to the village of Kingston and which is the highest point on the peninsula known as the Isle of Purbeck.
The cliffs of Swyre Head, Lulworth, are of chalk and are steep, with grassland and a footpath above. The footpath runs close to the cliff edge and is steeply undulating. Despite the steepness, it is popular for walks and the scenery is spectacular.Between Swyre Head and the natural rock arch of Durdle Door is a small dry valley known as Scratchy Bottom.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 is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied, in North America, to routes along rivers, and sometimes to highways. In the US, the term was historically used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants (e.g. the Oregon Trail). In the USA "trace" is a synonym for trail, as in Natchez Trace. Some trails are single use and can only be used for walking, cycling, horse riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing; others, as in the case of a bridleway in the UK, are multi-use, and can be used by walkers, cyclists and equestrians. There are also unpaved trails used by dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles and in some places, like the Alps, trails are used for moving cattle and other livestock.Vellore Institute of Technology
Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), formerly Vellore Engineering College is a private deemed university institute located in the outskirts of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. Founded in 1984, as Vellore Engineering College, by G. Viswanathan, the institution offers 20 undergraduate, 34 postgraduate, four integrated and four research programs. It has campuses in Vellore, Chennai, Bhopal and Amravati Andhra Pradesh.
Streets and roadways
|Types of road|
|Space and time allocation|