• Introduction

It is important to note that understanding this topic in detail requires specialized knowledge about different aspects like 

  • The construction and initial use of new trails are identified as the greatest influencing factors (;;;;). 
  • Nature takes a very long time to recover from damage done quickly
    • It is much easier to prevent the impact than to repair it
  • Managing areas well that are still pristine is of high importance, as impact is often increased by the areal expansion of an activity rather than intensification in existing structures
  • To consider the environmental impacts of recreational activities, a system was established that distinguishes the four points of soil, vegetation, wildlife, and water  
  • There are many studies comparing hiking, mountain biking, and other recreational activities regarding their ecological effects
    • All conclude that mountain biking and hiking consistently have similar impacts and both are less than the impacts of motorcycles, horseback riding, or even cows ;;;
    • Studies comparing the ecological effects of different activities need to be carefully reviewed, as differences in the application of methods can make actual comparison difficult 
    • Mountain biking can still have a greater impact due to the greater distances traveled and the higher speed with the associated selectively greater impact of forces
  • Because of the ambivalent results related to the comparison of different activities in terms of ecological effects, various studies conclude that the particular situation, terrain, and trail characteristics have more influence on sustainable trails than the type of use ;;