Webinar: Planning and designing hiking and cycling trails

31 - 31 January 2023 | Online - 11.00 - 12.30 CET

About this webinar

Mountain biking as an activity can be controversial in some Protected Areas. Especially in Periurban Parks, where an ever-increasing number of mountain bikers seek trails for recreational use and training purposes, many Park managers and visitors attribute damage to the natural environment to cyclists.

Mountain biking is sometimes singled-out due to the ecological degradation and soil erosion that the activity can cause to trails. However, do other recreational activities not also contribute to soil erosion? And, how is the placement, alignment and construction of the trails used by visitors in Protected Areas contributing to, for example, erosion, by not preventing water run-off?

In this webinar, we will learn what techniques can be applied to plan and improve the design of trails to make them more sustainable, by reducing impacts on the natural environment and minimising their future maintenance requirements. Furthermore, we will discover a successful collaboration between a Park management body and a bikers’ association in the transformation of an existing path into two distinct paths, one for hiking and one for mountain bikes.

This webinar is the first one of a series of webinars organised by EUROPARC’s Periurban Parks Commission to deepen and illustrate the Periurban Parks Toolkit on Planning and Managementlaunched in 2021.

The programme

Setting the scene – welcome and introduction to the webinar
Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC Federation

Recreational trails for hiking and mountain biking: sustainable planning and design.
Hans Stoops, Advocacy officer, and Sustainable Trails expert, International Mountain Bicycling Association – Europe.

Construction of a Mountain Bike trail in Mt. Hymettus Aesthetic Forest, a highly frequented Periurban Park in Athens.