Blue, black, double black diamond or S4? Moderate, advanced or Pro Line? And what exactly makes a trail blue, red or black? Trail difficulty rating systems come in all shapes and sizes and are far from homogenous. But they do serve a purpose. When properly developed, they are an important visitor safety tool for trail facility managers or land owners and they help manage the expectations of riders.
For trail builders, the parameters used to define the grade of a trail become part of the trail design process. And in certain countries, trail difficutly rating systems are linked to health & safety regulations.
Although there are numerous systems in place, we'd like to hear your feedback on a few of the more well known systems. The second part of the survey will zoom in on trail difficulty criteria in general. The survey is conducted by Swiss Bike Park Oberried in partnership with Swiss Cycling Guide and is available in German, French and English. If you're not living in Switzerland or one of their neighbouring countries, you will skip a few questions and jump to the 2nd part of the survey.
The outcomes will be helpful to gradually improve existing systems the moment they are reviewed. The collected data may lead to new insights which could also be helpful for the DIRTT project, the EU project that aims to develop an educational framework in the field of trail building.
You can start the survey here