The American pika, a diurnal species of pika, is found in the mountains of western North America in boulder fields at or above the tree line. They are smaller relatives of rabbits and hares; the American pika, known in the 19th century as the "little chief hare", has a small, ovate body. Their body length ranges from 162 to 216 mm, their hind feet range from 25 to 35 mm. They weigh about 170 g. Body size can vary among populations. In populations with sexual dimorphism, males are larger than females; the American pika is intermediate in size among pikas. The hind legs of the pika do not seem to be much longer than its front legs and its hind feet are short when compared to most other lagomorphs, it has densely furred soles on its feet except for black pads at the ends of the toes. The ears are moderately large and suborbicular and are hairy on both surfaces dark with white margins; the pika's "buried" tail is longer relative to body size compared to other lagomorphs. It has a rounded skull with a broad and flat preorbital region.
The fur color of the pika varies by subspecies and season. The dorsal fur of the pika ranges from grayish to cinnamon-brown colored with tawny or orchraceous hues, during the summer. During winter, the fur becomes grayer and longer; the dense underfur is slate-gray or lead-colored. It has whitish ventral fur. Males are called females are called does like rabbits; the American pika can be found throughout the mountains of western North America, from central British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to the US states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. Out of the 30 existing species of pika, it is one of only two which inhabit North America, along with the collared pika. In relation to the distribution of the American pika, the collared pika is located farther north of those regions and is separated by a gap of about 500 miles extending across British Columbia and Alberta. Pikas inhabit talus fields, they live in piles of broken rock. Sometimes, they live in man-made substrate such as mine piles of scrap lumber.
Pikas have their den and nest sites below rock around 0.2–1 m in diameter but sit on larger and more prominent rocks. They reside in scree near or above the tree line. Pikas are restricted to cool moist microhabitats on high watercourses. Intolerant of high diurnal temperatures, in the northern portion of their range they may be found near sea level, but in the south they are rare below 2,500 metres. Pikas do not dig burrows. However, they can enlarge their home by digging; the American pika is a generalist herbivore. It eats a large variety of green plants, including different kinds of grasses, sedges and fireweed. Although pikas can meet their water demands from the vegetation they eat, they do drink water if it is available in their environment. Pikas have two different ways of foraging: they directly consume food or they cache food in haypiles to use for a food source in the winter; the pika feeds throughout the year. Since they do not hibernate, pikas have greater energy demands than other montane mammals.
They make 13 trips per hour to collect vegetation when haying, up to a little over 100 trips per day. It seems that the timing of haying correlates to the amount of precipitation from the previous winter. Pikas start and quit haying earlier in years following little snow and early spring. In areas at lower elevations, haying begins; when haying, pikas harvest plants in a deliberate sequence, corresponding to their seasonal phenology. They seem to assess the nutritional value of available harvest accordingly. Pikas select plants that have the higher caloric, protein and water content. Forbs and tall grass tend to be hayed more than eaten directly. Haypiles tend to be stored under the talus near the talus-meadow interface although they may be constructed on the talus surface. Males store more vegetation than females and adults store more than juveniles. Pikas deposit two kinds of fecal droppings: Hard brown round pellets and caecal pellets that are soft black shiny strings that form in the caecum.
Caecal pellets have more energy value than stored plant food and the pika may consume them directly or store them for later. American pikas are diurnal; the total area of land which an American pika uses is known as a home range. 55% of its home range is territory which the pika defends against intruders. Territory size can vary from 410–709 m² and is dependent on configuration, distance to vegetation and quality of vegetation; the home ranges of pika may overlap with the distances of the home ranges of a mating pair being shorter than that of the nearest neighbors of the same sex. Spatial distances between adults of a pair is greatest during early and mid summer and reduces during late summer and early autumn. Pikas defend their territories with aggression. Actual aggressive encounters are rare and occur between members of the same sex and those unfamiliar with each other. A pika may intrude on another’s territory but when the resident is not active. During haying, territorial behavior increases.
Adult pikas of the opposite sex with territories adjacent form mated pairs. When there is more than one male available, females will exhibit mate choice
In modern mapping, a topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief using contour lines, but using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both man-made features. A topographic survey is published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation. Natural Resources Canada provides this description of topographic maps:These maps depict in detail ground relief, forest cover, administrative areas, populated areas, transportation routes and facilities, other man-made features. Other authors define topographic maps by contrasting them with another type of map. However, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief is popularly held to define the genre, such that small-scale maps showing relief are called "topographic"; the study or discipline of topography is a much broader field of study, which takes into account all natural and man-made features of terrain.
Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys. Performed at large scales, these surveys are called topographical in the old sense of topography, showing a variety of elevations and landforms; this is in contrast to older cadastral surveys, which show property and governmental boundaries. The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789; the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, started by the East India Company in 1802 taken over by the British Raj after 1857 was notable as a successful effort on a larger scale and for determining heights of Himalayan peaks from viewpoints over one hundred miles distant. Topographic surveys were prepared by the military to assist in planning for battle and for defensive emplacements; as such, elevation information was of vital importance. As they evolved, topographic map series became a national resource in modern nations in planning infrastructure and resource exploitation. In the United States, the national map-making function, shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.1913 saw the beginning of the International Map of the World initiative, which set out to map all of Earth's significant land areas at a scale of 1:1 million, on about one thousand sheets, each covering four degrees latitude by six or more degrees longitude.
Excluding borders, each sheet was up to 66 cm wide. Although the project foundered, it left an indexing system that remains in use. By the 1980s, centralized printing of standardized topographic maps began to be superseded by databases of coordinates that could be used on computers by moderately skilled end users to view or print maps with arbitrary contents and scale. For example, the Federal government of the United States' TIGER initiative compiled interlinked databases of federal and local political borders and census enumeration areas, of roadways and water features with support for locating street addresses within street segments. TIGER was used in the 1990 and subsequent decennial censuses. Digital elevation models were compiled from topographic maps and stereographic interpretation of aerial photographs and from satellite photography and radar data. Since all these were government projects funded with taxes and not classified for national security reasons, the datasets were in the public domain and usable without fees or licensing.
TIGER and DEM datasets facilitated Geographic information systems and made the Global Positioning System much more useful by providing context around locations given by the technology as coordinates. Initial applications were professionalized forms such as innovative surveying instruments and agency-level GIS systems tended by experts. By the mid-1990s user-friendly resources such as online mapping in two and three dimensions, integration of GPS with mobile phones and automotive navigation systems appeared; as of 2011, the future of standardized, centrally printed topographical maps is left somewhat in doubt. Topographic maps have multiple uses in the present day: any type of geographic planning or large-scale architecture; the various features shown on the map are represented by conventional symbols. For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads; these signs are explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Topographic maps are commonly called contour maps or topo maps.
In the United States, where the primary national series is organized by a strict 7.5-minute grid, they are called topo quads or quadrangles. Topographic maps conventionally show land contours, by means of contour lines. Contour lines are curves. In other words, every point on the marked line of 100 m elevation is 100 m above mean sea level; these maps show
A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form and alignment that have arisen from the same cause an orogeny. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain ranges are segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not have the same geologic structure or petrology, they may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types. Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt.
The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the world's longest mountain system; the Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains. The belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges; the Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, 8,848 metres high and traverses the border between China and Nepal. Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres.
The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians; the parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range. The position of mountains influences climate, such as snow; when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture.
A rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down; the basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains; the early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet of Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east; this mass of rock was removed as the range was undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment.
Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides. Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are isolated and formed by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto; some terrestrial planets other than Earth exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth and Tartarus Montes on Mars, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes. Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com
In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet. There are 96 fourteeners in all west of the Mississippi River. Colorado has the most of any single state. Many peak baggers try to climb all fourteeners in the contiguous United States, one particular state, or another region; the summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways: topographic elevation: the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. Topographic prominence: how high the summit rises above its surroundings. Topographic isolation: how far the summit lies from its nearest point of equal elevation. Not all summits over 14,000 feet qualify as fourteeners. Summits which qualify are those considered by mountaineers to be independent. Objective standards for independence include topographic prominence and isolation, or a combination of the two. However, fourteener lists do not always use such objective rules. A rule used by mountaineers in the contiguous United States is that a peak must have at least 300 feet of prominence to qualify.
By this rule, Colorado has 53 fourteeners, California has 12, Washington has two. According to the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, it is standard in Alaska to use a 500-foot prominence rule rather than a 300-foot rule. By this rule, Alaska has at least 21 peaks over 14,000 feet and its 12 highest peaks exceed 15,000 feet; the following table lists the 96 mountain peaks of the United States with at least 14,000 feet of topographic elevation and at least 300 feet of topographic prominence. Of these 96 fourteeners, 53 rise in Colorado, 29 in Alaska, 12 in California, two in Washington; the 22 highest fourteeners all rise in Alaska. The table above includes 97 peaks; the number of peaks included. A criterion of 100 meters includes 90 peaks, 500 feet includes 77 peaks, 1000 feet includes 63 peaks, 500 meters includes 46 peaks; the following U. S. summits have 14,000 feet of elevation, but have less than 300 feet of topographic prominence: Denali, Browne Tower, 14,530, Alaska. Prominence = 25–125 feet, it is unclear.
Mount Cameron, 14,238, Colorado. Prominence = 118 feet. El Diente Peak, 14,159, Colorado. Prominence = 239 feet. On many fourteener lists. Point Success, 14,158, Washington. Prominence = 118 feet. Polemonium Peak, 14,080+, California. Prominence = 160–240 feet. Starlight Peak, 14,080, California. Prominence = 80–160 feet. North Conundrum Peak, 14,040+, Colorado. Prominence = 200–280 feet. North Eolus, 14,039, Colorado. Prominence = 159–199 feet. North Maroon Peak, 14,014, Colorado. Prominence = 234 feet. On many fourteener lists. Thunderbolt Peak, 14,003, California. Prominence = 223 feet. Sunlight Spire, 14,001, Colorado. Prominence = 195–235 feet. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of Greenland List of mountain peaks of Canada List of mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains List of mountain peaks of the United States List of the highest major summits of the United States List of the major 4000-meter summits of the United States List of the major 3000-meter summits of the United States List of the most prominent summits of the United States List of the ultra-prominent summits of the United States List of the most isolated major summits of the United States List of the major 100-kilometer summits of the United States List of extreme summits of the United States List of mountain peaks of Alaska List of mountain peaks of California List of mountain peaks of Colorado List of mountain peaks of Hawaiʻi List of mountain peaks of Montana List of mountain peaks of Nevada List of mountain peaks of Utah List of mountain peaks of Washington List of mountain peaks of Wyoming List of mountain peaks of México List of mountain peaks of Central America List of mountain peaks of the Caribbean United States of America Geography of the United States Geology of the United States Category:Mountains of the United States commons:Category:Mountains of the United States Physical geography Topography Topographic elevation Topographic prominence Topographic isolation United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System @ USGS United States National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Glossary @ NGS NGVD 29 to NAVD 88 online elevation converter @ NGS Survey Marks and Datasheets @ NGS Bivouac.com Peakbagger.com Peaklist.org Peakware.com Summitpost.org
The Rocky Mountains known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west; the Rocky Mountains formed 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began sliding underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans began inhabiting the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Americans, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, began exploring the range and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never experienced dense population.
Public parks and forest lands protect much of the mountain range, they are popular tourist destinations for hiking, mountaineering, hunting, mountain biking and snowboarding. The name of the mountains is a translation of an Amerindian name, related to Algonquian; the first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called "Montagnes de Roche". The Rocky Mountains are defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico; the Rockies vary in width from 110 to 480 kilometres. The Rocky Mountains are notable for containing the highest peaks in central North America; the range's highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 4,401 metres above sea level. Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 3,954 metres, is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; the eastern edge of the Rockies rises above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana and the Clark Range of Alberta.
The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these subranges from distinct ranges further to the west. In Canada, the western edge of the Rockies is formed by the huge Rocky Mountain Trench, which runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the south bank of the Liard River. Geographers define three main groups of the Canadian Rockies: the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges, Muskwa Ranges; the Rockies do not extend into central British Columbia. Other mountain ranges continue beyond the Liard River, including the Selwyn Mountains in Yukon, the Brooks Range in Alaska, but those are not part of the Rockies, though they are part of the American Cordillera; the Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.
Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park is so named because water falling on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Human population is not dense in the Rocky Mountains, with an average of four people per square kilometer and few cities with over 50,000 people. However, the human population grew in the Rocky Mountain states between 1950 and 1990; the forty-year statewide increases in population range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah and Colorado. The populations of several mountain towns and communities have doubled in the last forty years. Jackson, increased 260%, from 1,244 to 4,472 residents, in forty years; the rocks in the Rocky Mountains were formed. The oldest rock is Precambrian metamorphic rock. There is Precambrian sedimentary argillite, dating back to 1.7 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic, western North America lay underneath a shallow sea, which deposited many kilometers of limestone and dolomite.
In the southern Rocky Mountains, near present-day Colorado, these ancestral rocks were disturbed by mountain building 300 Ma, during the Pennsylvanian. This mountain-building produced the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, they consisted of Precambrian metamorphic rock forced upward through layers of the limestone laid down in the shallow sea. The mountains eroded throughout the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic, leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rock. Terranes began colliding with the western edge of North America in the Mississippian, causing the Antler orogeny. For 270 million years, the focus of the effects of plate collisions were near the edge of the North American plate boundary, far to the west of the Rocky Mountain region, it was. The current Rocky Mountains arose in the Laramide orogeny from between 55 Ma. For the Canadi
Mount Elbert is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the highest point in the U. S. state of the entire Mississippi River drainage basin. The ultra-prominent 14,440-foot fourteener is the highest peak in the Sawatch Range and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney. Mount Elbert is located in San Isabel National Forest, 12.1 miles southwest of the City of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado. The mountain was named in honor of a Colorado statesman, Samuel Hitt Elbert, active in the formative period of the state and Governor of the Territory of Colorado from 1873 to 1874. Henry W. Stuckle of the Hayden Survey was the first to record an ascent of the peak, in 1874; the easiest and most popular climbing routes are categorized as Class 1 to 2 or A+ in mountaineering parlance. Mount Elbert is therefore referred to as the "gentle giant" that tops all others in the Rocky Mountains. Mount Elbert is visible to the southwest of Leadville snow-capped in the summer.
Many other fourteeners surround Elbert in all directions, it is close to central Colorado's Collegiate Peaks. The neighboring Mount Massive, to the north, is the second-highest peak in the Rocky Mountains and the third-highest in the contiguous United States, La Plata Peak, to the south, is the fifth-highest in the Rockies; the community of Twin Lakes lies at the base of Mount Elbert, Denver is about 130 miles to the east, Vail is 50 miles to the north, Aspen is 40 miles to the west. Leadville, about 16 miles to the northeast, is the nearest large town. Elbert's parent peak is Mount Whitney in California. Including Alaska and Hawaii, Mount Elbert is the fourteenth-highest mountain in the United States. Weather conditions change and afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summertime. An electrical storm on the mountain's summit was considered remarkable enough to be reported in the July 1894 issue of Science. Mount Elbert is part of the Sawatch Range, an uplift of the Laramide Orogeny which separated from the Mosquito Range to the east around 28 million years ago.
The tops of this range were glaciated, leaving behind characteristic summit features and other such clues. For example, the base of Elbert on the eastern side exhibits large igneous and metamorphic rocks deposited when the glaciers receded, which lie on a lateral moraine. Further up the eastern side there is a large cirque with a small tarn. There are lakes to both the north and south and Twin Lakes respectively. Mount Elbert is composed of quartzite. However, the summit ridge consists of metamorphic basement rock, Pre-Cambrian in origin and about 1.7 billion years old. There are various igneous intrusions including pegmatite, as well as bands of gneiss and schist. Unlike mountains of similar altitude elsewhere, Elbert lacks both a permanent snowpack and a prominent north-facing cirque, which can be attributed to its position among other mountains of similar height, causing it to receive small quantities of precipitation. Mount Elbert was named by miners in honor of Samuel Hitt Elbert, the governor of the then-Territory of Colorado, because he brokered a treaty in September 1873 with the Ute tribe that opened up more than 3,000,000 acres of reservation land to mining and railroad activity.
The first recorded ascent of the peak was by H. W. Stuckle in 1874, surveying the mountain as part of the Hayden Survey. Measured as 14,433 feet in height, Mount Elbert's elevation was adjusted to 14,440 feet following a re-evaluation of mapped elevations, which sparked protests; the actual change was made in 1988 as a result of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. A matter of some contention arose after the Great Depression over the heights of Elbert and its neighbor Mount Massive, which differ in elevation by only 12 feet; this led to an ongoing dispute that came to a head with the Mount Massive supporters building large piles of stones on the summit to boost its height, only to have the Mount Elbert proponents demolish them. The effort was unsuccessful and Mount Elbert has remained the highest peak in Colorado; the first motorized ascent of Elbert occurred in 1949, when a Jeep was driven to the summit to judge suitability for skiing development. The summit of Mount Elbert is an alpine environment, featuring plants such as Phacelia sericea, Hymenoxys grandiflora, Geum rossii.
Noted are Carex atrata var. pullata, Salix desertorum, Platanthera hyperborea, Thalictrum fendleri, Aquilegia canadensis, Chenopodium album, Gentiana detonsa var. hallii, Bigelovia parryi. Below treeline the mountain is forested, with the lower slopes covered with a mixture of lodgepole pine, spruce and fir; some of the fauna reported on the climb to the summit include black bears, mule deer and pocket gophers. Elk, grouse and bighorn sheep are present in the area during the summer. There are three main routes which ascend the mountain, all of which gain over 4,100 feet of elevation; the standard route ascends the peak from the east, starting from the Colorado Trail just north of Twin Lakes. The 4.6 miles long North Elbert Trail begins close to the Elbert Creek Campground, gains about 4,500 feet. The trail is open to equestrians, mountain bikers and hunte
A trail is 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 applied, in North America, to routes along rivers, sometimes to highways. In the US, the term was used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants. 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, horse riding and cross-country skiing. There are 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. In Australia, the term track can be used interchangeably with trail, can refer to anything from a dirt road to an unpaved pedestrian path. In New Zealand, the terms track or walkway are used exclusively except in reference to cross-country skiing: "walkways vary enormously in nature, from short urban strolls, to moderate coastal locations, to challenging tramps in the high country ".
Walkway is used in St. John's, Canada, where the "Grand Concourse", is an integrated walkway system. In the United Kingdom, the term trail is in common usage. Longer distance walking routes, government-promoted long distance paths, collectively known as National Trails, are frequently called ways; the term footpath is preferred for pedestrian routes, including long distance trails, is used for urban paths and sometimes in place of pavement. Track is used for wider paths used for hiking; the terms bridleway, restricted byway are all recognised legal terms and to a greater or lesser extent in general usage. The increased popularity of mountain biking has led to a proliferation of mountain bike trails in many countries; these will be grouped to form larger complexes, known as trail centers. In the early years of the 20th century, the term auto trail was used for a marked highway route, trail is now used to designate routes, including highway routes, designated for tourist interest like the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia and the Quilt Trails in the US.
The term trail has been used by developers and urban planners for a variety of modern paved roads and boulevards, in these countries, some highways continue to be called a trail, such as the Susquehanna Trail in Pennsylvania, a designation that varies from a two-lane road to a four-lane freeway. A unusual use of the term is in the Canadian province of Alberta, which has multi-lane freeways called trails. Trail segregation, the practice of designating certain trails as having a specific preferred or exclusive use, is common and diverse. For example, bike trails are used not only on roads open to motor vehicles, but in trail systems open to other trail users; some trails are segregated for use by both equestrians and mountain bikes, or by equestrians only, or by mountain bikes only. Designated "wilderness area" trails may be segregated for non-wheeled use. Trail segregation for a particular use is accompanied by prohibitions against that use on other trails within the trail system. Trail segregation may be supported by signage, trail design and construction, by separation between parallel treads.
Separation may be achieved by "natural" barriers including distance, banking and vegetation, by "artificial" barriers including fencing and walls. Bicycle trails encompass a wide variety of trail types, including shared-use paths used for commuting, off-road cross country trails and downhill mountain bike trails; the number of off-road cycle trails has increased along with the popularity of mountain bikes. Off-road bicycle trails are function-specific and most waymarked along their route, they may form part of larger complexes, known as trail centres. Off-road trails incorporate a mix of challenging terrain, smooth fireroads, paved paths. Trails with an easy or moderate technical complexity are deemed cross-country trails, while trails difficult to experienced riders are more dubbed all-mountain, freeride, or downhill. Downhilling is popular at ski resorts such as Mammoth Mountain in California or Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, where ski lifts are used to get bikes and riders to the top of the mountain.
EuroVelo bicycle routes are a network of long-distance cycling routes criss-crossing Europe in various stages of completion, more than 45,000 km was in place by 2013. It is envisaged that the network will be complete by 2020 and when finished, the EuroVelo network's total length will exceed 70,000 km. EuroVelo is a project of the European Cyclists' Federation. EuroVelo routes can be used for bicycle touring across the continent, as well as by local people making short journeys; the routes are made of both existing national bike routes, such as the Dutch LF-Routes, the German D-Routes, the British National Cycle Network, existing general purpose roads, together with new stretches of cycle routes to connect them. Off-road cycling can cause soil erosion and habitat destruction if not carried out on established trails; this is so when trails are wet, overall though, cycling may have only as mu