Trail Terms

Trail, Greenway, and Outdoor Recreation Terms

by Jim Schmid

The terms are listed in alphabetical order, so definitions of interest can be found quickly.

The definitions clearly point to the intersection of trails and greenway work with numerous other disciplines and professions. I think that everyone involved with trails and greenway development will find that this is not just a useful list of terms. Spending some time with this list will provide quite an education about the various professions and their terminology.

This does not pretend to contain the most exhaustive list of terms or the best, most acceptable, or locally appropriate definitions. Ideally, you will create something new and more suitable by editing and improving upon the definitions found here. The end result of this work is a starting point—a list of terms that will get trail managers and advocates thinking about and sharing definitions.

The terms range from the mundane to the highly technical. The definitions have been taken primarily from glossaries and terms found in dozens of trail and greenway publications published in the last forty years.

This glossary can be read quickly, understood easily, and applied immediately. I hope that this will be a valuable resource for all who work to develop trails and greenways.

If you don’t find the word you need, if you know of an important word that is not included, or if you think the definition of a word misses the mark or is lacking in clarity, please email me and I’ll fix it in the next update.


Trail and Greenway Terms – A

“A” Horizon: The surface horizon of a mineral soil having maximum biological activity, or eluviation (removal of materials dissolved or suspended in water), or both.

Abandonment: As used by railroad companies means to cease operation on a line, or to terminate the line itself. In some instances termination includes the removal of the rails and ties for use in other areas or for sale as scrap.

Abney Level: Hand-held instrument that is adjusted like a sextant and can be set to a fixed gradient. The user sights through the Abney to a fixed reference (usually a second person) until the crosshair bisects the bubble, this indicates the preset grade. In trail work, it is typically used to measure grade change in percent, it can also be used to measure cross grade, slope, or height of an object. See clinometer for a similar instrument.

Abusement Park(s): Public Lands abused and diminished by irresponsible OHV users.

Abutment: Structure at either extreme end of a bridge that supports the superstructure (sill, stringers, trusses, or decks) composed of stone, concrete, brick, or timber.

Access: The opportunity to approach, enter, or make use of public lands.

Access Point(s): Designated area(s) or passageway(s) other than a trailhead that allow the public to reach a trail or river.

Access, Public: The right of passage, established by law, over another’s property. Can be created by an easement dedicated or reserved for public access. Legal public access exists on public land, public waters, public rights-of-way, and public easements.

Accessible (Wheelchair Accessible, Handicap Accessible, Disabled Access): A term used to describe a site, building, facility, or trail that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and can be approached, entered, and used by physically disabled people.

Accessible Route: A continuous, unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a facility or building that meets the requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).

Acclimatization: The gradual process of becoming physiologically accustomed to high altitude.

Acquisition: The act or process of acquiring fee title or interest of real property.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS): A condition characterized by shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. It occurs at high altitude and is attributed to a shortage of oxygen. Most people don’t experience symptoms until they reach heights well above 5,000 feet.

Acre: A measure of land area equal to 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet. One square mile equals 640 acres.

Ad Valorem Tax: A special tax levied to raise funds for a particular purpose of recognized value to the community.

Adaptive Management (Adaptive Ecosystem Management): A formal process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of operational programs and new scientific information. Under adaptive management, plans and activities are treated as working hypotheses rather than final solutions to complex problems. This approach builds on common sense, experimentation, and learning from experience, which is then used in the implementation of plans. The process generally includes four phases: planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Adit: A nearly horizontal passage in an underground mine, driven from the surface, by which a mine may be entered, ventilated, or dewatered.

Adopt-A-Trail: A program in which individuals, groups, or businesses “adopt” trails, providing volunteer work parties at periodic intervals to help maintain those trails. Though no special trail privileges are granted, the trail manager generally acknowledges that a trail has been “adopted” by erecting signs that indicate the trail is part of an Adopt-A-Trail program and include the name of the adopter.

Adventure: A trip or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity.

Adventure Cycling Association: A US national non-profit bicycling membership association which provides services for bicycle tourists, publishes maps, leads tours, and campaigns for better bicycling facilities. They are headquartered in Missoula, MT. They were founded in 1973 under the name Bikecentennial by Dan and Lys Burden and Greg and June Siple. They planned a cross-country bicycle event to celebrate the 1976 US bicentennial. Today the route is known as the TransAmerica Trail and runs from Astoria, OR to Yorktown, VA.

Adverse Visual Impact: Any modification in land forms, water bodies, or vegetation, or any introduction of structures, which negatively interrupts the visual character of the landscape and disrupts the harmony of the basic elements (i.e., form, line, color, and texture).

Advocacy: The process of influencing, defending, promoting, and/or sustaining a cause, ideal, or proposal to bring about desired changes.

Adz (Adze): Basically an axe with a curved blade that points inward at a right angle to the handle. It is used to finish (hew) beams and logs to form a flat surface—such as the walking surface of a native log bridge. An adze should be kept very sharp and used only for hewing. It should be handled very carefully and contact with the ground avoided. The blade should always be protected with a sheath.

Aerobic: An intensity of exercise that allows the body’s need for oxygen to be continually met. This intensity can be sustained for long periods. Describes an environment that has sufficient amounts of oxygen to support oxidative reactions. For contrast see anaerobic.

Aerodynamic(s) (Aero): Performance in overcoming wind resistance. Aerodynamic drag consists of two forces: air pressure drag and direct friction (surface or skin friction). Streamlined designs help the air close more smoothly around the vehicle or body.

(A)esthetics: Relates to the pleasurable characteristics of a physical environment as perceived through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

Aftermarket: Optional accessories, upgrades, and repair parts not supplied from the factory.

Aggradation (Aggrade): The geologic process by which streambeds are raised in elevation and flood plains are formed due to sediment deposition. Opposite of degradation.

Aggregate: Material made up of crushed stone or gravel used as a base course for riprap, asphalt, or concrete pavement. Aggregate is also used in asphalt and concrete mixes.

Aggregate (of Soil): Many fine soil particles held in a single mass or cluster, such as a clod, crumb, block, or prism. Many properties of the aggregate differ from those of an equal mass of unaggregated soil.

Aiguille: French for “needle.” A tall, narrow spire of rock.

Aiming Off: The technique of purposefully erring to one side when following a compass bearing. Always try to go around obstacles on one side. When you arrive at a baseline, you will know in which direction to look for your intended destination.

Air: What is beneath your wheels when you leap over an obstacle or fly off a ramp.

Airing Down: Reducing tire pressure (known as airing down) creates a larger footprint, which distributes weight across a larger area, improving flotation on soft surfaces like sand.

Airline: Refers to a trail that runs more or less straight, rather than use switchbacks or contouring regardless of how steep the terrain is.

Airtime: The period of time a rider is airborne during a jump off dunes, jumps, or other features on the trail or landscape.

Alameda: Public walkway shaded with trees.

Alignment: The configuration of the trail in horizontal and vertical planes. The bends, curves, and ups and downs of the trail. The more the alignment varies, the more challenging the trail.

Alignment, Contour Curvilinear: Align the trail so it runs along the natural contour of the terrain rather than abruptly crossing the contour.

Alleycat: An urban bicycle race first organized by bicycle messengers to replicate some of the duties that a working messenger might encounter. The races usually consist of previously undisclosed checkpoints, which are listed on a manifest, that a racer will have to go to; once at the checkpoint the racer will have his/her manifest updated. First racer to return with a completed manifest wins. With the recent boom in urban cycling, many non-messengers have been participating in and organizing alleycat races.

Allotment: An area of land where one or more individuals graze their livestock. An allotment generally consists of federal rangelands, but may include intermingled parcels of private, state, or federal lands. BLM and Forest Service stipulate the number of livestock and season of use of each allotment.

Alloy: A mixture of two or more metals.

Alluvial: Pertaining to material that is carried and deposited by running water.

Alluvial Fan: A low, outspread, relatively flat to gently sloping mass of loose rock material deposited by a stream where it flows from a narrow mountain valley onto a plain or broad valley.

Alluvium: Sand, mud, and other sediments deposited by running water, as in a river bed, floodplain, or delta.

Alpine: Of or relating to high mountains.

Alpine Start: Predawn departure from camp in order to bag a summit before snowmelt becomes problematic.

Alpine Style: The technique of going light and fast when mountain climbing, without using fixed ropes, established camps, and load carries.

Alpine Zone: The area above treeline on a mountain (where trees won’t grow).

Alternate Line: Intentional design of trails to provide users with options in alternative routes.

Alternative Break (Alternative Spring Break): A trip where a group of college students (usually 10-12) engage in volunteer service, typically for a week. They originated in the early 1980s as a counter to “traditional” spring break trips. The aim of the experience is to contribute volunteer hours to communities in need, and to positively influence the life of the alternative breaker. Many trail organizations use breakers in the trail building and maintenance programs.

Altimeter: An instrument for measuring elevation above a sea level based on changes in barometric pressure.

Altitude: The elevation above sea level.

Aluminum: A light-gray metal, light in weight, not readily corroded or tarnished, used in alloys and for lightweight bicycle frames and parts.

Amateur Meet: A series of events or games in which prizes are limited to trophies or merchandise.

Amateur Rider: A motorcycle or ATV rider not competing for cash awards.

Amenities: Any element used to enhance the user’s experience and comfort along a trail or during a trailhead or park visit.

American Hiking Society: Founded in 1976 as the only national non-profit organization that promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.

American Trails: Is a US national, non-profit membership organization working on behalf of all trail interests since 1988. They host the biannual National Trails Symposium to advance the development of trails and greenways through collaboration, education, and communication.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): A federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. Requires public entities and public accommodations to provide accessible accommodations for people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG): Design guidelines for providing access to a range of indoor and outdoor settings by people with disabilities.

Amped: When you are pumped up and ready to go.

Anaerobic: An intensity of exercise above that at which the body’s need for oxygen can be continually met. This intensity can be sustained only briefly. Describes an environment either devoid of oxygen, or containing insufficient amounts of oxygen to support oxidative processes; all chemical processes are of reductive. For contrast see aerobic.

Anaphylactic Shock: An extreme allergic reaction in some people (caused by the body producing to much histamine) when stung by bees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc. Reactions include red skin, itchy hives, and the closing of the airways. If susceptible to anaphylaxis it would be wise to carry an Ana kit prescribed by your doctor.

Anarchy Run: To relieve stress the act of running down a steep slope in an uncontrolled fashion.

Anatomic (Anatomical): Relating to the physical body and how its parts are arranged in order to ascertain their position, relations, structures, and function.

Anchor: Large stone that holds other stones and/or soil in place. A tree or rock used to hold (anchor) one end of a winch or come-along stationary while it pulls on another object.

Angle: Angle is measured with a straight vertical as 90º and a straight horizontal as 0º. A grade of 100% would have an angle of 45º.

Angle of Observation: The angle, both vertical and horizontal, between a viewer’s line of sight and the landscape being viewed.

Angle of Repose: The steepest slope angle (measured from the horizon) at which material will rest without moving or sliding down the slope. Loose material would slide across the trail or roll downhill at any steeper angle. For large blocky rocks, the angle of repose will be much higher than for sand or small round rocks.

Ankle-buster: A section of trail loaded with small, unstable rocks.

Ankling: A powerful bicycle riding technique that involves pulling up on the back of the pedaling stroke to that pressure is exerted throughout the full revolution of the cranks.

Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off Party (Kickoff, ADZ): An annual event held each April at Lake Morena, 20 miles from the southern terminus of PCT to offer information, encouragement, and camaraderie to the current year’s thru-hikers.

Anorak: Wind-proof jacket with hood attached.

Antenna Flag (Whip Antenna): A 10-foot long fiberglass pole topped with an orange triangular flag fixed to an ATV to improve visibility in very hilly terrain, such as sand dunes.

Apex: The sharpest part of a turn, where the transition from entering to exiting takes place.

Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA): began in 1983 as an off-trail family of fellow hikers who’ve all shared similar experiences, hopes, and dreams on the Appalachian Trail and other long-distance trails. ALDHA sponsors the Gathering each October and member volunteers compile the The Thru-Hikers’ Companion for the ATC. Membership in this nonprofit group is open to all.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC): A volunteer-based, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, management, and promotion of America’s most-famous long-distance hiking trail—the Appalachian Trail (2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine). Maintained as a primitive setting for outdoor recreation (on foot) and for learning. ATC is both a confederation of Trail-maintaining clubs and an individual-membership organization.

Appraisal: An estimate and opinion of value, usually a written statement of the market value of an adequately described parcel of property as of a specified date.

Apron: One of the three main elements of a waterbar. It catches water running down the trail and directs it off.

Apron (Landing): The transition area on a trail switchback.

Aquatic Habitat: Areas associated with water that provide food and shelter and other elements critical to completion of an organism’s life cycle. Aquatic habitats include streams, wetlands, marshes, bogs, estuaries, and riparian areas, as well as large fresh and salt-water bodies.

Aquifer: Underground bodies of water. There are two types of aquifers. Open aquifers have permeable materials overlying them, e.g. soil with underlying loose gravel. Closed aquifers are capped with an impervious layer of material, such as clay, which prevents water from penetrating from the soils directly above. The water level in aquifers rises and falls in response to water removal and infiltration.

Arborist: An individual trained in arboriculture, forestry, landscape architecture, horticulture, or related fields and experienced in the conservation and preservation of native and ornamental trees.

Arc: A line defined as a set of ordered x, y coordinates used to represent linear features and polygon boundaries.

Arch: A curved shape that spans an opening and supporting the weight above it. Either a landform produced by weathering and erosion or a built component of architecture.

Archway: A passageway under a curved natural or constructed arch.

Archaeological Resources (Cultural, Heritage): Any material of past human life, activities, or habitation that are of historic or prehistoric significance and are at least 50 years of age. Such materials include, but are not limited to, pottery, basketry, bottles, weapon projectiles, tools, structures, pit houses, rock paintings, rock carvings, graves, skeletal remains, personal items and clothing, household or business refuse, or any piece of the foregoing.

Archaeological Site: A concentration of material remains of past human life or activities that is of historic or prehistoric significance and that has been surveyed by a qualified archeologist.

Area: A discrete, specifically delineated space that is smaller and in most cases much smaller, than a Ranger District.

Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): Acreage within public lands where special management attention is required (when such areas are developed or used or where no development is required) to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historical, cultural, or visual values, fish and wildlife resources, or other natural systems or processes, or to protect life and safety from natural hazards. The identification of a potential ACEC shall not, of itself, change or prevent change of the management or use of public lands.

Arête: French (fish bone) term for a narrow knife-edged ridge on a mountain formed when two adjacent glaciers carve parallel U-shaped valleys until only a long, narrow crest remains in between.

Arid: A climate or region in which precipitation is deficient in quantity or occurs infrequently.

Armoring (Hardening, Flag Stoning, Paving, Stone Pitching, Boulder Causeway): Reinforcement of a surface with rock, brick, stone, concrete, or other “paving” material to improve the durability. May be used to prevent soil loss in steep or soft/wet tread and around roots.

Armoring, Appalachian: Developed by Woody Keen in Western North Carolina this technique uses logs or poles horizontal to the trail to lock the stone in place.

Armoring, Full-Box: Similar to Appalachian with the addition of logs or poles on the side of the trail that the horizontal logs or poles are attached to creating a box to lock the stone in place.

Arroyo: Spanish word for large creek. Ephemeral steep-walled streams with flat-bottomed sand or laden with boulders and gravel. The words arroyo and wash are sometimes used interchangeably.

Artifacts: Any object made, modified, or used by humans.

Ascender: A device used for climbing a rope.

Ascent: An upward slope or incline or process of rising or going upward.

Ascent, First: A much-coveted prize; first to climb a certain peak or climbing route.

Aspect: The compass direction a topographical slope faces. For example, a western aspect means that a slope faces West. Aspect affects the amount of solar radiation and year-round moisture to which a site is subjected.

Asphalt: Petroleum-based flexible material used as a glue to bind aggregate that provides a smoothly paved surface suitable for bicycles and in-line skates. It is preferred in urban areas where trails are often used for commuting to and from work or school.

Asphalt Concrete: Technical term for the pavement most people call asphalt or blacktop, which is made by combining aggregate and hot asphalt, then laying it down in layers and compacting it.

Assessment, Trail or Corridor: Physical evaluations undertaken to better understand a trail or corridor. Assessments include an accurate description and documentation of native elements and an inventory of built structures along the trail or corridor.

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE): Provides opportunities (hosts annual conference) for professionals and students in outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs.

Attack: To try to get away from the group in a race by accelerating hard.

Attack Position: A neutral riding position on a bicycle or motorcycle that gives you ideal balance and maximum range of motion to negotiate terrain.

Attractive Nuisance: Something on a trail or greenway that attracts users and that is potentially dangerous to them, such as a mineshaft without a fence around it.

Audax: A non-competitive cycling sport in which participants ride in groups and attempt to cycle long distances within a pre-defined time limit.

Auger (Auger In): To crash head or shoulder-first off your mountain bike or motorcycle.

Auger: A hand or power tool used to bore holes in the ground for fence or sign posts or support pilings. A carpenter’s tool for boring holes in wood.

Auger, Soil: T-shaped tool with a spiral hollow drill tip for turning into soil to probe its content.

Authorized Adult: Any person, other than a parent or legal guardian, over the age of majority who is given, in writing and notarized, the responsibility for a minor on a given day.

Avery, Myron (1899-1952): US lawyer, hiker, and explorer. The first 2000 miler, and the man credited with building the Appalachian Trail. He was president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club from 1927-41 and Chair of the Appalachian Trail Conference from 1931 until his death in 1952. While Benton MacKaye, an American philosopher, had a dream of a footpath for hikers on the ridge of the mountains running from Maine to Georgia, Myron Avery was the man who was mainly responsible for the dream coming true. He pursued MacKaye’s dream with vigor and tenacity and made it a reality. Both MacKaye, the dreamer and idealist, and Avery, the organizer and worker, were essential to the making of the Appalachian Trail. Avery measured the length of the trail over 16 years of hiking it with a measuring wheel, completing the task in 1936. He not only mapped it out, he cajoled clubs into producing volunteer crews, and personally superintended the construction of hundreds of miles of the trail.

Axe (Ax): A tool with a long handle and 3 pound or more bladed head (single bit – one sharp side or double bit – two sharp sides) for chopping deadfall from trails, shaping stakes for turnpikes and waterbars, and cutting notches for structures made of timber.

Axe, Ice: A lightweight mountaineering tool shaped like a conventional axe but with several key differences, including a point at the end of its shaft called a spike, and, at its head, a long serrated blade called the pick and a blunt, spoon-shaped adz.

Axe, Swedish Safety Brush (Sandvik): A machete-like tool with a short, replaceable blade and a wooden handle (27-inch overall length).

Axe, Woodman’s Pal: Developed during WWII to clear jungle vegetation the 16-inch Woodman’s Pal Axe is like a machete on one side and has a sharpened hook on the opposite.

Axle: The shaft on which a wheel, pedal, or crankset rotates.

Axle, Quick Release: A hollow axle designed to allow for a skewer with a quick-release lever to pass through. Used for installation and removal of a bicycle wheel without any tools by using the lever to tighten or loosen the grip at the dropouts.

Axle, Solid: Bicycle axle without the hole drilled for a quick release skewer. It is secured to the bicycle frame by nuts.

Axle, Through: A solid thicker axle that is stronger and stiffer than a quick-release axle. There’s holes in the fork and chain stays instead of a slot. You install or remove the axle entirely out the side of the hub in order to remove the wheel.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – B

“B” Horizon: A soil horizon, usually beneath an A horizon, or surface soil, in which 1) clay, iron, or aluminum, with accessory organic matter, have accumulated by receiving suspended material from the A horizon above it or by clay development in place; 2) the soil has a blocky or prismatic structure; or 3) the soil has some combination of these features. In soils with distinct profiles, the B horizon is roughly equivalent to the general term “subsoil.”

Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA): National membership organization active in the wise and sustainable use of wilderness and back country resources especially projects to clear and maintain trails.

Backcountry (backwoods, boondocks, hinterland): Any remote or undeveloped area where there are no maintained roads or permanent buildings—just primitive roads and trails.

Backcut: The vertical part of a bench cut that is blended into the backslope.

Backfill: Material used to refill a ditch or other excavation, or the process of doing this action.

Backhoe Loader (commonly shortened to backhoe): Engineering vehicle, which consists of a tractor, fitted with a shovel/bucket on the front and a small backhoe on the back. Due to its (relatively) small size and versatility it can be used for a wide variety of tasks: construction, small demolitions, digging holes/excavating, landscaping, etc. The backhoe bucket can also be replaced with powered attachments such as a breaker, grapple, auger, or a stump grinder.

Backpack: A large pack (external frame, internal frame, or frameless) worn on the back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders and a padded hip belt to carry camping supplies on a long-distance hike.

Backpack, External Frame: A backpack that uses a frame (usually aluminum or plastic) on the outside of the bag with two straps that go over the shoulders and a padded hip belt to support the weight.

Backpack, Internal Frame: A backpack that uses supports (usually aluminum or plastic) on the inside of the pact, that is, within the fabric, to support its weight. Pack stays close to the body for better stability.

Backpack Cover: Nylon covering to help waterproof your backpack.

Backpacker: A person who undertakes extended journeys carrying outdoor gear in a pack on their back.

Backpacking: To go on an extended hike/journey carrying your supplies in a backpack and may involve camping outdoors or staying in shelters.

Backpacking, Ultralight (Light Backpacking): A style of backpacking that emphasizes the lightest and simplest gear safely possible for a given trip. Base pack weight (the weight of a backpack plus the gear inside and outside it, excluding consumables such as food, water, and fuel, which vary depending on the duration and style of trip) is reduced as much as safely possible, though reduction of the weight of consumables is also applied. Essential to the idea is weighing and recording each item’s weight to the tenth-ounce or gram. Ultralight and Light are generally defined as base pack weights below 10 pounds and 20 pounds respectively. For comparison, traditional backpacking practices often results in base pack weights about 30 pounds.

Backramp: An angled diversion dam or earthen wall leading out of the center of a drainage dip. Serves as a backup to change direction of water flow if needed.

Backroad (Blue Road): A secondary road, especially one through a rural or sparsely populated area that has little traffic.

Backside: Any surface that faces away from a rider, in the direction the rider is traveling. Landing on the backside of a jump is smooth. Opposite of frontside.

Backslope (Backcut, Cutbank, Cutslope): The cut bank along the uphill side of the trail, extending upward from the tread, and transitioning into native hillside by varying degrees, depending on bank composition and slope stability.

Bacon (Road Rash): Slang for scabs, cuts, scars and other scrapes and abrasions from crashing.

Badlands: Regions dissected into steep hills and deep gullies by the action of wind, rain, and flash floods.

Bag (Bagged): To claim a summit, river, or climbing route, often as part of a collection.

Bag, Bear (Bear-bagging, Food Bag, Treeing): Food sack suspended in a manner meant to protect it from bears, on a sturdy limb at least fifteen feet from the ground and at least six feet from the trunk.

Bag, Canvas (Rock Bag): The canvas bag or coal sack is a large heavy tote bag with two handles that can be used to carry large volumes of light material (up to 90 lbs) such as duff, soil, rocks, or tools. It has the same capacity as two 5 gallon buckets.

Bag, Hydration (Bladder): Water bag made from polyurethane or similar materials (often antimicrobial to fight germs and bacteria) in various sizes up to 100 fluid ounces fitted with a hose through which you can drink, usually carried on your back.

Bag, Messenger (Courier Bag, Sling Bag, Carryall): Type of sack, usually made out of some kind of cloth (natural or synthetic), that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that goes across the chest resting the bag on the lower back. They are now also an urban fashion icon.

Bag, Mummy: Type of sleeping bag with insulated hood that tapers from head to foot, reducing its volume and improving its overall heat retention properties. Most do not unzip all the way to the feet.

Bag, Sleeping: A body-length insulated covering that can be closed with a zipper which functions as portable bedding when camping. Its primary purpose is to provide warmth and thermal insulation through its synthetic or down insulation. Typically used with a sleeping pad because the bottom does not provide significant insulation.

Bail: To empty water from a canoe or kayak by scooping it out with a pail or pumping it out with a bilge pump.

Bail: To ditch (toss away) your bicycle or motorcycle before a crash, usually done mid-flight during a jump.

Bail (Bail Out): To abort (perhaps temporarily) one’s planned or intended workday or outdoor trip, often due to injury or change in weather conditions.

Bajada: The area between the steep mountain slopes and the flat valley floor. IT is formed with erosion breaks apart mountain peaks and rain washes the loose rocks and soil down to the valley below. The pile of debris that forms is called a bajada – the Spanish work for “below.”

Balaclava: A form-fitting hood (fleece, wool, or synthetic) that covers not only the head but also the face and neck, it can be worn as a cap or pulled down over the ears to protect your face from wind.

Bald: Open, grassy clearings that are void of trees among the forested high ridgelines of the southern Appalachians.

Ballast: Stone, cinders, gravel, or crushed rock fill material used to elevate a railroad bed above the surrounding grade. It drains water away from the ties, spreads the track load over softer subgrade, provides an even bearing for ties, holds ties in place and checks the growth of grass and weeds.

Baluster: One of many vertical pieces between the top and bottom rails of a guardrail.

Banana Seat: An elongated seat that extends well back from the seatpost and curves upward at the rear. The rear is supported by an upside-down U shaped brace called a “sissy bar” which attaches to the rear axle. Found on children’s bikes and lowriders.

Bandanna (Handkerchief, Kerchief, Neckerchief): A square of cloth, usually cotton, tied around the head or neck with many more uses than just a scarf (signal for help, filter water, stabilize and arm, etc.).

Bank: A sloped embankment under 90 degrees. Found on dirt (BMX or mountain bike) and paved and wood tracks (track racing).

Bank (Stream Bank): The part of the soil next to a stream, lake, or body of water where the soil elevation adjacent to the water is higher than the water level.

Bank Blade (Hook Blade, Swing Blade, Bush Axe, Kaiser Bank Blade): These tools are used for clearing brush, briar, or undergrowth too heavy for a scythe and not suited for an ax. The Bank Blade is similar to a Brush Hook, but its wide blade is straight and sharpened on both sides.

Bar: A sand or gravel deposit in a streambed that is often exposed only during low water periods.

Bar Ends: Handlebar extensions which mount on the ends of straight mountain bike style handlebars to provide extra hand positions.

Bar Plugs: Little caps that are pressed into/onto the ends of bicycle handlebars to seal them and for protection from puncture wounds should you crash and land on the bars.

Bar Spin: A trick where a bicycle (BMX) rider releases and spins the handlebars. The standard bar spin is one full rotation of the handlebars, however riders can spin the bars two or three times.

Barbed Wire (Barbwire): A wire or strand of wire having small pieces of sharply pointed wire twisted around them at short intervals, used chiefly for fencing in livestock. Be aware that in many parts of the country old barbed wire can be a hazard when laying out and constructing trails.

Bare-Boot: To hike (especially in winter) without use of crampons, snowshoes, skis, or other traction aids.

Bare-Boot It: When a trail in winter has been “broken out” and no crampons or snowshoes are needed.

Barefoot (Barefooted, Barefooter): Means not wearing shoes, socks, or other foot covering. A barefooter is someone who prefers to go barefoot in situations where folkways expect shoes to be worn.

Bark: The external covering of the woody trunks, stems, branches, and roots of trees and plants, as distinct and separable from the wood itself. When building trail structures the bark is removed to slow down decay and rot.

Bark Collar: Bulge on the bottom side of the junction of a tree branch with the trunk that protects the tree from invasive microorganisms and insects entering the truck from a damaged limb.

Bark Spud (Spud, Peeling Spud): A tool with a 1- to 4-foot long wood handle and a dished blade used to remove bark from logs by sliding between the bark and the wood.

Barn Sour: Herd-bound; a bad habit that may result in a horse bolting back to the barn or to their herd mates.

Barrel Adjuster: The fine adjustment knobs found on rear derailleurs, shifters, and brake levers of bicycles.

Barrens: Open, desolate landscapes of bare rock and sparse vegetation.

Barricade: A portable or fixed barrier having object markings, used to close all or a portion of the trail right-of-way to traffic.

Barrier: A structure installed to protect an environmentally sensitive area. A barrier can be hard (fence); live (planted); a combination of hard and live; or a terrain feature (berm). A barrier can be physical (obstructing passage) or psychological (deterring access).

Barrier-Free Design: A trail design that promotes the elimination of physical barriers that reduce access by people with disabilities.

Basalt: The commonest type of solidified lava; a hard, dense, dark gray fine-grained igneous rock, often having a glassy appearance

Base: A basic level of aerobic fitness that should be achieved before attempting more challenging endavors.

Base: The primary excavated bed of a trail upon which the artificial tread, or finished surface is built.

Base Course: The layer or layers of specified material of designed thickness placed on a trailbed to support surfacing.

BASE Jumping: Stands for jumping (with parachute or wingsuit) from fixed locations including buildings, antenna, spans or Earth.

Base Layer: The layer of clothing closest to the skin, preferably wicking and quick drying.

Base Map: A map showing the important natural and built features of an area. (Such maps are used to establish consistency when maps are used for various purposes.)

Base Pack Weight (Base Weight): The weight of a backpack plus the gear inside and outside it, excluding consumables such as food, water, and fuel, which vary depending on the duration and style of trip.

Base Stem: Stem(s) emerging from the root ball of a shrub.

Basecamp: A semi-permanent camp set up after traveling into an area from which day trips for trail work or enjoyment can be made. This allows you to leave heavy gear in one place for several days.

Baseline: A line of reference crossing your path of travel used to make following a compass bearing closer to foolproof. Baselines include roads, powerlines, railroad tracks, and rivers. If you are heading to a bridge over a river, set the compass bearing for the bridge. If you are off by several degrees, you will arrive at your baseline of the river, knowing that you need to look for the bridge.

Bashguard: A mountain bike accessory that protects the chainrings/crankset from damage should you run into a rock, log, etc. when riding over them.

Basic Elements: The four design elements (form, line, color, and texture) which determine how the character of a landscape is perceived.

Basin: A large hollow or depression in the earth, either erosional or structural in origin; it is also a region that is drained by a river and its tributaries.

Bathhouse: A toilet building with showers, usually found at a campground.

Bathtub Floor: A tent design in which the waterproof floor is stitched with short walls to prevent water from entering in high winds or in the event that the rain flay doesn’t reach the bottom of the tent.

Batter (Battering): The angle at which an abutment or rock/timber wall is inclined against the earth it retains and stabilizes. The process of sloping the exposed face of a wall back either at a uniform angle, or stepping it back uniformly.

Bay: A smaller body of water extending off a larger one (usually an ocean or lake) and forming an indentation in the shoreline.

Bayou: Choctaw word meaning small stream. Refers to marshy offshoots and overflowings of lakes and rivers in the delta of Louisiana and the Gulf area.

Bead: In a tire, the edges of the tire casing along each inner circumference that fits into the rim. When you inflate the tire, they’re held by the rim to keep the tire in place.

Bear, Stump: An old tree stump on the trail that at first glance looks like a bear.

Bear Awareness: Hiking and camping in bear country is generally safe if you follow necessary rules: Do not store or eat food in tents. Properly hang food or store in bear-proof storage. Clean up food and garbage around your campsite. Make a lot of noise to scare a bear away.

Bear Canister (Bear Can): A barrel-shaped indestructible canister designed to keep bears from eating the food stored inside. They are required for backpackers in some backcountry regions.

Bear Bells: Safety device worn by hikers to alert bears of their presence.

Bear Box: Metal containers found at trailheads or campsites where bears are active. The idea is to take all food and other smelly stuff out or your car or pack and leave it in the bear box. Boxes use latches, pins, and other devices to keep the bears out.

Bear Burrito: Hiker slang for a hammock.

Bear Cable: A permanent cable rigged high between two trees or posts specifically for hanging bear bags.

Bear Fortune Cookie: Hiker slang for a tent.

Bear Pinata: A poorly hung bear bag that’s sure to be popped open overnight like a party favor.

Bearing, Compass: The direction of travel from one point to another. The first point is always true north (or magnetic north if your compass has not been adjusted for declination). A bearing of 90 degrees is to travel directly east. You can also “take a bearing” on an object to see in which direction it lies in relation to your location.

Bearings, Loose: Steel or ceramic balls that contact an adjustable cone that is screwed onto the axle and a cup pressed into the hub shell that allow the wheel to rotate freely about the axle.

Bearings, Sealed (Cartridge): A bearing cluster that has been sealed within a cartridge with a dust cap to keep out dirt.

Bearmuda Triangle: At a campsite the triangle area between the fire ring, sump (tube in the ground used to dispose of excess cooking and cleaning liquids), and the bear-proof storage. This is the area that animals will most likely visit looking for food. Tents should not be erected in this area to protect campers from animal contact.

Bed: The bottom of a channel, creek, river, stream, or other body of water.

Bed, Trail: The excavated surface of a trail upon which the tread or finished surface lies.

Bedrock: Solid rock material underlying soils and other earthy surface formations.

Beef It: To fall or crash.

Belay: Securing a climber by using a rope through one or more fixed anchors usually held by two people.

Belayer: The person controlling the tension of the rope that is securing a climber.

Bell Lap: In a race with laps, the official at the starting line rings a bell to signal a one-lap race within the race for a prize or as a signal that this is the final lap.

Belt Drive: Some bicycles and motorcycles have a belt which looks like a mini tank tread instead of a chain. Belts are lighter, cleaner, and stronger than a chain and require no lube.

Bench: A long seat (with or without a back) for two or more people.

Bench: A relatively level section of hillside, occurring naturally or by excavation.

Bench Cut: A relatively flat, stable surface (tread) on a hillside made by excavation. When excavated often referred to as full, half, or partial bench to describe the proportions of excavation and fill comprising the trail bed.

Bench Cut, Full: The total width of the trail tread is excavated out of the slope, and the trail tread contains no compacted fill material. The most durable and recommended style of bench cut trail.

Bench Cut, Half: Half the width of the trail tread is excavated out of the slope and the downhill (outside) half of the trail tread contains the excavated and compacted material.

Bench Cut, Partial: Where part of the width of the trail tread is excavated out of the slope and the rest of the trail tread is made up of fill material.

Bench Mark: A relatively permanent material object, natural or artificial (i.e. metal disk set into the ground) for use as an exact reference point by surveyors. Bench marks are indicated on a topographic map with an X and the letter BM with an elevation next to it.

Bend: The curved part of a stream, river, road, or trail.

Benefits-Based Approach: An approach to evaluating the delivery of park, recreation, and trail resources, facilities, and services which focuses on identifying the economic, environmental, and social benefits specifically and directly attributable to the cost of providing the opportunities from which the benefits are derived.

Bent: Structural member or framework used for strengthening a bridge or trestle transversely.

Bentonite: A clay mineral formed from the decomposing of volcanic ash. Commonly Bentonite can readily absorb water.

Bergschrund: Crevasse that separates flowing ice from stagnant ice at the head of a glacier.

Berm: A raised embankment (dirt or wood) usually in a corner that allows a bicycle, motorcycle, or ATV to maintain speed without losing traction and sliding out.

Berm: The ridge of material formed on the outer edge of the trail that projects higher than the center of the trail tread. When improperly designed or unintentionally caused by tread compaction and soil displacement during trail use, a berm can trap water on the trail and lead to erosion.

Berm Removal (Daylighting, Outsloping): Excavating the berm to restore outslope to the tread, so it will again shed water.

Best Management Practices (BMPs): A suite of techniques that guide, or may be applied to, management actions to aid in achieving desired outcomes. Best management practices are often developed in conjunction with land use plans, but they are not considered a land use plan decision unless the land use plan specifies that they are mandatory. They may be up-dated or modified without a plan amendment if they are not mandatory.

Best Practices: Those that offer exemplary or model planning guidelines, design standards, development strategies, and management programs that lead to successful trails and programs.

Bevel: Finishing the corner of a piece of lumber by removing a narrow portion of wood at a uniform angle to the edge and face. A bevel follows the grain of the wood. A surface that meets another surface at any angle other than 0 or 90 degrees.

Bezel: On a compass the movable ring surrounding the compass capsule, usually marked in degrees (0-359) or compass points (ex: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW).

Biathlon (Duathlon): A competitive event comprised of two legs such as running and cycling.

Bibliopedestrian: Walking and reading at the same time.

Bicycle (Bike, Cycle, Rig, Single, Sled, Solo, Steed, Two Wheeler, Upright): Human-powered, pedal-driven vehicle having two tandem wheels attached to a frame. A bicycle rider is called a bicyclist or cyclist. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, and bicycle racing.

Bicycle, BMX (Bicycle Moto Cross): A small frame bicycle used for racing, stunt riding, dirt jumping, or freestyle with riser handlebar, heavy-duty, reinforced frame and fork, and 20- or 24-inch wheels with one gear.

Bicycle, Beater (Clunker): A daily use bicycle that looks old and wore out but runs okay. Used for city riding because it’s unlikely to be stolen.

Bicycle, Boneshaker (Bone shaker): Name used from about 1869 to refer to the first type of true bicycle with pedals, which was called velocipede by its manufacturers. Boneshaker refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought iron frame and wooden wheels with tires of iron.

Bicycle, City: A hybrid equipped with accessories like fenders, rack, etc.

Bicycle, Clown (Clown Bike, Circus Bike): A bicycle designed for comedic visual effect or stunt riding (bucking bike, come-apart bike, tiny bike), typically by Circus clowns.

Bicycle, Clunker (Klunker): A cheap bicycle that’s used for around-town riding, not serious cycling. The first mountain bikes built from old bicycle frames were also called Klunkers from the klunking sound they made.

Bicycle, Comfort: A bicycle built mostly for recreational easy riding and designed for optimum rider comfort with features such as upright riding position, easy gearing, and soft seat.

Bicycle, Crank-Forward (Easy Bike, Flat Foot Bike, Laid Back bike, Semi-Recumbent/Semi-Bent Bike, Ground-Reach Bike): Essentially a stretched wheelbase cruiser/comfort bicycle with the bottom bracket and cranks set further forward and the seat moved rearward that allows a lower seat height and sit down riding position. This allows the rider to place their feet on the ground at a stop without getting off the seat.

Bicycle, Cross-Country: An off-road bicycle designed to be ridden over mountainous trails. Common features include low gearing, durable components, suspension, and great handling.

Bicycle, Cruiser (Ballooner, Beach Cruiser): A bicycle made for casual and comfortable road or beach riding featuring a relaxed frame, wide, sweeping handlebars, wide saddle, 26-inch balloon tires, and rubber pedals.

Bicycle, Cyclo-Cross: Similar to a road bike, except wider tires and cantilever brakes. Designed for riding off-pavement and the rigors of a cyclo-cross race.

Bicycle, Downhill Mountain (Downhill Bike): Are heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes and feature front and rear suspension with over 8 inches of travel intended for high speed descent over steep, rocky trails.

Bicycle, Dual-Suspension (Full Suspension, Dualie): A bicycle designed for off-road use with a front and rear suspension.

Bicycle, Endurance (Sportive Bicycle): With slightly more relaxed geometry than a race-orientated bicycle they are more comfortable over longer rides and rough roads.

Bicycle, Electric-Assist (Pedal-assist, Pedelec, Power-assist): Bicycles equipped with a motor assist (the majority are hub motors built into the front or rear wheel, a speed controller, throttle (usually twist-grip or thumb), necessary wiring and connectors, and a battery. This system only provides assistance and augments the efforts of the rider when they are pedaling which ensures partial human effort before the motor engages. Especially useful for people living in hilly areas where riding a bicycle would be too strenuous. Electric cargo bicycles allow the rider to carry large, heavy items which would be difficult to transport without electric power supplementing the human power input. A 2016 California law breaks them into three classes. Class 1: Assistance only when pedaling. 20 mph maximum, limited to bike paths, lanes, and trails. Class 2: Assistance without pedaling. 20 mph maximum, bike lanes and multi-use paths. Class 3: Assistance only when pedaling, 28 mph maximum, pavement only.

Bicycle, Fixed Gear (Fixie, Fixed-Wheel): A one-speed bicycle with no derailleurs and often no visible brakes. The fixed gear is attached to the rear wheel in such a way that you can’t coast, the pedals always go around when the bike is rolling.

Bicycle, Folding: A bicycle with a hinged frame and stem that makes it easy to collapse the bike into a small package for storage and portability.

Bicycle, Freeride (Big Hit, Hucking): Heavy-duty reinforced frame, wide tires, riser handlebars, double-crown, triple-clamp suspension forks, and disc brakes. For aggressive riding on rough surfaces and jumping.

Bicycle, Freestyle: Bicycles evolved from BMX for stunt riding that are heavier, more rugged, and feature pegs, platforms, and other places to stand.

Bicycle, Ghost (Ghost Bike, Ghostcycle, Whitecycle): A bicycle painted white and locked to a suitable object close to the scene of a bicycle accident where the rider has been killed. Apart from being a memorial, it is intended as a reminder to passing motorists to share the road.

Bicycle, Gravel: Essentially a road bicycle with room for big tires.

Bicycle, Gravity Mountain: Like downhill mtn bikes they are heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes and feature front and rear suspension with over 8 inches of travel intended for high speed descent over steep, rocky trails. Most are used at parks where riders can use the chair lifts to take their bikes to the start of the trails.

Bicycle, High Wheeler (Penny-Farthing, High Wheel, Ordinary): A direct drive bicycle (cranks and pedals are fixed directly to the hub) with a very large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel. Was popular until the development of the safety bicycle in the 1880s.

Bicycle, Hybrid: General purpose bicycle with flat handlebars like a mountain bike, but with lighter wheels like a road bike.

Bicycle, Juvenile: Smaller bikes designed for kids but also fitting smaller adults.

Bicycle, Lowrider (Low-rider Cycle): A low-slung, highly-decorated bicycle or tricycle developed in the 1970s in the Chicano community of California, who recycled and streamlined balloon-tire bicycles and sting-ray bikes. They are designed with the idea that the closer you ride to the ground, the closer you are to heaven.

Bicycle, Mountain (All-Terrain Bicycle, Fat Tire Flyer, Klunker, Mountain Bike, Mtn Bike, Off-Road Bicycle, Sprocket Rocket): Bicycle with wide tires, flat handlebars, low gearing, and direct pull or disc brakes. For riding on rougher surfaces many mtn bikes have front suspension, as well as rear suspension. Wheel diameter can be 26”, 27.5” or 29” (known as a 29er).

Bicycling, Purposeful (Cause Based Ride, Riding for a Cause): To raise awareness or money, many bicyclists are undertaking long-distance solo tours or joining organized rides because they want to make a difference with their efforts.

Bicycle, Racing: A bicycle designed for competitive road cycling, a sport governed according to the rules of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI rules were altered in 1934 to exclude recumbent bicycles. The most important characteristics about a racing bicycle are its weight and stiffness which determine the efficiency at which the power from a rider’s pedal strokes can be transferred to the drive-train and subsequently to its wheels. To this effect racing bicycles may sacrifice comfort for speed. The drop handlebars are positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic posture. The front and back wheels are close together so the bicycle has quick handling. The derailleur gear ratios are closely spaced so that the rider can pedal at their optimum cadence.

Bicycle, Rail (Rail Bike, Rail Rider): A bicycle with outrigger with a third wheel that allows you to ride on abandoned railroad tracks.

Bicycle, Recumbent (Bent): Is a bicycle that places the rider in a legs-forward laid-back reclining position where the rider’s weight is distributed over a larger area, supported by the back and buttocks. On an upright bicycle, the body weight rests entirely on a small portion of the sitting bones, the feet, and the hands. Recumbents are available in a wide range of configurations, including: long to short wheelbase; large, small, or a mix of wheel sizes; overseat, underseat, or no-hands steering; and rear wheel or front wheel drive.

Bicycle, Rigid: A bicycle without suspension.

Bicycle, Road (Randonneur): Upright lightweight bicycle with 27” wheels with narrow, inflated at high-pressure and smooth tires, built for traveling at speed on paved roads.

Bicycle, Safety: The diamond frame, two wheel bicycle that became very popular beginning in the late 1880s as an alternative to the High Wheeler and is now the most common type of bicycle. Early bicycles of this style were known as safety bicycles because they were noted for, and marketed as, being safer than the high wheelers they were replacing. The rider’s feet were within reach of the ground, making it easier to stop and the pedals powered the rear wheel with a chain drive, keeping the rider’s feet safely away from the front wheel. Even though modern bicycles use a similar design, the term is rarely used today, and may be considered obsolete.

Bicycle, Singlespeed: A road or mtn bicycle with a one-speed freewheel and hand brakes.

Bicycle, Sociable: A type of bicycle where the two riders sit side-by-side.

Bicycle, Softtail: A full-suspension bicycle.

Bicycle, Stationary (Exercise Bicycle, Exercise Bike, Exercycle): Like a regular bike, these stay in one place and the user pedals against some kind of resistance mechanism such as a fan or alternator in an upright position.

Bicycle, Stationary Recumbent: As well as road-going recumbent bicycles with wheels, stationary versions also exist. These are often found in gyms but are also available for home use. Like a regular stationary exercise bike, these stay in one place and the user pedals against some kind of resistance mechanism such as a fan or alternator but in a recumbent position. These have the same comfort advantages as road-going recumbents. Stationary recumbents almost always have a fairly upright seat and the pedal crank is lower than the level of the seat. The seat is normally adjustable and is adjusted by sliding it along a rail.

Bicycle, Tandem: Form of bicycle (occasionally, a tricycle) designed to be ridden by more than one person. The term tandem refers to the seating arrangement (fore to aft, not side by side), not the number of riders. A bike with two riders side by side is called a sociable. On conventional tandems, the front rider steers as well as pedals the bicycle and is known as the captain, pilot, or steersman; the rear rider only pedals and is known as the stoker, navigator or rear admiral. As both are seen as riders the use of the words ‘front rider’ and ‘rear rider’ are far more descriptive to modern tandem riders. Tandems for three riders are called triplets, and for four riders: quadruplets or quads.

Bicycle, Time Trial: A racing bicycle designed for use in an individual or team time trials raced on roads. Since the cyclist in a time trial is not permitted to draft (ride in the slipstream) behind other cyclists, reducing aerodynamic drag of the bicycle and rider is critical.

Bicycle, Touring: Similar to a road bike, yet designed for comfort, durability, efficiency, and, in most cases, load carrying capacity. Fall into two major groups one designed for self-contained loaded touring (carrying camping and cooking equipment) or designed for light touring in which the rider does not camp. Both have triple chainwheel crankset with a granny gear and sturdy tires for long distance riding.

Bicycle, Track (Track Bike): A bicycle optimized for racing at a velodrome or outdoor track. Unlike road bicycles, the track bike is a fixed-gear bicycle; thus, it has only a single gear and has neither a freewheel nor brakes. Tires are narrow and inflated to high pressure to reduce rolling resistance.

Bicycle, Trials: Low geared bicycle manufactured specifically for observed trials competition.

Bicycle, Triathlon: a variant of road-racing bicycles, designed primarily to optimize aerodynamics. Many components of a triathlon bicycle are designed with an aerodynamic profile: frame tubes have an oval or teardrop (instead of circular) cross-section; aero-handlebars may be flat instead of round; wheels may have fewer spokes, or even be carbon fiber tri-spokes or discs rather than conventional spoked wheels.

Bicycle, Utility (Cargo-Bike): A bicycle built for hauling children, gear, materials, or groceries. Has an extended frame and a platform over the rear wheel or extended over the front wheel to carry goods.

Bicycle, Velocipede (Boneshaker): This type of front wheel pedal driven bicycle was mass produced and became a fad in the 1860s. With stiff wooden or wrought iron frame and wooden wheels with tires of iron they were not popular very long. By 1869 they had been replaced by the high-wheel bicycle when inventors realized that the larger the wheel, the farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals.

Bicycle, Winter: a bicycle adapted for use in winter rain and snow. Typically these are less expensive and have fenders and some have studded tires riding in snow and ice.

Bicycle Advocate(s): Those who advocate for an increase in population-wide bicycle commuting, acceptance of bicycling, and legislation and infrastructure to promote and protect the safety and rights of bicyclists.

Bicycle Boom (Bike Boom): A period in the early 1970s when bicycle in the US suddenly became popular due to many factors, not the least of which was the oil crisis that saw gas shortages and prices soar.

Bicycle Boulevard (Neighborhood Greenway): A segment of street modified to prioritize through-bicycle traffic over cars using signage, lane markings, partial- or full-street closures, and other streetscape improvement. In the Netherlands, such streets are called “woonerfs” (living streets), in Germany “Fahrradstrasse” (bicycle streets).

Bicycle Carrier (Bike Rack): A device attached to an automobile or bus for transporting bicycles. On automobiles they can be attached to the roof, rear trunk, or rear tow hitch. For pickup trucks there are carriers that attach either to the bed or its sides. Special long carriers have been developed to support long-wheelbase recumbents and tandems. Bus mounted carriers are usually attached to the front of the bus and they flip up against the bus, out of the way, when not carrying bicycles. Bikes may be mounted to the carrier by clamping both wheels and frame or by clamping the rear wheel and the front dropouts (requiring removal of front wheel).

Bicycle Commuting (Bicycle Commuter): Is the use of a bicycle to travel from home to a place of work or study—in contrast to the use of a bicycle for sport, recreation, or touring.

Bicycle Computer (Cyclo-Computer, Brain, Bike Computer): A small handlebar-mounted device that measures current, average, maximum and top speed. Plus, trip distance, total distance and other things (depending on the model) such as cadence, temperature, elevation, even heart rate. Many riders are now mounting their Smart Phone to the handlebars instead of a bike computer.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator: A position responsible for planning and managing nonmotorized facilities and programs, creating safety and promotional materials that encourage bicycle and pedestrian transportation, and serving as the principal liaison between government transportation entities, the press, citizen organizations, and individuals on bicycling and walking issues.

Bicycle Corral: A large rack designed for parking multiple bicycles, usually placed in high-demand areas, it typically occupies the equivalent space of one or more vehicle parking spaces.

Bicycle Culture: Mainstream support of the use of bicycles with well-developed bicycling infrastructure catering to urban bicycling (i.e. bike lanes, bike racks, etc.). Examples include Denmark, Japan, and Portland Oregon.

Bicycle Cyclo-Cross (Cyclocross, CX, CCX, Cyclo-X, Cross): A form of bicycle racing that consists of many laps of a short (1.5-2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.

Bicycle Detection: A device at a traffic signal that detects bicyclists and alerts the signal control box of a bicyclist’s presence and need to cross.

Bicycle Facilities: General term denoting infrastructure on which a bicyclist may travel, such as a bike lane.

Bicycle Fender(s) (Mudguards, Mud Flaps): A larger arc of plastic or metal supported by wire stays covering the upper part of a bicycle wheel, to protect the bicycle and rider from spray when riding in wet conditions.

Bicycle Frame: The main component of a bicycle onto which wheels and other components are fitted. The modern and most common frame design for an upright bicycle consists of two triangles, a main or front triangle consisting of the head tube, down tube, seat tube, and top tube and a paired rear triangle consisting of the chainstays, seatstays, and rear dropouts known as the diamond frame. Other frame types are the step-through, recumbent, and folding.

Bicycle Frame, Mixte: A frame that replaces the top tube with twin lateral tubes that run all the way from the head tube back to the rear dropouts.

Bicycle Frame Geometry: The length of the bicycle tubes and angles at which they are attached.

Bicycle Frame Set: A frame and fork combo.

Bicycle Frame Size: Diamond frame bicycles are measured along the seat tube from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube.

Bicycle Friendly: Policies and practices (town planning and bicycling infrastructure) that help people feel more comfortable about bicycling with other traffic.

Bicycle Friendly America Program: A program of the League of American Bicyclists, it provides a roadmap, hands-on assistance and recognition for states, communities, universities, and businesses to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people. Each year the League assesses all 50 states. Communities, businesses, and universities are assessed through a voluntary application process.

Bicycle Friendly Area(s) (Bicycle Friendly Communities): An area that provides compatible and safe streets for bicyclists. These areas are designated with a comprehensive sign program that alerts motorists or shared bicycle use along roadways. Bike lanes may or may not be used in BFAs depending on site constraints. Typically, BFAs are used in residential neighborhoods, although these areas could be used in any type of development where designated bike lanes are not required, but motorists should be aware of bicyclists using the roadways. US cities known as such include Boulder, Minneapolis, Austin, Philadelphia, Madison, Seattle, and Portland. The League of American Bicyclists has a formal program to recognize bicycle friendly communities each year.

Bicycle Gloves (Cycling Gloves): Designed specifically for cyclists these gloves come in many styles with varying finger lengths, padding, and linings. Many come with breathable backs for better cooling. They serve important purposes while riding. They absorb moisture from your hands, so you have better control of the handlebar. They also protect your hands in a fall and act as shock absorbers for your hands on rough roads or trails.

Bicycle Handlebar: Refers to the steering mechanism for bicycles; also often support a portion of the rider’s weight, depending on their riding position, and provide a convenient mounting place for brake levers, shift levers, bicycle computers, bells, etc. Handlebars are attached to a bike’s stem which in turn attaches to the fork. Types of handlebar: drop, aerobar, track, randonneur, bullhorn, bullmoose, flat, riser, BMX, upright, cruiser, touring, ape hangers, and recumbent.

Bicycle Handlebar Bar Ends (Bar Ends): Are extensions typically fitted to the ends of straight handlebars. They extend away from the handlebars and allow the rider to vary the type of grip and posture that they use during a ride.

Bicycle Jersey: Specially designed long- or short- sleeved cycling shirt which wick away sweat and keep you cool. They are form fitting and have pockets in the back to store water or energy snacks for quick retrieval while cycling. Many have brightly colored designs for visibility when riding.

Bicycle Lock: Security device used to deter bicycle theft, generally by fastening the bicycle frame and wheels to a fixed object like a bike rack. Popular models are the U-lock, cable with integrated lock or combination lock, or chain with padlock.

Bicycle Luggage Carrier (Rear Rack, Front Lowrider Rack): An aluminum or steel tubing device mounted to a bicycle to which cargo or panniers can be attached.

Bicycle Motocross (BMX): Refers to both the sport and to the bicycle, which has 20-inch wheels and single speed.

Bicycle Overshoes (Booties): Flexible rubber or stretchy synthetic waterproof shoe coverings for use in wet weather.

Bicycle Parking Station (Bike Station, Bicycle Center, Cycle Center): Building or structure designed to securely store bicycles as simple as a lockable cage or purpose-built multi-level building. They can offer additional facilities such as bicycle repairs and showers or lockers.

Bicycle Pump: A positive-displacement pump that functions via a piston that draw air into a tube on the up-stroke and displaces the air from the pump into the bicycle tire. Comes in a floor model, frame mounted, compact, double-action, or foot-operated. Has an adaptor for use with Schrader or Presta valves. There are also electrically or battery operated pumps.

Bicycle Pump Head (Chuck): This is the part of the pump that fits on the tube’s valve for inflation.

Bicycle Rain Cape: A special poncho which is tailored to fit a bicyclist in a riding position, and to avoid tangling in the spokes. It has thumb loops to hold it forward over the handlebars.

Bicycle Saddle (Bike Seat): Where the rear end can rest while pedaling. It is not intended to support the rider’s entire weight. Made of leather or plastic stretched over a metal frame.

Bicycle Saddle Height: The distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the point of reference on top of the middle of the saddle.

Bicycle Saddlebag (Touring Bag): Bag attached to the underside of the bicycle saddle for carrying repair gear and other items.

Bicycle Safety Triangle (Fanny Bumper): A 10-inch fluorescent red-orange flexible plastic triangle perforated to allow air circulation, secured around the waist with a cord or nylon belt and worn on the bicyclist’s back to alert motorists of slow-moving bicycles. First required on Columbus AYH trips in 1966 and later in the 1970s on all national AYH and Bikecentennial trips. Adventure Cycling sells the Jogalite Cyclist’s Safety Triangle Triangle at

Bicycle Seat Bag (Seat Pack): The small bag that attaches beneath the bicycle seat for carrying tools and essentials.

Bicycle Shaped Object (BSO) (Department Store Bicycle): A cheaply produced poor quality bicycle commonly sold at big-box stores, mainstream stores, and anywhere else but your local bike shop.

Bicycle Shoe(s): Purpose-built for bicycling. Key features include a rigid sole for more efficient transfer of power from the bicyclists to the pedals, light weight, and a method for attaching them firmly to the pedal. They come in numerous styles: road racing, track racing, triathlon, winter, sandals, casual bicycling, touring, off-road or mountain biking, and indoor bicycling or spinning.

Bicycle Shorts: These skin-tight shorts are lined with a fabric that absorbs perspiration and reduces chafing. The legs are extra-long and end just about the knees so they don’t creep up on you when you sit back down after raising off the saddle.

Bicycle Subculture: Many automobile focused countries and cities contain groups of bicycle enthusiasts who advocate for improvements to protect the safety and rights of bicyclists. Within the community activism may take many forms, both creative and practical, such as the creation of bike related music, films, art, magazines, blogs and group rides to promote cycling.

Bicycle Touring: Means self-contained bicycling trips for pleasure and adventure rather than sport, commuting, or exercise. Touring can range from single to multi-day trips, even years. Tours may be planned by the participant or organized by a business, a club, or a charity as a fundraiser.

  • Lightweight Touring (Credit-card Touring): A rider carries a minimum of gear and a lot of money. Overnights are in hostels, hotels, or B&Bs. Food is bought at cafes, restaurants, or markets.
  • Ultralight Touring: Rider is self-sufficient but carries only the bare essentials and no frills.
  • Fully-loaded Touring (Self-supported Touring): Bicyclists carry everything they need, including food, cooking equipment, and a tent for camping.
  • Expedition Touring: Bicyclist travel extensively, often through developing nations and remote areas. The bicycle is loaded with food, spares, tools, and camping equipment so that they are largely self-supporting.
  • Supported Touring: Bicyclists are supported by a motor vehicle, which carries most of the gear, equipment, and food. This can be organized independently by groups of bicyclists or by a commercial company or charity. These commercial or charity guided tours include lodging, route planning, meals, and often rental bikes.
  • Day Touring: These rides vary highly in their size of the group, length, purpose, and methods of support. They may involve solo cyclists, group rides, or large organized rides with hundreds to thousands of riders. Their length can range from a few miles to century rides of 100 miles or longer. Their purpose can range from riding for pleasure or fitness, to raising money for a charitable organization. Methods of support can include self-supported day rides, rides supported by friends or small groups, and organized rides where bicyclists pay for support and accommodation provided by event organizers, including rest and refreshment stops, marshalling to aid safety, and sag services.

Bicycle Touring: Shoestring, Economy, and Comfort are three categories to easily group cyclists.

  • Shoestring: Tend to be younger and more self-contained. Will typically ride between 75 and 100 miles a day and prefer low-cost options for lodging (camping and showers) and meals, spending no more than $30 a day.
  • Economy: Any age cyclists who typically rides between 50 and 90 miles per day and prefer meals in restaurants, spending no more than $50 per day. Lodging dictated by weather and location and low-cost.
  • Comfort: Tend to be older (between 50 and 65) and highly educated. Typically ride less than 50 miles per day and look to stay in communities with full vacation experience (shopping, restaurants, full-service hotel, and museums). Typically has a high amount of discretionary income, on average spending over $100 a day.

Bicycle Trailer: A single- or two-wheeled frame with a hitch system to attach to the rear of a bicycle for transporting cargo or children.

Bicycle Trainer: A piece of equipment that a bicycle attaches to so that the rear wheel can spin while the bicycle is stationary, allowing stationary riding. These are usually used when the conditions outside are bad.

Bicycle Turbo-Trainer: A trainer that spins a fan assembly at the same time (for pedal resistance and air flow).

Bicycle Velodrome: An arena for track bicycle racing featuring steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree U-shaped bends connected by two straights. The straights transition to the bends through moderate curves. A typical event will consist of several races of varying distances and structure. A few examples are scratch, points, elimination, and Madison races(tag team).

Bicycle Water Bottle: A plastic container that is used to hold water, liquids, or other beverages for consumption designed (2-7/8 inches in diameter and 5 to 8 inches tall) to fit snugly into a cage affixed to a bicycle.

Bicycle Water Bottle Cage (Holder): A device (vast majority consist of a single hoop of tubing or rod bent to hold the bottle snugly and engage the top) used to affix a water bottle to a bicycle. Composed of plastic, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, or carbon fiber. It can be attached to the main frame, handlebars, behind the saddle, or the fork. Most bicycles have threaded holes (called braze-ons) in the frame to hold the bottle cage.

Bicycle Workstand (Repair Stand): A support that holds your bicycle in the air to make maintenance and repair easy.

Bicyclist(s) (Bicycler, Cyclist): The name given the rider that sits on a saddle and propels a vehicle that has two wheels in tandem by means of pedals that drive the rear wheel via a chain, and steers with handlebars on the front wheel.

Bicyclist, Functional (Functional Cyclist): Biking to get somewhere, be it the hardware store or work.

Bicyclist, Road (Roadie, Road Geek): A bicycle rider that sticks to pavement riding and is fanatical about it.

Bicyclist’s Knee: An umbrella for several repetitive or overuse conditions linked to anatomical problems in the foot or lower leg, improper foot position on the pedal, or pushing inappropriately big gears.

Bidon: French word for a sports drinking bottle, especially one used on a bicycle.

Biff: Slang for crashing.

Big Ring (Big Meat): Slang for the large chainring on a bicycle.

Bike: Short for bicycle or motorcycle. Many believe that bike or biker should refer to motorcycles and people who ride bicycles should be called cyclists.

Bike, Art: Any bicycle modified for creative purposes while still being able to ride. It is a type of kinetic sculpture.

Bike, Dirt: Off-Highway Motorcycle.

Bike, Fat (Fatbike): A mountain bike with super-wide frame, wheels, and tires (up to 4”) allowing you to float over snow, sand, loose rock, or gravel.

Bike, Tall: Two bicycle frames are connected (welding or brazing) one atop the other. The drive train is reconfigured to connect to the upper set of pedals, and the controls are moved to the upper handlebar area. Historically, one of the first practical uses of the tall bike was as a 19th-century lamp lighting system, by which a worker would mount a specialized tall bike while equipped with a torch for lighting gas lamps. As the worker rode to each lamp, they would lean against the lamp post, light the lamp, and then ride to the next. Today, clubs use tall bikes for jousting. Combatants arm themselves with lances and attempt to score points by dislodging the other rider.

Bike, Trailer (Pedal Trailer): One wheeled trailers with seat, handlebars, and drive-train, that normally attaches to the bike via the seatpost (and operate very much like a tandem). These allow small children who can’t yet ride a bicycle alone to accompany adult riders as participants and power producers.

Bike, Water (Hydrocycle, Hydrobike, Seacycle): A human-powered bicycle-like watercraft with buoyancy provided by two or more pontoons or a single surfboard with the rider setting upright or recumbent.

Bike Box: A designated area of a traffic lane at the approach to a signalized intersection (many are painted green) that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.

Bike Bus: A form of collective bicycle commuting where participants bicycle together on a set route following a set timetable. Bicyclist may join or leave the bike bus at various points along the route.

Bike Check: “ABC Quick Check” is a simple way to remember what to check on your bicycle each time before a ride: A is for Air; B is for Brakes; C is for cranks and chain; Quick is for quick releases; and Check is for check it over.

Bike Hook(s): An inexpensive bike-storage hook shaped like a question mark with a threaded end and rubber coated. Can be screwed into a wall or ceiling to hang your bicycle by the wheel to get it off the floor.

Bike Lane: A portion of a roadway that has been designated by striping, signing, and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.

Bike Lane, Protected (Cycle Track, Separated Bike Lane): Traditional bike lanes running alongside vehicle traffic are being replaced in favor of protected lanes where physical barriers like concrete curbs, planters, or fences separate bicyclists from vehicle traffic.

Bike Locker (Bicycle Box): A box large enough for one bicycle to placed in and locked. They keep bicycles out of the weather and not only prevent theft but vandalism.

Bike Lust (Bike Fever): An affliction of bicyclists who covet new bicycles, accessories or anything cycling related.

Bike Maintenance Facility: A stand, kiosk, or repair station with a pump and tools provided to the public for self-service bicycle maintenance.

Bike Path (Shared Use Path, Bicycle Path, Bike Trail, Multi-use Path/Trail): Any corridor that is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, and that is either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way. Besides bicycles these paths may also be shared by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users, joggers, and other non-motorized users. The term bicycle path is becoming less common, since such facilities are rarely used exclusively by bicyclists.

Bike Polo (Cycle Polo): A team sport similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses.

Bike Porn: Pretty pictures of bikes.

Bike Rack (Bicycle Parking Rack, Bicycle Stand): Device to which bicycles can be securely attached for parking purposes. May be free standing or attached to the ground or building. General styles include include the Inverted U, Serpentine, Bollard, Grid, and Decorative. The most effective and secure are racks that can secure both wheels and frame of the bicycle using a bicycle lock.

Bike Route: A shared right-of-way located on lightly traveled streets and roadways designated with appropriate “bike route” directional and informational signs. These signs help encourage use, and warn motorists that bicycles may be present.

Bike Share Program (Bicycle Sharing System, Bikesharing): Is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a very short term basis as an alternative to public transportation or private vehicles, thereby reducing traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution. Bike share programs allow people to borrow a bike from point “A” and return it at point “B”. Many bike-share systems offer subscriptions that make the first 30–45 minutes of use very inexpensive, encouraging their use as transportation. This allows each bike to serve several users per day

Bike to Work Day: An annual event held on various days in the Spring across the US and Canada that promotes the bicycle as an option for commuting to work or study.

Bike Your Park Day: Initiated by Adventure Cycling Association and held in September on National Public Lands Day this is a day to discover your favorite public lands on a bicycle.

Bike-a-thon: Fund-raising bike tour based on amount of miles ridden.

Bikecentennial ’76: Was a bicycle tour across the United States in the summer of 1976, in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence bicentennial. Over 4,000 bicyclists rode the route that stretched across the US from Reedport, OR to Yorktown, VA, a distance of about 4,250 miles. This route is still in use as the TransAmerica Trail and US Bicycle Route 76. The tour was conceived by Greg and June Siple and Dan and Lys Burden in 1972. The success of the 1976 event led to the creation of the membership organization Bikecentennial, which changed its name to Adventure Cycling Association in 1994. They lead bicycle tours and have mapped several additional bicycle routes across the United States and Canada.

Bikejoring: The combination of dog mushing and mountain biking in which a dog or team of dogs is harnessed to a mountain biker by a five- to seven-foot lead line.

Bikepacking (Rough Riding): With the development of ultra-light gear many are using their mountain bikes to ride and camp in the backcountry.

Bikercross (Mountain Cross, Four-cross, 4X): A mountain bike event in which four riders race head to head down a course featuring a start gate, berms, jumps, and other obstacles. Races last 30-40 seconds.

Bikes Not Bombs: A Boston, MA based non-profit that uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change. They reclaim thousands of bicycles each year and them overseas to economic development projects in Africa, Latin American, and the Caribbean. They create local and global programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation.

Bikeway(s): Any road, path, or way which in some manner is specifically designated as being open to bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes.

Biking, Braille: Biking after sunset without lights or with minimally functional lighting equipment due to weak batteries.

Bind: When sawing a log, the forces that cause compression in the log, thus pinching the saw blade.

Bindle: A cloth parcel tied to the end of a walking stick and carried over your shoulder.

Biodegradable: Able to decompose when exposed to biological agents and soil chemicals.

Biodiversity: The variety and variability within and among living populations and species of organisms and the ecosystems in which they occur. This variation is typically studied and analyzed at four levels of diversity: genetic, species, community, and landscape.

Biological Assessment: In general, a documented review of programs or activities in sufficient detail to determine how an action or proposed action may affect any Federally listed threatened or endangered wildlife, fish, or plant species. Specifically, a procedural step in the interagency consultation process under the Endangered Species Act, Section 7, where the BLM submits a written summary of potential project impacts to threatened or endangered species to the USF&WS for their evaluation.

Biological Soil Crusts: Bryophytes, lichens, cyanobacteria, algae, and mocfungi which exist on or just below the soil surface in arid and semi arid plant communities throughout the world.

Biomass: The total amount of living material, plants and animals, above and below the soil surface in a biotic community.

Biome: A community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. A broader term than habitat; a biome can comprise a variety of habitats.

Biomimicry: When humans borrow the best ideas from the natural world. Coined in 1997 by Janine Benyus.

Biophilia: The connections that human beings sub-consciously seek with the rest of life—plants, animals, and the natural world. It was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. E.O. Wilson popularized the term in his 1984 book Biophilia: The Human Bond with Other Species.

Biotic Communities: The assemblage of native and exotic plants of a particular site or landscape, including microorganisms, fungi, algae, vascular and herbaceous plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. These assemblages and their biotic and abiotic relationships serve landscape and watershed functions by promoting soil properties supporting water infiltration, recycling and transfer, species survival, and sustainable population dynamics.

Bipedal: Walking on two legs.

Birdcage: Wire rope that has begun to unwrap individual strands of wire.

Bit: A device placed in the mouth of a horse as a means to control; attached to the bridle and the reins or lines.

Bivouac: To sleep outdoors without a tent or proper gear, usually done only in emergency situations. Though alpine climbers may do planned bivouacs on long and difficult routes, carrying gear known as a bivouac sack.

Bivouac Sack (Bivvy Sack or Tent): A narrow, lightweight, waterproof tube of a bag that covers a sleeping bag. Simple, sometimes cramped shelter.

Black Flies: Tiny biting insects that breed in running water and flourish in many parts of the country in May and June and pester trail users.

Blade: One of the two “tines” of a front fork

Blaze: A white patch on a horse’s forehead.

Blaze(s) (Trailblazing, Way Marking, Reassurance Marker, Diamonds, Tags, Marker): Signifies both the marking and the making of a trail, road, or survey line. As a trail marker blazes can be made into a tree by scraping away some of the bark and painting a 2-inch by 6-inch vertical rectangle. Plastic or metal triangles or diamonds (known as blazes) with the name of the trail or a directional arrow imprinted can be purchased and nailed to trees or posts to mark a trail route. Scraping away bark to create a blaze is no longer recommended.

Blaze, Aqua: When used as a verb it means to bypass a segment of trail by boating the segment’s length on a parallel water route.

Blaze, Blue: The color often used to paint blazes that mark side trails to a campsite or a town off main trails such as the Appalachian Trail. Many other trails follow the Appalachian Trail example.

Blaze, Blue: When used as a verb it means to take trails other than the official trail you are on because they offer a shorter or easier alternative to your route.

Blaze, Double (Offset Blazes): Two blazes (vertical alignment) that denote a change in direction or junction in the trail ahead. Usually the top blaze is offset in the direction of the turn. Some refer to these as Garveys after Ed Garvey (1914-99) Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.

Blaze, White: White blazes are generally used to mark a main or trunk trail such as the Appalachian Trail.

Blaze, Yellow: Term used to denote the yellow center-line that is painted on a highway.

Blaze Orange: A very bright, visible in low light, hue of orange. The color to wear during hunting season.

Blazer, Black: Someone who removes or paints over trail markers.

Blazer, Blue: Thru-hiker who substitutes a section of the main trail by using connectors and bypasses between two points on the trail.

Blazer, Pink (Pink-blazing): Refers to a hiker altering his or her hiking schedule to connect with a member of the opposite sex.

Blazer, Rainbow: Thru-hiker who uses all sorts of routes (Trail, road, hitch-hiking, etc.) to get to the end of the trail.

Blazer, White: A term from the Appalachian Trail (AT) to describe a person hiking pure (see purist), that is, hiking past every white blaze—which are the standard trail markers on the AT.

Blazer, Yellow (Yellow Blazing): A long-distance trail user taking to the road hitch-hiking or driving a segment instead of sticking to the trail.

Blazing, Brown: Taking a detour off the trail to take a dump.

Blazing, Ghost: Following old blazes on parts of a trail where the blazes have been painted out after trail relocation.

Blazing, Green: Can either refer to the act of bushwhacking or of smoking marijuana as you hike.

Blazing, Silk: When you’re the first down a trail in a while and you clear the spider webs with your face.

Bleeder (Kick Out, Diversion Dip): Graded depression angled to drain water sideways off the treadway.

Bleeder: Trail that begins in promising shape but inexplicably vanishes.

Bleisure: When you combine business and leisure you’re on a bleisure trip.

Bliss Index: A scale that attempts to place a trail user’s state of blissfulness into numerical form—a score of ten is absolute bliss, while a score of one borders on boredom or misery.

Blister: A thin, round swelling of the skin, filled with fluid, caused by rubbing.

Block: An encased pulley in which a rope or cable is thread through.

Block, Snatch: Pulley with hinged side plate that opens allowing attachment anywhere along a fixed rope or cable.

Blocking: A team tactic in competition where you help a team mate escape and get ahead by getting in the way to slow down followers.

Blowdown (Windfall): Tree, limb, or group of trees toppled over by high winds

Blowout: An area from which soil material has been removed by wind or water. Such an area appears as a nearly barren, shallow depression with a flat or irregular floor consisting of a resistant layer, an accumulation of pebbles, or wet soil lying just above a water table.

Blowout: Epic failure of a portion of your trail boots or running shoes (soles, upper, or toe guard), usually resulting in unsightly duct tape or sewing repairs on the trail to get you home.

Blow Up (Blowing Up): When you tire yourself out so much you have to stop due to pushing too hard, too far, or by not drinking or eating enough.

Blueway(s): River and stream corridors of protected open space used for conservation and recreation purposes. They protect natural, historical, cultural, and recreational resources and preserve scenic landscapes.

Bluff: A steep headland, promontory, riverbank, or cliff.

Bluff-Charge(d): When an animal (bear usually) charges you, but pulls up short.

Board Feet: A unit of solid wood one foot square and one inch thick.

Boardwalk: An elevated, fixed-planked structure, usually built on pilings in areas of wet soil or water to provide dry crossings.

Body English: A deliberate shifting of body weight and position by the (MC, ATV, mtn bike) rider used to accomplish maneuvers.

Bodypack: A backpack fitted with pocket(s) that are suspended on the wearer’s front side (chest) and loaded in such a way that the load in the front and the load in the back are about equal. The majority of the load on a bodypack is carried by the hips. The ideal load carrying system should not disturb the wearer’s natural posture, balance and movement of the body. The load must be dispersed onto the skeletal structure in a balanced way, and should not produce forces on the body forward, aft, right, or left.

Bog(s): A mucky or peaty surface soil underlain by peat where little direct sunlight reaches the trail, or where there are flat areas that are difficult to drain.

Boggy: A very soft place in a trail that allows users to mire at least a foot.

Boil Time: Amount of time it takes a stove to boil a liter of water at sea level.

Bollard(s): A barrier post or timber, usually 30 to 42 inches in height, used to block unwanted traffic at trail access points. Should be installed in odd numbers (one or three). Two bollards may confuse trail users, possibly channeling them into the center of the trail or contributing to conflicts with other trail users. Also an electric light post found alongside trails.

Bolt, Anchor: A bolt that firmly affixes a cable to a component.

Bolt, Binder: An attachment bolt such as the bolt that holds a bicycle seatpost to the frame.

Bolt, Cable Fixing: A bolt that attaches cables to bicycle brakes and derailleurs.

Bomb (Bomb Run, Bomb Start): Desert motorcycle race start where riders line up and blast flat-out from the starting line to the trail. In the old days, race organizers set fire to a pile of tires, creating a giant smoke bomb that marked the entrance to the trail.

Bomber: An item of gear that is extremely durable.

Bonk (Bonked, Bonking, Hit the Wall): When glycogen stores in the brain and muscles are depleted by over-exertion, especially in conditions of extreme heat and humidity. The most common characteristics of “bonking” are irritability, disorientation, indecisiveness, combativeness and/or lethargy. Ingesting a rapidly absorbable carbohydrate such as a sports drink, sugar cube, or energy bar and water can relieve the effects of bonking.

Bonus Miles: Miles traveled that are not on the trail, such as miles to and from resupply points or to and from off-trail water sources or non-trail miles traveled due to bad navigation.

Boondocking: Overnighting in a recreational vehicle without benefit of electricity, fresh water, and sewer utilities.

Boot: A tire patch (store bought, money, grass, anything) that is placed between the tube and tire to cover a gash in the tire’s casing that would otherwise would not contain the tube.

Boots, Hiking (Wafflestomper): Boots constructed to provide comfort and protection for walking or hiking considerable distance over rough terrain. They come in a mid-rise or high-rise to give ankle support and are fairly stiff with a lugged sole for traction.

Boots, Mountaineering: They are extremely strong, durable, and have stiff soles to give the ankles support and protection on difficult rocky trails. Crampons can be attached to them for a better grip on glaciers or hard-packed snow. They are usually taller and stiffer than hiking boots, providing insulation as well as support and protection.

Boots, Ski: Footwear that attach the skier to the skis using bindings at the toe of the boot allowing flex in the ball of the foot.

Borrow: Fill material, usually mineral soil or gravel, required for on-site trail construction and obtained from a nearby location.

Borrow Pit (Borrow Site): Area where soil, gravel, or rock materials are removed to be used on the trail for tread, embankments, or backfilling.

Bottom Bracket, Bicycle: Fits inside the bottom bracket shell, which connects the seat tube, down tube, and chain stays as part of the bicycle frame. It contains a spindle that the crankset attaches to with bearings that allow the spindle and cranks to rotate.

Bottom Bracket, Pressed-Fit Bicycle: A bottom bracket design in which the bearing assembly is pressed, rather than threaded, into the frame.

Bottom Bracket, Threaded Bicycle: A bottom bracket design in which the bearing assembly is threaded, rather than pressed, into the frame.

Bottom Bracket Shell, Bicycle: A short and wide tube, relative to the other tubes in the frame, that runs side to side and holds the bottom bracket.

Bottomed Out: When riding a bicycle and being in your lowest gear, and usually wanting a still lower one.

Bottoming Out: A hard landing after a jump when suspension is fully compressed.

Boulder: A large rounded rock larger than 24 inches in size across the smallest dimension.

Boulder (Bouldering): Basic or intermediate climbing carried out on relatively small rocks that can be traversed without great risk of bodily harm in case of a fall.

Boulder Buster: Device that requires minimal certification and training, but breaks boulders larger than 6’ diameter. It is a firing mechanism attached to a short pipe that fits into a rock crevice or hole, a steel plate that covers the hole, and an explosive charge about the size and shape of a shotgun shell.

Boulder Garden: A pile of boulders, often found at the mouth of a creek as it enters a river, creating a rapid.

Boulder Garden: Refers to a section of trail that is covered with big boulders.

Boulder Jam: Rocks jammed in a narrow passage either on land or in a watercourse that block the normal flow of trail users or water.

Braap!: A statement of intent derived from the sound of an off-road motorcycle—and the aggressive flow possible on such a machine. Braap! can be used as a noun, verb or, most often, an interjection.

Bracket Height: On a bicycle, the vertical distance between the ground and the center of the bottom bracket, measured with the bicycle vertical.

Brake: A thicket, usually located in a low, flat, marshy region and composed of tall, hollow, canelike reeds that frequently grow to a height of thirty feet or more.

Brake: Stop traveling by applying a brake.

Brake(s): The parts of a motor vehicle, ATV, MC, or bicycle which allow the operator to slow down or stop the machine.

Brake, Cantilever (Direct-Pull, Linear-Pull): A bicycle rim brake that has two separate long parallel arms pulled at the same time towards the wheel rim by a cable. Before disc brakes they were common on mtn bikes and tandems.

Brake, Centerpull Caliper Rim: A bicycle brake in which the main cable runs down the centerline of the bicycle, using a yoke to connect to a transverse cable.

Brake, Coaster (Foot Brake): A particular type of drum brake contained inside the bicycle rear wheel hub which is actuated by a backward pressure applied to the bicycle pedals.

Brake, Disc: Brake that is mounted near the wheel hub with pads that squeeze against a rotor (disc) mounted to the hub. They can be operated by cable (mechanical) or oil pressure in a tube (hydraulic). They provide maximum speed control and stopping power even in wet and muddy conditions. Plus, because they do not rely on the rims for braking, wheel damage can’t compromise braking the way it can with rim brakes.

Brake, Drum: Rear mounted drum brakes are often used on bicycle tandems to supplement the rear rim brake and give additional stopping power. They consist of two brake shoes that expand out into the inside of the hub shell.

Brake, Parking: A mechanism which holds the brakes on so that the vehicle cannot roll.

Brake, Rim: Any brake that acts on the bicycle rim, I.e. caliper brakes or cantilever brakes.

Brake, Sidepull Caliper Rim: A bicycle brake caliper that has one arm pulled by the inner cable and the other pushed by the cable housing. They can be a single-pivot where both arms pivot on a central point or dual-pivot with a separate pivot for each arm.

Brake Boss (Post): The pivot point attached to a bicycle frame or fork that the brake arms mount to.

Brake Bumps: A type of erosion that occurs on trails that allow wheels (mtn bikes, motorcycles, atvs) and require significant braking. Usually found near the bottoms of downhills and on the runout of a turn. It basically results in a really bumpy trail surface that progressively gets worse.

Brake Fade: When the brakes lose power while braking usually caused by wear or improper adjustment.

Brake Modulation: A brake with more modulation has power that come on slowly, as opposed to the on/off feeling some brakes have. More modulation is desirable to a point, but brakes with too much can feel spongy and not as powerful.

Brake Pad (Brake Block): The block of rubberlike material used to create friction on a rim or rotor so that you stop travelling.

Brake Rotor: The disc part of disc brakes. They are thin, flat circular metal plates that attach to the hubs. They’re what the brake calipers grip to slow and stop you when you squeeze the brake levers.

Brake Shoe: On a bicycle the metal part that holds a brake pad and is bolted to the end of the brake caliper.

Brakeset: A complete brake system—levers, calipers, cables.

Braking Bumps: When mountain bikers or OHVers brake in corners their skipping tires scoop up dirt and pile it into humps. What begins small can develop into huge whoops. Braking bumps form where most people want to brake and they are not fun to ride over. There are better places to brake―before, inside, or outside the bumps.

Branch Point: Where a new branch of shrub or tree emerges from an existing branch (not a base stem or trunk).

Braze-on(s) (Boss, Bosses): Small bolt holes that are brazed to a bicycle frame used to mount bottle cages, shifters, cable stops, pump pegs, and cable guides.

Brazing: A method of bicycle frame construction that involves brass or silver solder to connect frame tubes.

Break-over Point: Point where the outslope of the tread breaks over to the topographical slope on the downhill side of the trail.

Breakaway: To ride away solo from the group in an effort to win a race.

Breaks: In the western United States, breaks are tracts of rough, broken land, similar to badlands nearly impossible to negotiate for any distance on foot.

Breathable: Describes clothing and gear that allows water vapor to pass through to the outside.

Breathwalk: A meditative way to move your body in order to bring your focus inward to clarity, energy, and calm. A technique derived from Kundalini yoga that combines the simple acts of continuous stepping, measured breath, and focused mantra repetition.

Brevet(s): Official randonneuring group ride(s) of at least 200 kilometers that must be ridden to qualify for a longer major event, such as Paris-Brest-Paris. In order to officially complete a brevet you must ride the entire route and stop at checkpoints along the way between certain times to get your route card signed.

Briar Patch: A piece of land overgrown with a tangled mass of thorned plants.

Bridge: A structure, including supports, erected over a depression (stream, river, chasm, canyon, or road) and having a deck for carrying trail traffic. If the bridge is over two feet above the surface, it should have railings.

Bridge, Bog: A form of puncheon which lends itself to backcountry construction. Normally, bog bridges have a single- or double-plank tread surface resting directly on mud sleepers, cribbing, or piles.

Bridge, Cable Suspension: A bridge that is suspended from two cables securely anchored at the ends. Suspender cables or steel rods hang down from the two support cables to support the deck below.

Bridge, Gadbury: A rustic structure similar to puncheon that was developed in the Pacific Northwest. Gadbury uses two face-up half logs running lengthwise set on notched sills/sleepers.

Bridge, Ladder: A elevated wooden trail structure that provides a challenging bicycling experience while mitigating risks to sensitive areas, wet areas, or areas prone to erosion or heavy maintenance. A typical ladder bridge is comprised of split cedar or milled lumber decking suspended by two small diameter logs acting as stringers.

Bridge, Stayed Suspension: Has multiple steel cables spread from the top of a tower down to the deck to support it.

Bridge Wing(s): Angled barriers at the ends of a bridge used to channel traffic on to the bridge.

Bridleway (Bridle Path, Bridle Trail): A relatively short equestrian trail designed and maintained primarily for equestrian use in urban or urban-rural areas. Other nonmotorized uses may be permitted.

Brifter: A combination shifter-brake lever, mostly found on drop handlebar bicycles.

Brink: The edge of a steep place with an element of risk.

Broadcast(ing): Leave No Trace principle of scattering soil, debris, or wastewater over a wide area to keep the area as natural looking as possible after camping.

Broadcasting (Broadcast): Process of widely distributing excavated soil, cut branches, and duff as far downhill or uphill and away from the new tread as possible. Widely distributing so as to blend in with the natural soil contours and vegetation and be as inconspicuous as possible.

Broke: A horse that is trained and reliable.

Broken Out: A trail in winter snow that has been well packed from snowshoe use.

Brook: A small natural stream of water.

Brownfield (Brown land): Abandoned, idled, or under-used commercial, industrial, or institutional properties, where investment for redevelopment or reuse is discouraged by the presence of light to moderate contamination from hazardous substances.

Brush: Vegetation or small flora.

Brush Cutter: A mechanized device with a cutting head and circular blade that will cut woody saplings and shrubs up to 4 inches in diameter at the base.

Brush Hook (Bush Hook, Bush Ax, Ditch Blade, Ditch Blade Axe): These tools are used for clearing brush, briar, or undergrowth too heavy for a scythe and not suited for an ax. The Brush Hook with a 36-inch handle and 12-inch hooked blade (sharpened on one side) cuts easily on the “pull” stroke.

Brushing (Brushing Out): The process of clearing the trail corridor of plants, trees, and branches that could impede the progress of trail users.

Brushing-In (Obliteration): To pile logs, branches, rocks, or duff along the sides of the tread to keep users from widening the trail; or to fill in a closed trail with debris so that it will not be used.

Bubbaphobia: Anti-Southern bias worrying that the woods harbor armed, genetically challenged fellows named Zeke and Festus.

Buck (Bucking): Sawing/cutting a log into sections, perpendicular to its length. Bucking is usually done to remove a section of tree to clear blowdown.

Bucking, Under: Cutting a log from underneath, rather than the top down, to prevent top bind.

Bucket(s): Usually a five-gallon plastic container with a heavy wire handle (bail) useful for transporting soil, duff, and small hand tools.

Bucket List: A list of the places of our dream we long to see our things we want to do.

Buffer (Buffer Zone, Buffer Strip): Any type of natural or constructed barrier (trees, shrubs, wooden fences, etc.) used between the trail and adjacent lands to minimize physical or visual impacts. Buffers also provide a transition between adjacent land uses.

Bug Dope: Chemical or botanical substance, such as DEET, intended to deter insects.

Buggy, Dune (Sand Buggy, Rock Buggy, Rail): A custom built passenger vehicle specifically designed or modified for use off of paved roads, with four wheels, operated by a driver seated within the vehicle. Modification for use on beaches or in dunes may include extra wide or paddle tires.

Buggy, Swamp: An off-highway vehicle usually equipped with large tires for driving through swamps.

Bulldozer (Dozer, SWECO): A heavy, driver-operated machine for clearing and grading land, usually having a continuous tread and a broad hydraulic blade in front. Use a small bulldozer with a roll bar and steel cage to clear rock and trees and to excavate and level the tread. To uproot a large tree, cut off the stem leaving a 4’ high stump for the bulldozer blade to push against. Use the blade to undercut roots on each side of a big stump before lifting it.

Bullet-Proofing: The adding of heavy-duty tires, antipuncture tire liners, and heavy inner tubes to maximum protection for your tires against punctures, tears, and other flats.

Bump Tree(s): Are any trees located closely enough to the trail that they may be hit by standard-sized pack boxes carried by packstock travelling the trail.

Bump-up Box (Bounce Box, Leapfrog Box, Floater Box, Drift Box, Drop Box, Resupply Box, Flyer): Box containing supplies that a thru-hiker needs but doesn’t want to carry (repair kit, batteries, extra glasses, or excess quantities of stuff such as coffee). It is mailed ahead to next resupply point.

Bunny Hop (Jay Hop, Bronco Hop, Speed Jump, Wheelie Hop): A technique (compressing the bike to bounce it up off the ground) in which both wheels leave the ground to ride over obstacles such as rocks or logs.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Is a federal agency within the US Department of Interior. BLM manages 264 million acres of public lands mostly in the West (mostly arid grasslands) for multiple purposes—recreation, range restoration, and resource conservation.

Burn Time: Amount of time a stove will burn with a standard unit of fuel (such as a canister).

Burning a Match (Burning Matches): A phrase used by professional cyclists to denote putting in a big effort while in a race.

Burping Air: When a tubeless tire takes a hard sideways hit it can rip the bead away from the rim and let air “burp” out.

Burrito: Slang for a pile of tools or gear wrapped in a tarp.

Bush Hammer: Hammer for dressing stone, having one or two square faces composed of a number of pyramidal points.

Bushing: On bicycles a sleeve that is used as a bearing on suspension forks and swing arms, pedals, and derailleur jockey wheels.

Bushwhack (Bushwhacking, Bushwhacker): Off-trail travel (originally applied to hiking where the going was difficult, where many bushes had to be whacked). Now it is often used to mean off-trail travel regardless of whether the going is difficult or not. Travel off of established trails can create unwarranted reroutes or ill-considered short cuts.

Butte: The narrow flat-topped freestanding remnant of a larger landform with very steep sides.

Butted Tubing: Bicycle tubing that is thinner in the middle and thicker near the welded ends allowing for a lighter stronger frame.

Buttress: A gargantuan prow of rock that sticks out from the side of a mountain.

Bylaws: Set of regulations adopted by a trail or greenway organization that governs the way the organization will do business.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – C

“C” Horizon: The unconsolidated rock material in the lower part of the soil profile that is similar to the material from which the upper horizons (or at least a part of the B horizon) have developed.

cc: The size displacement of an engine in cubic centimeters.

CO2 Inflator: Small carbon dioxide gas-filled cylinder for pumping up bicycle tires quickly. Comes in one-time use or fitted with a replacement cartridge.

Cabana: A shelter on a beach or at a swimming pool used as a bathhouse.

Cabin Fever: Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter. Often described as a thirty-foot stare in a twenty-foot room.

Cable, Bear: A permanent cable rigged high between two tree specifically for hanging bear bags.

Cable, Brake or Derailleur: Consists of two parts, an outer cable housing and an inner thin long wire (braided or strands) used to operate brakes and derailleurs on bicycles.

Cable, Wire (Wire Rope): A thick, heavy rope, made of wire strands used in rigging or winching.

Cable Cutter: Special tool for cutting brake and derailleur cables that cuts clean and prevents fraying that happens with ordinary pliers.

Cable End (Cable Cap): Cap or solder used to keep the end of a cable from fraying after installing.

Cable Fly Zone: The hazardous area a cable can potentially move to when it comes under tension, or is suddenly released from tension.

Cable Gripper: A device that clamps onto a cable when tension is applied to the attachment point.

Cable Housing: The sheath that cable passes through.

Cable Stop: A fitting found at each end of a piece of cable housing. It consists of a socket to receive the housing, with a small hole which will let the inner cable slide through, but hold the housing end rigidly in place.

Cable Strap: A pre-cut length of wire rope or cable (that may have eyes on both ends), which is used in rigging applications.

Cache: A supply of food, water, or tools, usually buried or hidden for later retrieval.

Cadastral: A Latin term from “cadastre” referring to a registry of lands. Cadastral surveying is the process of determining and defining land ownership and boundaries.

Cadastral Map: A map showing boundaries or subdivisions of land for the purpose of describing and recording ownership. It may also show culture, drainage, and other features relating to land use and value.

Cadastral Survey: A survey that creates, marks, defines, retraces, or reestablishes the boundaries and subdivisions of the public land of the United States.

Cadence: The number of times during one minute (Revolutions Per Minute, or RPM) that your foot completes a pedal stroke on a bicycle. Also the rhythmic clarity of an animal’s gait.

Cagoule: Long anorak descending below the knees.

Cairn (Duck, Monument): A constructed pile of rocks located adjacent to a trail used to mark the route in lieu of a blaze. Often used in open or treeless areas where the tread is indistinct or there is not constructed tread. Chiefly used above timberline. Should be close enough to see the next one in heavy fog, and high enough to see above fallen snow.

Caliche (Lime-Pan): A broad term for the more or less cemented deposits of calcium carbonate in many soils of warm, temperate areas, as in the southwestern states. When it is very near the surface or exposed by erosion, the material hardens.

Calipers: That part of a bicycle sidepull, centerpull, or disc brake that attaches to the frame and holds the brake shoes.

Call Box: An emergency telephone system installed along a trail with direct connection to the local 911 network.

Calorie Loading: During a town stop on a long distance hike you eat as much as you can.

Camber: A slight bend in a timber.

Camber: Refers to the angle or pitch of a trail. An off-camber turn is one where the angle of the turn slopes down to the outside of the turn. An on-camber turn is the opposite, like one with a berm.

Camel Up (Cameling Up, Tank Up, Tanking Up): Drinking all the water you can while at a water source then travel on, so that you minimize the amount of water you need to carry.

Camp (Campout, Camping): Living outdoors in a tent or trailer while on vacation or as a recreational activity. Site where overnight stays are permitted.

Camp, Base: A semi-permanent camp set up after traveling into an area from which day trips can be made. This allows you to leave heavy gear in one place for several days.

Camp Cot (Camp Bed): A portable foldable lightweight wood or metal frame covered with canvas or nylon used to sleep on.

Camp Host (Campground Host): Many regional, state, and federal campgrounds use volunteer camp hosts whose duties can include checking campers in and out, providing information on the park and its resources, and serving as initial contact for campers in emergency situations.

Campagnolo (Campy): An Italian manufacturer of components and wheelsets for bicycles. Founded by Tullio Campagnolo in 1933.

Campfire: Outdoor fire used for cooking, personal warmth, lighting, ceremonial, or esthetic purposes. In established campgrounds they are usually in a fire ring for safety.

Campground: Developed area with individual sites for tents, motorhomes, or trailers. Can either be public lands or commercial ventures where a fee is charged. Usually has restroom, shower rooms, camp host and established hours of quiet.

Camping: An outdoor recreational activity where participants spend time outdoors in natural areas where a minimum of one night is spent outdoors.

Camping, Backcountry: Camping in remote areas without making use of established tentsites designated by the landowner.

Camping, Bicycle (Bikecamping): Combines camping with bicycling, both in developed and natural areas. Solo or in groups, carrying gear similar to a backpacker or having your gear transported, biking on paved roads is very popular. With the development of ultra-light gear many are using their mountain bikes to ride and camp in the backcountry (Bikepacking).

Camping, Canoe: Similar to backpacking while journeying on water. A canoe affords much more weight and bulk to be carried in waterproof bags.

Camping, Car (Van Camping): Popular with families because the car/van is your storage and transportation all in one.

Camping, Cowboy (Cowboy Camp): Is where one camps without any shelter—just spread one’s pad and bag out under the stars and putting one’s faith in their opinion about the weather staying dry.

Camping, Dry (Dry Camp): Tent camping in an area that has no nearby water source.

Camping, Motorcycle: More similar to bicycle camping than car camping due to limited storage capacity. Lightweight, compact backpacking equipment is used.

Camping, Stealth (Dispersed Camp, Stealth Camp, Bandit Camp, Crash Camp): Camping without leaving a trace away from more heavily-used camping spots.

Camping, Walk-in (Walk-in Camp): A camp site that can only be reached on foot.

Camping, Walmart (Wallydocking, Boondocking): Since many of the Walmart stores are open 24 hours they have a policy of allowing recreational vehicles to overnight in their parking lots. A great place to get some sleep on a long road trip. Restroom and food just a short walk away.

Campsite, Established: Campsite made obvious by devegetated ground where overnight stays are permitted. May have amenities such as picnic table, fire ring, and bear bag pole.

Campsite, Group (Group Camping Area): Areas at a campground that accommodates large groups that want to camp together. Typically has a large central location for group activities.

Canal: An artificial waterway for transportation or irrigation. Canal and irrigation ditch banks are often used as trails.

Canoe: A lightweight narrow boat that usually has an open deck and is propelled manually with a single bladed paddle. Solo canoes are designed for a single paddler in the center of the boat, while tandem canoes are designed for two paddlers (one at each end). Canoes also come in many forms including racing, touring, and whitewater.

Canopy (Forest Canopy): The more or less continuous cover of branches and foliage formed collectively by the crowns of adjacent trees and other woody growth in a forest.

Cant: Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or slope. A slope in the turn of a road or track where the outside is higher.

Cant Hook (Peavey, Cant Dog, Log Dog): Cant hooks and peaveys afford leverage for moving or rotating logs. To roll a heavy log, use a series of short bits with the hook and maintain your progress by quickly resetting it. Catch the log with the hook hanging on top of the log. Rotate the log using the leverage of the handle, working the tool like a ratchet. Moving large logs may require several hooks working together.

Canter: The English term for a three-beat gait with right and left leads. The canter has the same foot fall pattern as the lope.

Cantilever: The portion of a beam or plank extending beyond one or both of its supports.

Candidate Species: A plant or animal species designated by the USF&WS as a candidate for listing as threatened or endangered because numbers are declining so rapidly that official listing may become necessary as a conservation measure.

Canyon: A deep narrow valley with steep sides, often with a stream running through it. Canyons come blind, box, side, slot, hidden.

Canyon, Box: A three-sided canyon with steep, vertical walls of hard rock and lacking the floodplains of gentler and more traditional canyons.

Capacity (Recreation Carrying Capacity): Maximum number of trail users that can pass through a trail section during a given time period under existing trail conditions. Also refers to the amount of use a given resource can sustain before an irreversible deterioration in the quality of the resource begins to occur. It is dynamic as it changes with changing weather conditions, season

Capacity, Resource: The level of use of a recreation resource beyond which irreversible biological deterioration takes place or degradation of the physical environment makes the resource no longer suitable or attractive for that recreational use.

Capacity, Social: The level of use of the recreation resource beyond which the user’s expectation of the experience is not realized and the user does not achieve a reasonable level of satisfaction.

Capacity Building: Activities that improve an organization’s ability to achieve its mission or a person’s ability to define and realize their goals or do their job more effectively.

Cape: A piece of land, a ridge, or rock, extending into a sea or other body of water.

Capilene: A synthetic insulating fabric by Patagonia used to make baselayer underwear, shirts, and shorts. It is treated with an antimicrobial finish to inhibit bacterial growth and offensive odors. It comes in four weights with one the lightest and four the heaviest.

Capital Improvement: The construction of a new fixed asset, or the significant alteration, expansion, or extension to accommodate a change to include trail alteration, expansion, or new construction.

Capo: Italian for mountain pass.

Captain (Pilot, Steersman): The front rider on a tandem bicycle who steers as well as pedals.

Capsize: The act of flipping or rolling a canoe or kayak into an inverted position in the water.

Car Wimp: Someone who uses an automobile for personal transportation when it only requires a bicycle.

Carabiner (‘biner, Biner, Crab, Clip): An oblong metal clip with a spring-loaded gate used to clip slings to ropes or ropes to anchors.

Caravan: The vehicles (officials, motorcycle police, team cars, medical vans, and photographers on motorcycles) that accompanies most major professional bicycle stage races.

Carb Loading (Carbo Loading): An energy-boosting practice of eating lots of carbohydrates days before a competitive event. Theory being you will store fuel for the race.

Carbohydrate (Carb, Carbo): In the diet an energy source when broken down to glucose through digestion and metabolism. Can be simple (sugars) or complex (bread, pasta, grains, fruits, vegetables); the latter contains additional nutrients. One gram of carbohydrate supplies four calories.

Carbon Fiber: A composite that is increasingly popular non-metallic material used for bicycle frames. Although expensive, it is light-weight, corrosion-resistant and strong, and can be formed into almost any shape desired.

Carbon Monoxide: A poisonous gas which is also colorless and odorless. It comes out of the exhaust pipe of an internal combustion engine when running. Breathing carbon monoxide can be fatal.

Carburetor: Device which feeds the internal combustion engine the proper mixture of fuel and air.

Cardio: Exercises (running on a treadmill or bicycling) that develop the heart and lungs.

Cardiovascular: Pertaining to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Caretaker: Person who maintains and collects fees at certain shelters, huts, and campsites.

Cartography: The science and art of making maps and charts.

Cartographer: A person who draws or makes maps.

Carve: To aggressively ride a tight line through a turn. This line would be tighter than the main line.

Carve (Carving): Trail building or riding technique that involves the continuous linking of turns. Borrowed from alpine snowboarding.

Cascade: A short, steep drop in streambed elevation often marked by boulders and agitated white water.

Case It (Casing It): Landing so hard after a jump that the frame hits the ground.

Cassette: On the rear wheel of a bicycle the cassette consists of a series of sprockets (5 to 10) attached to a freehub, which contains the ratcheting mechanism. When the sprockets need to be replaced due to wear or the user wishes to change gear ratios available, only the sprockets are replaced, not the ratchet mechanism.

Cat I, II, III, IV, V: Categories of amateur bicycling racing, from elite (Cat I) to beginner (Cat V).

Cat Hole (Cathole): A hole you dig 6 to 8 inches deep, into which you deposit solid human waste at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and camouflage the cat hole when finished.

Cataract: A series of river rapids and small waterfalls with only moderate vertical drop.

Catch Air: What happens when the wheels of a mountain bike, motorcycle, or ATV leave the ground, usually because of a rise or dip in the trail.

Catch Point: The outer limits of a trailway where the excavation and/or embankment intersect with the ground line.

Catchment: The catching or collecting of water, especially rainfall. A reservoir or other basin for catching water.

Categorical Exclusion (CE, CX, Cat X): A technical exclusion for federal projects that do not result in significant environmental impacts. Such projects are not required to prepare environmental reviews. (NEPA process.)

Catenary Curve: Is the curve taken by a chain/cord hung from both endpoints. Derived from the Latin word for “chain,” a traditional tent and tarp ridgeline design feature, aimed at reducing sag and flapping.

Cattle Guard: A closely spaced group of horizontal pipes placed in a roadbed at fence line to prevent cattle from escaping and yet allow vehicles free access.

Catstep: A narrow, back-titled terrace or bench on a grassy slope, formed when a hillside slumps beneath its own weight.

Causeway (Elevated Tread, Raised Tread): Elevated section of trail tread that is raised above the level of the surrounding ground by the placement and compaction of offsite mineral soil or other material which is contained by rock or log, usually through permanently or seasonally wet areas.

Cave: Any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system of interconnected passages that occurs beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge (including any cave resource therein, but not including any mine, tunnel, aqueduct, or other excavation) and which is large enough to serve as cave habitat for wildlife. The term includes any natural pit, sinkhole, or other feature that is an extension of the entrance.

Cavern: A large chamber within a cave.

Caving: The collapse of a stream bank by undercutting due to wearing away of the toe or an erodible soil layer above the toe.

Cavity: A hole or hollow place in a tree.

Cellular Confinement Systems (CCS): Three-dimensional, web-like materials that provide structural integrity for materials compacted within the cell. Consists of a surface-aggregate wearing surface, the cell membrane, and fill―usually imported gravel or suitable onsite material.

Cement (Dry Cement): Binding material used in construction, typically made by heating a mixture of limestone and clay until it almost fuses and then grinding it to a fine powder. When mixed with water, the silicates and aluminates in the cement undergo a chemical reaction; the resulting hardened mass is then impervious to water. It may also be mixed with water and aggregates (crushed stone, sand, and gravel) to form concrete.

Center of Mass (COM): The point at which a rider’s body weight is centered. In a typical, seated riding position on flat ground, it’s located a little bit above and in front of the nose of the saddle. It’s a variable point that moves as your riding position changes.

Center Line: An imaginary line marking the mid-line of the trail tread. During construction, the center line is usually marked by placing a row of flags or stakes.

Centering: Constructing a trail in such a way as to encourage users to stay to the center of the trail tread.

Century (Century Ride): A bicycle ride of 100 miles. Many bicycling clubs sponsor an annual century ride as both a social event for bicyclists and as a fund-raiser for the club’s other activities. Rides typically have rest stops every 25 miles or so, where water, food, and toilets are available. The route is patrolled by a sag wagon to assist riders with bicycle maintenance, or provide transportation back to the starting line for those unable to ride the entire course. The ride typically offers several mileage options for bicyclists of varying abilities such as quarter, half, metric, double metric, and double century.

Century, Metric: A 100-kilometer event (62miles).

Certificate of Interim Trail Use (CITU): A document issued by the STB in regular (non-exempt) abandonment proceedings where a railroad and a trail manager have expressed a mutual willingness to negotiate a railbanking agreement. It permits interim trail use and allows the railroad to discontinue service, cancel tariffs, and salvage track and materials 30 days after it is issued. It further provides for a 180-day period for negotiation of a final agreement that, if reached, delays the effective date of full abandonment during the period the agreement is in effect.

Certification: The process by which protected sites and segments of national historic (and some national scenic) trails are officially recognized by the administering federal agency. The concept is also used to track completed and recognized segments of some trails.

Chain: A series of links held together with pins (bicycle, motorcycle, chainsaw chains).

Chain Gang: A group of bicyclists bicycling in a close knit formation akin to a road race, normally for the purposes of training.

Chain Lube: Lubricant to oil bicycle and motorcycle chains.

Chain Lube, Dry: Lubricants that don’t attract grit and grime and are best suited for dry riding conditions. They often include paraffin.

Chain Lube, Wet: Lubricants that are best used when riding in wet conditions.

Chain Slap: Annoying slapping of the bike’s chain against the chainstays while riding over rough terrain.

Chain Suck: The tendency of a chain to stick to chain rings and be sucked up into the bike instead of coming off the chainring. Primarily caused by worn chainrings and rust on small chainrings, under high loads, and in dirty conditions.

Chain Tool (Chain Breaker, Rivet Extractor): Small device used to “break” a chain in such a way that it can be put back together with the same tool. A chain has links and plates that are pinned together, these pins can be pushed out with the chain tool allowing the chain to come apart for removal.

Chain Whip: A bicycle tool used to remove the rear cogs on a freewheel.

Chainline: An imaginary line that runs from the chainring to the middle cog on the rear of a bicycle or motorcycle.

Chainring(s) (Chainwheel): The front part of the drivetrain on a bicycle or motorcycle where the chain engages with teeth on a ring in order to transfer energy to a wheel. May be composed of one to three gear rings.

Chainring, Elliptical: A nonround bicycle chainring.

Chainring Tattoo: Refers to the patterned grease spots left on a bicyclist’s right leg after accidentally pressing against the chainring.

Chainsaw: A portable, gas-operated saw with a loop chain carrying cutting teeth.

Chainsaw Chaps: Component of chainsaw safety clothing. They are made of strong materials like Kevlar and protect the legs from injury.

Chainsaw Safety Clothing: Safety practices require that chainsaw users wear protective clothing, also known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), while operating chainsaws: helmet, visor, leather safety gloves, ear protectors, chaps, long pants, and boots.

Chainstay: One of the two frame tubes that run horizontally from the bottom bracket shell back to the rear dropouts.

Chainstay Guard: Anything applied to, or wrapped around the right chainstay to protect it from the chain, which has a tendency to strike that chainstay (and can ding the finish) when you ride over bumps.

Chair: Slang for a comfortable, well broken-in bicycle saddle.

Challenge Park/Area (Terrain Park/Area, Skills Park/Area): A special-use area that features a variety of challenging technical trail features, generally for mountain bicycle or motorized recreation uses.

Chamfer: Similar to a bevel but done at the end of the piece of wood and across the grain.

Chamois (Shammy): A soft form-fitting insert in bicycle shorts for comfort and to prevent chafing and irritation. Named for the antelope whose hide provided the original material which is rubbed with cream to keep pliable. Today many high-tech materials are used.

Chamois Butter: An anti-chafing cream that goes between your skin and bicycle shorts.

Channel: An area that contains continuously or periodically flowing water that is confined by banks and a streambed. Also used a verb “to channel” water.

Channelization: The process of changing (usually straightening) the natural path of a waterway.

Characteristic: A distinguishing trait, feature, or quality

Charrette: An intensive, interactive public design workshop taking place over a few days and in proximity to the site in which designers, property owners, developers, public officials, environmentalists, citizens, and other persons or groups of people work in harmony to achieve an agreeable trail or greenway project. The term is French and means “wagon.” It dates from medieval times, when a wagon (“charrette”) was sent through the town to pick up projects completed by apprentices in the architects’ guild.

Chart: A navigational map.

Check Point: A landmark that can be easily identified on the ground to let you know when to leave a “handrail” and begin a new course of travel.

Checklist: A personal list of gear you take on your trips. It will help you plan your trip and prevent you from setting forth without something vital.

Chicane: A sequence of tight turns, often S-shaped.

Chickee: An elevated, sheltered wooden platform for camping built along interior rivers and bays where no dry land exists.

Chigger (Redbug, Jigger): The tiny, six-legged red larva of a mite of the family Trombiculidae. They are parasitic, sucking blood and causing severe itching and red welts, and can transmit infectious.

Chimney: Most commonly refers to slender rock towers that resemble their brick-and-mortar counterparts when considered from afar. Or a gap between two vertical faces of rock or ice.

Chink: A small fissure or crack; the space between larger rocks used to armor a trail. Also used as a verb: to chink.

Chinking: To fill the crack or space between larger rocks with smaller rocks and soil to stabilize the tread paving.

Chip and Seal (Chip Seal): Pavement repair that consists of spraying a layer of asphalt onto the road, followed by crushed rock, some rock adheres to the pavement to reinforce it and fill holes, while loose rock is swept off the street.

Chisel, Wood, Stone, or Cold: A wedge like tool with a cutting edge at the end of the blade, used for cutting or shaping wood or stone.

Chock: Any metal device that is inserted into rock as an anchor.

Choke: A device which alters the mixture of gasoline and air supplied to the internal combustion engine to provide the gassy mixture required for cold engine start-up.

Choke (Gateway): A slight narrowing in the trail tread usually with rock or logs used to control user speed.

Choker: Loop of rope or cable cinched around a load so it gets tighter, or “chokes” the load under tension.

Chondromalacia: Knee injury in which there is disintegration of cartilage surfaces due to improper tracking of the kneecap. Symptoms start with deep knee pain and a crunching sensation to the back of the kneecap during bending of the afflicted leg.

Chorizo (Chorizoed): Refers to a rider crashing hard.

Chorizo Wagon: A pileup or crash of at least three consecutive riders.

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): The active ingredient in a wood preservative for boardwalks, decks, and other common trail applications where treated lumber is used. CCA treated wood is currently banned for use in home and playground construction.

Chromoly: Short for chrome-molybdenum, a high-quality type of steel tubing used to make bicycle frames.

Chunder (Chundery): Describes the rocks, roots, and technical features that make a trail bumpy.

Church: An adjective describing a transcendent experience.

Chute: A swift fall of water, caused either by a steep descent in a riverbed or a sudden narrowing of a channel in a river or strait.

Circle of Danger (Dime, Blood Bubble): The area surrounding a trail worker that is unsafe due to tool use. The inner (or primary) circle of danger is the area the tool can reach while being used. The outer circle of danger is the area the tool could reach if the trail worker lost control or let go of the tool.

Cirque: A steep-walled semicircular basin in a mountain; may contain a lake.

Cistern: A small collection pool constructed from rock or rot-resistant wood to help protect water quality in heavily used areas.

Claim, Patented: A mining operation on public land with an official document conferring a right or privilege to have sole use of that operation.

Claim, Unpatented: A mining operation on public land with no privilege or right of sole use by the claimant(s).

Clamp (Bar Clamp, C Clamp): A device with opposite parts that may be brought closer for compressing or fastening objects together.

Clamper Cramps: That burning, cramping sensation in your hands from applying hand brakes on a bicycle, motorcycle, or ATV.

Classic (Vintage): Motorcycle or events that feature motorcycles that are non-current models, typically of 1974 and earlier, or equivalent construction.

Classification: The designation indicating intended use and maintenance specifications for a particular trail.

Clay: A firm, plastic soil with particles less than 0.002 mm in diameter.

Clean (Cleaned): A perfect ride (motorcycle or mountain bike) through a tough section of trail without putting a foot on the ground to prevent yourself from falling over.

Clear-cut (Clear-cutting): Removal of all or most trees and shrubs, not just mature growth on a tract of land.

Clearing: Removal of windfall trees, uproots, leaning trees, loose limbs, wood chunks, etc. from both the vertical and horizontal trail corridor.

Clearing Height (Vertical Clearance): The minimum vertical height, which must be cleared of all tree branches and other obstructions that would otherwise obstruct movement along the trail.

Clearing Limit (Clearing Specifications, Trail Specs): How wide and how high a trail is cleared of trees, limbs, and other obstructions.

Clearing Title (Curing Defects to Title): Defects in title include such things as mortgages, reversions, liens for payment of work done on the property, or easements across a property, which would otherwise be held in fee simple. Curing means removing these defects (e.g. buying out or condemning the easement or reversion).

Cleat(s): The parts that are attached to the soles of bicycling shoes that connect the shoes to the pedals for more efficient pedaling.

Cleft: A sizable crack, fissure, crevice, or rift in a rock surface. It is smaller than a cave or cavern. It gives the appearance of having been created by an abrupt fracturing or splitting action.

Clevis (Shackle): A U-shaped metal piece with holes in each end through which a pin or bolt is run. Often used to couple a cable to an object.

Cliff: Inland or on coastlines, a cliff rises as a nearly perpendicular rock face.

Cliffing Out (Cliffed Out): When a hiker is stranded on a steep patch, unable to go up or down.

Clino: From Latin meaning “slope.”

Clinometer (Clino): A hand-held instrument used for measuring slope and trail grade changes. Readings are in degrees or percent (usually on the right). The user sights through the Clinometer to a reference (usually a second person) and reads the measurement directly from the internal scale.

Clip-In, Clip-Out (Click-In, Click-Out): When your bicycle shoes attach in (firmly step down and forward unit it clicks) or detach from (twist your heels outwards) your clipless pedals.

Clipless Pedal (Clip-ins, Step-ins): A bicycle pedal in which your foot attaches to the pedal with a cleat (mounted on the bottom of your cycling shoe) that snaps into a spring-loaded binding. Eliminates the need for toe clips.

Clod: A mass of soil produced by digging, which usually clumps together easily with repeated wetting and drying.

Closed: Designated areas or trails where specified trail uses are permanently or temporarily prohibited.

Closure: Designating areas or trails by the appropriate land management agency where specified trail uses are permanently or temporarily prohibited.

Clothing, Trail Work: Long sleeved shirts and long pants are suggested and required by many agencies when working on a trail, whether construction or maintenance.

Cluster Zoning (Cluster Development): A local ordinance that encourages a developer to concentrate structures in a multi-unit development project. By clustering the units on a property rather than spreading them out in traditional, evenly sized housing plots, critical open space on the site—stream valleys, wooded areas, wetlands, and dunes—can remain intact. Often this open space is commonly owned and held jointly in undivided shares.

Clutch: Device attached to the gear change pedal which momentarily disconnects the spinning engine from the gears so that the gears may be shifted or changed.

Clydesdale: A nickname for a larger bicycle rider who weighs more than 200 pounds.

Cobble (Cobblestone, Baby Heads): Loose rock, with rounded edges, generally 2-½ inches in diameter used to pave trail tread. Can be further classified as small or large cobble.

Cockpit: The area on a bicycle in which the rider can move.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): The official, legal tabulation of regulations published in the Federal Register directing federal government activities.

Code W: What some rangers call wimpy tourists who request a rescue when there is nothing wrong – they are just too tired to continue their activity.

Cofferdam: A temporary watertight enclosure built in a watercourse and pumped dry to permit work on or construction of a structure, as of piers, by separating the work from the water.

Cog: A sprocket located on the drive side of a rear hub.

Coggins Certificate: A veterinarian’s document that certifies the horse free of equine infectious anemia.

Coggins Test: A laboratory blood test used to detect previous exposure to equine infectious anemia or swamp fever, developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins.

Col(s): French for a pass between two mountain peaks or a gap in a ridge, usually saddle shaped.

Collaboration: Cooperative process in which interested parties, often with widely varied interests, work together to seek solutions with broad support for managing public or other lands and trails.

Collaborative Partnerships: Refers to people working together, sharing knowledge and resources, to achieve desired outcomes for public lands and communities within statutory and regulatory frameworks.

Collar: The swollen ring at the base of a branch. You want to leave the collar when lopping or limbing the branch. Any cuts in the collar can cause poor or slow healing.

Colluvium: Mixed deposits of soil material and rock fragments near the base of steep slopes. Deposits accumulate through soil creep, slides, and local wash.

Combination Tool (Combi Tool): This is basically a military entrenching tool on a long handle, developed for firefighting. It serves as a light-duty shovel and scraper. There is a large locking bolt that secures the multi-angled shovel in its closed position.

Come Along (Comealong, Come-a-long, Come-along, Power Pull, Power Puller, Winch Puller, Ratchet Winch): A ratcheting device that winds a strong steel cable around an axle to gain mechanical advantage for moving heavy objects over the ground with comparative ease. It is often used in trail work to move large rocks or bridge timbers.

Committee, Ad Hoc (Task Force): Are generally appointed when there is a specific job to be done. When the job is done, the ad hoc committee or task force cease to exist.

Committee, Citizen Advisory: These committees include only citizen members, often appointed. They can be either permanent or established on an as-needed basis for a specified task or time frame.

Committee, Permanent/Standing: They can provide a type of “institutional memory” and an ongoing pool of resources for bringing issues and ideas to the attention of staff and decision-makers. They are not only involved in planning but also in implementing projects.

Committee, Technical Advisory: These are usually staff committees that include representatives of departments involved in planning and implementing trail or greenway programs.

Compacted: The degree of soil consolidation that is obtained by tamping with hand tools or, or heavy equipment.

Compaction: The compression of aggregate, soil, or fill material into a more dense mass by tamping with hand tools or heavy equipment.

Compass: A direction-indicating device that is used with a map to plot a route or check your position.

Competitive Bidding: The process whereby construction projects are required to be advertised and awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder in an open bidding process.

Competitive Use: Any formally organized or structured use, event, or activity in which there are the elements of competition between two or more contestants, registration of participants, and/or a predetermined course or area is designated.

Complete Streets: Calls for designing streets to incorporate sidewalks, safe crossings, bike lanes, and other features that serve those on foot or bicycle.

Compression: External pressure on the body from tight fabric or inflatable equipment to aid recovery.

Concessionaire: A person or business that contracts with a trail operating agency (public or private) to operate a facility or offer a service.

Concessions: Facilities or services that are leased out to entities other than the trail operator, i.e., sale of food and beverages, accessories, equipment, guided trips, and souvenirs of use or interest to trail users.

Concrete: A composition of coarse and fine aggregates, Portland cement, and water, blended to give a hard, unyielding, nearly white pavement, which can be finished to any degree of smoothness. Concrete is most often used in urban areas with anticipated heavy trail use, or in areas susceptible to flooding.

Condemnation: The taking of private property by government for public use, when the owner will not relinquish it through sale or other means; the owner is compensated by payment of market value. The power to take the property is based on the concept of eminent domain.

Conductive Heat Loss: Occurs when the body loses heat to the air, water, or fabric that is in contact with the body at a lower temperature. Falling into cold water, for example, can cause you lose all your body heat to the water.

Cone, Adjustable or fixed: Conical nut that is fixed or adjustable on a bicycle wheel axle that traps the steel ball bearings against the cup.

Conflict, Recreational: A negative experience occurring when competition for shared resources prevents expected benefits of participation from accruing to an individual or group.

Conflict Resolution: Resolution is an outcome that develops from complete analysis and meets the needs of all concerned parties. Inherent in the process is clear and open communication, mutual respect, shared exploration, an orientation to collaborative problem solving, and a commitment to resolution.

Confluence: The act of flowing together; the meeting or junction of two or more streams; also, the place where these streams meet. The stream or body of water formed by the junction of two or more streams; a combined flood.

Conifer: A tree comprising a wide range of trees that are mostly evergreens. Conifers bear cones (hence, coniferous) and have a needle-shaped or scale-like leaves.

Connectivity: Connecting both people and places through various modes of travel and transportation.

Connectivity: The ability to create functionally contiguous blocks of land or water through linkage of similar native landscapes; the linking of trails, greenways, and communities.

Connectors: Paths or on-road routes in heavily built environments that provide key connections between or within trail or greenway corridors; these have little, if any, ecological benefits.

Conservancy: A non-profit, privately funded organization whose purpose is to acquire lands for conservation of natural elements.

Conservation: Controlled use and protection of natural resources. The process or means of achieving recovery of variable populations.

Conservation Area: Designated land where conservation strategies are applied for the purpose of attaining a viable plant or animal population.

Conservation Strategy: A management plan for a species, groups of species, or ecosystem that prescribes standards and guidelines that, if implemented, provide a high likelihood that the species, groups of species or, ecosystem, with it’s full complement of species and processes, will continue to exist well-distributed throughout a planning area, i.e. a viable population.

Contact Patch: The section of a tire that is in contact with the ground.

Construct (Construction): Building a trail or structure where none previously existed.

Construction, New: A project in which an entirely new trail or facility is built or where a new trail or facility is added to an existing one.

Consumptive Use: A use of resources that reduces the supply.

Contaminate: To make impure or unclean by contact or mixture.

Continental divide: Clearly definable line, usually running along the ridgetops of a mountain chain, that separates one drainage basin from another.

Continuously Variable Transmission (Pulley, Shiftless, Single-Speed, Stepless): An automatic transmission that can change seamlessly through a continuous range of effective gear ratios.

Contour Line (Contour): A line on a topographic map connecting points of the land surface having the same elevation. The steeper the slope, the closer the contour lines will be.

Contouring: Building along the natural contours with only modest changes in elevation.

Contracting Officer (CO): An agency official with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings.

Control Point(s) (Targets): Places that influence where a trail goes. These features should be flagged and used to help layout a trail. The beginning and end of a trail are basic control points. Other control points include parking areas, trailheads, structures, slopes for turns or switchbacks, road or water crossings, and other trails. Also features (negative or positive) that trail users will want to naturally head towards, or try to avoid (views, obstacles, etc.).

Control Point, Negative: Are places you want users to avoid.

Control Point, Positive: Are places you want trail users to visit.

Convective Heat Loss: This most common form of heat loss occurs when air and water come into contact, or near-contact, with your body and carry heat away with them.

Conveyance: A written instrument by which a title, estate, or interest in property is transferred.

Cool-down: Low-intensity exercise at the end of a training session intended to gradually return the body to a resting state.

Cooperative Agreement: A negotiated agreement between an agency and one or more parties. Such agreements usually involve funds passing to the non-agency partner.

Copper Napthenate: A chemical solution commonly available in hardware stores used to hand treat wood to reduce rot and thus extend the life of wood in contact with soil or water. Wood treated with copper naphthenate has a distinctive bright green color that weathers to light brown.

Cord Lock (Cord Fastener, Cord Toggle, Plastic Stopper, Springlock): Used in many different applications to retain one or more cord segments in a tightened condition and to release when desired. They consist of three parts: a barrel, a toggle (plunger), and a spring.

Corduroy: A rustic form of puncheon using native logs (3 to 5 feet in length) laid side-by-side and perpendicular to the centerline of the trail on wet saturated ground and covered with a tread of soil. Corduroy typically rots out quickly.

Corral: A pen or enclosure for confining or capturing livestock.

Corralling: The act of placing anchors on the trail to define the sides and emphasize the turns, keeping users on the tread.

Corridor, Linear: Easements, right-of-ways, and other long, narrow areas where greenways, linear parks, trails, and rivers can exist.

Corridor, Scenic: Land set aside on either side of a trail to act as a buffer zone protecting the trail against visual impacts such as logging or development, which would detract from the quality and experience of a trail.

Corridor, Trail (Travel Corridor, Trail Prism): The full dimensions of the trail, including the area (2 to 3 feet) on either side of the tread and the space overhead (10 to 12 feet) from which brush and obstacles need to be cleared. The area of passage of the trail, including all cleared and managed parts above, below, and adjacent to the tread.

Corridor, Transportation: The larger alignment of a trail, which may include other modes of transportation such as separate trails for stock, bicycles, and a road for motor vehicles.

Corridor, Utilitarian: Linear built features which have a primary utilitarian purpose but which may also serve as connections for recreational, cultural, or natural needs.

Cotter pin: A split metal pin whose ends can be flared after insertion through a hole to prevent parts from working loose.

Cotton World, The: Hiker slang for “life off of the trail” because they believe wearing cotton on the trail can put you in danger of hypothermia because cotton holds moisture.

Couchsurfing (Couchsurfer): The practice of moving from one friend’s house to another, sleeping in whatever spare space is available, floor or couch, generally staying a few days before moving on to the next house.

Couloir: A gully on a mountainside. Could be a gully in the ground, or in snow.

Counter, Trail-Traffic: Used to gather numbers of individuals or groups using a trail. The three most commonly used types of trail-traffic counters are loop-type, photoelectric, and seismic sensor plate counters.

Counter, Loop-Type: A large loop (approximately 8” by 48”) is concealed under a layer of earth in the center of the trail; impulses triggered by users passing over the loop are stored as counts in the unit’s memory device.

Counter, Photoelectric: Consists of a scanner that emits an infrared beam, and a reflector that returns the beam to the scanner; the counter is advanced when the beam is interrupted (active infrared detection), or if the sensor detects body heat and motion (passive infrared).

Counter, Seismic Sensor Plate: Pressure-sensitive sensor plates or mats are buried in the trail; wires are connected to the counter unit concealed off-trail. The counter must be adjusted for both sensitivity and length of delay between readings; to avoid multiple counts for people, horses, or groups.

Countersink(ing): Drilling a wide, shallow hole in a piece of wood for a washer and nut or for the head of a bolt or screw. This allows the hardware to be recessed below the surface of the wood.

Countersteering: A high-speed turning technique in which a bike rider momentarily steers counter to the desired direction of travel. For a left turn, the bike rider first steers slightly right. Gyroscopic forces lean the bike to the left. The rider then steers to the left and finished the turn.

Course (Tier, Foundation): A single layer of building material of a uniform height. The material is placed one layer (course) at a time on top of another layer (course) to form a foundation, intermediate layer, or cap layer. Materials laid in courses include bricks, concrete blocks, timbers, stone, and logs.

Course, Base: A support layer of applied materials. The base course provides the immediate support for the surface course. The base course may be built directly on the subgrade (existing material) if no subbase is required.

Course, Surface: The top layer of applied materials. The surface course carries the traffic load, provides a finished surface, is slip-resistant, and resists traffic wear and water damage.

Cove: Most commonly applied to a sheltered basin along a shore encircled on three sides by land. Inland, a sheltered area occupying the drainage between two adjoining slopes up to an elevation of about 5,000 feet is often called a cove.

Cover, Ground: Vegetation (grasses, sedges, herbs, and low shrubs) providing protection to the forest floor.

Cover, Land: The biophysical materials covering the surface of the land, including soil, water, vegetation, and human cultural activities.

Coverage: An Arc/Info term for a collection of similar spatial features organized within a GIS. It generally represents a single set of geographic objects such as roads. A coverage supports the georelational model—it contains both the spatial (location) and attribute (descriptive) data for geographic features.

Cowboy Coffee: Coffee made the old fashioned way (boil water, add coffee, remove from heat, and let ground sink to bottom before drinking) while around a campfire.

Cowboy Up: When things get tough you get back up, dust yourself off and keep trying. Make a determined effort to overcome a formidable obstacle.

Cradle Timber: A mid-span timber used to transfer the load of the bridge to the truss system.

Crag: A rough, steep rock or point of rock. In high mountain regions they often formed by the action of frost.

Cramp(s): A painful, involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, typically caused by fatigue, strain, or lack of electrolytes. Generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause mild-to-excruciating pain, and a paralysis-like immobility of the affected muscles. Adequate conditioning, stretching, mental preparation, and adequate fluid/electrolyte balance are likely helpful in preventing muscle cramps. Charley horse is a popular term for leg muscle cramps.

Crampon(s): Spikes that attach to the soles of boots, for traveling on hard snow or ice.

Crank: To pick up the pace and go fast.

Crank (Crankarm): The lever of a crankset that a bicycle pedal is attached to. Older bicycles had one-piece cranks (Ashtabula). The typical modern bicycle has a three-piece crank where the spindle is separate from the cranks.

Crank, Ashtabula: A one-piece crank (the spindle and crank arms are a single piece in a S shape) that goes through the bottom bracket. They were found on older bicycles and now on BMX bikes as well as low-end road and mountain bikes.

Crank, Cottered: On bicycles, a crankset having crank arms mounted to the circular end of bottom bracket axle and held in place with cotter pins.

Crank, Cotterless: A crankset having crank arms forced onto the tapered square or splined end of the bottom bracket axle and fastened in place with recessed bolts.

Crankset: The component of a bicycle drivetrain that converts the motion of the rider’s legs into rotational motion used to drive the chain, which in turn drives the rear wheel. It consists of a spindle and one or more sprockets (chainrings) attached to the cranks (arms) to which the pedals are attached.

Crankset, Triple (Triple): A crankset with three chainrings.

Cranny (Nook, Notch, Cleft, Crack, Jag, Niche, Chink, Crevice, Fissure): A narrow crack, hole, or opening.

Craps Out: When a trail grows faint, then ends unexpectedly.

Crash: To hit something hard enough to cause damage or destruction.

Crash Pad: Used in the sport of bouldering, it looks like a small mattress that folds in half for ease of carrying into the backcountry. I cushions you when you fall off the boulder.

Crash Rash: Minor scrapes you receive when you crash.

Crater: A depression in the earth from eruption, impact, or collapse.

Cratering (Crater, Tomatoed Out): What happens to you at the end of a fall. You crater in.

Creek: Those areas where surface waters flow sufficiently to produce a defined channel or bed.

Creep: Slow mass movement of soil down relatively steep slopes, primarily by gravity and water.

Crenulation(s): A series of indentations on the top of a wall—each indentation is a crenelle (or crenel).

Crest: As a noun: highest point, especially top of a mountain or hill. As a verb: to reach the top of something (crest a mountain).

Crevasse: A deep fissure in the earth, as in a glacier; a chasm. A crack or breach in a dike or levee.

Criteria: Establishes standards, rules, and measures to be used in a planning or monitoring process.

Criterium (Crit): A bicycle race that involves laps around a short course on city streets that typically lasts less than an hour.

Critical Mass: A bicycling event that originated in 1992 in San Francisco and has spread around the world. Typically held on the last Friday of every month, its purpose is to meet at a set location and time and bike as a group through city or town streets. The rides often take place during peak commuting hours. It’s designed to promote bicycling by reminding motorists that there are viable alternatives to driving. However, by impeding traffic, it may simply prejudice motorists against bicyclists.

Critical Point (Critical Edge, Outside Edge, Lower Edge, Shoulder, Daylight Edge, Toe): The rounded outside edge of the trail tread where water travels off the tread and drains onto the native slope below. It’s where trail maintenance problems (usually related to drainage) begin.

Croo: Nickname for the summer crews that work as caretakers at the Appalachian Mountain Club Huts in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Crook: A defect in a log caused by being lumbered from a crooked tree.

Cross-Country Race: An endurance-oriented event (motorcycle, mountain bike, foot) that mixes many types of terrain into one coarse.

Cross-County Race, Short Track: Introduced as a spectator-friendly endurance-oriented event that features similar terrain to a regular cross-county race on a short course.

Cross-Country Travel (Off-Trail Travel): Hiking or riding across open country rather than on a trail.

Cross Section (Typical Cross Section or Typical, Profile): Diagrammatic cutaway presentation of a trail or path profile that is right angles to the centerline at a given location to show its various parts. From highest to lowest: side (or natural) slope, back slope, inside edge, bench or tread, outside (or critical) edge, and down slope.

Cross Training: Participating in other sports besides your primary one to stay in shape, such as running or swimming when not on your bicycle.

Crossing, At-Grade: A trail crossing a roadway on the same elevation. Ideally, a safe at-grade crossing has either light automobile traffic or a traffic signal that can be activated by trail users.

Crossing, Grade-Separated: Overpasses or tunnels that allow trail users to cross a railroad right-of-way or street at a different level than trains or traffic.

Crosswalk (Crossing): Any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

Crotch Rot: The cumulative effect of neglecting hygiene in the nether regions of the body.

Crowding: It is more than the objective density of users in a particular area, it is a subjective judgment on the part of an individual that there are too many other people there.

Crown (Crowning): A method of trail construction where the center portion of the tread is raised to allow water to disperse to either side of the trail.

Crown: The branches, twigs, and leaves of the upper part of a tree.

Crown Cover: The degree to which the crowns of trees are nearing general contact with one another.

Crusher Fines (Crusher Run, Crushed Stone, Crushed Limestone, Limestone Fines, Crushed Granite, Inch-to-Dust, Quarry Dust, Quarry Screenings, Stone Dust): Limestone, granite, or gravel that has been run through a crusher producing fragments ranging in size from dust to a specified size. Once wetted and compacted crusher fines create a smooth hard trail surface for high-use areas or accessible trails.

Crux: The hardest part of an endeavor (a climb or section of trail).

Cryo (Cryotherapy, Cold Therapy): Therapeutic hypothermia includes anything from icepack, coolant spays, ice massage, and ice baths to the newer whole-body deep freeze chambers. Cold decreases feeling in an area by reducing the ability of nerve endings to conduct impulses speeding the healing process after an overuse injury.

Cryptosporidiosis: A disease of the intestinal tract caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum occurring in untreated backcountry water sources. Common symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Cryptosporidium: An intestinal parasite in humans and other vertebrates much like Giardia that can cause serious illness (diarrhea, excessive gas, and abdominal cramping) commonly found in lakes and rivers, especially when the water is contaminated with sewage and animal wastes. Best to treat all drinking water.

Cuben Fiber (CTF3): A material originally manufactured for high-end boat sails, high in strength/low in weight, used in ultralight tents, stuff sacks, and backpacks.

Cubie: A five gallon water container.

Cue Sheet: A list of turn-by-turn directions.

Cul-de-sac: The quiet loop of a dead-end street featured prominently in housing subdivisions.

Cultural Resource(s): The physical remains of human activity (such as artifacts, ruins, burial mounds, petroglyphs, etc.) having scientific, prehistoric, or social values.

Culvert: A closed passage under a trail (or road) for water. Can be made using metal or plastic pipe, or constructed of rock, lumber, or logs.

Culvert, Cross Drainage: Pipe- or box-like construction of native rock, wood, metal, plastic, or concrete under a trail to catch surface water from side ditches and direct it away from a trail. Generally, a catch basin is created above the trail; the culvert is then buried underneath the trail between the catch basin and the downhill side. Sometimes a rock lining is laid on the downhill side to slow the flow of water.

Culvert, Stream Bed: Pipe- or box-like construction of wood, metal, plastic, or concrete that conveys a stream under a trail without constricting waterflow.

Culvert Throat: The upstream or updrainage end of the culvert into which water flows.

Cumulative Impact: The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.

Cupped (Cupping): A board or plank whose edges are higher or lower than the center. Cupping is often found in decks, where the board edges are higher than the middle. Water, trapped in the cupped area, accelerates rot.

Cupped Tread (Cupping): Refers to a process of erosion that turns the trail into a gully or the opposite of crowning. Lowering of the center portion of the tread due to user caused erosion or stock traffic, loosening soil in the center of the tread which is then removed by water or kicked off and built up into a berm.

Curb: A wood, concrete, or stone component (2 to 8 inches high) built along the edge of a trail or street to form part of a gutter.

Curb Cut: A cut in the curb where a trail crosses a street. The curb cut should be the same width as the trail.

Curvilinear (Curvilinear Design): A free-flowing trail layout pattern characterized by the general absence of straight trail segments allowing for ease of trail user movement.

Cushion Material: Native or imported material, generally placed over rocky sections of unsurfaced trail to provide a usable and maintained travelway.

Customer: The user, consumer, patron, guest, stakeholder, or visitor who consumes a product, resource, or service provided “free,” at some level of fee or user charge below the true cost, or at full cost from a park and recreation agency or private concessionaire operating under the control of the park and recreation agency.

Cut and Fill: The process of removing soil from one area and placing it elsewhere to form a base for any given activity.

Cut Bank (Cutbank): The outside bank of a bend, often eroding opposite a point bar.

Cut Off: A channel cut across the neck of a bend.

Cut Slope: An earthen slope that is cut. For example, a trail built lower than the existing terrain would result in a cut slope.

Cutters: The alternating offset teeth of a crosscut saw that scribe the wood to be chiseled out by the slightly shorter rakers.

Cycle Track: A converted portion of the roadway for use as a bicycle path—merging the experience of a trail with the in-street experience of a bike lane.

Cycling, Vehicular: The central teaching of the Effective Cycling program is vehicular cycling practices—as the operator of a pedal vehicle, cyclists should follow the rules of the road that are common to all vehicle types.

Cyclist-Inferiority (Cyclist Inferiority Complex or Superstition or Phobia): John Forester author of Effective Cycling first applied this term to the type of cycling and the associated feelings of not belonging on the road which is owned by the cars (motorist superiority). When people consider bicyclists inferior to motorists they can deny to bicyclists some of the important rights that apply to vehicles.

Cyclosportive (Sportive): A short to long-distance, organized, mass participation, non-competitive cycling event from the French term “randonne cyclosportive.”

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Trail and Greenway Terms – D

Danger: A built or natural feature likely to cause harm or result in injury.

Dab(s): To put a foot on the ground when riding a motorcycle or mountain bike to prevent yourself from falling over.

Dam: A barrier constructed across a waterway to control the flow or raise the level of water. The embankment can be used as a trail to cross a river.

Dam, Check (Check Step): A small earthen, stone, or log dam placed across deeply eroded or gullied fall line trails or erosion channels to slow the flow of water enough to allow accumulation of fine fill material behind the structure. Recommended primarily for use in trail reclamation or revegetation. If several are constructed on a horse trail, they should be 6’, 12, 18’, or 24’ apart to approximately match the gait of a horse.

Damper: A mechanism in a suspension fork or shock that helps determine the compression rate of the spring.

Damping: The deadening, or absorption, of a suspension fork or shock’s spring compression rate.

Damping, Compression: The deadening, or absorption, of a suspension fork or shock’s spring compression rate, which determines how quickly your suspension reacts to bumps and impact forces.

Dan Henry Arrow: A bicyclist who developed a signal painted on the roadway as a way of giving directions for organized bicycle rides. He would paint a circle with a line pointed in the direction of the next turn. The many other lines and arrows pointed on a road these circles would stand out.

Dap: A shallow hole or slot drilled or routed in a piece of wood allowing a space to fit over a piece of hardware (a nut, the head of a bolt, or a portion of a steel plate or angle) that is connected to an adjacent piece of wood.

Data: Information—especially information organized for analysis or used as the basis for a decision.

Datum: In ordinary survey usage, a defined reference for survey measurements. Essentially a set of assumptions about the size and shape of the earth. Look for the following datums on your map: NAD27, Nad 83 or WGS 84.

Davis-Bacon Act: The Federal law (enacted in 1931) that requires the local prevailing wage to be paid to all laborers or mechanics employed on direct federal contracts in excess of $2,000.

Day Pack (Rucksack, Knapsack, Packsack, Daypack, Haversack, Bergen): A soft pack (smaller than a backpack) carried on one’s back and secured with one or two straps over the shoulders, favored by day hikers and trail workers for carrying food, water, and other supplies.

Day Trip: An excursion that does not involve a night away.

Day-Tripper: A person who visits a tourist destination or recreation site from their home and returns home on the same day.

Daylight Edge: The outer edge of a trail. The point where the trailway and the cross slope meet.

Daylight edge flagging: Practice of marking the alignment of a new tread along its downhill or outside edge so that flagging may remain in place and visible (in daylight) throughout the construction.

Daylighting: Clearing a ditch or drain so that water can run freely, or all the way to “daylight.” Clearing of vegetation that is shading a trail or road corridor.

Dead Reckoning (Deduced Reckoning or DR): A navigational term. A way of determining your position by using a previously determined position and taking into account such factors as currents, wind speed, and your projected course and speed.

Deadfall (Dead Fall): A tangled mass of fallen trees or branches that have died due to disease, insect or other damage, or decay.

Deadfall, Vertical: A technique to close a trail by using dead trees or branches planted in the ground so they stand vertical. The closed area looks more natural instead of branches thrown around to make it look closed.

Deadman/Deadmen: A log or logs, heavy timber or timbers, a large block of concrete, a large rock or boulder, or combination of these materials that is partially or completely buried in the ground or a stream bank. Deadman are used to anchor sections of armored trail, retaining wall, or the end of a winch or come-along chain or cable. Eyebolts placed in deadmen are used to tie in revetment with cable or chain. Log or timber deadmen (without eyebolts) are used in log or timber retaining walls. They are placed perpendicular to the face of the wall, extending into the earth behind it to prevent the wall from falling over.

Death March: A long ride or hike that turns bad making it very difficult to finish.

Debarking: Stripping bark from logs with a sharp bladed tool such as a drawknife.

Deberming (De-berming): Removing the high ridge of material that has formed along the outer (downhill) edge of a trail, allowing water to once again flow off—and not down—the trail.

Debris: Any undesirable material that encroaches on a trail and hinders the intended use.

Debris Flow: A rapidly moving mass of rock fragments, soil, and mud, with more than half of the particles being larger than sand size.

Debris Torrent: Rapid movement of a large quantity of materials (wood and sediment) down a stream channel during storms or floods. This generally occurs in smaller streams and results in scouring of the streambed.

Decibel (dB): The unit used to express the sound pressure level. Decibels are measured in several scales. The “A” weighting scale, expressed as dB(A), approximates human hearing and is used for the Standard Stationary motorcycle and ATV sound test procedures.

Decibel Level: A level of sound—usually referred to in governmental ordinances.

Deciduous: Trees and plants that shed their leaves at the end of a growing season.

Decking (Plank Decking, Flooring): The “floor” of a bridge, puncheon, corduroy, or boardwalk structure that provides direct support for trail traffic.

Declination (Magnetic Declination): The measurement describing the angular difference between true north and magnetic north on a compass.

Decommission(ing) (Obliteration, Closure, Reclamation, Rehabilitation): Demolition, dismantling, removal, obliteration, and restoration of closed/unneeded trails or roads or component, whether official, user, or renegade. Restored to relatively natural condition that cannot be used again, will not erode, and will quickly re-grow native vegetation.

Decomposer: Any of various organisms (as many bacteria and fungi) that feed on a break down organic substances (such as dead plants and animals).

Decomposition: The breakdown of matter by bacteria and fungi, changing the chemical makeup and physical appearance of materials.

Dedication: The setting apart by the owner and acceptance by the public of property for public use, in accordance with statute or common law.

Deed: A legal document that transfers a property.

DEET: The active ingredient (chemical name N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) used in many insect repellents to repel biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks.

Deflector: A device intended to turn aside the flow of water.

Degradation (Degrade): Progressive lowering of a channel bed due to scour. Opposite of aggradation.

Degreaser (Solvent): A spray or drip liquid that penetrates and cuts built-up grime and grease. It’s great for cleaning drivetrain components.

Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water with significant performance declines being demonstrated with more than two percent body water loss. Risk of heat stroke being demonstrated with 10 percent body water loss. Symptoms include increased thirst, dry mouth, weakness, lightheadedness, and darkening of the urine or decrease in urination.

Delta: The fan-shaped area at the mouth, or lower end, or a river, formed by eroded material that has been carried downstream and dropped in quantities that cannot be carried off by tides or currents.

Demand: The quantity of trails and greenways or activity desired. The demand (number of visitors in relation to price) for goods or services that cannot be met because of a lack of market capacity to respond to the demand. Demand for trails and greenways that cannot be satisfied with the existing facilities. A demand approach can be used to estimate the existing and future recreation use of an area.

Demand Analysis: A study of the factors that affect demand, performed by collecting data and using various analytical techniques to understand demand.

Demographic: Related to the vital statistics of human populations (size, density, growth, distribution, etc.) and the effect of these on social and economic conditions.

Denier: Refers to the thickness of the individual fibers used in the weave of material with higher denier numbers corresponding to thicker fibers. Lower denier fabrics will generally be lighter, softer, and more comfortable next to skin, but with lower durability than higher denier fabrics.

Depave: A Portland, OR nonprofit that promotes the transformation of our over-paved surfaces by organizing work parties to rip up excess pavement and replacing it with pervious surfaces reconnecting urban landscapes to nature.

Deposition: The mechanical or chemical process through which sediments accumulate in a resting place.

Derailleur: A mechanical device on a bicycle (rear and front) that moves the chain over the chainrings or rear cogs, changing gears. You must be pedaling to shift gears.

Derailleur Hanger (Dropout Hanger): The replaceable extension that attaches the rear derailleur to the bicycle frame at the right side rear dropout.

Derailleur Pulley(s): These are the small toothed wheels on the rear derailleur that carry the chain. The top one is called the jockey pulley. It’s responsible for moving the chain during shifting. The bottom pulley is called the tension pulley. It creates tension on the chain to keep it taut during shifting.

Descent: A downward incline or passage or process of descending from a higher to a lower location.

Descent, First: A much-coveted prize; first to descent a certain river or route.

Desert: A barren or desolate area set apart from other lands by low humidity, scant rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.

Desert Pavement: A thin, surface layer of closely packed pebbles.

Desert Varnish (Rock Varnish): A hard, dark, shiny coating (brown to black patina) on rocks caused by chemical action.

Design Parameters: Specific guidelines for the design and construction of trails that are based on the intended users, trail class, and difficulty level of the trail.

Design Speed: A selected speed used to determine the various geometric design features of the road/trail with respect to topography, anticipated operating speed, the adjacent land use, and the functional classification of the road/trail.

Designated on the Ground: The location of materials, work areas, and construction items, including lines and grades, marked on the ground with stakes, flagging, or paint.

Designated Route (Roads and Trails): Specific roads and trails identified by the agencies where some type of use (motorized or nonmotorized) is appropriate and allowed either seasonally or yearlong and which have been inventoried and mapped and are appropriately signed on the ground.

Designed Use: The single Managed Use of a trail that requires the most demanding design, construction, and maintenance parameters and that, in conjunction with the applicable Trail Class, determines which Design Parameters will apply to a trail.

Desire Line: An informal path that users prefer to take to get from one location to another rather than using the designated trail.

Desired Future Condition (DFC): A portrayal of the land or resource condition which are expected to result if goals and objectives of an agency plan are fully achieved. This description is written in terms of physical and biological processes, the environmental setting, and the human experience.

Detritus: Boulders, rocks, gravel, sand, soil that has eroded from mountains over time.

Dialed In (Dial): When everything is running smoothly.

Diamond Frame: A modern upright bicycle frame shape or design created by the two triangles comprised of head tube, top tube, and down tube making one triangle and the seat tube, chainstays, and seat stays making up the other triangle which together look like a diamond.

Difficulty Levels (Ratings): A subjective rating of degree of challenge a trail presents based on an average user with average physical abilities and skills. Difficulty is a function of trail condition and route location factors such as alignment, steepness of grades, gain and loss of elevation, and amount and kind of natural barriers that must be crossed. Snow, ice, rain, and other weather conditions may increase the level of difficulty. For example some trail providers use Easy, Moderate, Difficult:

  • Easy – A trail defined as relaxing, posing minimal difficulties and able to be traveled with little physical effort.
  • Moderate – A trail not requiring excessive or extreme physical effort.
  • Difficult – A trail defined as physically strenuous requiring excessive or extreme physical effort.

While many other agencies use the US Forest Service levels:

  • Easiest – A trail requiring limited skill with little challenge to travel.
  • More Difficult – A trail requiring some skill and challenge to travel.
  • Most Difficult – A trail requiring a high degree of skill and challenge to travel.

Digging-Tamping Bar: A long, solid iron bar with a beveled blade at one end for loosening compacted or rocky soil and a flattened end for tamping or compacting soil. Typically used for posthole digging and post setting.

Digital Data: Data displayed, recorded, or stored in a digital format.

Digital Detox: A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices, such as smart phones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world (get out on a trail).

Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle: A USGS digital product derived from high-altitude aerial photography. These digital images are rectified and registered to locations on the earth and correspond to a 7.5-minute quadrangle. DOQs are often used as a base map to register the photo-interpreted data in a route inventory.

Digital Raster Graphic: A scanned image of a paper USGS topographic map. The geographic information is georeferenced in the UTM projection with the accuracy and datum of the original map. The minimum scanning resolution is 250 dots per inch. DRGs are useful layers in a geographic information system.

Digitization: The process of converting spatial information, originally compiled on ortho-photographic materials or base maps, into digital form for incorporation into a geographic information system database. Also refers to the referencing of ground control points or lines to a remotely sensed image.

Dike (Raised Causeway): A low embankment, often of sod, dividing or enclosing lands to prevent flooding adjacent to bodies of water. The embankment is often used as a trail.

Dip (Grade Dip, Grade Brake, Drainage Dip, Drain Dip, Reinforced Drainage Dip, Rolling Dip, Rolling Grade Dip, Coweta Dip, Grade Reversal, Spoon Dip, Paved Dip, Armored Dip, Reinforced Dip, Broad-based Dip): A reverse or gradual dip in the grade of the trail, 20 to 40 feet long, followed by a gradual rise of 2 to 3 feet with the rise at an angle to the outslope to divert water off the trail. This accomplishes the same effect as a waterbar, but will last longer due to the gentle dip and rise of the trail grade. A paved or armored dip is a drainage structure paved with stones to enable water to run across a trail without erosion. A reinforced dip is a drainage structure that has a waterbar buried under a layer of compacted soil. These structures are best when designed in during initial construction, but can be added later.

Dip ‘N Sip (Cowboy Water): Drinking water straight from an outdoor source, unfiltered.

Dirt: The part of the earth’s surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock. Hard-packed dirt makes a firm road or trail surface.

Dirtbag: Someone who chooses poverty over the “real world” so they can stay in an area to enjoy their favorite activity.

Dirtbag Touring (Cheapskatism, Make-do): Back- or bike-packing using the most humble of gear by making it yourself or doing without to save weight and expense.

Discharge: The volume of water passing through a channel during a given time, usually measured in cubic feet per second.

Dish: Refers to the left-right centering of the plane of a bicycle rim between the lock nuts on the outside ends of the axle. For most bicycles the dish will be symmetrical on the front wheel. However, on the rear wheel, because most bicycles have a rear sprocket or freewheel, the dish will be at a deeper angle on the non-drive side than on the drive side to keep the wheel centered.

Dish, Wheel: Refers to the left-right centering of the plane of a bicycle rim between the lock nuts on the outside ends of the axle. For most bicycles the dish will be symmetrical on the front wheel. However, on the rear wheel, because most bicycles have a rear sprocket or freewheel, the dish will be at a deeper angle on the non-drive side than on the drive side to keep the wheel centered.

Dish Tool, Wheel: A long skinny tool that attaches to wheel hub and stretches to the rim to measure the dish.

Displacement: The forces moving material sideways.

Distance Zones: A subdivision of the landscape as viewed from an observer position. The subdivision (zones) includes foreground-middleground, background, and seldom seen.

Disturbance: Any management activity that has the potential to accelerate erosion or mass movement. Also, any other activity that may tend to disrupt the normal movement or habits of a particular wildlife or plant species.

Disturbed Area: Area where vegetation or topsoil has been removed, or where topsoil, spoil, or waste has been placed.

Ditch: A long, narrow trench or furrow dug in the ground or along the edge of a trail to improve drainage.

Ditch, Collector (Collection, Sidehill, Parallel, Inside, Wing): A drainage structure that runs parallel to the trail and intercepts water flowing/seeping toward a trail and channels it underneath the trail through a culvert or across in a drainage ditch which allows the water to cross the trail.

Ditching, Sidehill: A ditch which parallels the treadway on the uphill side to collect water seeping into the trail, usually ends in a drainage ditch which allows the water to cross the trail.

Ditty Bag: A small stuff sack used for personal items.

Dodgeway: A V-shaped stile through fences, used to allow hikers to pass through livestock enclosures.

Dog-friendly: Refers to the design of trail components that are compatible with dog use and furthermore promotes dog use as to mitigate against off-trail impacts. Dog-friendly design is most often a consideration in bridge and structure design to be appropriate for dogs otherwise dogs may avoid the structure. This includes minimizing the grade, height and spacing between decking material.

Dome: Enormous, astounding hemispheres of naked stone that stand above the surrounding terrain.

Domestique: In a bicycle race the rider who sacrifices their own chance of victory to help a teammate win. Their tasks include: carrying extra water bottles and food for fellow riders, chasing breakaway groups, and even giving their bikes to the designated team leader should there be mechanical problems.

Doping: The use of banned substances in hopes of gaining an advantage in competitive events.

Doping, Blood: Using transfusions of your own stored blood to boost your percentage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells under the belief that this will gain you an edge in a competitive event.

Doping, Mechanical (Motor Doping): A method of cheating by using a hidden motor to help propel a racing bicycle.

Double (2X): A bicycle crankset having two chainrings.

Double: A bicycle ride of 200 miles (double century).

Double: A jump with a gap between the take-off and landing.

Doubletree: A long bar to which a singletree is attached at each end and a chain is attached in the middle for pulling a load. The doubletree – singletree combination provides the hooking points for a team of draft animals to move an object.

Down and Out: The correct position of a carabiner gate when it is connected to an anchor.

Down Tree (Downed Tree): Fallen tree that blocks the trail.

Downhill Racing: One of the many gravity styles of mtn bike racing in which competitors descend the face of a mountain in an individual race against the clock. The rider with the fastest time is the winner.

Downshift: To shift to a lower gear on a bicycle, motorcycle, or vehicle.

Downslope: The downhill side of a trail.

Downstream V: Lines in a river that form a “V” shape with the wider part closer to you and narrowing downstream. This feature generally denotes a good path through rough water.

Downwind: Indicates a direction in which the wind blows: toward or on the lee side.

Draft (To Draft, Drafting): During road bicycle races and training rides when riders are riding single file they will ride in the slip stream of the rider in front to reduce wind drag. They will take turns at the front.

Draft Animal (Draft Stock, Draft Horse): Horses, mules, or oxen used to pull heavy loads on carts, or wagons, or for skidding, e.g., the dragging of logs, or the pulling of plows or other ground surface shaping equipment.

Draft Tube: An extra collar of insulation positioned at the top of a sleeping bag that prevents cold breezes from travelling down into the bag.

Drag: To hang back. Also, at the end of a column of riders, to “ride drag” or be a “drag rider.”

Drag: Aerodynamic forces that slow you down. Drag is the result of a number of things, including the wind speed and direction, plus the bicycle or machine, and clothing that all catch the air to some degree.

Drain, Cobble: Improvement to the trail surface with crushed stone or gravel underlain by geosynthetic materials that provides drainage (usually from an intermittent wet seep) across the trail allowing continued use along the trail without damage to the soil.

Drain, French: Popularized by Henry Flagg French in the mid-1800s, a loose stone-filled trench that can have a porous pipe laid along the base to collect the water and carry it away from the site. The top must be kept clear of the surfacing material; allowing water to run freely into the drain.

Drain, Sheet: Similar to geonets but more rigid and with a wider egg-crate shape to enhance drainage. Less fill is needed due to their greater rigidity.

Drain, Step-Down (Open Drain): an open drainage structure made of log or rock that allows trail users to either step down into a small stream crossing or simply step over it if small enough.

Drainage: The way in which water flows downhill and/or off the trail.

Drainage, Aimless: A stream or river with an aimless drainage pattern wanders or meanders at random across a plain, the flow resembling large, loopy script written on the land.

Drainage, Cross: Running water in swamps, springs, creeks, drainages, or draws that the trail must cross.

Drainage, Dendritic: Streams and gullies that branch irregularly and at variable angles resembling the limbs of a bare deciduous tree.

Drainage, Integrated: Integrate water control in the design and construction of the trail using outslope, grade reversals, and rolling grade dips to maintain the terrain’s natural patterns of waterflow.

Drainage, Sheet (Sheet Flow): Condition in which water flows in smooth sheets rather than rivulets or channels; slower flow and less concentration results in less erosion.

Drainage, Subsurface: Rainfall that is not evapotranspirated or does not become surface runoff.

Drainage, Surface (Surface Run-off): Rain or snow runoff that does not soak into the surface of the tread, but runs off in response to gravity.

Drainage Class: A technical soil term qualitatively describing how well water moves vertically through the soil profile (solum). Drainage classes include excessively well-drained (droughty soils), well-drained, moderately well-drained, somewhat poorly drained, poorly drained (hydric soil, permanently wet soils).

Drainage Ditch (Ditching): Open ditches that collect water and carry it away from the site or trail. A drainage ditch is also an element of a waterbar, providing an escape route for water diverted from the trail by the bar.

Drainage Structure: A water diversion structure constructed across the trail tread to remove water flowing down the trail tread or to prevent it from entering the tread.

Drainageway: A general term for a course or channel along which water moves in response to gravity.

Drama: Adding sudden ‘reveals’ of spectacular views during trail layout is more exciting than continuous minor views.

Draw: Small natural watercourse or gully, shallower and more open than a ravine or gorge, typically dry and subject to flooding in heavy rains.

Drawings: Documents showing details for construction of a trail or trail-related facility, including but not limited to straight-line diagrams, trail logs, standard drawings, construction logs, plan and profile sheets, cross-sections, diagrams, layouts, schematics, descriptive literature, and similar materials.

Drawknife (Draw Knife): A tool with a sharp blade and handles at both ends used to strip bark from small-diameter logs.

Dress: To chip or shape a rock finely to fit into a space in a structure.

Drift: Material of any sort deposited by geological processes in one place after having been removed from another. Glacial drift includes the materials deposited by glaciers and by the stream and lakes associated with them.

Drift: When cornering forces exceed available traction, and the tires get pushed sideways through a turn. Unlike in a skid, the tires are still turning, and the rider can maintain control.

Driftpin: A 12- to 30-inch steel bar or pipe used to keep logs and timbers in place.

Drill, (Power, Rock): A gasoline powered drill with a chisel tip used to break up large boulders or bit to bore holes into rock for inserting explosives.

Drill, Star: A foot-long tool, weighing about a pound, used with a single-jack hammer to punch holes in rock or open a seam/crack.

Dripline: The point at which drainage water drops from a structure of any form or material to fall to the surface below. Examples: dripline of a tree or roof.

Drive Chain: The chain which connects the engine to the rear axle to give an ATV or MC forward motion. The chain which connects the chain rings to the rear cogs to give a bicycle forward motion.

Drivetrain: The parts of a bicycle that include the cranks, chainrings, bottom bracket, front and rear derailleur, chain, and freewheel

Driving: Description of activity when a horse or pony is used to pull a wagon or cart.

Drop(s): Obstacle or technical feature (natural or built) where the takeoff is horizontal (not sloped up like a jump) that wheeled users ride off.

Drop, Wheelie: Refers to riding up onto an obstacle and off with landing the rear wheel before the front. Absorb the shock of the landing in your knees and elbows.

Drop-in: A drop-off where the rider must land on a near-vertical surface. Examples include half pipes or very steep cliffs.

Drop-off: Slope that falls away steeply on the outer edge of a trail.

Drop-off (Drop): A trail feature that is so steep a rider must fly through the air from the top to the bottom. Examples include cliffs and steep rock faces.

Dropout(s): The slot(s) in the fork and rear triangle of a bicycle that the axle of the wheel mount to.

Dropped (Drop): When the group takes off and leaves you behind, you’ve been dropped.

Dropper Seatpost (Dropper Post): A mountain bike component the seat is attached to that can be raised or lowered with a button mounted on the handlebars. The hydraulic system allows rider to quickly switch between low seat position (for technical descents) and high position (for climbing) without having to stop and get off the bike.

Droppin’ Trou (Dropping Trou, Drop Trou, Dropped Trou): Process of pulling down your pants. Generally shouted as a warning to others nearby that you are about to change clothes or about to moon someone.

Drops: The lowest hand position on a dropped style bicycle handlebar.

Drops, Progressive: Series of progressively more difficult obstacles or technical features (natural or built) that wheeled users ride off.

Drought: A period of dryness, especially a long one. Usually considered to be any period of soil moisture deficiency within the plant root zone. A period of dryness of sufficient length to deplete soil moisture to the extent that plant growth is seriously retarded.

Drumlin: An elongated hill or ridge of glacial debris, usually oval and shaped like half an egg; it occurs in a previously glaciated region, the long axis lying parallel to the direction of the glacier’s flow, with the thick, steep end facing the direction from which the ice came.

Dry Wash (Sandwash): A streambed that carries water only during and immediately following rainstorms.

Dual Sport Ride or Event: A noncompetitive, long-distance, organized motorcycle ride using street legal off-highway motorcycles. These low-speed touring events take place primarily on paved backroads, dirt roads, and trails.

Dual Sport Motorcycle (DSM): A four-stroke motorcycle originally manufactured and sold legal for street usage, and that is specifically designed for both on- and off-road riding. Depending on State requirements, some two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles manufactured for off-highway trail use can be converted to street legal, dual sport motorcycles.

Dualie: A bicycle that has both front and rear suspension. Short for “dual suspension.”

Duck: A small cairn constructed to have a “beak” pointing in the direction of the trail route.

Duct Tape (Duck Tape): A wide, heavy duty cloth backed pressure-sensitive tape, traditionally silver, now in many colors. One of the “Ten Essentials.” Used for everything from covering blisters to repairing gear.

Due Diligence: Refers to whether or not land management agencies are identifying and addressing problems. If a problem has been identified and has some plan for dealing with it, that offers some level of liability protection until the hazard has been dealt with.

Duff (Leaf Litter, Organic Matter): Any combination of loose vegetation, vegetable matter, roots, and/or organic laden soil produced by cutting trail. Duff retains moisture and rots away quickly if not removed from trails. This results in the formation of depressions and pockets, which retain water and cause erosion problems.

Dune(s): Ridges or mounds of loose, wind-blown material, usually sand.

Duration: The length of time of a given training session.

Dust: Solid matter consisting of minute particles and occurring everywhere in the atmosphere. Often carried great distances by the wind, it is constantly being deposited on the earth’s surface.

Dust Mask: Is a flexible pad held over the nose and mouth by elastic straps to protect against dusts encountered during some types of rockwork and in extremely dusty conditions. Not a respirator.

Dustcap: The cover on components containing bearings. It keeps dirt and grit out and protects against contamination.

Dutch Oven: A large cast-iron pot used in campfire cooking, especially favored by equestrians and river guides.

Duty of Care: The legal “duty of care” that a landowner owes a member of the general public varies from state to state, but generally liability depends on the status of the injured person. Liability increases from the lowest risk for a “trespasser,” then “licensee,” “invitee,” with highest owed to a “child.”

Dynamite: Blasting explosive based on nitroglycerin but much safer to handle than nitroglycerin alone, patented in 1867 by the Swedish physicist Alfred Nobel. May be necessary to uproot stumps or break large boulders. You need a license to purchase and use explosives.

Dynamo (Generator): On a bicycle a device that produces electricity as you pedal to power your lights. Usually they are either attached to the bicycle frame and rub on the tire or they are incorporated into the front or rear hub and built into a wheel, as the wheel turns, electricity is generated.

Dyneema Composite Fabric (formerly Cuben Fiber): Originally designed for use in high tech boat sails and marketed as Cuben Fiber, Dyneema Composite Fabric are regarded as the premium material for ultralight tents, backpacking tarps, and stuff sacks because of its superior strength, abrasion, and puncture resistance.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – E

Ear Protection (Ear Defenders, Ear Muffs, Ear Protectors, Ear Plugs, Earplugs, Hearing Protectors): Devices used to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Needed when working near most motorized equipment and working in any environment with loud, repetitive noises such as chipping rock with a jackhammer. There are, generally, two types: Earmuffs—made of plastic and sponge shaped like cups attached to a headband and fit over the ears. And Earplugs—made from foam, silicon, or flanged and put inside the ear canal.

Earthing (Grounding): The practice of walking barefoot on the earth – direct contact with the earth’s electrical current (electrons) may be a stabilizing force for good health.

Easement: Grants the right to use a specific portion of land for a specific purpose or purposes. Easements may be limited to a specific period of time or may be granted in perpetuity; or the termination of the easement may be predicated upon the occurrence of a specific event. An easement agreement survives transfer of land ownership and is generally binding upon future owners until it expires on its own terms.

Easement, Conservation: Places permanent restrictions on property in order to protect ecological or historical resources that an owner passes to a state agency or nonprofit land trust to hold and manage in perpetuity. They are recorded with the deed, so all future owners and lenders learn of the restrictions when they file for title reports.

Easement, Construction: An additional temporary area or corridor needed to construct a trail or facility.

Easement, Maintenance: An additional permanent area or corridor (not open to the public) needed to maintain trail drainage, foliage, and recurring maintenance needs.

Easement, Recreation: Provides public access to private property while limiting or indemnifying the owner’s public liability.

Easement, Scenic: Places permanent restrictions on a property in order to protect the natural view.

East Coast Greenway (ECG): The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) formed in 1991 with the purpose to create a 3,000-mile urban greenway path (ECG) linking the major cities of the US Atlantic coast from Calais, ME to Key West, FL.

Eat It: Slang for crashing on your bicycle or motorcycle.

Eau d’Hiker: The smell of a trail user who has gone multiple days without a shower.

Echelon (Echeloning): Is a bicycle riding formation used by a group when there’s an oncoming side wind. Rider’s stagger themselves forming a diagonal line across the road to best find shelter from the wind, save energy, and maintain their pace.

Ecological Corridor(s): Purchased/protected primarily for natural resource protection or wildlife corridors, although they often contain trails or other amenities aimed at serving the human population.

Ecology: The branch of biology that deals with the mutual relations among organisms and between organisms and their environment.

Ecology, Deep: A philosophy that attempts to define the relationship between humans and the natural world. First articulated by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in the early 1970s. States that all nonhuman life forms―including landscapes, streams, and mountains―have intrinsic value that is not dependent on human purpose.

Economic Impact (Benefit, Value): The extent to which a given one-time economic event or ongoing economic activity contributes to the economy of a region. Economic impacts from trails can include: the building of new trails (one-time economic event), spending directly associated with trail users (ongoing economic activity), and additional spending induced by spending from trail users (indirect economic impact).

Economic Demand: The consumer’s willingness and ability to purchase some quantity of a commodity based on the price of that commodity.

Ecopsychology (Ecotherapy, Green Therapy, Nature-Based Therapy): Investigates the critical links between nature experiences and human well-being such as our neurological responses to nature and how nature deprivation affects children.

Ecosophy: Personal code of values guiding one’s interaction with the natural world.

Ecosystem: A system formed by the interaction of living organisms, including people, with their environment. An ecosystem can be of any size, such as a log, pond, field, forest, or the earth’s biosphere.

Ecosystem Concept: Brings biological, physical, social, and political worlds together into a holistic framework within which all systems can be described, studied, and managed.

Ecosystem Management: A strategy or plan to manage ecosystems to provide for all associated organisms, as opposed to a strategy or plan for managing individual species.

Ecosystem Values: The values that we have for ecosystems. These include commodity values—resources that are the raw materials to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves, and non-commodity values—as opportunities for a recreation and aesthetics.

Ecotage: An amalgam of the words ecological and sabotage.

Ecotone: A transition zone between plant communities.

Ecotourism (Eco-Tourism, Eco-recreation, Nature-Based Tourism): Purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the culture and natural history of the environment, taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, while producing economic opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people.

Eddy: A current running contrary to the main current, causing water turbulence, e.g., below the bridge pier where swift current is passing through, or below a bar or point.

Edge: A visually identifiable outer portion of a patch where two plant communities adjoin and differs significantly from the interior of the patch. Typically used as a wildlife habitat term.

Edge: When laying out a trail edges and lines bring interest to the experience by approaching then dipping away from canyon rims, river edges, or the border between forest and meadow.

Edge, Inside (Heel): The point where the tread meets the bottom of the back slope of a trail.

Edge Effect: Natural and human influences in the edge of a patch differ from interior conditions comprising the edge effect. Natural influences include increased populations of species that thrive under disturbed conditions, increased light penetrations, exposure to wind, and change in moisture. Human influences include increased poaching, trampling, invasion by exotic species, increased predation, and increased noise disturbance.

Effective Cycling: A trademarked cycling educational program designed by John Forester, also the name of Forester’s book first published in 1976. The program consists of textbooks and training courses for both students and instructors. The central teaching of the program is vehicular cycling practices—as the operator of a pedal vehicle, cyclists should follow the rules of the road that are common to all vehicle types.

Effects (or Impacts): The biological, physical, social, or economic consequences resulting from a proposed action. Effects may be adverse (detrimental) or beneficial, and cumulative, direct, or indirect.

Effects, Cumulative: The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, or reasonably foreseeable future actions. Cumulative impacts can also result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.

Effects, Direct: Effects on the environment which occur at the same time and place as the initial cause or action.

Effects, Indirect: Effects also caused by the action, but occurring at a later time or further removed in distance.

Effluent: Something that flows out or forth, especially a stream flowing out of a body of water.

Egress: A right to go upon the land of another.

Elastomer: A compressible urethane material used in fork and shock suspension systems.

Elbow Grease: Slang for strenuous physical exertion, as in manual labor.

Electrolyte(s): They control the fluid balance of the body and are important in muscle contraction, energy generation, and almost every major biochemical reaction in the body. Common electrolytes are sodium chloride, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonate. Replacement (sports drinks) is needed as a response to strenuous athletic activity.

Elevation: The height of a place (mountain or other landmark) given in the number of feet or meters above sea level.

Elliptical Bicycle: Combines an elliptical trainer with a bicycle to deliver a low impact, high performance workout outdoors. You pedal while standing up (there’s no seat), propelling it with the same motion as a regular indoor elliptical but it actually moves forward.

Elliptical Triangle (Pregnant Triangle): Shape of signs and blazes that mark trails in the National Trails System.

Embankment: An artificial deposit of material that is raised above the natural surface of the land and used to contain, divert, or store water, support roads, railways, trails, or for other similar purposes.

Emergency Action Plan (EAP): One a trail construction or maintenance project a from to be filled out by a crew leader and reviewed with the crew before leaving the trailhead. Designated roles for who will be the situation manager, first aid leader, and communications leader.

Emergency Responder: Law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical providers and public health agencies.

Eminent Domain: The authority of a government to take (usually upon payment of just compensation) private property for public use.

Encroachment: Unauthorized use of trail or greenway right-of-way or easements as for signs, fences, buildings, etc.

End-to-Ender: A person who has traveled the entire distance between termini of a long distance trail.

Endurance: The physiological ability to persist, resisting fatigue.

Energy Bar: A nutritious food bar eaten before, during, and after exercising to keep your energy up and speed recovery. Typically containing a combination of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Energy Drink: Any beverage containing stimulants (caffeine, yerba mate, sugar) designed to give you a boost or sustain energy.

Energy Gel (Endurance, Sports, Nutritional, Carbohydrate Gels): A small single-serve plastic packet of instant energy (sugars and minerals) the consistency pudding. You rip the packet open and squeeze into your mouth. It’s more quickly metabolized by the body than bars because you don’t have to chew.

Energy Shot: A concentrated beverage that contains stimulants in a small amount of liquid. Many contain the same about of caffeine, vitamins, or other functional ingredients as their larger versions.

Endo: To crash by going over the motorcycle or mountain bike’s handlebar. Short for “end over end.”

Enduro(s), Motorcycle: Endurance motorcycle racing where a time schedule must be maintained, usually along a marked course full of challenges such as steep hills, banks, ramps, etc. Riders start off at one-minute intervals, and are timed at checkpoints along the route. Penalty points are assessed for arriving either too early or too late.

Endruo(s), Mtn Bike: Endurance mtn bike racing that combines technical downhill sections with flat and uphill sections typically found on a cross-country course. Only the downhill sections are timed and the races have more than one stage, with a rider’s times added together to create an overall time to determine the winner.

Enhancement Funds: Under TEA-21, independent funds available for bicycling and walking facilities, rail-trails, and eleven other activities.

Environment: The aggregate of external conditions (physical, biological, economic, and social) that may act upon an organism to influence its development.

Environment, Natural: Those parts of the landscape with features more closely resembling what they otherwise would presumably be like if they were left undisturbed by human activities.

Environmental Analysis: An analysis of alternative actions and their predictable short-term and long-term environmental effects, incorporating physical, biological, economic, and social considerations.

Environmental Assessment (EA): A document which complies with NEPA law and regulation prepared early in a planning process (federal) that evaluates the potential environmental consequences of a project or activity. An assessment includes the same topical areas as an EIS, but only assesses the effects of a preferred action, and in less detail than an EIS. An EA results in a decision, based on an assessment of the degree of impact of an action, that an EIS is necessary, or that an action will have no significant effect and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) can be made.

Environmental Clearance: The status of a project that has conformed to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and other relevant Federal and State environmental laws.

Environmental Education: Activities that use a structured process to build knowledge, in students and others, about environmental topics.

Environmental Impact: The positive or negative effect of any action upon a given area or source.

Environmental Impact Statement(s) (EIS): A full disclosure, detailed federal report which, pursuant to NEPA law and regulation, establishes the need for the proposed action, identifies alternatives with the potential to meet the identified need, analyzes the anticipated environmental consequences of identified alternatives, and discusses how adverse effects may be mitigated. An EIS is prepared in two stages: a draft (DEIS) statement which is made available to the public for review and a final (FEIS) statement which is revised on the basis of comments made on the draft statement.

Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA): A geographically contained area with unique physical or biological features that result in a greater susceptibility to adverse impacts. Examples of ESAs are wetlands, streams, rock outcroppings, and steep slopes.

Epic (Epic Ride, Hike, or Adventure): Any outing that turns into a memorable adventure.

Equestrian: Of horses, horseback riding, riders, and horsemanship.

Equine: Hoofed mammals having slender legs and a flat coat with a narrow mane along the back of the neck.

Equine Liability Statute: Many states have a statute which recognizes that any and all activities involving horses are inherently dangerous.

Ergogenic: Something that increases a person’s potential for exercise performance.

Erosion: Natural processes (water, wind, ice, or other physical processes) by which soil particles are detached from the ground surface and moved downslope, principally by the actions of running water (gully, rill, or sheet erosion). The combination of water falling on the trail, running down the trail, and freezing and thawing, and the wear and tear from traffic create significant erosion problems on trails.

Erosion, Accelerated: Soil loss above natural levels resulting from human activities.

Erosion, Gully (Gullying): Where concentrations of runoff water cut into the soil forming single or numerous channels greater than one foot below post-construction tread depth usually on steep terrain.

Erosion, Rill: Removal of soil particles from a bank slope or trail tread by surface runoff moving through relatively small channels.

Erosion, Sheet: The removal of a fairly uniform layer of soil material from the land surface by the action of rainfall and runoff water.

Erosion, Splash: The spattering of small soil particles caused by the impact of raindrops on wet soils. The loosened and spattered particles may or may not be subsequently removed by surface runoff.

Erosion, Streambank/Channel: The removal, transport, deposition, recutting, and bedload movement of material by concentrated flows.

Erosion, Surface: The detachment and transport of soil particles by wind, water, or gravity. Or a group of processes whereby soil materials are removed by running water, waves and currents, moving ice, or wind.

Erosion, Wind: Removal of soil particles by wind, causing dryness and deterioration of soil structure; occurs most frequently in flat, dry areas covered by sand or loamy soils.

Erosion Control: Techniques intended to reduce and mitigate soil movement from water, wind, and trail user traffic.

Escape Velocity: The will a trail user has to walk away from a vortex and get back on the trail.

Escarpment (scarp): A very steep slope or cliff formed by the erosion of the inclined strata of hard rocks.

Esker: A long, narrow ridge of coarse gravel deposited by a stream flowing in or under a decaying glacial ice sheet.

Eskimo Roll: A complete rollover in kayaking, from upright to upside-down to upright.

Estuary: A partially enclosed body of water freely connected to the ocean, within which the seawater is diluted by mixing with freshwater and where tidal fluctuations affect river water levels. The estuary is a dynamic system typified by brackish water, variable and often high nutrient levels and by shallow water conditions often associated with marsh plants in upper tidal zones and eelgrass in lower tidal zones.

Euraudax: The original form of audax a group non-competitive long cycle event where riders in a group must finish within a time limit.

Evaporation: The physical process by which a liquid (or a solid) is transformed to the gaseous state. In hydrology, evaporation is vaporization that takes place at a temperature below the boiling point.

Evaporative Heat Loss: When you sweat, you lose heat through the evaporation of the liquid. This is great in warm weather because it cools the body; but when it is cold and once you stop moving, your clothes remain wet, which can lead to chilling.

Event: A single, structured, organized, consolidated, or scheduled meeting or occurrence for the purpose of recreational use. An event may be composed of several related activities.

Event, Competitive: Timed event with professional athletes or citizen categories.

Event, Multi-Sport: Combination of bicycling with one or two other sports. Most are timed events.

Event, Recreational Bicycle: Where you ride at your own pace, not timed events. Usually held on low-traffic county roads. Generally provide maps, route markings on the roads, and rest stops with food and drinks long the routes.

Everesting: Biking Mount Everest’s elevation (29,029 feet) in one day.

Excess Excavation: Material in the trailway in excess of that needed for construction of the designated trail.

Exclosure: An area fenced to exclude grazing animals and/or OHVs, usually for protection and study purposes.

Exotic Species (Alien, Invasive, Non-indigenous, Bioinvader Species): A plant or animal introduced from outside their natural range.

Expedition Style: A traditional means of climbing a big mountain, involving camps, load carries, and fixed ropes.

Expert Witness: A witness is a person who testifies as to what they have observed by sight, sound, etc. An “expert witness” may testify additionally as to matters of opinion on subjects within fields for which they are qualified.

Exposure: The relative hazards encountered when on trails; takes into consideration obstacles, alignment, grade, clearing, tread width, tread surface, sideslope, isolation, and proximity to steep slopes or cliffs.

Explosive(s): Substance(s) such as TNT or dynamite that blow up, shatter, or otherwise destroy. In trail work dynamite may be necessary to uproot stumps or break large boulders. You need a license to purchase and use explosives.

Extension Collar: The fabric beyond the top of a backpacks primary fabric that allows for over stuffing the pack.

Extreme Sports: Challenging, physically demanding, adrenalin-charged activities pitting the user against the terrain.

Eyelet: A small hole sometimes surrounded by metal through which boot or shoe laces are threaded.

Eyelet: A nub with a hole in it on a bicycle frame or fork where accessories can be attached, typically employed for fenders and racks.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – F

Face: The steep, exposed side of a rock or slope. Also used to describe the exposed side of a rock in rock structures such as steps.

Face Plant (Faceplant): Slang for face-first tumble. A great reason to always wear your helmet.

Facer: The front wall in retaining walls and abutments that is placed at right angle to the structure or trail tread.

Facilitator: A person who encourages and enables a process, such as learning, planning and training, interpreting or teaching.

Facility (Facilities): Building(s) and the associated supporting infrastructure.

Failure to Warn: The basic concept is that when someone gets hurt and was not forewarned that there was a risk, some level of responsibility can be placed land manager or other responsible party.

Fairing: On a bicycle, recumbent, or motorcycle a partial covering on the front to reduce aerodynamic drag or to protect the rider from the elements.

Fall Line: Steepest line across a given contour or the direction water flows down a slope (path of least resistance) under most circumstances. Constructing a trail on the fall line encourages water to run down the trail and leads to erosion.

False Lead: When you follow what looks like the trail, but turns out not to be.

Family Hiking Day: An opportunity to introduce families to the Appalachian Trail and all the benefits that come with being active and spending time outdoors. Held each year in September on National Public Lands Day.

Fanny Pack: A waist pack, especially as worn with the pouch over the buttocks.

Farrier: A skilled horse shoer.

Fartlek: Means speed play in Swedish. Generally associated with running it is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. Simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.

Fascines (Wattles): Stems and branches of rootable plant material (willow, dogwood, and alder, for example) that are tied together in long bundles, placed in shallow trenches on contour, and staked down to stabilize erodible slopes.

Fastpacker: Anyone who passes you on the trail carrying less gear and hiking more miles.

Fastpacking: A term for carrying less gear and hiking more miles per day.

Fat: In the diet, it is the most concentrated source of food energy, supplying nine calories per gram. Stored fat provides about half the energy required for low-intensity exercise. It is also necessary for insulation and vitamin storage.

Fault (Faulting): A fracture in rock along which movement can be demonstrated. A fracture in the earth’s crust forming a boundary between rock masses that have shifted.

Fauna: The animal populations and species of a specified region.

Feasibility Study: A study to determine the suitability of a proposed action, such as establishment of trails or greenways in a given area.

Feathering: A braking technique, which entails a light touch on the brake lever or pedal several times to control speed.

Federal Register: Daily publication which provides a uniform system for making regulations and legal notices issued by the Executive Branch and various departments of the Federal government available to the public.

Federal Land: Land owned by the United States, without reference to how the land was acquired or which Federal Agency administers the land.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA): Public Law 94-579, October 21, 1976, often referred to as the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Organic Act,” which provides the majority of the BLMs legislated authority, direction, policy, and basic management guidance.

Federal Share: The portion of a project’s cost funded by the federal government. These funds are usually matched with State or local funds. The Federal share is typically 80%.

Fee Simple (Fee Simple Absolute): An interest in land in which the owner is entitled to the entire property without limitation or restriction, and with unconditional power of disposition.

Fee Simple Determinate: Similar to Fee Simple Absolute, but states condition(s) under which the property will revert to the original owner/grantor.

Fell (Felled, Felling): The process of cutting down one or more trees.

Fen: Fed by precipitation and ground water, fens have a less acid soil and a broader range of vegetation than bogs. Fens support many rare and endangered species, like orchids and rose pogonias.

Fence: A constructed barrier of wood, masonry, stone, wire, or metal, erected to screen or separate areas.

Fence, Ghost: A section of fence made from wire and metal posts used to block the main access point to a closed area when a full length fence is not established.

Fence Post: A wooden or metal post set in the ground to support a wire or wooden fence.

Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”): Literally meaning wind & water. The Chinese art and science of arranging spaces and elements in the space (in or outdoor) to create harmonious energy flows and patterns, tempering or enhancing the energy where necessary.

Ferrule: The metal or plastic cap that fits on the on the ends of cable housing.

Fiber, Fast-twitch: A muscle fiber characterized by fast contraction time, high anaerobic capacity, and low aerobic capacity, all making the fiber suited for high-power activities.

Fiber, Slow-twitch: A muscle fiber characterized by slow contraction time, low anaerobic capacity, and high aerobic capacity, all making the fiber suited for low power, long-duration activities.

Field (The Field): Refers to the main group of competitors sticking together in an event or race.

File: A hand-held 10- to 12-inch flat steel tool with a rough, ridged surface for smoothing or grinding. Used to keep trail tools sharp.

Fill: Material (usually mineral soil and rock) excavated from the trail or a borrow site to fill holes in trail tread, stabilize rock steps, or to pack behind retaining walls and other structures.

Fill-power: The thickness, and therefore thermal capability of a particular insulation. Usually used to rate sleeping bags and parkas.

Fill Slope: Area of excavated material cast on the downslope side of trail cut (also called embankment).

Filter (Qualifier): Obvious terrain change to let trail user know that a more difficult section of trail or technical trail feature is ahead.

Filter Area: An undisturbed area with natural vegetation and soil surface in place and into which water is diverted from the trail for filtering of suspended soil particles before it reaches a stream channel.

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI): A statement indicating that a project was found to have no significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which an environmental statement will therefore not be prepared.

Fines, Soil: Smallest soil particles important for binding the soil together; silt fines are often the first particles to move when erosion takes place.

Fire Regime: The frequency and intensity of fire that is common to and characterizes a specific area.

Fire Ring: Circle of rocks or metal ring used to contain a fire. A proper fire ring is constructed to prevent the spread of fire above and below ground level. You should only use fire rings found in designated sites.

Firebreak (Fireline, Fuel Break, Fireroad): A strip of forest or prairie land cleared or plowed to stop or prevent the spread of fire. Firebreaks are constructed in anticipation of a fire event. Many of these also serve as logging roads or trails.

Firmness: The degree to which a surface resists deformation by indentation when, for instance, a person walks or wheels across it. A firm surface would not compress significantly under the forces exerted as a person walked or wheels on it.

First Aid Kit: A kit that contains the basic components (bandages, antiseptic, etc.) to handle minor incidents (blisters, splinters, small cuts, etc.) that may occur during an outing or workday.

First Day Hike(s): A nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. Each year on New Year’s Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes are offered at State Parks in all 50 states.

Fissure: An extended surface crack or fracture that creates a distinct separation in rock.

Fitness Tracker(s): Worn on your wrist like a watch among the many things they can track are heart rate, count your steps, calories burned, evaluate sleep patterns, offer GPS readings, and bicycle usage.

Five Minute Walk (Pedestrian Shed): A local resident is rarely more than a five-minute walk (one-quarter mile) from the ordinary needs of daily life: living, working, and shopping.

Fiver: Taking a five minute break.

Fixed Asset: A constructed feature such as a trail, bridge, building, or other item of infrastructure.

Fixed Cup: A non-adjustable cup on the drive side of a bicycle’s bottom bracket.

Fixed Rope (Cable): A rope or cable that is set in place to assist in moving large objects.

Fixed Rope: A thin rope left in place on a mountain pitch to facilitate future ascents and descents.

Flagging: Thin ribbon used for marking during the location, design, construction, or maintenance of a trail project.

Flag(s), Pin (Wire Flag(s), Wire Stake): Wire wands with square plastic flags at one end for field layout and marking of new trail or relocations of trail sections.

Flag, Red (Red Ribbon): If you are riding a horse that kicks out at other riders, tie a red ribbon to their tail to warn everyone else to keep their distance.

Flagline (Flag Line): A series of flags indicating the intended route for trail construction. Ribbon usually tied in trees or pin flags placed on the centerline, inside edge, or critical edge of the proposed trail project.

Flags, Pin (Wire Flags. Wire Stake): Wire wands with square plastic flags at one end for field layout and marking of new trail or relocations of trail sections.

Flagstone: A relatively thin, flat rock fragment, from 6 to 15 inches on the long axis.

Flail: Expending a lot of energy with little success such as when you follow a false lead or climb a difficult mountain with much stopping, starting, and exhaustion.

Flange: The raised ridge on the hub where the spoke heads are anchored.

Flash Flood: A sudden flood of great volume, usually caused by a heavy rain. Also, a flood that crests in a short length of time and is often characterized by high velocity flows.

Flashpacking (Flashpacker, Techo-Traveler): Used to describe backpackers with means who upscale their travels. They travel with a backpack but stay indoors, carry electronics (iPods, laptops, smart phones), and have a bit more money to spend.

Flat (Flat Tire): Tires with inner tubes a susceptible to puncture by road debris. When this happens the tire goes “flat.” The easiest approach is to replace the tube should you have a spare our you have to patch the puncture and re-inflate the tube.

Flat, Pinch (Snakebike, Rim Cut): A tire flat that is caused when the tube is pinched between the inside of the rim and a hard, sharp object, such as a rock, curb, or edge of a pothole. The pair of holes in the tube resemble the wound made by the fangs of a snake.

Flatiron: A tilted, triangular rock outcropping, usually on the flank of a mountain, a type of hogback ridge composed of coarse sandstone and conglomerate.

Flatlander: Refers to a person from one of the flatter states who is unwise to the ways of the woods when in the mountains.

Flatten (your bike): To lay your bike on its side, usually in the air while performing a tabletop trick.

Flatwater: Calm river, lake, or ocean water without rapids or high waves.

Flatwoods, Pine: Low, flat expanses with poorly drained sandy soils. Dominated by longleaf, slash, and pond pines. These open canopy forests have an understory of saw palmettos, mixed with other naturally occurring shrubs and grasses.

Flip-Flop (Flip-Flopper): To travel on a long distance trail continuously, time-wise but not necessarily in the same direction. For example, you might flip-flop by traveling north then skipping a section of trail and traveling south until you get to where you left off.

Float: A term used in bicycling to define the degree of movement offered by the shoe cleat within the clipless pedal before release begins. This can be very important to prevent damage to the knees, as most people’s legs do not remain in a single plane as they pedal.

Floater: Debris floating in a water source that needs to be filtered out before drinking.

Floodplain(s): Flat, occasionally flooded areas, bordering streams, rivers, or other bodies of water, susceptible to changes in the surface level of the water. Floodplains are formed of fluvial sediments and are periodically flooded and modified when streams overflow. Stream channels meander within unconfined floodplains, alternately creating and isolating habitats.

Floodplain (100-year): The area adjacent to a stream that is on average inundated once a century.

Flood Stage: Condition of a river when it rises above a state predetermined by the Corps of Engineers to be designated as “flood stage.” Also, the stage at which some part of the main bank may be over flowed, but not necessarily all of it.

Floodgate: Gate placed across/along a channel to control floodwater.

Flooding: Filling with water, regardless of method of ingress, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain on the surface.

Flooding: A condition which occurs in the internal combustion engine when the cylinder fills with raw gas and fails to start. This condition usually resolves itself if the engine is allowed to sit quietly and drain.

Floodway: The channel of a river or stream where the annual rising or lowering of water occurs.

Flora: The plant populations and species of a specified region.

Flotation: The amount of pressure exerted on the ground surface by an obstacle, typically the track or tire of equipment. Flotation is expressed in psi (pounds per square inch).

Flow (Water Flow): The amount of water passing a particular point in a stream or river, usually expressed in cubic feet per second.

Flow (Flow Line): The rhythm or “feel” of a trail. Two basic types include “open and flowing” and “tight and technical.”

Flow, Sheet: A dispersed flow of water. It minimizes erosion by preventing water from achieving high velocity and carrying away topsoil.

Flow, State of (In the Zone): Characterized by complete absorption in an activity and nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so enjoyable that you will do it for the sheer sake of doing it.

Flume: Narrow gorge with a stream running through it.

Flushcut: Branch or sapling cut flush with the trunk or ground.

Flushes: An area of soil enriched by transported soil minerals brought by water from elsewhere (opposite of leaching).

Fluvial: Migrating between main rivers and tributaries. Of or pertaining to streams or rivers.

Fly Ash: Waste material from coal-burning power plants. May be mixed with lime and earth as a combined base and surface material for trail tread.

Foot Rest (Foot Peg): Horizontal bar below the engine on which an ATV or MC operator should rest their feet on while riding.

Foothill(s): The middle ground of low rises between flatland and mountains.

Footing: The part of a structural foundation that rests on the ground, spreading the weight of the structure and supporting the structure above. Footings are usually concrete. At remote sites the footings may also be mortared stone masonry.

Footpath: A path over which the public has a right-of-way on foot only. Wheelchairs are also permitted, although this may not be practical due to surface or slope.

Footprint: A mark on the ground left behind by a foot whether human for animal.

Footprint: A ground sheet that fits under a tent to protect the tent bottom from the ground.

Footwear, Trail Work: Sturdy boots are preferred due to the rugged terrain associated with trail or outdoor work. They are necessary to protect the feet from glancing tools, loose rock, dense vegetation, and provide sure footing when working.

Forage: All browse and non-woody plants that are available to wildlife for grazing or harvested for feeding livestock. Normally includes only the current year’s growth.

Forbs: Any herbaceous plant species other than those in Gramineae (grasses), Cyperaceae (sedges), and Juncaceae (rushes) families; fleshy leaved plants.

Force Account: Work ordered on a construction project without an existing agreement on its cost, and performed with the understanding that the contractor will bill the owner according to the cost of labor, materials, and equipment, plus a certain percentage for overhead and profit.

Ford: A natural water level stream crossing; which can be improved (stepping stones, aggregate mix, asphalt, or concrete) to provide a level, low velocity surface for trail traffic. To cross a river without aid of a bridge or boat.

Forest: A large expanse of wooded area in its natural state.

Forest, Old Growth: Forests that have never been logged or have not been logged for many decades; characterized by a large percentage of mature trees.

Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku): The Japanese nature therapy practice of walking through a wooded area to improve your well-being; also known at forest immersion.

Forest Floor: All organic matter generated by forest vegetation, including litter and unincorporated humus that cover the mineral soil.

Forest Service (USDA FS): Is a federal agency within the US Department of Agriculture that manages National Forests. As a multiple use agency they manage its land for a wide range of purposes including logging, watershed health, recreation, cultural resources and Wilderness.

Forest Service Trail Handbook: The official document guiding USDA Forest Service trail planning, design, construction, and management.

Forest Transportation Atlas: A display of the system of roads and trails on US Forest Service units.

Forest Transportation System: The system of National Forest System roads and Trails on National Forest lands.

Fork: The part of the bicycle or motorcycle that attaches the front wheel to the frame and handlebar.

Fork (Branch, Tributary): A stream that drains into a larger stream.

Fork, Double-Crown: A long-travel bicycle suspension fort that features two crowns, one above and one below the head tube. The additional crown reinforces the fork legs to improve suspension, control, and handling.

Fork, Pitch, Cottonseed, Ensilage, Compost, Refuse): Steel tines on a handle used for shoveling twigs, pine straw, wood chips, or trash.

Fork Crown: The part of the fork that joins the two fork legs to the steering tube.

Fork Rake: The angle of fork legs in relations to the steerer tube on a bicycle or motorcycle.

4 X 4 Event(s): Organized fun activities that test a four-wheel drive vehicle, the skill of the driver, and at times the passenger(s).

4 X 4 Obstacle Course: A designed course to provide training and practice for driving over terrain and obstacles a four-wheel driver may encounter while driving off of a highway surface.

Four-Cross (Mountain Cross): Four-Cross replaced dual slalom on mtn biking’s international circuit in 2002. Riders start four-wide and descend the downhill course with tight turns, berms, and jumps simultaneously. The top two riders in each heat advance to the next round.

Four E’s: Four principles of effective Trail management (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Evaluation). Engineering happens on the ground, the design of a good trail is everything, because without good trail design you don’t have a sustainable trail. Education happens in the mind, Enforcement happens in the wallet, and Evaluation boils down to an analysis of how are we doing in managing the trails.

Four-State Challenge: An Appalachian Trail challenge of hiking in four states (VA, WV, MD, PA) in one twenty-four-hour period (42.8 miles).

Fourteener: In mountaineering terminology a US mountain peak whose summit meets or exceeds 14,000 feet above sea level. Colorado has the majority of fourteeners followed by California. Climbing all of them is a popular pastime among peak baggers.

Fragmentation (Fragmented): Process by which habitats are increasingly subdivided into smaller units resulting in their increased insularity as well as losses of total habitat area.

Fred: A derogatory term describing someone who’s vastly over equipped or has more equipment than needed.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Allows all US citizens and residents to request any records in possession of the executive branch of the federal government. The term “records” includes documents, papers, reports, letters, films, photographs, sound recordings, computer tapes and disks. Some states and municipalities have laws modeled after the federal FOIA.

Freedom to Roam (Right of Public Access, Outdoor Access Rights, Everyman’s Right): In many European countries the general public’s right to access certain public or privately owned land for recreation and exercise. In Sweden commonly referred to as “Allemansrätten, which can be translated to “All Men’s Right,” which assumes mutual respect between landowners and ramblers.

Free-Flowing: As defined by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: A river which is “existing or flowing in natural condition without impoundment, diversion, straightening, rip-rapping, or other modifications of the waterway. The existence, however, of low dams, diversion works, and other minor structures at the time any river is proposed shall not automatically bar its consideration…”

Freehiking (Freehiker): Hiking off of established trails intentionally seeking an experience free of boundaries.

Freehub: On modern bicycle wheels the ratcheting mechanism attached to a hub that a cassettes is screwed on to.

Freewheel (Cluster, Cassette): Consists of either a single sprocket (cog) or a set of sprockets (cluster) mounted on a body which contains an internal ratcheting mechanism and mounts on a threaded hub. In the late 1980s many bicycle manufactures replaced the freewheel with a cassette and freehub, which contains the ratcheting mechanism allowing one to replace only the sprockets when worn leaving ratcheting mechanism on the hub.

Freezer Bag Cooking (FBC): To cook your dehydrated food in a freezer bag by simply adding hot water.

French Mattress: A structure under a road consisting of course rock wrapped in fabric through which water can freely pass. A French mattress is basically a French drain that is used similar to a culvert to allow water passage through the roadbed.

Friction Pile: Post hammered into muck until friction prevents further penetration; foundation for puncheon or boardwalk.

Friendly Taking: This means that the person whose land is being “taken” by eminent domain or action in condemnation is basically supportive of the action.

Friends Group: An advocacy organization of interested citizens and volunteers who assist agencies or organizations in building constituency support; Soliciting and accepting charitable contributions, grants, and funding from other sources.

Friends of the Trail: A private, non-profit organization formed to advocate and promote a trail. They can provide assistance, whether muscle power or political power, that augments management of a trail by a public agency.

Friluftsliv: (pronounced free-loofs-liv) A Norwegian term the roughly translates as “free air life” or “open-air living.” The idea promotes outdoor activity as good for all aspects of human health. The protocol is to be outside as much as possible.

Froe: A old hand tool used originally for splitting shingles and shakes. It consists of a heavy, 12-inch-long, straight steel blade with a wooden handle. The cutting edge of the blade is placed against the wood to be cut and a club or mallet is used to hit the face.

From Skin Out (FSO, Skin Out Weight): Total weight of everything a backpacker is wearing or carrying in hands and pockets, including pack and contents, and consumables (food, water, fuel).

Frontside: Any surface that faces toward the rider, opposite the direction this rider is traveling. Opposite of backside.

Frostbite: The freezing of skin and the tissue beneath.

Frostline: The maximum depth that frost can be expected to penetrate into the ground.

Fuels: Living or dead plant material that will burn when weather conditions are correct.

Fulcrum: Is the support on which a lever pivots.

Full Clean: Trail construction where all spoils must be removed vs. “rake down” which allows the spoils to be distributed below or to the side of the trail.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – G

Gabion (Gabion Baskets): Rectangular containers (usually made of heavy galvanized wire) that can be wired together, and then filled with gravel or cobble to make quick retaining walls for erosion control.

Gait: A specific pattern of foot movements such as the walk, trot or jog, lope or canter, and gallop.

Gaiters (Leggins, Puttees): Coverings that zip or snap around the ankles and lower legs to keep debris and water out of your boots.

Game: Any species of fish or wildlife for which state or federal laws and regulations proscribe hunting seasons and bag or creel limits.

Gap: The distance between groups in an event or race.

Gap: The space between jumps and ramps on a track.

Gap: A deep sharp dip in a mountain ridge with a road going through. Synonym for pass. Used in the South, referred to as a notch in New England.

Gap, Water: Gaps near a mountain’s base through which water passes.

Gap Year: A structured and intentional time away (between two and 12 months) from formalized education, a job, or just out of the realm of traditional life.

Garage Sale: Unofficial name of the 7-mile approach trail from Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia to top of Springer Mountain and the start of Appalachian Trail. Many northbound thru-hikers realize they’ve packed to heavily for their journey and discard everything from sleeping pads to full backpacks. The local club collects these items for an annual garage sale.

Gate: Structure that can be swung, drawn, or lowered to block an entrance or passageway.

Gateway(s): Where trails pass through natural gaps (arches, close-set trees, boulders) adding a sense of surprise or wonder. Can also be a skinny plank or ladder bridge leading onto a technical trail feature. It can prevent novice riders who decide not to continue from unknowingly riding onto a more difficult technical trail feature.

Gateway Community: A town or city that borders public lands, such as national and state parks, wildlife refuges, forests, historic sites, and wilderness areas. Some programs use the term instead of “Trail Town.”

Gatewood, Emma Rowena (1887-1973): Better known as “Grandma Gatewood” was the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail in one season in 1955 at the age of 67. She took little in the way of outdoor gear. She wore Keds sneakers and carried an army blanket, a raincoat, and a plastic shower curtain in a homemade denim bag slung over one shoulder. She hiked the AT again in 1960, and then again at age 75 in 1963. In addition, she walked 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail.

Gathering: Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association’s (ALDHA) annual conference held since 1982 for hikers, maintainers, friends of long distance trails and those who dream of someday thru-hiking. Locations vary from northeast to southeast to accommodate a growing membership.

Gauge: A way of measuring thickness of bicycle or motorcycle spokes (e.g. 14- or 15-gauge spokes).

Gauge, Straight: Any bicycle tube or spoke that is not butted.

Gear: All the equipment and clothing used during outdoor activities.

Gear: The chain/sprocket mechanism that makes the motorcycle, ATV, or bicycle go.

Gear (Gearing): The position on a bicycle drivetrain; for example, being on the largest chainring and smallest rear cog is the called the largest gear.

Gear, Planetary (Epicyclic Gear Train): System consisting of one or more outer gears (planet and ring gears) mounted so that the center revolves about a central gear (sun gear) mounted on a movable are (carrier) where input rotation can be converted into an output rotation.

Gear Acquirement Syndrome (GAS): The need to acquire new outdoor toys.

Gear Count: The number of usable, nonduplicating gears on a bicycle.

Gear Inches (Gear Development): The effective diameter of your rear bicycle wheel. A gear of 100 inches with each crank of the pedals it’s like having a wheel of 100 inches across. The distance (development) you travel is π × 100 inches. The development is always π × the gear size.

Gear List: Keeping a written list of gear you will take on your trips can help you plan your trip and prevent you from setting forth without something vital.

Gear Loft: Cloth sheet that hangs horizontally from a tent’s ceiling that allows for storage of a few small items like headlamp, book, toilet paper, etc.

Gear Range: The difference between the top and bottom gears on a bicycle drivetrain determined by the front gears (chainrings) and rear gears (cogs).

Gear Ratio: This is used to compare gearing. It is determined by dividing the number of teeth on a bicycle chainring by the number of teeth on the rear cog, i.e. 54 divided by 14 equals 3.714. You then multiply that ratio by your wheel diameter. A 27-inch wheel multiplied by 3.714 gives you 100-inches. This formula dates back to the days of highwheelers where each revolution of the pedals resulted in a single wheel revolution. The difference in the size of these gear ratio numbers reflects the different levels of effort needed to propel a bicycle—A 100-inch gear is harder to pedal and will move you further down the road than a 27-inch gear for example.

Gear Spacing: The amount of change between consecutive gears.

Gearbox: Several planetary gears housed in a single, sealed unit, usually mounted at the bottom bracket of a bicycle.

Gearing: Wearing all your gear at once.

Gearing Spread: The range gears available on a bicycle drivetrain configuration, from the lowest to the highest ratio.

Gearhead (Gear Head): Person whose main focus is the gear involved in an outdoor activity more than the activity itself.

Gearly Afflicted: An outdoor enthusiast who just has to have the latest and newest of equipment.

Gears, Alpine: Very low gears on a bicycle designed for mountain cycling.

Gel: A pressure-eliminating anti-friction jelly-like material found inside bicycle saddle covers, handlebar grips, cycling gloves, and cycling shorts to cushion and protect your body.

Gendarme: French for “man-at-arms.” A steep-sided rock formation along a ridge.

Geocacher: Someone who looks up and then hunts for hidden caches in remote locations and then recording their find.

Geocaching (Stash Hunting): Involves hiding a cache (a stash of goods and a log book) in a remote location and recording its location using a GPS unit. The coordinates, along with a few helpful hints, are then posted on a website for other GPS-wielding geocachers to look up and then hunt for—a modern day treasure hunt.

Geocells: Polyethylene strips bonded together to make a three-dimensional honeycomb structure. Fill material placed within the cells stabilizes and reinforces soil by confining substrates in cells to prevent lateral movement.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A spatial database mapping system (computer and software) that contains location data for trails and other important features.

Geogrid(s): Polyethylene sheeting configured into an open grid with high tensile strength. They are used for reinforcement and often placed on top of a layer of geotextiles to provide separation.

Geomorphology: A description of the Earth’s surface at some particular location.

Geonet(s): Composite materials with a thin polyethylene drainage core sandwiched between separation, reinforcement, and drainage.

Geotextile (Geo-synthetic, Geofabric, Filter Fabric): A semi-impervious, nonwoven, petrochemical fabric cloth that provides a stable base for the application of gravel and excludes smaller sediment from penetrating. Most commonly used in the construction of turnpikes.

Getting Off: The polite way of saying someone is quitting their long distance thru-hike, the implication being that they be get back on the trail.

Giardiasis (Giardia, Beaver Fever)): An intestinal illness (diarrhea, excessive gas, and abdominal cramping) caused by the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia occurring in untreated backcountry water sources.

Girder(s): Logs, timbers, glue-laminated timbers, steel I-beams or reinforced concrete used as a main horizontal support in a building or bridge resting on top of the abutments.

Glacial Erratic(s): Displaced rocks, ranging in size from tiny pebbles to mammoth boulders, carried along by glacial ice flow. Some are moved hundreds of miles from their origin, and would not otherwise be found in their terminal resting place.

Glacier: A huge mass of ice, formed on land by the compaction and re-crystallization of snow, that moves very slowly down slope or outward due to its own weight.

Glade: An open space in a forest.

Glamping: A blend of glamour and camping, which combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a home or hotel. When glamping, you sleep in a luxurious tent with carpets, a fireplace, a TV, fine food, and other amenities.

Glissade: To slide down a snow slope, either sitting or standing, using an ice-axe to control speed and direction.

Global Positioning System (GPS): A system using satellites and portable handheld receivers to pinpoint your exact location. Usually provides latitude and longitude, elevation, time, elevation change, and a variety of other information. Data gathered can be downloaded directly into GIS database systems to map your location or trail alignment.

Gloves, Work: Are necessary to grip tools as well as to protect the hands from blisters, thorny brush, poison oak or ivy, or any other minor scratches associated with trail work.

Glucose (Blood Glucose): A sugar used for energy by muscles and is the only fuel that can be used by the brain and nervous system.

Glulaminated (Glulams): A process used to fabricate long beams from short lengths of 2×4, 2×6, or 2×10 lumber. The pieces are placed flat on top of each other with glue spread between them. Lengths are varied so that transverse joints in each layer are not opposite one another. Pressure binds the pieces together. The assembly may be two to four times longer than the longest individual piece of lumber within it.

Glute(s) (Gluteus Medius, Minimus, Maximus, Gluteal Muscles): Any of three muscles in each buttock that move the thigh and makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the hips.

Glycogen: A fuel derived as glucose (sugar) from carbohydrate and stored in the muscles and liver. It’s the primary energy source for high-intensity exercise.

Gnarly (Gnar, Gnarl): A slang term for very rough, slippery, rooty, or rocking sections of trail.

Go/No Go: Analysis to determine if trail workers should proceed with a task or walk away to insure their safety. Such analysis evaluates all the hazards present and balances them against the skills they have.

Go Kart(s): Small, four-wheeled, engine driven vehicles with no suspension, a maximum length of 74”, and a maximum width of 50”.

Goal(s): Statement(s) of what a plan or action in a plan hopes to accomplish in the long term. Goals state the preferred situation, and usually are not quantifiable and may not have established time frames for achievement.

Goal Interference: A special type of conflict dissatisfaction attributed to another’s behavior.

Goathead(s) (Puncture Weed): A weed that has seeds with two very sharp barbs. When the seeds dry out in summer, they pull loose from the plant as you disturb them and lodge themselves in your tires or shoes. They are strong enough to puncture a bicycle tire.

Goes: Adjective that describes a lead (faint trail) that pans out, or “goes” where you had hoped it would, rather than dead-ending.

Gore-Tex: A trademark product of the W.L. Gore Company used for a water-repellent, breathable laminated fabric with a micro-thin membrane used primarily in outerwear, tents, and hiking boots.

Gorge: A deep, step-sided, rocky river valley.

GORP (Trail Mix): The original high-carbohydrate trail snack made primarily from nuts and dried fruit, an acronym for “Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts.” Some say it’s an acronym for Granola, Oats, Raisins, and Peanuts.

Government: The administrative body that establishes and implements legislation, appropriates funds for projects, and oversees its responsibilities through numerous administrative agencies (federal, state, and local governments)

Graben: A depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults; the result of a block of land being downthrown producing a valley with a distinct scarp on each side. Grabens often occur side-by-side with horsts.

Grade (Gradient): The vertical distance of ascent or descent of the trail expressed as a percentage of the horizontal distance, commonly measured as a ratio of rise to length or as a percent. For example, a trail that rises 8 vertical feet in 100 horizontal feet has an 8% grade. Grade is different than angle; angle is measured with a straight vertical as 90º and a straight horizontal as 0º. A grade of 100% would have an angle of 45º.

Grade, Average Trail (Overall Trail Grade): The average steepness of a trail over its entire length.

Grade, Average Trail Segment: The average slope of a certain trail segment.

Grade, Change of: An abrupt difference between the grade of two adjacent surfaces.

Grade, Maximum Sustainable: The steepest grade permitted on any part of a trail.

Grade, Negative: Trail runs downhill.

Grade, Percent of: Preferred method of measuring slope, or a hill’s steepness. For example, a grade of 10 percent means there is a rise or fall of 10 vertical feet per 100 linear feet.

Grade, Positive: Trail runs uphill.

Grade, Reverse (Grade Reversal, Grade Change, Adverse Pitch): A reverse in the trail grade—usually a short dip followed by a rise—that forces water off the trail. Grade reversals are subtle and typically designed into the alignment of the trail. When designed into the alignment they can prevent the future need for more artificial water diversion structures such as waterbars.

Grade, Sustained: The steepest acceptable grade permitted over the majority of the trail length.

Grade, Trail: The average grade over the length of a trail or long section of trail.

Grade, Tread: The grade of a specific short section of trail tread.

Graffiti: Any writing, printing, marks, signs, symbols, figures, designs, inscriptions, or other drawings that are scratched, scrawled, painted, drawn, or otherwise placed on any surface of a building, wall, fence, trail tread, or other structure on trails or greenways and which have the effect of defacing the property.

Gram Weenie (Gram Counter, Gram Cracker): Someone who is obsessive about reducing their gear weight.

Gran Fondo: Comes from cross-country skiing events that go longer than 40 kilometers. Bicycling adopted the name in the 1980s when long-distance, performance-oriented, amateur group rides became popular in Italy and elsewhere in Europe and now in the US.

Grand Prix: A known, closed-course meet that includes both natural and graded or paved terrain and is normally run as a multi-lap competitive event.

Granny Gear: The lowest gear ratio on a multi-speed derailleur bicycle; when the chain is on smallest chainring in front and the largest at the back on the freewheel.

Granny Ring: The smallest chainring on a crank with triple chainrings.

Grant(s): A financial assistance award making payment in cash or in kind for a specified purpose.

Grass (Forbs): Herbaceous vegetation.

Grassland: An area, such as a prairie or meadow, of grass or grasslike vegetation.

Grassroots (Support): Efforts at the local level utilizing public interest groups and communities in support of trails or greenways.

Grate: A framework of latticed or parallel bars that prevents large objects from falling through a drainage inlet, while permitting water and some sediment to fall through the slots.

Gravel: Rounded rock fragments ranging from 0.25 to 3 inches in size.

Gravel Riding (Gravel Grinding, Gravel Grinder): A form of endurance bicycling (from 50 to 200 miles) that takes place on gavel roads, away from high-traffic, paved thoroughfares.

Grease: A thick lubricant that’s used to pack around components, such as ball bearings in hubs.

Green: An open space available for unstructured recreation consisting of grassy areas and trees.

Green (Green-Broke): An inexperienced horse or rider, relatively speaking.

Green Building: A philosophy of construction of buildings and development of sites that fosters environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency, and community and cultural sensitivity.

Green Exercise Movement: People are moving their workouts outside to soak up the benefits of being in nature. Studies show that as little as 5 minutes of walking in a natural setting can increase your self-esteem, boost your mood, and slash high blood pressure.

Green Infrastructure: An interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas; greenways, parks and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources and contribute to the health and quality of life for communities and people.

Green Play: Place and relationship-based education that ensures children establish strong bonds by connecting to the natural world, children can develop a sense of meaning and belonging with a keen sense of place where they live.

Green Tunnel (Long Green Tunnel): Nickname given the Appalachian Trail because of the greenery beside and above you giving you limited scenery while hiking.

Greenbelt: A series of connected open spaces that may follow natural features such as ravines, creeks, or streams. May surround cities and serve to conserve and direct urban and suburban growth.

Greenbelts: The term greenbelts will be used to describe a variety of lands that may include public or private lands in rural, suburban and urban settings, including passive greenspace, active greenspace, low-country ecosystems, productive landscapes, heritage landscapes, corridors, natural (green) infrastructure and reclaimed greenspace. These greenbelt resources collectively form a protected living system of landscapes that serve the residents, businesses, visitors and future generations of Charleston County by preserving and improving the quality of life for all. [from Charleston County (SC) Greenbelt Plan]

Greenprint: A strategic conservation plan that recognizes the economic and social benefits that parks, open space, and working lands provide communities. Can be a map-based representation of the open space assets with natural resource and community-based values across a region.

Greenspace: Natural areas, open spaces, trails, and greenways that function for both wildlife and people.

Greenwashing: Making false or misleading claims about the environmental virtues of a product or practice to cast bad environmental behavior in a more appealing light.

Greenway: A linear open space established along a natural corridor, such as a river, stream, ridgeline, rail-trail, canal, or other route for conservation, recreation, or alternative transportation purposes. Greenways can connect parks, nature preserves, cultural facilities, and historic sites with business and residential areas.

Greenway, Community: Safe, off-road corridor of open space that connects neighborhoods, schools, parks, work places, and community centers via paths and trails.

Greenway, Conservation: Open space corridor that protects biodiversity and water resources by connecting natural features such as streams, wetlands, forests, and steep slopes.

Grind: A bicycle term referring to pedaling slowly in a big gear.

Grinder: A long uphill climb.

Griphoist (Cable Winch): A brand name for a manually operated hoist that pulls in a cable at one end and expels it from the other end; used to move rock or timber needed for trail structures.

Grit: Mental toughness, firmness of mind and spirit, and unyielding courage in the face of danger.

Groin: A shore protective structure, narrow in width, usually built perpendicular to the shore for purposes of trapping littoral drift, or to protect the shore from erosion. Sometimes incorrectly called a dike.

Grommet: A small hole, usually reinforced with non-corrosive metal or plastic that can be found on tents, backpacks, clothing, etc.

Groover: Name for the rectangle shaped ammunition can used as a toilet in the backcountry. After use, two “grooves” are left on a person’s backside.

Gross Negligence: Ignoring a problem that has been identified.

Ground: Soil or more generally the surface of the earth.

Ground Cloth: Material placed under a tent to help prevent wear and also moisture from penetrating the tent.

Ground Pressure: The force exerted per unit of surface area when an object comes into contact with the ground surface. Typically expressed in psi (pounds per square inch).

Ground Truthing: Verification and validation of geospatial data through field work.

Groundling: Anyone who sleeps on the ground out in the open (not under a shelter).

Groundwater: Water that infiltrates through the ground surface and accumulates in underground water bodies in porous rock or gravels.

Groundwater Flow: Water that moves through the subsurface soil and rocks.

Groundwater Table (Water Table): The upper limit of the part of the soil or underlying rock material that is wholly saturated with water. In some places an upper, or perched, water table may be separated from a lower one by a dry zone.

Group: Refers to the participants who are sticking together in an event or race.

Group (Groupo, Groupset): A complete set of bicycle components which usually includes: hubs, crankset, bottom bracket, derailleurs, shift levers, brakes, chain, cassette, headset, and sometimes the seatpost. Wheels are sold separately.

Group Ride: Usually refers to an established group that meets to ride. Usually hosted by clubs or shops. Some are fun rides and while others are designed to simulate race conditions.

Grub (Grubbing): Removal of roots, stumps, rocks, soil, etc., from the trail tread and corridor.

Guardrail: A 36- to 42-inch high railing for guarding against danger at the edge of a deck, bridge, or boardwalk to prevent people from falling. Also a barrier (posts and steel cables or bars) placed along the edge of a highway at dangerous points.

Guide: A guide is a person who is knowledgeable about a resource and is skilled in teaching others about that resource, and often accompanies visitors from place to place in the area of the resource.

Guideline(s): A statement and/or illustration describing a recommendation or principle for a preferred development technique or a course of action. Guidelines are not mandatory actions.

Gulch: Word for a small ravine. Deeper than a gully, generally narrow and steep sided, shallower than a canyon.

Gulf: The largest of several forms of inlets of the sea.

Gullied Land: Areas where the soil has been deeply eroded by water resulting in a network of V-shaped or U-shaped channels. Some areas resemble miniature badlands. Generally, gullies are so deep that extensive reshaping is necessary for most uses.

Gully: A channel resulting from erosion and caused by the concentrated but intermittent flow of water usually during and immediately following heavy rains.

Gully-washer: Heavy rain.

Gusset: A triangular insert, as in the seam of a garment or tent, for added strength or expansion.

Gutter: A trough or dip used for drainage purposes that runs along the edge of a trail.

Guy Line (Guyline, Guy-Wire, Guy-Rope, Guy): A tensioned line designed to add stability to a free-standing structure (tent, tarp).

Guzzler: A water development for wildlife that relies on rainfall or snowmelt to recharge it, rather than springs or streams. Usually used where no other sources of wildlife water exist.

Gyroscopic Effect (Gyro): The tendency of a revolving wheel to remain vertical.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – H

Habitat: A place that supports a plant or animal population because it supplies that organism’s basic requirements of food, water, shelter, living space, and security.

Habitat, Critical (Crucial or Key): Describes a particular seasonal range or other habitat component (e.g., winter range for big game, riparian habitat for dependent species, and nesting areas for sage grouse) which is a primary determining factor in a population’s ability to maintain and reproduce itself.

Habitat Diversity: The number of different types of habitat within a given area.

Habitat Fragmentation: The breaking up of habitat into discrete islands through modification or conversion of habitat by management activities.

Habituated: Animals that are comfortable in the presence of humans and have become accustomed to frequenting developed areas, campsites, trails, or roadsides.

Haboob(s): Massive dust storm(s) that can envelope a city.

Haircut: The result of cutting straight through shrub growth that intrudes into a trail corridor rather than selectively trimming to preserve a natural plant profile.

Half-Gallon Challenge: Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Pennsylvania marks the unofficial hallway point of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The long-running tradition among thru-hikers is to attempt at the halfway point to eat a half-gallon of ice cream in one hour. The Park Store is well stocked with ice cream.

Half Rule: Laying out a trail so that the prevailing grade is less than half the grade of the side slope. If the trail grade is steeper than half the grade of the sideslope, it is considered a fall-line trail and gravity will pull water down the trail instead of across it. This leads to erosion of the trail tread. This rule of thumb works for trail below 20 percent, when steeper than 20 percent, trails designed using the half rule can be too steep.

Hammer(s): A hand tool consisting of a solid head set crosswise on a handle and used for pounding. A variety of hammers (sledgehammer, claw hammers, single jacks) may be used on projects.

Hammer (Drop the Hammer, Throw Down the Hammer): Slang that denotes a high intensity, sustained effort— go really fast.

Hammered: Exhausted.

Hammerfest: A brutally fast ride or race.

Hammerhead: Someone who refuses to ever go easy.

Hammock(s) (Wetland Hardwood): Occur on poorly drained soils subject to constant seepage or high water tables; can flood but do not remain flooded for as long as hardwood swamps. Support luxurious vegetation with a diversity of plants and animals. Main tree species are live oak, laurel oak, water oak, cabbage palm, southern magnolia, sweet and red bay, red maple, and sweet gum. The understory includes hawthorn, wax myrtle, witch hazel, saw palmetto, and yaupon holly.

Hammock: A sling made of fabric, rope, or netting, suspended between two points, used for swinging, sleeping, or resting.

Hammock Camping: A form of camping in which a camper sleeps in a suspended hammock rather than sleeping in a conventional tent on the ground. Popular among ultra-light backpackers for their reduced impact on the environment and their lightness and lack of bulk compared to tents. Some feature a mosquito net. Special webbing straps are used to loop around trees in order to create attachment points for the hammock.

Hammocker: Someone who uses a hammock to sleep in when camping.

Hamstring(s): Any of the three tendons on the backs of the thigh muscles involved in knee flexion and hip extension.

Hand Pruner (Hand Clippers, Hand Shears): Hand held pruner with a blade and anvil for shearing small limbs and twigs.

Handcycle (Handbike): In order to accommodate paraplegics and other individuals with little or no use of their legs, many manufacturers have designed and released hand-powered recumbent trikes, or handcycles. The two front wheels are driven by a chain powered by hand cranks. The entire crank assembly and the front wheels turn together, allowing the rider to steer and crank simultaneously.

Handlebar(s) (Bars): The metal bar attached to the front of the ATV, MC, or bicycle which you hold with one hand at each end. Many of the controls are located on the handlebar.

Handlebar(s), Aero: Bicycle handlebars that stick out in front allowing the rider to bend low to obtain an aerodynamic position when pedaling.

Handlebar(s), Dropped (Drop Handlebars): Bicycle handlebars that feature compound bends and provide several comfortable hand positions.

Handlebar(s), Flat (Flat Bars): A handlebar that does not have any rise or drop, typically found on mountain bikes and hybrid bicycles.

Handlebars(s), Riser: A mountain bike handlebar that bends up on the ends; found on downhill, freeride, and some cross-country bikes.

Handlebar Grip(s): A cylindrical, slip-on rubber or vinyl covering for the ends of upright handlebars, and formed to fit the hand.

Handlebar Tape: Cloth, plastic, leather, or cork tape that is wrapped around bicycle handlebars to provide better grip and cushioning.

Handpump (Hydrant, Pump): A manually powered means of bringing water to the surface from a well.

Handrail: A 32- to 35-inch high railing along a stairway to help people avoid falling down the stairs.

Handrail: A long stream, road, or other feature that runs parallel to your course of travel. For example, once you follow a stream bank you can hold on to that “handrail” without constantly checking your compass bearing and position on the map. You will need to first find a “check point” on the map that will indicate when to turn away from the handrail.

Hands Free (No-Hands): Riding with your hands off the handlebars.

Hanging Valley: Form when small tributary glaciers erode shallower troughs than those made by the main ice flow. The result is a U-shaped notch high on the wall of the main valley. When the ice is gone, streams plunge as waterfalls from the mouths of these high, often vertical gorges, creating spectacular cascades.

Hantavirus: A respiratory disease that is carried in wild rodents such as deer mice. People become infected after breathing airborne particles of urine or saliva found in rodent-infested areas. The virus produces flu-like symptoms and takes one to five weeks to incubate. It is 60% fatal.

Happy Camper: One who loves what they are doing.

Hard Water: Water high in calcium and magnesium. This type of water does not lather easily when used with soap and forms a scale in containers when allowed to evaporate.

Hardening (Tread Hardening): The manual, mechanical, or chemical compaction of the trail tread with gravel, cement, rock cobbles, or other techniques resulting in a hard and flat surface (such as for accessible trails) that sheets water effectively and resists the indentations that are created by use.

Hardening Block (Turf Support Block, Turf Stone, Grass Grid, Tri-Lock Block): All can be used for hardening of the trail tread, but each has unique characteristics, which lend themselves to different applications.

Hardhat (Hard Hat): A protective hard shell worn on the head during trail work where there is a danger of falling debris from above.

Hardpack: A trail surface made of tightly compacted dirt.

Hardpan: A layer of nearly impermeable soil beneath a more permeable soil, formed by natural chemical cementing of the soil particles.

Hardscape: The term normally used for the built facilities portion of the landscape, e.g., walks, benches, tables, trashcans, signs, play areas, etc.

Hardtail: A mountain bike that has no rear suspension.

Hardware: Can refer to carabiners, pitons, ascenders, bolts, etc. used by rock climbers.

Hare and Hound (Desert Race): Off-road competitive motorcycle races run on natural-terrain desert courses at least 40 miles long.

Hare Scramble(s): Off-road competitive motorcycle races through the woods consisting of several long laps on a course between two and 40 miles long.

Harmony: A combination of parts into a pleasing or orderly whole: congruity; a state of agreement of proportionate arrangement of form, line, color, and texture. The feeling of overall appropriateness of a given trail. It includes characteristics such as integration with site, support of movement, rhythm and flow, and use of natural materials.

Harpers Ferry: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Headquarters and Information Center is located in Harpers Ferry, WV, about 1000 AT miles north of Springer Mountain. A short blue blazed trail leads to HQ, where AT hikers traditionally sign the register and have their photo taken to be added to a thru-hiker album.

Hat Rack: An improperly cut branch that is long enough to hang a hat on. This type of pruning can promote infection.

Hatchet: A type of short-handled ax with a head that weighs less than 3 pounds.

Hauling The Mail: Going Fast. The expression likely comes from the Pony Express.

Havelock: The flap at the back of a cap to protect the neck from the sun, rain, etc. Named after Sir Henry Havelock (1795-1857) English general in India.

Hazard Tree (Danger Tree, Widow Maker): Tree or limb that is either dead, or has some structural fault, that is hanging over, or leaning towards the trail or sites and is ready to break off. When you stop to work, rest, or camp you should immediately look up and assess and danger from hazard trees.

Hazard(s), Foreseeable: Hazards that trail builders or managers might perceive, but the average user would not see. An example is dead snags that serve as hazard trees when close to a trail.

Hazardous Materials: Anything that poses a substantive present or potential hazard to human health or the environmental when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Headcut: A break in the slope at the top of a gully than forms a “waterfall” which in turn causes the underlying soil to erode and the gully to expand uphill.

Header, Stone or Rock: A long, uniform stone laid with its narrow end towards the face of a retaining wall or crib used intermittently to structurally tie in the other rocks laid in the wall.

Header (Taking a Header): A head first fall over the handlebars of a bicycle or motorcycle.

Headlamp: A small flashlight attached to a band or strap and worn on the head.

Headset: The set of components (threaded or threadless) on a bicycle between the bicycle fork and headtube allowing rotation, typically consisting of two cups that are pressed into the top and bottom of the headtube. Inside the cups are bearings which provide a low friction contact.

Headwall: A support structure at the entrance to a culvert or drainage structure.

Headwater(s): The area in the upper reaches of a watershed typified by unconfined surface water flows. Headwaters can coalesce to form rivulets or first order streams with distinct channels. Headwaters can often be ephemeral (wet only part of the year).

Headwind: A wind blowing in your face, opposing your forward motion.

Heartwood: The oldest wood of a tree, extending from the center of a log out to the sapwood. It is the densest, strongest, and darkest wood in a log.

Heat Exhaustion: The body’s reaction to overheating, which includes salt-deficiency and dehydration. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and light-headedness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, pale skin, profuse sweating, dark urine, and increased heart rate.

Heatstroke: A severe illness in which the body’s temperature rises way above normal; also called sunstroke. This occurs when your body is no longer able to regulate its temperature. Can cause shock, brain dames, organ failure, and death. Symptoms include fever, irrational behavior, extreme confusion, red skin, shallow breathing, weak pulse, seizures, and unconsciousness.

Heel Stepping: A method of hiking down a snow covered or loose dirt slope that involves digging the heels in with each step to prevent slipping.

HEET: Brand name of automotive gas line antifreeze (methanol alcohol) used by some backpackers as stove fuel.

Height: Measure of the vertical dimension of a feature. May also be the depth of a rut or dip.

Helical Pier or Pile: Steel post with auger-shaped bit-end that is screwed into wet soils either by hand, or with the aid of specialized hydraulic tools to establish a foundation for puncheon or boardwalk.

Helmet (Lid, Brain Bucket): A hard-shell protective device worn on the head while riding OHVs, mountain bikes, horses, etc., or while in-line skating or paddling.

Helmet, Full-Face: Offers more head protection than conventional helmets by including a reinforcing piece that covers your lower face, used for extreme riding.

Helmet Hair (Helmet Head): The hair style you get after wearing a helmet for a period of time, usually involves many spikes of hair sticking straight up matching your helmet’s vent pattern.

Helmet Visor: An adjustable and removable plastic protrusion attached to the front of a helmet to protect the eyes from debris and glare.

Hemistour: Was an 18,272-mile bicycle tour from Alaska to Argentina, completed in part by Dan and Lys Burden and in full by Greg and June Siple from 1972 to 1975. On this trip they came up the idea of a mass bicycle ride across the United States to celebrate the Bicentennial in 1976. Out of this effort they cofounded Bikecentennial (today known as Adventure Cycling).

Herbaceous: Plants that are green and leaf like in appearance or texture and have characteristics typical of an herb, as distinguished from a woody plant.

Herbicide: A chemical agent designed to control or destroy plants, weeds, or grasses.

Herd Path: An unofficial trail that’s formed when a large number of trail users decide to all follow the same path. Usually created when trail users take a shortcut or easier path around some obstacle. Similar to how game trails are formed by animals.

Heritage Resource: A site, structure, object, or group of sites or structures used or created by people in the past.

Hewing: Using an ax or adz to cut a log so that its cross section is a square or rectangular.

Hicker: Person who is still trying to figure out the whole hiker/gear thing while on the trail.

High Flotation Equipment: Machinery that exerts low ground pressure.

High Gear(s): On a bicycle the combination of using the large chainwheel and small rear sprockets. Used for going fast; the rider must push much harder on the pedals.

High Potential Site (or Segment): Historic sites or trail segments which afford high quality recreation or interpretation opportunities.

High Water Mark: The point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of water are so common and usual as to mark on the soil and vegetation a character distinct from that of its bank.

Highpoint: The highest elevation in a country, state, or county.

Highpointing: The sport of hiking to as many geographical highpoints as possible (peak-packing).

Highway: Is a road, street, parkway, or freeway/expressway that includes rights-of-way, bridges, railroad-highway crossings, tunnels, drainage structures, signs, guardrail, and protective structures in connection with highways.

Hike (Hiked, Hiking, Hikes, Hill Climbing, Hill Walking, Tramp, Track, Outing): A long walk, especially in the country or through rugged terrain, as for exercise or pleasure.

Hike, Supported: When a thru-hiker has someone that will meet them at road crossings with food, supplies, and take them to a place to stay overnight. The hiker can limit their pack weight similar to slack packing.

Hike-a-Bike: A mtn bike ride where at some point you have to carry, push, or drag your bike up a hill or over an obstacle to continue your ride.

Hike ‘n Bike: An outing in which a couple has one mountain bike and take turns riding and hiking. On a family outing one parent rides the bike while the other hikes with the children on the same trail.

Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH): An encouragement between hikers to hike according to your own dreams, goals, and expectations and not have your hike determined by other hiker’s expectations.

Hiker: One who under takes a long walk, especially in the country or through rugged terrain, as for exercise or pleasure.

Hiker, Comfort: A backpacker who has the mindset that carrying a fifty pounds of gear in their pack makes them more comfortable when they camp.

Hiker, Ground Control: Support back home that handles the “real world” concerns like bills and pets, and mails a thru-hiker packages.

Hiker, Long-Distance (LDH): Applies to anyone who is hiking more than a few weeks, and who usually has to resupply at least once during the hike; often used interchangeably with the term thru-hiker.

Hiker, Power: Hiker who habitually chooses to cover very long distances each day, often hiking late into the evening.

Hiker, Reebok: A hiker who has more fashion sense than trail sense.

Hiker, Tour: Person who pretends to be hiking the entire long-distance trail, as a thru-hiker, but instead skips sections and usually looks for ways to spend more time lounging in towns and less time hiking; usually scoffs at the traditions of thru-hiking and thinks that the phrase “hike your own hike” is an excuse for just about anything.

Hiker Box: A cabinet or box at hostels where hikers donate unwanted food or gear for the hikers coming behind them.

Hiker Funk: If a hiker has been on the trail long enough their sweaty and dirty clothes emit an odor called hiker funk.

Hiker Hunger: After about a month on a long distance trail it is hard to carry enough food and you are hungry all the time.

Hiker Midnight: Most long distance hikers are usually asleep by 9:00 PM (midnight for them).

Hiker Tan: A sheen of dirt and mud accumulated from the trail—the kind of tan that washes off.

Hiker Trash: A general description of thru-hikers after months on the trail by some who think they resemble homeless people.

Hiker Widow (Trail Widow): A loved one left at home while you go out on your adventure.

Hiking, Solo: Going alone on a trail.

Hiking, Speed: Intentionally hiking fast or running on a long distance trail to establish or compete against your personal best time or to compete against times established by others.

Hiking Bubble(s): On a long distance trail a number of hikers will end up traveling at a similar pace and arrive in shelters and campsites within a day or two of each other. You get to know other hikers as they pass you or you pass them.

Hiking Socks: Come in many styles and materials that wick sweat from the feet, provide warmth, and cushion the feet. Some hikers will wear a thin, inner sock to help prevent blisters.

Hiking Stick: Usually a stick you have along the trail to help with stability while hiking. A few tips: lean on it hard to see if it’s strong enough to hold you, pick a dry stick waist high, and find out with a flat base for greater stability than a pointed end.

Hiking Trails for America (HTA): Non-profit formed to support permanent protection and continuity for all National Scenic Trails and to educate the general public in the use of foot trails for walking, hiking, and backpacking.

Hill: A local and well-defined raised elevation of land not as high or craggy as a mountain.

Hill Shooting: Ascending a hill at the highest possible speed.

Hill Walking (Hill Climbing): Used in the United Kingdom to refer to walking or hiking in mountains and hills.

Hillclimb(s): Specialized motorcycles compete one at a time in timed runs up a steep dirt hill. The most popular from of motorcycle racing in the 1920s.

Hillclimbing: Riding or driving straight up hills at high speed in an attempt to climb higher and higher on steep slopes.

Hinge Point (Inside Edge, Toe of Backslope, Top of Tread): The location on the trail where trail tread and backslope meet.

Historic Property: Any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on the National Register; such term includes artifacts, records, and remains which are related to such a district, site, building, structure, or object.

Hitch: A block of time (eight to ten days) when a trail crew will camp, eat and work together in the woods.

Hitch, Off: A block of time, usually four to six days, when a trail crew is off work; off days.

Hitch, On: To be on a trail job.

Hitched Out: To be on a trail job.

Hitch Rail (Hitching Rails, Tethering Rails): A wood or steel rail that allows riders to secure horses or mules for relatively short periods.

Hitchhike (Hitch, Hitch Hike, Thumb it): Getting a free automobile ride. Many thru-hikers get off the trail and hitchhike to the nearest town for resupply.

Hitching Post: A variation of a hitch rail that has a single, solid upright with a ring attached near the top. Riders tie the lead rope to the ring.

Hobbles: Rope, cloth, or leather loops that fasten a horses forelegs together.

Hoes (Grub Hoe/Adze Hoe/Hazel Hoe): A tool with a blade (various weights) set across the end of a long handle used in building and repairing trail tread and digging trenches. They usually come with a 34-inch handle and a 6-inch-wide blade set at an “adze angle” and are maintained and used like a mattock. Grub hoes are not usually sharpened.

Hogback: A rounded ridge with steep slopes on either side.

Hollowing out: Combination of user traffic and water, resulting in the formation of a channel or trench (hollowing out) within the tread. Also called “cupping.”

Honk (Honking): Acceleration by standing on pedals, out of the saddle, pulling on handlebars, moving the bicycle side to side.

Hoodoo(s): A column of eccentrically shaped rock spires separated from the parent rock, produced by differential weathering.

Hook: Elbowing or wheel movement which impedes the progress of another bicyclist in a competitive event, usually illegal.

Horse: A solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times. An equine usually over 14.2 hands in height. Horses and humans have lived and worked together for thousands of years and an extensive specialized vocabulary has arisen to describe virtually every horse behavioral and anatomical characteristics with a high degree of precision.

Horsemanship: Exhibition of an equine rider’s skill, usually referring to the Western style of riding.

Horsepower (hp): Measure of power output, one hp equals 746 watts.

Horst(s): A raised elongated block of the earth’s crust lying between two faults.

Hostel (Youth Hostel): A budget-oriented accommodation where guests (mainly travelers or backpackers) can rent a bed in a dormitory with a shared bathroom, common areas, and sometimes meals or kitchen facilities are provided to travelers. Many hostels are members of Hostelling International, a non-profit organization encouraging outdoor activities and cultural exchange while others are independently operated. Despite their name, in most countries membership is not limited to youth.

Hostelling International USA (HI-USA): A national non-profit organization that operates hostels and runs programs in support of hostels in the US. Formerly known as American Youth Hostels (AYH). It is affiliated with Hostelling International (HI). The first US youth hostel was opened in Northfield, MA in 1934 by Isabel and Monroe Smith, and American Youth Hostels was born. It’s mission is “to help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.”

Hotshot Crew: Intensively trained fire crew used primarily in hand line construction, and organized primarily to travel long distances from fire to fire as needed rather than serving only one location. Many Hotshot Crews when not fighting fires build trails.

Hub: The center of a wheel that the axle passes through and the spokes are attached to.

Hub, Internal Geared: A sealed rear bicycle hub housing a collection of gears.

Hub(s): Area(s) that anchor a network and provide an origin or destination for elements moving to or through it.

Huck (Hucking): To ride off a large drop with abandon.

Huffy Toss: An irreverent event often held at mountain bike festivals. Top prize goes to whoever throws a bike the farthest, bonus points are awarded for any components that fly off.

Hummock (Hummocked): A low knoll, ridge, or mound of earth.

Hump: As a verb hump means to carry an excessively heavy load.

Humus: The well-decomposed, more or less stable part of the organic matter in mineral soils.

Humus Layer: The organic layer of soil formed by the decay of organic matter.

Hundred-Mile Wilderness: A section of the Appalachian Trail running between Monson and Abol Bridge just south of Baxter State Park in Maine. It is generally considered the wildest section of the AT, and one of the most challenging to navigate and traverse.

Hunt (Hunting) Camp: Areas set up to be used by seasonal hunters for camping. May also act as a trailhead.

Hut: Can vary from sheds to full-service hotels on long distance trails providing a place to sleep and some offer meals.

Hut, Warming: A temporary space or partially enclosed space used briefly for protection from the weather.

Hut System(s): Comprise three or more backcountry huts that are spaced a day’s walk, ski, or bike apart; designed to be traveled in sequence, and connected by a trail system supporting a traverse or circuit over a period of days or weeks.

Hybrid: A trail design that blends “open and flowing” and “tight and technical” features.

Hybrid Trail Construction: Concept where an agency uses a combination of trail contracting and volunteers to construct a trail.

Hydration (Hydrate, Hydrated): to supply water to a person or animal to restore or maintain fluid balance.

Hydration System (Hydration Bladder): An improvement on drinking out of a bottle, consists of a plastic bladder (in your pack), hose, and mouth piece/valve that allows hands free drinking. Camelback and Platypus are two popular brands.

Hydraulic: On a river, an area where water backflows at the base of a ledge or rock or otherwise reverses itself.

Hydrology: The study of the occurrence, circulation, and distribution of waters of the earth. Local hydrologic regimes and processes need to be taken into account in trail and greenway planning. These processes include precipitation, interception, run-off, infiltration, percolation, storage, evaporation, and transpiration.

Hydrology, Ground Water: How water moves through the soil surface layer to bedrock or the ground water table.

Hydrology, Hillside: Describes how water from rain, snow melt, and seeps travels down natural slopes and how such water interacts with your trail.

Hydrology, Surface Water: How water moves over the surface of the earth including flow over soil surfaces, from springs, and in streams and rivers.

Hydroplaning: Riding on the surface of water, when tires skim on wet road.

Hyponatremia: An abnormally low concentration of sodium in the blood generally caused by drinking in excess of ability to absorb, exertion-based losses of sodium that are not replaced, and use of NSAIDS. Symptoms include bloating and puffiness in the face and fingers, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, headache, and disorientation.

Hypothermia: Potentially fatal condition caused by insufficient heat and a lowering of the body’s core temperature to dangerous levels. Wet conditions, wind, and exhaustion can bring on hypothermia. Classic symptoms are called the umbles, as the victim stumbles, grumbles, mumbles, and fumbles with confused thoughts.

Hypotonic: A drink solution used to avoid dehydration that has slightly lower sugar and electrolyte content than your body fluid so that your cells absorb it faster than they do plain water. Look for drink mixes that range from 3 to 6 percent carbohydrate content.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – I

ISD Syndrome: Richard Badaracco in 1976 spoke of the ISD Syndrome―the progression from Impairment of satisfaction to Suppression of use to eventual Displacement in reference to nonmotorized Recreationists having a difficult time sharing terrain with motorized users.

Iceberg: Icebergs are large rocks planted in the ground at an overused campsite to discourage any more tenting.

Icebiker (Icebiking): Diehard bicyclists who pedal through sleet, snow, and dark wintry nights to get to work or just for fun.

Idaho Stop: Law that allows bicycles to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs. Named after a 1982 Idaho law.

Iditarod: Annual Alaskan 1,000 mile dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome. There’s now mountain bike, running, and skiing versions.

Iliotibial Band (IT Band): Band that extends along the outside of the leg from the hip to the knee.

Impact Fee: A fee levied on the developer or builder of a project by a public agency as compensation for otherwise unmitigated impacts the project will produce. Impact fees can be designated to pay for publicly owned parks, open space, trails, or recreational facilities.

Impacts (or Effects): Encompasses all physical, ecological, and aesthetic effects resulting from the construction and use of trails (both negative and positive). Many impact studies have been concerned with environmental and social impacts of different users, such as tread wear, littering, conflicts between users, or vandalism.

Impermeable Material: A soil or material whose properties prevent movement of water.

Impervious Surface: Hard surfaces that do not allow absorption of water into the soil and that increase runoff. Examples of such surfaces include concrete or asphalt paved trails and parking areas.

In-Kind Contribution(s): Funds donated toward the match for a grant. Can include state, community agencies, or private sector dollar donations, value of donated labor or equipment, real property, professional services, materials, etc.

Incident Command System (ICS): A standardized organizational structure used to command, control, and coordinate the use of resources and personnel that have responded to the scene of an emergency. The concepts and principles for ICS include common terminology, modular organization, integrated communication, unified command structure, consolidated action plan, manageable span of control, designated incident facilities, and comprehensive resource management.

Incised Bank(s): Banks that are too steep and deep to allow the stream access to the floodplain during a “normal” flood.

Incised River (Channel): A river that erodes its channel by a process of degradation to a lower base level than existed previously or is consistent with the current hydrology.

Indemnify (Indemnification): To insure against or repay for loss, damage, etc.

Indian Trail Tree: Native Americans would bend a sapling to grow at right angles so that it can be easily identified and used to mark trails and boundaries. Many of these trees can be seen today along trails and in the backcountry.

Infill: The stone or soil material used to fill gaps in trail, step, or wall construction/revetment work.

Infiltration: The portion of rainfall or surface runoff that moves downward into the subsurface rock and soil.

Infra Trails: US Forest Service corporate database for National Forest System Trail inventory and management information.

Infrastructure: The facilities, utilities, and transportation systems (road or trail) needed to meet public and administrative needs.

Inholding: A tract of land under one ownership that is surrounded by a larger tract under a different ownership. This is a common situation where a private property is surrounded by public ownership.

Inslope (Insloping): Where the trail tread is sloped downward toward the backslope of the trail; causes water to run along the inside (uphill) edge of the trail.

Insole: The padding in a boot or shoe on which your foot rests. Provides arch support, cushioning, and moisture absorption.

Install (Construct): To set in position for use; to build a bridge or structure.

Intensity: The qualitative element of training referring to effort, velocity, maximum strength and power.

Interdisciplinary Team (IDT): A process of assembling a team of staff resource specialists who become fully involved in a discussion of issues, problems, conflicts and concerns; the development of alternatives; analysis of environmental effects; and development of final recommendations for management decision. From time to time, members of the general public or specialists from outside groups or agencies may participate with IDTs.

Interim Management: A wilderness management term meaning the management of areas under study or consideration for wilderness classification during their review period. Management is done in a way that does not degrade wilderness qualities or preclude the possibility of classification by Congress as units of the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). In other words, the decision to study an area for possible wilderness designation is also a decision to temporarily manage that area as a wilderness.

Intermodal: Connections between modes of transportation, such as automobile, transit, bicycle, or walking.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA): Federal legislation authorizing highway, highway safety, transit, and other surface transportation programs from 1991 through 1997. It provided new funding opportunities for sidewalks, shared use paths, and recreational trails. ISTEA was superseded by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998. The “Safe, Accountable, Efficient Transportation Equity Act— a Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU) authorizes spending for fiscal years 2005-09 and replaces TEA 21.

Intermodalism: The use of multiple types of transportation to reach one destination; includes combining the use of trains and buses, automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrian transport on a given trip.

International Appalachian Trail (IAT): The IAT runs north and east from Maine’s Katahdin to the Gaspé Peninsula in New Brunswick, and now across to Newfoundland.

International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA): Leading resource for mountain bike-oriented trail design, construction, maintenance, and management information, and mountain biking in general.

IMBA Rules of the Trail: International Mountain Bicycling Association’s six rules of responsible mountain bicycling: Ride on Open Trails Only, Leave No Trace, Control Your Bicycle, Yield to Others, Never Scare Animals, Plan Ahead.

International Scale of River Difficulty: Guidelines for rating the violence of a river’s rapids. Categories range from Class I, marred by light ripples, to Class VI, violent whitewater that should only be attempted by advanced paddlers.

Interpretation: Communicating information about the natural and/or cultural resources and their associated stories and values found at a specific site or along a trail. Tours, signs, brochures, and other means can be used to interpret a particular resource.

Interpreter: Usually in state and national parks—employee how explains an area’s cultural and natural history via guided tours, trail walks, campfire programs, etc.

Interpretive: Technique that assists audiences through communication media in making both emotional and intellectual connections with heritage resources.

Interpretive Center: A facility where opportunities are provided for people to forge emotional and intellectual connections between their interests and the meanings that arise from learning about the resource. The facility may or may not be staffed, and can range in scale from a kiosk to a complex of buildings and natural sites, but always provides information about the natural and cultural resources.

Interpretive Display (Sign): An educational display usually in an interpretive center or at a trailhead that describes and explains a natural or cultural point of interest on or along the trail.

Intersection (Junction): Area where two or more trails or roads join together.

Intersection Bumpout(s): In urban environments, sidewalk edges that protrude into the intersection not only shorten the crosswalk, but also make cars slow down by narrowing the roadway and forcing tighter turns.

Interval Training: A type of workout in which periods of intense effort are alternated with periods of easy effort for recovery.

Inuksuk (plural is Inuksuit, English spelling is Inukshuk): A human-made stacked stone guidepost made from several rocks balanced on each other used by Inuit and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America since ancient times. Means “in the likeness of a human” in the Inuit language. They are used for navigation, a marker for travel routes, to mark a food cache, or to make a place of respect or a memorial.

Inventory: The systematic acquisition and analysis of resource information needed for planning and management purposes.

Inventory, Sign: A comprehensive list of every sign in a given area that provides the details of sign location, message, and material.

Inventory, Trail: A comprehensive list of trails. Usually compiled by an agency or state.

Invert: The bottom surface of a pipe, ditch, or culvert over which water flows.

Invitee: A person on the owner’s land with the owner’s permission, expressed or implied, for the owner’s benefit, such as a paying customer. This is the highest level of landowner responsibility and therefore carries the highest level of liability.

Ironman: The first and most famous triathlon. Held in Kona, Hawaii in October each year, it’s comprised of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bicycle race, and a 26.2-mile run. Competitors have 17 hours to finish the race.

Ischial Tuberosities: More commonly called the sit bones, these are the two bony points of the pelvis that you rest on when sitting on a bicycle seat.

Island: An area of land, smaller than a continent, completely surrounded by water.

Isolated Leg Training (ILT): Pedaling a bicycle with one leg to improve technique.

Isthmus: A narrow strip of land located between two bodies of water, connecting two larger land areas.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – J

J-Strap(s): Nylon loop straps attached to a shoulder pad are used to carry rock bars comfortably by transferring the weight to a shoulder.

Jam (Jammin): To push or keep a fast pace when hiking or riding.

Janglies: Refers to carabiners, pitons, etc. that dangle from a rock climber and clank around making noise during a climb.

Jaunt: A leisurely ride when you take in the sights.

Jet Ski (Personal water craft – PWC): A motorized vehicle that uses a jet of water to propel it rapidly across the surface of a water body.

Jetty: A structure that projects into a body of water to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor or shoreline from storms or erosion.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA): Document that describes the hazards of a particular trail project and how to reduce them. A crew leader reviews this document with their crew before beginning work.

Joint: A place where two things or parts are joined. A space between the adjacent surfaces of two bodies joined and held together (as by cement or mortar). A fracture or crack in rock not accompanied by dislocation. The junction of two or more members of a framed structure. A union formed by two abutting rails in a track including the elements (as bars and bolts) necessary to hold the abutting rails together.

Joist: Usually a wooden 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, or 2×12, with the 2-inch dimension resting on a sill or ledger, toe nailed into place, supporting a floor or deck.

Joist Hanger: A steel angle or strap nailed to the side of a ledger and shaped to hold a joist. After the joist hanger is installed, the joist is placed within the hanger and the two are nailed together.

Jousting, Tall Bike: A popular sport among tall bike owners, introduced in the early 1990s by the Minneapolis, MN Black Label Bike Club. Combatants arm themselves with home-made lances and attempt to score points by dislodging the other rider.

Jump: In a competitive event an attack right at the start which marks the start of a sprint.

Jump (Dirt Jump): A shaped mound of cement, dirt, or soil that riders use to ride onto and take off from to get airborne momentarily.

Jump, Gap (Double or Triple Jump): Jumps that utilize takeoff and landing ramps with a gap or chasm in between. Riders must launch from the takeoff and clear the gap to reach the landing.

Jump, Hip (Airplane Turn): Type of jump that transfers you and your bicycle or motorcycle from one side of the trail to the other, or forces you to change direction.

Jump, Tabletop: Jumps with a flat top that allow a rider to roll over the jump without being forced to catch air.

Jumping, Dirt: Name given to the practice of riding bikes over shaped mounds of cement, dirt, or soil and becoming airborne. The idea is that after riding over the takeoff the rider will become momentarily airborne, and aim to land on the landing.

Junction (Intersection): Area where two or more trails or roads join together.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – K

Karst: Limestone areas riddles with extensive subterranean streams and caves, and an aboveground terrain that collapses into these underground channels, leaving distinctive hollows, pits, and sinkholes.

Katahdin, Mount: The Appalachian Trail’s northern terminus located in Maine’s Baxter State Park. Katahdin is a Penobscot Native American word meaning “The Greatest Mountain.” At 5,270 feet Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine.

Kayak: A decked craft similar to a canoe and propelled by a double or single-bladed paddle. K-1 is a sold kayak and K-2 is a tandem kayak.

Kayak, Tandem (K-2): A kayak built to accommodate two paddlers.

Keep the Rubber on the Road: A bicyclist’s or motorcyclist’s way of saying ‘ride smart’ and don’t crash.

Kerf: The opening in a log cut by a saw. A wedge is often placed behind the saw blade to prevent the kerf from closing and pinching the blade.

Kelly Hump (Tank Trap): An abrupt mound of dirt across a decommissioned road or trail to block vehicle access.

Kevlar: A very strong artificial fiber used two different ways in bicycle tires: Kevlar beads are used on some tires instead of wire to save weight with the additional advantage of being foldable. Kevlar belted tires have a layer of Kevlar under the tread surface, with the purpose of making the tire more resistant to punctures.

Key Observation Point(s) (KOP): One or a series of points on a travel route or at a use area or a potential use area, where the view of a management activity would be most revealing.

Key Swap(s): When groups are hiking a one-way trail everyone meets beforehand and forms two groups. One plans to hike from point A to point B, and the other from B to A. The drivers from each group take a car from someone in the other group and vice-versa. Each group drives to their respective trailheads and starts hiking. Somewhere in the middle of the trail, the two groups meet up and return the keys to their owners. At the end of the hike, drivers should have the correct cars waiting for them.

Keystone: The wedge-shaped stone at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place.

Kick: In a competitive event the final attack during a sprint in a last-ditch effort to pass racers ahead.

Kick Off, The: An annual event to offer information, encouragement, and camaraderie held the last weekend in April organized by former thru-hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail for the benefit of current thru-hikers. Held at Lake Morena, 20 miles from the southern terminus of the Trail. Called Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) or ADZ for short.

Kick-Out (Kickout): A bunny hop in which the rider swings the rear tire to one side while keeping the front tire on the ground.

Kickstand: A prop operated by foot for holding a bicycle or motorcycle upright when it is parked.

Kiosk (Sign): A freestanding trailhead bulletin board housing informational or interpretive displays.

Kit: A British term for attire and equipment needed for a specific activity such as bicycling.

Knick: Shaved-down section of trail, about 10 feet in diameter, with an exaggerated outslope. Like a rolling grade dip, a knick is used to shed water off a trail and is a useful remedy for wet spots on relatively flat trails.

Knob: Prominent rounded hill or summit on a longer ridge. A Southern term.

Knobbies: Tires with square rubber protrusions or knobs for good trail traction; common on some dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, and mountain bikes.

Knoll: Low hill distinctive for its round shape.

Krummholtz (Krumholtz): German word meaning “crooked wood.” Describes the bent and twisted trees in subalpine zones.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – L

L-20 Regulations: The first systematic program of wilderness protection promulgated by the US Forest Service in 1929. It was primarily a list of permitted and prohibited uses for designated roadless areas on national forests.

Labyrinth: Walking a labyrinth is an ancient meditative practice with modern adherents. They employ a single path that leads to a center point. Labyrinths are categorized according to circuits, which refer to the number of times the paths wind around the center. The 11-circuit Chartres (after the famous Paris church) and Classic-7 are the most common types.

Lacing: Refers to the process of threading bicycle spokes through holes in the hub and rim so that they form a radial spoke pattern. Names for various lacing patterns are commonly referenced to the number of spokes that any one spoke crosses. Conventionally laced 36- or 32-spoke wheels are most commonly built as a cross-3 or a cross-2, however other cross-numbers are also possible.

Lactate Threshold (Anaerobic Threshold): The exertion level at which the body can no longer produce energy aerobically, resulting in the buildup of lactic acid. This is marked by muscle fatigue, pain, and shallow, rapid breathing.

Lactic Acid (Lactate): A substance formed during anaerobic metabolism, when there is incomplete breakdown of glucose. It rapidly produces muscle fatigue and pain.

Lagoon: A shallow area of water separated from the ocean by a sandbank or by a strip of low land.

Lake: Large inland body of water.

Land: The total natural and cultural environment of the solid surface of the earth.

Land, Private (Private Property): Land owned by a farmer, corporation, or individual (private landowner). Trails must have a negotiated legal easement to cross private lands.

Land, Public: Federal, state, or municipal land in trust for the governed populace (public landowner).

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): A federal matching assistance program that provides grants for 50%of the cost for the acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites and facilities.

Land Ethic: The desire humans have to conserve, protect, and respect the native landscape and other natural resources because their own well being is dependent upon the proper functioning of the ecosystem.

Land Management Agency: Any agency or organization that manages lands—many managed as recreation and/or wilderness areas. Examples include federal agencies such as the USDA Forest Service, the USDI National Park Service, and the USDI Bureau of Land Management, as well as state, county, and local park system agencies: as well as organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.

Land Manager: Any person who makes decisions regarding land use.

Land Transfer: The sale, exchange, or other conveyance of land from one owner to another, especially under the authority of land disposal laws such as the Desert Land Act, Carey Act, Recreation and Public Purposes Act, FLPMA, etc.

Land Trust: A private, nonprofit conservation organization formed to protect natural resources such as forestland, natural areas, and recreational areas. Land trusts purchase and accept donations of conservation easements.

Land Use: The way a section or parcel of land is used. Examples of land uses include industrial, agricultural, and residential.

Landform: Any physical, recognizable form or feature on the earth’s surface, having a characteristic shape and produced by natural causes. Examples would include but not be limited to beaches, various types of dune systems, plains, swamps, marshes, and mountain with various types of geological process origins.

Landing: The transition area on a switchback.

Landing (Log Landing, Log Deck): A place in or near the timber harvest site in a forest where logs are gathered for further processing or transport.

Landmark: Any monument or material mark or fixed object used to designate the location of a land boundary on the ground. Any prominent object on land which can be used in determining a location or a direction.

Landscape: The sum total of the characteristics that distinguish a certain kind of area on the earth’s surface and give it a distinguishing pattern in contrast to other kinds of areas. Any one kind of soil is said to have a characteristic natural landscape, and under different uses it has one or more characteristic cultural landscapes.

Landscape Architecture: The design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes.

Landscape Block: A specific landscape unit used in analysis (for example, a drainage).

Landscape Character: The arrangement of a particular landscape as formed by the variety and intensity of the landscape features and the four basic elements of form, line, color, and texture. These factors give the area a distinctive quality which distinguishes it from its immediate surroundings.

Landscape Diversity: The size, shape, and connectivity of different ecosystems across a large area.

Landscape Ecology: The study of native landscape structure, function, and change at the scale of entire landscapes, as well as the application of the results to the design and management of both natural and human-dominated areas.

Landscape Features: The land and water form, vegetation, and structures which compose the characteristic landscape.

Landscape Linkage: Large linear protected areas connecting ecosystems and landscapes that provide sufficient space for native flora and fauna to safely live, reproduce, and move, and that may result in the protection of historic sites.

Landscape Typology: The classification and description of natural and cultural landscapes.

Landslide: Dislodged rock or earth that has slipped downhill under the influence of gravity and obstructs passage on a trail.

Lane: A division of roadway intended for movement of vehicles in a single direction.

Laser: An acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation,” a device producing coherent energy beams in the spectrum of light or near-light frequencies.

Lash: To secure gear to the top of a vehicle or deck of a kayak, usually with a rope or bungee cord.

Lash Point: A loop or other feature that allows the attachment of some accessory to the exterior of a pack.

Last Mile Problem (First Mile Problem): The difficulty of getting from your starting location to a transportation network and back. Term was adopted from the telecommunications industry which faced difficulty connecting home to the main network

Latitude: The angular distance north or south of the equator, measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

Launch: The act of propelling the canoe or kayak from the shore and into the water.

Lawyer Tabs: On a bicycle’s fork there’s a notch (tab) where the quick release sits. The tabs are designed to prevent the wheel from dropping out, even if the quick release is open. Manufacturers began putting them on forks in the 1980’s in response to lawsuits.

Layers (Layering, Layered Clothing): A way of dressing outdoors using many garments that are worn on top of each other. Particularly relevant in cold, where clothing must transfer moisture, provide warmth, and protect from wind and rain. Usually identified as three layers:

Base Layer (Inner Layer, First Layer); Provides comfort by keeping the skin dry by transfer of moisture (wicking action).

Mid Layer (Insulating Layer): Provides warmth.

Outer Layer (Shell Layer): Protects from wind and rain (waterproof breathable hard shell jacket).

Le Mans Start: A start in which racers must run to their waiting bikes, which are lined up on the starting line, then jump on and start riding. Named for the original starting procedure at the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race, in which cars were lined up according to qualifying time and drivers ran across the track to their cars.

Leaching: The loss of soil minerals from upper layers of the soil to lower layers by water drainage.

Lead: What appears to be a trail (pronounced leed).

Leader, Section: A trail volunteer given specific duties to take care of sections of a trail.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): A green building rating system for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED recognizes performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Leadout: Tactic where a team rider in a competitive event accelerates to maximum speed so leader can draft and then sprint past.

League of American Bicyclists (LAB): A US national non-profit membership which advocates for and promotes bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation. Founded on May 30, 1880 as the League of American Wheelmen. Its major annual event is the National Bicycle Summit held each Spring in Washington, DC. The League plays a leading role in bicycling issues through the following programs: Bicycle Friendly Communities, Safe Routes to School, and Smart Cycling.

Lean-To (Leanto): A sturdy shelter to sleep in built along long distant trails that consists of a raised floor, roof, and three walls allowing you to escape wind and precipitation.

Leapfrogging: Skipping larger sections of a long distance trail and returning to them at a later date.

Leapfrogging (Leapfrog): When you pass someone on the trail, then they pass you later on, and so on.

Lease: The temporary grant of an interest in land upon payment of a determined fee. The fee does not have to be monetary, but some consideration must be given for the right to use the land, or the lease will not be legally binding.

Leave No Trace (LNT): Educational program designed to instill behaviors in the outdoors that leave minimum impact of human activities or occupation.

Ledger: A horizontal piece of wood attached to, and supported by, piles or concrete or stone masonry piers. Ledgers support stringers or tread timbers.

Leeward: Direction downwind from the point of reference.

Legend: A listing that shows symbols and other information about a map.

Legislation: Written and approved laws. Also known as “statutes” or “acts.”

Leisure: The free or discretionary time available for people to use as they choose after meeting the biological and subsistence requirements of existence.

Length: Dimension of a feature measured parallel to the direction of travel.

Less-Than-Fee-Simple: Land acquisition technique that obtains only certain land use rights from the landowners, such as conservation easements, management agreements, or leases.

Letterboxing: Came to the US from England in the late 1990s. The object is to follow a set of clues in order to locate a letterbox in the outdoors. A letterbox contains a notebook, rubber stamp and inkpad.

Level(s): A device for establishing a true horizontal line or plane by means of a bubble in a liquid that shows adjustment to the horizontal by movement to the center of a slightly bowed glass tube. Carpentry and construction levels, line levels, and laser levels are different types of levels that can be used for construction of fencing, stone walls, boardwalks, and bridges. Levels also help to determine the slope of trail tread.

Level, Digital: A 2 or 4 foot level that gives a digital readout in degrees which is useful to determine the trails outslope.

Liability (Liable): In law, a broad term including almost every type of duty, obligation, debt, responsibility, or hazard arising by way of contract, tort, or statute. To say a landowner or person is “liable” for an injury or wrongful act is to indicate that they are the person responsible for compensating for the injury or wrongful act.

License: Allows the licensed party to enter the land of the licensor without being deemed a trespasser.

Licensee: Person using a property for their benefit (i.e. hunting, hiking, etc.) with the implied or stated consent of the owner, but not for the benefit of the owner.

Life Jacket (Life Vest, PFD – Personal Flotation Device): A flotation device consisting of a sleeveless jacket of buoyant or inflatable design worn by a paddler to provide buoyancy in the water.

Life List: Record of species seen (bird list) or activities accomplished (peak bagging list).

Life Preserver: A buoyant device, usually in the shape of a ring, belt, or jacket, designed to keep a person afloat in the water.

Lifted and Tilted: A bike-optimized trail construction technique in which the tread is raised allowing for berms and jumps to be built.

Lifts: Layers of loose soil. Used to specify how much loose soil should be laid down at a time before it must be compacted or wrapped in geotextile fabric.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR): Is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. LIDAR is popularly used to make high-resolution maps.

Lighting, Back: A situation where the light source is coming from behind the object being viewed. Objects are generally in shadow with highlighted edge.

Lighting, Front: A situation where the light source is coming from behind the observer and shining directly upon the area being viewed.

Lighting, Side: A situation where the light source is coming from the side of a scene or object being viewed. It is usually the most critical for revealing contrast.

Lightning: The occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder.

Limbing: The act of sawing a large branch which is done in three cuts: 1) about 6 to 12 inches from the trunk and a third of the way through the underside; 2) about 1 inch farther out and all the way through from the top (the main part of the branch will now be cut from the tree; and 3) the small piece next to the collar all the way through. If you try sawing through in one go near the collar, the limb will break and rip a strip of bark off the trunk.

Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC): A planning framework that establishes explicit measures of the acceptable and appropriate resource and social conditions in recreation settings as well as the appropriate management strategies for maintaining or achieving those desired conditions.

Line: The desired path traveled through a turn or trail section. Most have multiple lines. The line you choose can make and trail harder or easier, slower or faster, less exciting or more fun.

Line: The path, real or imagined, that the eye follows when perceiving abrupt differences in form, color, or texture. Within landscapes, lines may be found as ridges, skylines, structures, changes in vegetative types, or individual trees and branches.

Linear Disturbances: Human-made linear features that are not part of BLMs transportation system. May include engineered (planned) as well as unplanned single- and two-track linear features that are not designated as part of BLMs transportation system.

Linear Event: A specific characteristic of a road/trail that has a beginning measure and an ending measure where the characteristic is constant.

Linear Features: Represent the broadest category of physical disturbance (planned and unplanned). Transportation-related linear features include engineered roads and trails, as well as user-defined, nonengineered roads and trails created as a result of public use.

Link: A trail that connects two trails together or links open space, parks, other sites to a main trail.

Link(s): A bicycle or motorcycle chain is composed of several “links” comprised of inner and outer plates with rollers to space the plates and pins to join them together.

Link, Master (PowerLink, Quick Link): A bicycle chain link that can be easily disassembled and re-assembled without the need to press out a rivet pin, making it easier and quicker to take the chain off the bicycle for cleaning.

Link, Stiff (Tight Link): A bicycle or motorcycle chain link that binds and stops flexing as it should, usually caused by corrosion or a tight pin when installing the chain. To free a stiff link, grasp the chain with your hands straddling the stiff link and flex the chain laterally, which will free the outer plates that were pinched.

Linkage(s): Connections that enable trails and greenway systems to function and multiply the utility of existing components by connecting them together like beads on a string.

Litter: The uppermost layer of decaying matter in any plant community (leaf matter), or carelessly discarded trash on the trail.

Livestock: Domestic animals kept or raised for food, by-products, work, transportation, or recreation.

Load (Loading, Weighting): When riding to apply extra down force to your tires to gain speed and control over terrain.

Load, Dead: The total physical weight of a bridge or structure, equal to the combined weight of all structural components.

Load, Design: The maximum weight a trail tread or structure can carry at any point along its length. Service and emergency vehicles need to be considered when determining the design load of trails and structures.

Load, Live: The active forces and weights that a bridge or structure is designed to support, including people, service vehicles, flood waters, floating debris contained within flood waters, wind, snow, and ice.

Loam: An easily crumbled soil consisting of a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.

Loess: A deposit of windblown sand and clay weakly cemented by calcite.

Loft: The upper floor of a shelter, often accessed via a ladder.

Loft: The degree of fluffiness in the fill of a sleeping bag or jacket.

Log: A cut tree trunk, the main wooden axis of a tree.

Log, Nurse: A partially rotted log on which native plants have started to grow. Sometimes relocated as part of a wildland restoration project. Nurse logs are common only in moist forests.

Log, Tie: Structural member notched into the horizontal facer and wing walls used to secure the facer and wings by utilizing the mass of the backfill.

Log, Trail: An inventory of physical features along or adjacent to a trail. An item-by-item, foot-by-foot record of trail features and structures and the improvements needed on a specific trail.

Log Dogs: Metal braces that are used to temporarily hold two logs at right angles to each other.

Log Out (Logging Out): Trail work removing blow down across the trail; usually in the spring to open the trail for high use season. In wilderness areas the work is done with hand tools such as crosscut saws; while elsewhere it is usually done with chain saws.

Log Ride (Logride): A log that provides a challenging bicycling experience while mitigating risks to sensitive areas, wet areas, or areas prone to erosion or heavy maintenance. The log used to create log rides must have the riding surface improved either by flattening the top and cross-hatching via chainsaw, or covering the surface with a traction-improving material such as rubber tracking. This is a natural type of skinny

Logged Out Tree: Down tree across the trail with sections already removed to permit passage.

Logo: A distinctive emblem, symbol or trademark that identifies a product or service.

Loitering: Crime of lingering idly or prowling about on a trail or greenway, especially for the purpose of begging, dealing drugs, or soliciting for prostitution.

Long, Slow Distance (LSD) Training: A form of continuous training in which you perform at a relatively low intensity for an extended duration.

Long Trail (System): A 272-mile hiking trail located in Vermont, running the length of the state from Massachusetts to the Canadian border, the southern third in conjunction with the Appalachian Trail. It is the oldest long-distance trail in the US. Constructed between 1910 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. The Club remains the primary organization responsible for the Trail, and is recognized by the state legislature as “the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector” of the Long Trail System.

Longitude: The angular distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.

Look, The: On long distance adventures some will develop a “look” of confidence and determination, with a lean, muscular body that means they will probably finish.

Loppers (Lopping or Pruning Shears): A long-handled tool with two opposing blades (by-pass or anvil) used for cutting heavy vegetation (limbs of 1 to 1¾ inches in diameter).

Lopping: The act of cutting off a branch using loppers. Cut where the collar (swollen ring at the branch’s base) meets the branch.

Loved to Death: When a trail or public land is in danger of over-use.

Low Gear(s): On a bicycle the combination of the small chainwheel and large rear sprockets. The easier pedaling is for going slow, usually up hill.

Lumbar Padding: On backpacks padding that fits into the small of the back for better fit against the body.

Lumber: Wood that has been sawn into a square or rectangular cross section that is two inches thick or less.

Lyme Disease: An infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called a spirochete carried by deer ticks. Symptoms associated with the early stages—fever, headache, stiffness, lethargy, and myriad other mild complaints—are often dismissed as the flu. If left untreated, Lyme disease can produce lifelong impairment of muscular and nervous systems. See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have the disease.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – M

Macadam: Labor-intensive pavement design, originated by John Loudon McAdam, in which multiple, thin layers of crushed stone are formed by compactors.

MacGyver: After an adventure TV series (1985-92) where the star (Richard Dean Anderson) would solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army Knife. To hikers it means to build or repair gear with imagination.

Machete: A large knife typically with a heavy handle and minimum blade length of 14 inches used to clear succulent vegetation.

Machine Built: Trail or feature constructed with the use of an excavator, trail dozer, or other piece of equipment.

MacKaye, Benton (1879–1975): (rhymes with high, not hay) is the man who in 1921 proposed an Appalachian Trail as the connecting thread of a project in regional planning. MacKaye envisioned a scenic mountaintop greenway trail along the Appalachian Mountain chain from New England to the Deep South, connecting farms, work camps, and study camps that would be populated by eastern urbanites needing a break from the tensions of industrialization.

Magnetic North: A spot in northern Canada, overlying the earth’s magnetic North Pole, toward which the red needle of a compass points.

Mail Drop (Maildrop): Mail drops are a method of re-supply while long distance hiking. A mail drop is usually made ahead of time, before the hike starts, and a person not hiking (usually a spouse or relative, but it can be a friend) mails the package according to a pre-arranged schedule so that it arrives on time for the hiker to receive it at the post office, hostel, or outdoor store.

Maintainer: A volunteer who maintains a section of trail as part of a trail-maintenance program of a trail organization.

Maintenance: Repair, improvements, or other work that is carried out on or near a trail to keep a trail in its originally constructed serviceable condition or to improve the safety and sustainability of the site. Usually limited to minor repair or improvements that do not significantly change the trail location, width, surface, or structures.

Maintenance, Annual: Involves four tasks done annually or more often as needed: cleaning drainage, clearing blowdowns, brushing, and marking.

Maintenance, Cyclic: Preventive maintenance activities that recur on a periodic and scheduled cycle.

Maintenance, Deferred: Road/trail maintenance that was not performed when it should have been or when it was scheduled and which, therefore, was put off or delayed for a future period. When allowed to accumulate without limits or consideration of useful life, deferred maintenance leads to deterioration of performance, increased costs to repair, and decrease in asset value. Trail repair, rehabilitation, replacement and/or decommission can reduce or eliminate deferred maintenance. Used to be referred to as “backlog.”

Maintenance, Heavy: Work usually done to repair damage normally expected from seasonal and occasionally unusual natural conditions or occurrences.

Maintenance, Routine: Work that is planned to be accomplished on a continuing basis, generally annually or more frequently.

Management: Include the over-all policy, planning, design, inventorying, mapping, construction, and maintenance of trail or greenway segment or site development, as well as the operational aspects of administration.

Managed Use: A mode of travel that is actively managed and appropriate on a trail, based on its design and management.

Management Area: An area selected for management of an emphasized natural resource, and common management objectives.

Management Decision: A decision made to manage public lands. Management decisions include both land use plan and implementation decisions.

Manager: The person who has charge of a piece of land (i.e. a Park Manager).

Mantra (Slogan, Motto, Maxim, Catchphrase, Catchword, Watchword, Byword, Buzzword, Tagline): A word, sound, phrase, or statement repeated frequently to aid concentration.

Map: A representation on a plane surface, at an established scale, of the physical features (natural, artificial, or both) of a part or the whole of the earth’s surface, by means of signs and symbols, and with the means of orientation indicated.

Map, Large-Scale: A map having a scale of 1:100,000 or larger, i.e. 1 inch on the map represents 100,000 inches on the ground.

Map, Line: Map composed of lines as distinguished from a photomap created from a photographic image.

Map, Medium-Scale: Any map with a scale between 1:100,000 and 1:1,000,000, i.e., 1 inch on the map represents a ground measurement between 100,000 and 1,000,000 inches.

Map, Planimetric: A map that shows features such as roads, trails, and mountains, but does not show contour lines of elevation changes.

Map, Small-Scale: A map having a scale smaller than 1:1,000,000, i.e., one inch on the map represents a ground measurement greater than 1,000,000 inches.

Map Scale: Relationship of distances shown on the map to distances on the ground. Can be described as a ratio (1:24,000), a fraction (1/24,000), a divisor (24,000), an equivalence (1 inch <=> 2000 feet), or a graphic scale bar. Both map and ground distances must be measured in the same units (one foot on a map is 24,000 feet on the ground).

Mapper (Mappers): One who aspired to become a “900 Miler” by hiking all the trails on the official Great Smoky Mountains National Park trail brochure/map. The marked up brochure serves as proof of hiking each trail.

Marker, Trail: An appropriate and distinctive symbol with the name of the trail imprinted on plastic or metal triangles or diamonds and used to mark a trail route.

Marker, Reassurance (Confidence Marker): Reconfirms the identity, location, or route of the trail. Trail markers, guide poles, blazes, and cairns are reassurance markers. Use reassurance markers in areas where travelers may be unsure whether they are still on the trail.

Marsh: A mineral wetland that is permanently or seasonally inundated by standing or slow moving water. The waters are nutrient rich and the substrate is usually mineral soil. Marshes are characterized by communities of emergent rushes, grasses and reeds, and submerged or floating aquatic plants in areas of open water.

Marsh, Coastal Salt: Typically dominated by grasses, sedges, and rushes cut by tidal creeks. Common salt marsh plants include black needlerush, giant cordgrass, seashore saltgrass, glasswort, and sea purslane.

Marsh, Freshwater: Characterized by soft-stemmed emergent plants, marshes often include open water. Deep-water marshes support floating and submerged aquatic plants. California and southern Oregon are home to tule and bulrush marshes. The Florida Everglades are interconnected marshes, parts of which are dominated by saw grass.

Mash: To push a big gear on a bicycle.

Masher (Gear Masher): A bicyclist who pedals hard in high gear at a slow cadence. This style of biking is likely to cause knee injuries and leg cramps.

Mass Movement: The downslope movement of the earth caused by gravity. Includes but is not limited to landslides, rock falls, debris avalanches, and creep. It does not however, include surface erosion by running water. It may be caused by natural disturbances (e.g. earthquakes or fire events) or human disturbances (e.g. mining or road construction).

Mass Start: A race in which all the competitors start together at the same time.

Massif: A large mountain mass, or compact group of connected mountains that form an independent portion of a range.

Mattock: A sturdy two-bladed tool with an adz blade that can be used as a hoe for digging in hard ground. The other blade may be a pick (pick mattock) for breaking or prying small rock or a cutting edge (cutter mattock) for chopping roots.

McLeod: A forest fire tool that looks like an over-sized hoe with tines on the opposite blade. In trail work it is used to remove slough and berm from a trail and to smooth the tread. The head can also be used for tamping soil or crusher fines.

McTrail (mentality): Attitude of entitlement that some trail users have who expect any needed services to be available immediately or they make unreasonable demands.

Meadow: Tract of grassland.

Meander: The winding of a stream channel, usually in an erodible alluvial valley.

Meanderthal: A person who walks particularly slowly and aimlessly.

Mechanical Advantage: Multiplication of work force through the use of simple machines such as the lever, the inclined plane, the wheel, and the pulley.

Mechanical Wear: Removal of tread material due to the mechanical process of repeated contact (i.e. boot, wheel, hoof)

Meet: A competitive activity during which one or more motorcycle or ATV events and related practices for such events are conducted.

Megaregion: A large network of metropolitan regions that share several or all of the following characteristics: environmental systems and topography, infrastructure systems, economic linkages, settlement and land use patterns and culture and history.

Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement (MOU/MOA): A signed, written agreement entered into by various governmental agencies and nonprofit groups to facilitate the planning, coordination, development, and maintenance of a trail or trails system.

Mesa: Flat-topped elevation with one or more cliff-like sides.

Metabolism: The physical and chemical processes through which energy is made available.

Meths: Short for methylated spirits, usually referring to various liquid fuels (denatured alcohol or HEET) used in lightweight backpacking stoves.

Micro-Garbage: Small bits of trash and food left on the ground.

Micromobility Device(s): Devices that feature a small electric motor the rider can engage for a boost when needed. E-bikes, e-scooters, hoverboards, solo wheels, and more.

Microtopography: Small bumps and rises in the landscape.

Midstory: A middle canopy layer of smaller trees that occurs under an overstory of trees. These trees are usually of a different species than the large trees and can grow in almost total shade.

Mileage Crazy (Mileage Craziness, Mileage Greedy): A serious condition that exists in many forms. It can hit travelers while driving, motorcycling, riding in planes, bicycling, or hiking. The symptoms are placing more importance on how many miles are traveled than on the real reason for traveling.

Mindfulness: Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.

Mini-excavator: Size varies, but the smallest has caterpillar treads that span only 4’, a cab for the operator, and a mechanical are with a bucket at the end. Use it to excavate soil, rocks, and tree stumps. On a steep slope it can excavate soil to form a flat trail bed ahead of its treads.

Minimum Tool Rule: Use the right tool for the job. A principle that guides the use of tools, and especially equipment, that are efficient, cost effective, and minimize the likelihood of environmental damage.

Minor Field Adjustments: Deviations of the trail alignment made during the course of normal construction or maintenance as determined by the supervisor or crew leader, and not part of an original survey.

Minuteman: Bicyclists preceding another in a time trial, usually by a minute or two.

Misery Index: A scale that attempts to place a trail user’s state of suffering into numerical form—a score of ten is absolute misery, while a score of one borders on blissfulness.

MISSION 66: Was a 1950s National Park Service ten-year capital development program to refurbish the Parks in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service which occurred in 1966.

Mitigate (Mitigation): Actions undertaken to avoid, minimize, reduce, eliminate, or rectify the adverse impact from a management practice or the impact from trail users.

Mitochondria: Microscopic filaments that are the source of energy in cells.

Moat: A gap between snow and ice.

Mobility Device: Device (walker, crutches, wheelchair, etc.)designed to assist walking or otherwise improve the mobility of people with a mobility impairment.

Modal Bias: Thinking that one’s mode of travel is the normal, even superior, one.

Modal Split: The ratio or percent that different modes of travel are used.

Mode: A particular form of travel, such as walking, bicycling, operating a vehicle, etc.

Modism: Discriminating against people because of their mode of transportation.

Mojo: A charm or icon worn or attached to your ride.

Molar(s): Rocks buried in the tread to keep soil from migrating downhill or to keep armoring in place.

Moleskin: A special bandage applied over a hot spot to prevent a blister by reducing the friction between a hiking boot and skin.

Monadnock: Isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or level surrounding area.

Monitor(ing): Check systematically or scrutinize for the purpose of collecting specific data along a trail in relation to a set of standards to determine whether progress is being made in achieving management objectives or goals.

Monocycle: One-wheel cycle, with cyclist inside wheel.

Monorail: Describes the narrow band of snow and ice that remains down the center of a trail into late spring, even after most of the other snow has melted. It forces trail users to stay on the center which is like a balance beam travel in the mud on either side.

Monument: A physical structure, such as an iron post, marked stone, or tree in place, which marks the location of a corner point established by a Cadastral Survey. Objects, to be ranked as monuments, should have certain physical properties such as visibility, durability, and stability, and they must define location without resorting to measurements.

Mooning the Cog: Probably the most controversial Appalachian Trail thru-hike tradition, some like to drop their drawers as the Cog Railway (a tourist trail) passes them on Mount Washington.

Moraine: A ridge or pile of boulders, stones, and other debris carried along and deposited by a glacier. The most common moraines are end (or terminal) moraines and lateral (or side) moraines.

Mortar: A mixture of sand, lime, Portland cement, and water that is used in masonry construction to bind bricks, concrete blocks, or stone to form structural elements such as retaining walls and piers. Mortar may also be used when constructing riprap.

Mosaic, Aerial: An assemblage of overlapping aerial or space photographs or images whose edges have been matched to form a continuous pictorial representation of a portion of the earth’s surface.

Mosquito Net: Protective netting with a mesh fine enough to exclude mosquitoes, flies, and other insects without impeding visibility or the flow of air unacceptably.

Motivation, Destination: A trail user’s focus on reaching a specific destination.

Motivation, Journey: A trail user’s focus on enjoying the travel experience.

Motocross: Off-highway motorcycle competitive event conducted on a closed course that includes left and right turns, hills, jumps, and irregular terrain. Most events include multiple races, called motos, with final placings based on combined results. The length of each moto is usually measured in time, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes.

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM): A map reflecting designated roads, trails, and areas on an administrative unit or a Ranger District of the National Forest System.

Motorcycle (Off-Highway Motorcycle): A two-wheeled vehicle receiving power only to the rear wheel from a single gas engine.

Motorcycle, Trials: A motorcycle manufactured specifically for observed trials competition. The bikes are extremely quiet and operated at low speed on very technical and difficult course terrain.

Motorhead: Motorists.

Motorized: Off-highway recreation using motorized vehicles (motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, four-wheel drive, or other light utility vehicle) on trails.

Motorized Equipment: Machines that use a motor, engine, or other nonliving power sources. This includes, but is not limited to, such machines as chain saws, aircraft, snowmobiles, generators, motorboats, and motor vehicles. It does not include small battery or gas powered hand-carried devices such as shavers, wristwatches, flashlights, cameras, stoves, or other similar small equipment.

Motorpace: A competitive bicycle training technique involving riding behind a vehicle or motorcycle to develop the ability to ride at higher speeds.

Mound: A rounded elevation or small hill, or an artificial mound or rounded earthwork made of piled stones or soil.

Mountain: Land mass that rises above the surrounding plain and higher than a hill.

Mountain Money: Toilet paper.

Mountaineering (Mountain Climbing, Alpinism): Climbing high mountains (for sport) where skill and gear to enable belaying, rappelling, glacier travel, and climbing over rock, snow, and ice are needed. The object is to reach summits and not simply to traverse trails and passes.

Mouse Trapeze (Mouse Hanger): Cord hung from shelter ceiling with tin can lid above food bag to deter mice from getting at food.

Mouth: The exit or point of discharge of a stream into another stream, lake, or sea.

Mud-Diving: What happens when a rider slows abruptly in mud and get thrown into the wet goo.

Mud Packing: Kicking up mud behind a vehicle by accelerating as quickly as possible.

Mud Season: In some parts of the country before and after winter the soil is saturated from snow melt or heavy rain. Trails can be damaged from use at these time. Best to stay off the trails until they dry out.

Mudbogging (Mudding, Mud Bogging, Mud Racing, Mud Running, Mud Drags): Form of off-road competition where the goal is to drive a 4×4 vehicle through a pit of mud a set length. Winners are determined by the distance traveled through the pit. Very popular in Alberta, Canada, where it originated, and in the Southern US.

Mudslinging: Intentionally spinning tires through the muck to spray mud on the surrounding area, make noise, and quickly create deep ruts.

Mudsnake: Slippery deadfall limbs that lie diagonally across trails.

Mulch: Artificial or organic matter (bark chips, shredded wood fiber, pine straw) spread on newly constructed trail work to help stabilize soils and protect them from erosion. Also used to cover land surfaces from moisture conservation, hold soil in place, establish plant cover, and minimize temperature fluctuations.

Mule: When a female horse―a mare―mates with a donkey―a jack―the resulting offspring is a mule.

Muling: Is an ultra-running term that describes a support crew member carrying the food and supplies of someone who is running in the race.

Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS): A helmet technology constructed from two layers that rotate against each other upon impact adding protection against rotational violence that results in a significant reduction of the forces on the brain, which reduces the likelihood of concussion or other brain injury.

Multimodal: Facilities serving more than one transportation mode, or a transportation network comprised of a variety of modes.

Multiple Use: A term originating in the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 in which the United States Congress declared that the National Forest System would be managed to serve multiple values of the American citizenry, and would not be constrained to the highest economic return to the government.

Multiple Use Area: A land management objective that seeks to coordinate several environmental, recreational, economic, historical, cultural and/or social values in the same geographic area in a compatible and sustainable manner.

Multiple Use Trail Network: A series of trails that interconnect to form a system that, as a whole, allows for more than one use. The individual trails may be single use or multiple use.

Mung (Hitting Mung, Forest Mung, Foliage Mung, Water Mung): A South Korean concept of emptying your heart and brain so that you can fill them with new ideas and thoughts.

Musette (Musette Bag): A small pouch with a shoulder strap which is stuffed with food and handed to bicycle racers as they pass through the feed zone in a competition.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – N

Nailer: A strip of wood attached to a stringer that tread planks are nailed or screwed to.

Nalgene (Nalgene Bottle): The company Nalgene Outdoor Products makes many containers for storing both liquids and solid foods. Most popular is a nearly indestructible 1 litre 2.5 inch wide-mouth container for beverages. Commonly made of translucent polycarbonate (now BPA free) and in a wide variety of sizes and colors. The materials resist stains or absorbing odors, and permit filling the bottle with boiling water. Favored by campers and hikers who recognize the distinctive appearance of Nalgene-branded bottles. Many aftermarket products have been designed to be compatible with the 2.5 inch neck (i.e. screw-on water-purifying filters, snap-in splash guards, Screw on LED lights, etc.) The Company now produces bike bottles and hydration systems as well.

Napoleon Pocket: A jacket outside pocket placed near the wearer’s heart that is accessible without unzipping the jacket. So named because the wearer looks like Napoleon when using this pocket.

National Bike Month: Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated each May in communities across America. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling while encouraging more folks to give biking a try.

National Bike Summit: Held in Washington, DC since 2000 the Summit is the premier bike advocacy event of the year, uniting the voices of bicyclists on Capitol Hill. This event includes keynote addresses from top government officials, members of Congress, and leaders from advocacy and industry; workshops that highlight innovative advocacy ideas and trends from around the country; and, of course, an organized Lobby Day to bring our message about the benefits of bicycling to our elected officials on Capitol Hill.

National Conservation Area (NCA): Similar to National Monument status; applies solely to BLM lands. Granted only by Congress. These areas provide for the conservation, use, enjoyment, and enhancement of certain natural, recreational, paleontological, and other resources, including fish and wildlife habitat. Individual site determines allowable recreational activities.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Federal law (established by Congress in 1969), which requires that every Federal agency with public involvement assess the biological and cultural resources in the location of any ground-disturbing activity on federal land and evaluate if there will be any significant environmental impacts of the proposed project.

National Forest or Grassland System: All national forest lands and grasslands reserved or withdrawn from the public domain of the United states. Where appropriate allows for logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling, as well as recreational use such as mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and OHVs.

National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day): First launched on June 14, 2008, by the US Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition this annual event encourages healthy, active, outdoor fun at sites across the nation.

National Hike Naked Day: Bold Appalachian Trail thru-hikers have been known to shed their clothes and bare all to celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21.

National Historic Trail (NHT): Federally designated extended trails, which closely follow original routes of nationally significant travel (explorers, emigrants, traders, military, etc.). NHTs do not have to be continuous, can be less than 100 miles in length, and can include land and water segments. The Iditarod, the Lewis and Clark, the Mormon Pioneer, and the Oregon trails were the first to be designated as NHTs in 1978.

National Millennium Trails: On June 26, 2000 the White House Millennium Council selected 16 long-distance trails as visionary trails that reflect defining aspects of America’s history and culture. Unicoi Turnpike, Cascadia Marine Trail, Juan Bautista de Anza NHT, Freedom Trail, Lewis and Clark NHT, Underground Railroad Trail, Civil War Discovery Trail, International Express Trail, Iditarod NHT, Appalachian NST, Great Western Trail, North Country NST, Hatfield-McCoy Trails System, East Coast Greenway, Mississippi River Trail, and the American Discovery Trail.

National Monument: Area of unique ecological, geological, historic, prehistoric, cultural, or scientific interest administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of Interior. Traditionally used for historic structures or landmarks on government land; more recently used to grant national park-like status to tracts of western land. Designated by Congress or the president. Individual site determines allowable recreational activities.

National Park: Designated primarily to protect resources and recreation opportunities administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of Interior. Some allow grazing, but do not allow hunting, mining, or other extractive uses.

National Park Service (NPS): Is a federal agency within the US Department of Interior. The Park Service manages National Parks, most National Monuments, and other important sites designated by Congress to protect their ecological, geological, historical, and scenic wonders for the enjoyment of people.

National Preserve: Often linked with a national park. Allows mineral and fuel extraction, hunting, and trapping.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD): Created in 1994 and held on the last Saturday of September NPLD is hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to bring together volunteers across the country to improve public lands through trail restoration, planting trees, hauling trash as well as participating in educational and recreational activities.

National Quality Standards for Trails: National criteria that establish the level of quality in terms of health and cleanliness, resource setting, safety and security, responsiveness, and condition of facilities for National Forest System trails managed at a full-service level.

National Recreation Area: Federal areas that have outstanding combinations of outdoor recreation opportunities, aesthetic attractions, and proximity to potential users. They may also have cultural, historical, archaeological, pastoral, wilderness, scientific, wildlife, and other values contributing to public enjoyment. Designated by Congress. Individual location determines allowable recreational activities.

National Recreation Trail (NRT): Existing trails that provide a variety of outdoor recreation uses in or reasonably accessible to urban areas recognized by the federal government (Secretary of Interior or Secretary of Agriculture, not Congressional action) as contributing to the National Trails System. In the 1991 National Recreational Trails Fund Act a “Recreational Trail ” is defined as a “thoroughfare or track across land of snow, used for recreational purposes such as bicycling, cross-country skiing, day hiking, equestrian activities, jogging or similar fitness activities, trail biking, overnight or long distance backpacking, snowmobiling, aquatic or water activity and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all-terrain off-road vehicles, without regard to whether it is a “National Recreation Trail” designated under section 4 of the National Trails System Act.”

National Resource Land: Managed for grazing and extraction by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); often unnamed. Allows all recreational activities.

National Scenic Area: Area that contains outstanding scenic characteristics, recreational values, and geological, ecological, and cultural resources.

National Scenic Trail (NST): Federally designated extended trails (over 100 miles in length), which provide for the maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which they pass. The Appalachian and the Pacific Crest Trails were the first to be designated as National Scenic Trails in 1968.

National Seashore: Coastal equivalent of a national park. Some allow hunting.

National Summit Day: A celebration that encourages you to climb a peak—anywhere, big or small— and join the community of hikers. The annual August event supports Big City Mountaineers, a nonprofit organization that mentors under-resourced youth on wilderness trips.

National Trails Day (NTD): Started by American Hiking Society in 1993 has grown to the nation’s largest celebration of trails and all that trails offer. Held every year on the first Saturday in June NTD features a variety of outdoor activities designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails.

National Trails System: A network of trails (National Scenic, Historic, or Recreation) throughout the country authorized by the 1968 National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. 1241-51).

National Trails System Act (NSTA): Was passed as Public Law 90-543, signed by President Johnson on October 2, 1968, after several years of negotiations. It has been amended more than 20 times since.

National Wildlife Refuge: Preserves wildlife habitat. Allows hunting and fishing; some allow overnight camping.

Native Species (Indigenous Species): A species (a basic unit of taxonomy) that is normally found as part of a particular ecosystem; a species that was present in a particular area at the time of the Public Land Survey (1847-1907).

Natural Resource(s): For outdoor recreation includes areas of land, bodies of water, forests, swamps, and other natural features which are in demand for outdoor recreation or are likely to become so.

Naturalist: A person who is knowledgeable in an often educates others in the characteristics, processes, and history of the natural environment. A person who is an advocate of the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms. A person who studies nature, including landscapes, plants, and animals, usually in their natural surroundings.

Naturalness: The level or degree of landscape of modification and the predominance of nature versus human alterations.

Nature: The world and all plant and animal life, as distinct from human built creations.

Nature Neurons: Coined by Richard Louv author of Last Child in the Woods (2005) to highlight the essential link between our nervous systems and the natural world they evolved in.

Nature Study: The study of the physical world as a combination of basic botany, zoology, etc.

Nature Worship: A religion based on the deification and worship of natural forces and phenomena.

Nature Center: A facility that brings environments and people together under the guidance of trained professionals to experience and develop relationships with nature. A nature center serves its community and fosters sustainable connections between people and their environment.

Nature Deficit Disorder: Description of the symptoms that are displayed when children are cut off from nature. From Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature- Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, 2005.

Navigation: Knowing where you’re going.

Needle: A pointed spire of rock.

Nero (Nearo): Almost a Zero Day; a very short mileage day on the trail.

Nesting: When things fit nicely together, as in a stove nesting inside a cook pot.

Netting: A finely woven see-thru material in tent roof panels, entrances, and end panels creating a barrier to insects and allowing air to circulate.

Nick Point: The point at which a stream is actively eroding the streambed to a new base level.

Nipple, Spoke: A nut that is designed to both fit on the end of a spoke and through the spoke hole on a rim. The head of the nipple is on the outermost part of the rim, while the other end of the nipple points inwards towards the hub. Turning the nipple increases or decreases tension in the spoke and influences the position of the hub relative to the rim.

No-Turn-Away Policy: At the end of a long day of hiking or biking many campgrounds will say they have no room for you. Adventure Cycling is pushing to get all 50 states to implement “no turn-away policies” so you’ll always be welcome in America’s public campgrounds. They would also like to see hiker/biker campsites with secure bike parking, charging stations for mobile devices, lockers for valuables and food, bike maintenance stations, covered facilities, and kiosks with information specific to people hiking or traveling by bicycle.

Nomophobia: The fear of being without your smart phone.

Nonmotorized: Trail recreation by modes such as bicycle, pedestrian, equestrian, skate, ski, etc.

Non-degradation: A wilderness management concept that calls for the maintenance of existing environmental conditions if they equal or exceed minimum standards, and for the restoration of conditions below minimum levels.

Non-Point Source Pollution: Contaminants that are released into the environment from dispersed sources such as pesticides from farm fields or sediments from logging activities as opposed to localized sources such as pipes.

Nook: A small, secluded place somewhat closed in by trees and rocks, offering peace and retreat.

North Shore Style: Refers to the style of mountain bike trails built on the North Shore suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia. These are elevated trails made of interconnecting bridges and logs requiring skill and aggressive techniques to ride. There is also a thriving mountain bike manufacturing, service/retail, and tourism industry.

North Star: Also known as Stella Polaris, the North Star is a good direction-finding indicator because it is never more than two degrees from true north.

No-See-Um: Term for a generic small insect that can permeate most mesh.

Notch: A narrow passage between two elevations with a road. A New England term, in the South referred to as a gap.

Notch, Saddle: A half-circle notch cut in the bottom of a log to fit over a log in the course below.

Notch, Square: A notch cut in a log to fit snugly against a square notch cut in another log, the square cut end of another log, or a plank. The portion of the notch in contact with the other log is cut as a flat, uniform plane. The ends or ends of the square notch are perpendicular to the flat plane.

Notice of Interim Use (NITU): A document issued by the STB in Notice of Exemption for rail line abandonments (lines out of service for two or more years). It has the same effect as a CITU.

Noxious Weeds (Noxious Plant): Plant species designated by Federal or State law as generally possessing one or more of the following characteristics: aggressive and difficult to manage; parasitic; a carrier or host of serious insects or disease; or nonnative, new, or not common to the United States.

Nunatak: An isolated peak of rock projecting above a surface of inland ice and snow.

Nylon: Any of numerous strong tough elastic synthetic polymide materials that are fashioned into fibers, filaments, or sheets and used especially in textiles and plastics. Must be coated to be water-resistant or waterproof.

Nylon, Coated: Usually means that the nylon this product is made of has been treated with a chemical that makes it waterproof, windproof, or both.

Nylon, Cordura: Coarsely woven fabric stronger than oxford that looks and feels like canvas.

Nylon, Oxford: A densely woven six or eight-ounce cloth with a shiny finish, often used in the lower-priced packs and bags.

Nylon, Ripstop: Weighs about 1.9 ounce per square yard and has heavier threads introduced every one-eighth-inch or so to stop snags and small holes from running.

Nylon, Taffeta: A flat-weave fabric available in several grades. When coated with waterproofing solution, it can weigh as much as six or eight ounces per square yard.

Nylon Strap: Heavy duty woven strap of wide nylon with eyes sewn in both ends. May be set basket style or choker style. Used mainly as anchor ties for a Griphoist or block attached to live trees, as their wider load-bearing surface does less bark damage and eliminates the need for the use of shims.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – O

Objective(s): Specific action(s) within a plan that if attained, will assure progress in the direction of established goals.

Obligate: The way project sponsors spend money, typically by putting their project under contract for construction. Grant programs often require project sponsors to obligate funds in a timely manner or lose the funds.

Obstacle(s): Physical objects large enough to significantly impede or slow travel on a trail. Logs, large rocks, and rock ledges are common obstacles.

Obstacle(s), Removable: An item that obstructs the clear passage space along a trail but is not fixed immovably to the ground. Examples include rocks, vegetation, etc.

Obstacle Course: A course designed to test riding or driving skills through, around, and over natural or built obstacles.

Off-Camber: Turns in which the ground slopes toward the outside, making it harder to keep (wheeled) traction as speed increases.

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV): Vehicle capable of operating off paved or gravel surfaces. Generally characterized by having large tires with deep, open tread, a flexible suspension, or even tracks. Types are 4×4, jeep, truck, 4-wheeler, ATV, dirtbike, quad, dune buggy, sand rail.

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park: An area designed, developed, and operated to primarily serve the needs and desires of OHV enthusiasts.

Off-Highway Vehicle Use Designations: Used by federal agencies (BLM) in the management of OHVs on public lands.

Open: Motorized vehicle travel is permitted year-long anywhere within an area designated as “open” to OHV use, if the vehicle is operated responsibly.

Limited: Motorized vehicle travel within specified areas and/or on designated routes, roads, vehicle ways, or trails is subject to restrictions.

Closed: Motorized vehicle travel is prohibited in the area. Access by means other than motorized vehicle is permitted.

Off The Back: Getting dropped, where bicyclist find themselves after failing to keep pace in a competitive event.

Off-The-Seat: Moving your rear end behind a bicycle seat and over the rear tire to move your weight back; used for control on extremely steep descents.

On Your Left (Passing On Your Left): A courtesy used to let trail users know that you are about to overtake them, hopefully to encourage them to move to their right to permit a safe pass.

One-by Drivetrain (1x drivetrain): Mountain bikes which incorporate a single chainring up front (eliminates front derailleur) and a larger ‘granny ring’ in the rear in combination with the freewheel to provide similar gearing ratios as many double- or triple-chainring drivetrains.

Open: Designated areas or trails where specified trail uses are permanently or temporarily permitted.

Open Space: Areas of natural quality, either publicly or privately owned, designated for protection of natural resources, nature-oriented outdoor recreation, or trail-related activities. In urban settings areas of land not covered by structures, driveways, or parking lots.

Open Space, Common: Territory that is jointly used by a group of people. It is not public, because those who do not hold it common can be excluded. It is not private either, because it has to be shared with others. In many suburban subdivisions, houses cluster around open spaces that would otherwise be divided into front or side yards.

Open Space Amenities: Environmental, social, and economic benefits provided by open space. Amenities include scenic beauty; places to recreate; clean water; wildlife to view, hunt and fish; and land-based livelihoods like farming, ranching, and forestry.

Open Space, Private: Space that is privately owned and not open to the public.

Open Space, Public: Territory that is owned and managed by a public agency for everybody’s benefit.

Open Streets Event (Ciclovía): Temporary closing of streets to automobile traffic, so that people my use them for walking, bicycling, playing, and socializing. Open Streets are typically part of a broader city or organizational effort to encourage sustained physical activity, increase community engagement, and build support for the provision of broader transportation choices. Seattle’s Bicycle Sundays launched in 1965 as a car-free initiative connecting several parks along a 3-mile stretch of Lake Washington Blvd has inspired similar initiatives around the world. Since 1974 Bogotá, Colombia has held Ciclovía welcoming millions to walk or bike through miles of car-free roads every Sunday.

Operating and Maintenance Costs (O&M): Funds for day-to-day costs of operating and maintaining a forest, park, trail, or greenway. Costs include worker’s salaries, equipment upkeep, etc.

Operations: The day-to-day operating of a forest, park, trail, or greenway; including security, clean up, trail grooming, interpretation, etc.

Optimistic Skepticism (OS): When you go into things expecting them to work out is the optimist part; critical thinking and asking why are the skepticism part. Together they offer more clarity and achieve better results.

Optimum Location Review (OLR): A review of the optimum trail location when acquiring property rights (purchase, lease, easement, right-of-way). Factors considered include terrain, connections to the rest of the trail, property ownership, ability to acquire the lands, etc. In short, all of the environmental, social, and economic impacts, which would lead to selecting the optimum lands for location of a trail, are considered.

Option: The right to purchase or lease a property at a certain price where the price is guaranteed for a certain designated period.

Organ Donor: Someone who doesn’t wear a helmet.

Orientation: Knowing where you are.

Orienteering: The art of navigation using map and compass. Sometimes in a competition.

Orthoimage: A digital image that has been ortho-rectified, eliminating displacement caused by perspective, sensor tilt, or terrain relief.

Ortho-rectification: The process of eliminating displacement caused by perspective, camera or sensor tilt, and terrain relief.

Orthotic(s): Custom-made supports worn in shoes to help neutralize biomechanical imbalances in the feet or legs.

Otium Sanctum (Holy Leisure): Refers to a sense of balance in life, an ability to be at peace through the activities of the day, an ability to rest and take time to enjoy beauty, an ability to pace ourselves.

Other Power Driven Mobility Device (OPDMD): Any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines−whether or not designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities−that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf carts, electronic personal assistance mobility devices (EPAMDs) such as the Segway, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair.

Out and Back: Used to describe a ride or hike where you go out and come back on the same route.

Out of Rhythm Section: A portion of trail that takes an abrupt turn or is out of alignment with other sections due to poor planning or construction.

Outcrop: A rock formation that protrudes through the level of the surrounding soil.

Outdoor (Outdoors): Condensed from the phrase “out of doors” meaning outside of a house or building in the open air.

Outdoor Recreation: Leisure activities involving the enjoyment and use of natural resources primarily outdoors.

Outdoor Recreation Access Route (ORAR): A continuous unobstructed path designated for pedestrian use that connects accessible elements within a picnic area, campground, or designated trailhead.

Outdoorphins: A cute word meaning you’re in a supreme comfort zone when outdoors.

Outfall: The mouth or outlet of a river, stream, lake, drain, or sewer.

Outfall (Outlet): The drainage channel of a dip, waterbar, or switchback drainage structure where the water exits the structure.

Outfitter (Guide): Individual or business that supplies outdoor recreation equipment, supplies, or guide services.

Outflow (Outwash): The off-treadway ditch portion of a drainage structure, intended to remove all water from the trail.

Outslope (Outsloping, Offslope): A method of tread grading that leaves the outside edge of a hillside trail lower than the inside to shed water. The outslope should be barely noticeable—usually no more than about one inch of outslope for every 18 inches of tread width.

Outsole: The “tread” of a boot or shoe. The hard rubber bottom that is cemented to the rest of the boot or shoe to give traction.

Overcrowding: A condition in which the user does not achieve a satisfactory recreational experience because of too many people or inadequate spacing between users.

Overlanding: Off paved road vehicle travel and camping instead of staying on paved roads and in a campground.

Overland Route: A greenway trail that doesn’t follow a natural drainage area, creek, stream, or river, but instead crosses over the top of ridgelines and therefore must make use of existing rights-of-way such as roads, railroad, or utility corridors.

Overlay: Printing or drawing on a transparent or translucent medium intended to be placed in register on a map or other graphic and that shows details not appearing or requiring special emphasis on the base map.

Overpass: A crossing of two highways or a highway and a trail or railroad at different levels where clearance for traffic on the lower level is obtained by elevating the higher level.

Overstory: The uppermost layer of foliage that forms a forest canopy.

Overtraining: Deep-seated fatigue, both physical and mental, caused by training at an intensity or volume too great for adaptation.

Overuse: A condition in which (during the course of a season/year) degradation of the physical environment makes the resource no longer suitable or attractive for recreation use.

Ownership-In-Fee (Fee Purchase, Fee Simple): A complete transfer of land ownership from one landowner to another party, usually by purchase.

Oxbow: An abandoned meander in a river or stream, caused by cutoff. Used to describe the U-shaped bend in the river or the land within such a bend of a river.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – P

Paceline: Group of bicycle riders riding at high speed by drafting one another. Riders will take turns at the front of the line to break the wind and pull the rest of the group, then rotate to the back to rest in the draft. Larger group rides will often form double pacelines with two columns of riders.

Pack, The (Herd, Clump, Bubble): On long distance trails there is a narrow window of opportunity to complete a thru-hike which causes most hikers to begin within a few weeks of each other in the Spring. When hikers group up they stretch the resources of trail angels, businesses, places to camp, etc.

Pack Clearance: The area on either side of the centerline of a trail, measured 30 inches about the trail tread, that is cleared of trees, limbs, and other obstructions that would interfere with passage by a loaded pack animal.

Pack-In Pack-Out (Pack it in Pack it out): The practice of leaving nothing behind on backpacking and camping trips.

Pack Sniffer: Someone who isn’t a long distance hiker but likes to spend time with hikers and live the trail lifestyle at festivals, hostels, and shelters near road crossings.

Pack String: A group of packstock tied together in strings of up to 6 animals, often led by a single mounted or walking person. Loaded with panniers, boxes, or tools.

Pack Weight: The weight of you backpack and all its contents, including consumables (food, water, and fuel).

Packing: The art of loading supplies and other materials on to an animal in a manner that allows transport without damage to the cargo or the animal carrying it.

Packsack: A leather or canvas carrying bag, usually one that can be strapped over the shoulders, used to carry food and personal items when a person is traveling.

Packsaddle: Any one of several saddle-harness combinations designed for mounting on an animal to carry a dead load of supplies, materials, tools, and equipment.

Paddle: A wood, aluminum, or plastic shaft with one or two flat blades used to propel a canoe or kayak through the water.

Paddock: A small pasture.

Panhandle: A narrow strip of territory projecting from a larger, broader politically defined area.

Pannier(s) (Saddlebags, Kyacks, Panyards, Alforjas): Pair of containers carried on either side of a pack animal, bicycle, or motorcycle to carry supplies and equipment. On a bicycle the most common setup is to use a pair of smaller panniers mounted to the front fork (low-riders) and a pair of larger ones on the rear rack.

Parachute Cord (Paracord, P-Cord): Four-millimeter-thick cord made from nylon. Used to hang food, make repairs, bind together tent poles, for example. The latest application is the p-cord bracelet, which makes it easy to have the cord handy for emergencies.

Paracycling Competition: Cycle races for disabled riders. Four types of cycles are used: Bicycles for those without balancing impairment (C Classification), Tandems for those with a Visual Impairment (B Classification, Tricycles for those with use of their lower limb(s) but with a balancing impairment (T Classification), Handcycles for those without use of their lower limbs (usually wheelchair users) (H Classification).

Parallel Ditching: A lateral drainage ditch constructed adjacent to the trail tread to catch surface water sheeting from the tread surface and divert it away from the trail. Generally this drainage system is utilized in low flat areas or areas where multiple entrenched trails have developed.

Parcourse (Vita course): A series of exercise stations located along a fitness trail. Each station is designed to exercise a different set of muscles.

Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP): A major randonnée, first held in 1891 and now every 4 years from Paris, France out to Brest on the tip of the Brittany peninsula and back. Riders must cover the 1,200 kilometer (744 mile) course in 90 hours or less, meeting time limits at checkpoints along the way. Considered to be one of the most challenging non-racing events in bicycling.

Park: Any area that is predominately open space with natural vegetation and landscaping used principally for active or passive recreation.

Park, Lift Accessed Mountain Bike: Using the chairlifts at a ski area during the summer, mountain bikers can get up to higher altitudes quickly and ride downhill. Most ski area bike parks have a mix of dirtjumping, downhill, and freeride terrain on the trails.

Park, Linear: A linear open space established along a natural corridor, such as a river, stream, ridgeline, rail-trail, canal, or other route for passive recreation, education, and scenic purposes.

Park, Mtn Bike (Skills Park, Dirt Skills Park, Freeride Skills Park): Parks where mtn bikers can experiment with obstacles and improve their skills on trails designed natural and constructed obstacles.

Park, State: Areas set aside by state governments for varied purposes, though primarily recreation. They are managed by each state’s respective department of parks. Regulations often vary from park to park, depending on the purposes for which the park was created.

Park, Urban Bike: Parks with purpose-built trails, berms, and jumps with mountain bikes in mind. The recent trend is to build them indoors or underground.

Park Gate Anxiety: That jittery feeling when approaching a public campground at the end of a long day of hiking or biking and wondering if they have room for you. Adventure Cycling is pushing to get all 50 states to implement “no-turn-away policies” so you’ll always be welcome in America’s public campgrounds.

Park Tools: The leading US manufacturer of special tools to work on bicycles.

Parking Area (Parking, Parking Lot): A dedicated cleared area with a durable or semi-durable surface that is intended for parking vehicles. May have a trailhead sign, but usually has no amenities like a toilet or trash cans.

Parkway: A broad roadway bordered with (and often divided by) plantings of trees, shrubs, and grass.

Partner: One of two or more parties working jointly toward shared goals.

Partnership(s) (Collaborative Partnership): Arrangement(s) between two or more parties who have agreed to work cooperatively toward shared and/or compatible objectives and in which there is: shared authority and responsibility (for the delivery of programs and services, in carrying out a given action, or in policy development); joint investment of resources (time, work, funding, material, expertise, information); shared liability or risk-taking; and ideally, mutual benefits.

Partnership for National Trails System (PNTS): As a non-profit organization PNTS works to influence public policy to provide better preservation, conservation, and stewardship of the National Scenic and Historic Trails.

Pass: Narrow low spot between mountain peaks; lowest point along a mountain crest. Pass is generally used in the West, while “gap” is used in the South, and “notch” in New England.

Pass, False: A hoped-for passage that, once found, leads nowhere.

Passage: In the landscape they provide routes to get from one open area to another.

Passing Space: A section of trail wide enough to allow two users to pass one another or travel abreast.

Passing Space Interval: The distance between passing spaces.

Passport in Time (PIT): A volunteer program since 1989, backed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land management, that gets volunteers around the country involved with cultural heritage work. Projects can involve archaeology, archival records, historic restoration, paleontology, and more.

Patch Kit: A kit for repairing flat tubes. Usually comes in a small plastic box and includes patches, glue, and sandpaper.

Patch(es), Embroidered: A decorative patch that can be sewn to a jersey, jacket, or bag to indicate membership in a club or to show that you’ve completed an event. For many years the League of American Wheelmen offered patches for completing a Century, Half Century, or Metric Century bike ride.

Patch(es), Glueless: A type of patch that includes a sticky adhesive so it’s unnecessary to apply glue to the tube (required with other patch kits). This speeds the patching process.

Patella: Kneecap.

Path (Pathway): This is a temporary or permanent area that is normally dirt or gravel, although some paths are asphalt or concrete. A path typically indicates the common route taken by pedestrians between two locations.

Path, Desire (Pathways of Desire): What hikers or walkers have worn thin through finding a better way, or a shortcut, to a desired place. Many planning agencies make use of such patterns when designing a public space.

Pathfinder: One that discovers a way; explores untraveled regions to mark a new route. Someone who promotes a new process or procedure.

Pathless (Trackless): An area without paths or tracks.

Pathogens: Any virus, bacteria, or fungi that cause disease.

Pave: Road or path built with connected paving stones or cobbles, more common European countries than the US.

Pavement: Any hard covering of stones, bricks, tiles, asphalt or concrete formed over a solid base to create a smooth surface. That part of a trail having a constructed hard paved surface for the facilitation of wheeled trail traffic.

Pavement, Porous: A special type of pavement that allows rain and snowmelt to pass through it, thereby reducing the runoff from a site and surrounding areas. There are two types of porous pavement: porous asphalt and pervious concrete. Porous asphalt pavement consists of an open-graded coarse aggregate, bonded together by asphalt cement, with sufficient interconnected voids to make it highly permeable to water. Pervious concrete consists of specially formulated mixtures of Portland cement, uniform, open-graded coarse aggregate, and water with enough void space to allow rapid percolation of liquids through the pavement. The porous pavement surface is typically placed over a highly permeable layer of open-graded gavel and crushed stone. A filter fabric is placed beneath the gravel and stone layers to screen out fine soil particles.

Pawl: A spring-loaded part that engages a set of teeth when moving in one direction, but slides over them when moving in the other direction. The pawls in a bicycle freewheel make a clicking sound when coasting.

Peak: The high sharp point of a mountain or hill. Often rocky horns and/or pinnacles.

Peakbagging (Peak-Bagging, Peak Bagging, Bagging, Bag): Reaching the tops of as many peaks as possible and keeping a record of the accomplishment. Many clubs promote and recognize peakbagging, such as the Southern Arizona Hiking Club in Tucson with their many lists of peaks in southern Arizona.

Peat: Partially decomposed plants and other organic matter, usually mosses, that build up in poorly drained wetland habitats.

Pedal Leg: The look of a mountain biker’s shin or calf after being repeatedly hit with the pedal cage leaving scars.

Pedal Strike: When a fully extended bicycle pedal hits a rock or other feature.

Pedal(s), Bicycle: A part of the bicycle that the rider pushes with their foot to propel the bicycle. They provide the connection between the bicyclist’s shoe and the crank allowing the leg to turn a sprocket that transmits power to the wheel by means of a chain. The right pedal has a normal thread, but the left pedal has a left (reverse) thread.

Pedal, Clipless (Clip-In, Step-In): A bicycle pedal that has a spring-loaded mechanism that clips to a bicycle riders special shoe with a cleat fitted to the sole. They lock onto the cleat when stepped on firmly and unlock when the heel is twisted outward. Clipless refers to the toe clip (cage) having been replaced by a locking mechanism.

Pedal, Platform (Flat): A bicycle pedal with a relatively large flat area for the foot to rest on. Some riders will attach toe clips and straps (cage). In mountain biking and BMX most riders prefer to ride without a cage.

Pedal, Quill: A bicycle pedal that consists of a main axle section that is attached to the bicycle crank and contains extensions from the axle to which parallel cage plates are attached at the front and rear of the pedal. Named for the quill or “pick up tab” on the rear of the pedal. The weight of the toe clip and strap would make the pedal hang upside down, and the rider would tap the quill with their shoe to flip the pedal over so the shoe could be inserted into the pedal.

Pedestrian: Any person traveling by foot, or any mobility-impaired person using a wheelchair, whether manually operated or motorized.

Pedestrianism: Was a 19th-century form of competitive walking, often professional and funded by wagering, from which the modern sport of racewalking developed.

Pedicab (Cycle Rickshaw, Bike Taxi, Velotaxi, Bikecab): A human-powered (by pedaling) small-scale local means of transport. They are designed to carry passengers on a for hire basis.

Pedlock: The condition or state of being so crowded that people are unable to move easily in any direction (pedestrian + gridlock).

Peen: To strike a piece of metal with a hammer, denting the surface, or mashing the threads of a bolt after installing a nut to prevent the nut from being removed.

Peloton (Bunch, Field, Pack): A densely packed group of bicycle racers who draft each other. The word is French, from a term that means rolled up in a ball.

Peninsula: A piece of land extending into the sea almost surrounded by water.

PeopleForBikes: Launched in 1999 as Bikes Belong, they changed their name in 2013. They are a coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers, as well as a charitable foundation. They provide a unified front for advocating for bicycling on a national level to ensure safer places to ride for both children and adults.

Percolation (Percolate): The downward movement of water through the soil or alluvium to a groundwater table.

Peripatetic: Walking about; moving from place to place. One who walks about.

Permeability: The capability of soil or other geologic formations to transmit water.

Permit (System): Use-authorization forms issues by agencies to control the amount of use along trails or in wilderness areas. Permits may be obtained from the agency office, by mail, over the phone, or in person, or they may be self-issued; self-issued permits are usually obtained at the trailhead or immediately outside agency offices. They can be used to increase visitor knowledge about regulations, recommended low-impact behaviors, and potential hazards.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Standard required safety gear, including hard hat, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, sturdy leather boots, and eye protection required for trail work. Some tasks require additional items such as ear plugs and saw chaps for chainsaws.

Pesticide: Any chemical substance that is used to control invertebrate animal species.

Ph: Soil acidity or alkalinity; a Ph of 7 is neutral, less than 7 is acid, and over 7 is alkaline.

Photogrammetry: The art and science of obtaining reliable measurements or information from photographs or other sensing system.

Photomap (Photographic Map): A map made by adding marginal information, descriptive data, and a reference system to a photograph or assembly of photographs.

Physical Feature: A land shape formed by nature.

Pick (Pick-ax, Pick-axe): A tool with a 36-inch handle and a head that has a point at one end and a chisel-like edge at the other. Used to loosen soil or rock.

Picket Line, (Highline, Tethering Line): Method of restraining halter broke horses. Rope tie rail. A rope line, approximately seven feet above the ground, tightly stretched between two trees or stakes. Lead ropes are tied to the high line at the drop knots. The high picket line prevents horses from getting around the tree where the bark or root system could be damaged.

Picnic Area: Day-use area with one or more picnic tables where meals can be eaten outdoors.

Piedmont: Area along or near the base of a mountain range.

Pier: Bridge or boardwalk supports at one or both ends of a beam or stringer. They may be timber or log cribbing or piles, helical piles, stone masonry, or concrete.

Pile (Piling): A timber, pipe, or metal pole, or cast in place concrete, or metal to serve as a support for a bridge or boardwalk. The pile is either placed in a hole dug to the depth required (end bearing pile), driven with a heavy weight (friction pile), or screwed into the ground by a machine (helical pile).

Pilgrimage, Walking: An historic form of penance— a long walk or journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

Pilot (Captain, Steersman): The front rider of a bicycle tandem.

Pilot Hole: A small hole drilled in wood or steel to guide a nail, screw, or drill bit.

Pinning: Driving drift pins through a log or timber into a log or timber, or into the ground.

Pit: A naturally formed or human-made hole in the ground.

Pit Area: The location where participants of competitive events set up their equipment to be near the action.

Pitch: An increase in the prevailing grade of a trail, used during construction to avoid an obstacle, to catch up with the intended grade, or to meet a control point.

Pitch: A section of ice or rock that is difficult to climb, may be from 10 to 120 feet in height.

Pitch, Maximum: The highest percent of grade on a trail.

Pitch, Maximum Sustained: The highest percent of grade on a trail that is sustained for a significant distance.

Piton: A spike (driven into rock) to which ropes are attached during climbing or rigging.

Place Identity: The idea that our identities form in relation to our environment.

Plain: A broad, flat, level expanse of land, that supports prairie, or grasses, flowers, herbs, and a few trees.

Plan: Document that shows the steps needed to develop a trail or greenway.

Plan, Action: Provides a detailed outline of what needs to happen when in order to complete all the tasks and assign responsibilities for the tasks on a short-term activity.

Plan, Activity: A level of BLM planning where objectives are established and a plan of activities to meet those objectives is developed.

Plan, Comprehensive: Local government plan that meets state statute requirements, and thus contains the guidelines, principles, and standards for the orderly, coordinated and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the area. Many contain trail, greenway, or open space components.

Plan, Comprehensive Management (CMP): Blueprint to the complex resource management, interagency collaboration, and partnerships endemic to trails and greenways.

Plan, Comprehensive Master: A broad collection of goals, policies, and objectives adopted by a locality for the purpose of directing the growth of the locality.

Plan, Implementation: A site-specific plan written to implement decisions made in a land use plan. An implementation plan usually selects and applies BMPs to meet land use plan objectives and includes a schedule of project activities and a budget.

Plan(ning), Land-Use: The development of plans for the uses of land that, over long periods, will best serve the general welfare, together with the formulation of ways and means for achieving such uses.

Plan, Master: A comprehensive long-range plan intended to guide greenway and trail development of a community or region. Includes analysis, recommendation, and proposals of action.

Plan, Resource Management: A BLM planning document that presents systematic guidelines for making resource management decisions for a planning area. It identifies which lands are preserved, which lands can be used under restrictive conservation-oriented provisions, and which lands are available for more intensive commercial exploitation.

Plan, Shelf: Plans that do nothing but gather dust.

Plan, Strategic: A systematic approach that helps to select and organize tasks in a logical sequence, bearing in mind the constraints and opportunities.

Plan, Transition: Identifies the changes needed to make a facility accessible and the timeline for completing the changes.

Plan Amendment: The process of considering or making changes in the terms, conditions, and decision of approved plans. Usually only one or two issues are considered that involve only a portion of the planning areas.

Plan and Profile Sheets: Drawings (usually prepared for trail construction) used to record horizontal and vertical geometry of a trail alignment as well as other required improvements to the trail corridor.

Plank: A 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, 3×6, or wider board or timber. Usually used as a decking surface or tread.

Plank, Run (Running Plank): Usually wood planks laid lengthwise on top of bridge decking used as the tread surface.

Planning: To devise a scheme for developing or constructing a trail or greenway.

Planning Criteria: The factors used to guide development of a plan, or revision, to ensure that it is tailored to the issue(s) previously identified and to ensure that unnecessary data collection and analysis are avoided.

Plat: A diagram drawn to scale showing all essential data pertaining to the boundaries and subdivisions of a tract of land, as determined by survey or protraction.

Plateau: An elevated area of mostly level land, sometimes containing deep canyons.

Playa: The usually dry and very level lake-plain that occupies the lowest part of a closed depression.

Plogging: An activity that started in Sweden around 2016 (plocka upp): jogging while picking up litter. As a workout, it adds bending, squatting, and stretching to your main activity of jogging, you can also pick up litter while running (plunning), hiking ( pliking), or walking (plaking).

Plow: When the front wheel (motorcycle or mountain bike) digs into a soft surface instead of responding to steering inputs, taking the bike off-line.

Plumb: A line or plane perpendicular to the Earth’s surface.

Poach (Poaching, Poacher): Any encroachment on another’s property, rights, ideas, or the like. To nab a campsite without a permit. When a mountain biker rides on a closed trail or a trail prohibited to bikes. Participating in a charity event and not paying the entry fee.

Pocket(s) (Pocketing): A depressed area of notable deviation in grade from the surrounding areas within the trail. After rain events, pockets are often found to contain water.

Pocosin: Alqonquin for “swamp on a hill,” pocosin is a term in the Carolinas for peatlands, home to black bear, rattlers, and cottonmouth snakes. Common plant communities include bays, pond pines, wax myrtle, and fetterbush.

Pogies (Handlebar Mittens / Covers): Basically oversized mittens that fit over the handlebars of a snowmobile, ATV, or bicycle to protect your hands from the winter elements (cold, rain, snow & wind).

Point: Lead person in a line of hiker or riders responsible for following the trail and keeping the group together.

Point(s) of Interest: Ecological, historic, cultural, and recreational features or sites that may contribute to the quality of a trail user’s experience.

Point Rider: A lone rider or scout sent ahead of a group to inspect terrain and alert other trail users of the group’s approach.

Point Source Pollution: Pollutants discharged from any identifiable point, including pipes, ditches, channels, sewers, tunnels, and containers of various types.

Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac: Plants that produce an oil (Urushiol) that acts as an irritant to skin, causing an intensely itching rash.

Pollutant: Something that pollutes, especially a waste material that contaminates air, soil, or water.

Pollution: The alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of air, soil, or water by the introduction of any substance into the air, soil, or water that adversely affects any beneficial use of the air, soil, or water.

Policy: Specific guidance or means to achieve a goal.

Polypropylene (Polypro): One of the first synthetic outdoor clothing basic insulators. Drawbacks were that it retained order, didn’t wick well, and would shrink and bunch up in the dryer.

Pond: Still body of water smaller than a lake, often artificially formed, that is shallow enough to permit sunlight to reach the bottom, thus allowing plant growth.

Pond, Ephemeral (ephemeral wetlands, isolated wetlands, Carolina bays, seasonal ponds, cypress domes, sinkhole wetlands, seasonal marshes, intermittent ponds, pineland depressions, depressional wetlands, and vernal pools): Small, isolated wetlands that dry periodically. These ponds can be deep, sand-bottomed depressions with vegetation along the edge, tiny depressions covered with leaves that only fill during large rain events, or large, shallow ponds with cypress or tupelo trees growing throughout.

Ponding: Water that has accumulated in a low area.

Pool: A reach of a stream that is characterized by deep, low-velocity water and a smooth surface.

Port-a-Privy: A plastic lawn chair with a hole cut in the middle. The benefit being that you can take it to any spot you like to do your business.

Portage (Portaging): A situation that exists when a paddler must temporarily leave a river or stream to carry the boat and gear around hazards such as dams, downed trees, or dangerous whitewater.

Portland Cement: A gray powder made from limestone that is mixed with sand and water to make mortar, or mixed with sand, small stones or gravel, and water to make Portland cement concrete.

Post Hole Digger: Used for removing soil from holes for footings or posts the post hole digger has clam like scoops attached to long handles. Soil should be lifted from the hole with leg muscles—not back muscles. Use a digging bar to loosen compacted soil not the post hole digger. The post hole digger works best at removing loose soil. The scoops bend and break easily if used as a breaking tool.

Posthole (Postholing): To hike without snowshoes and punching through deep snow with each step leaving large deep holes. Can be extremely tiring and slow-going. Groups of hikers will often switch up the leader allowing the old leader the easier task of following in the new leader’s footsteps (or postholes). Considered bad form and makes subsequent snowshoeing or skiing unpleasant and hazardous.

Pot Cozy: A foam or cloth wrap to keeping a cooking pot warm while it finishes cooking.

Potable (Water): Safe to drink from the source without treating.

Power: The combination of speed and strength.

Power Slide: Sliding the rear wheels of a vehicle along the dirt by using the throttle to accelerate.

Power Train: The propulsion system which includes sprockets, chain, gears, cranks, and pedals.

Prairie: An extensive area of flat or rolling, predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America. Divided into tall grass prairie, mixed prairie, and shortgrass prairie.

Prairie Pothole: Scoured by glaciers, these depressions in Minnesota and the Dakotas are sometimes as small as a few thousand square feet and dry during much of the year. Yet they offer seasonal nesting and breeding habitat for a high percentage of the continent’s waterfowl.

Pre-field Investigation (Pre-field): Performing a physical examination of the project work site in order to evaluate solutions to trail deficiencies, select the appropriate course of action, formulate the design and quantify the material, equipment, and person hour requirements.

Preload: An adjustment on the spring in a suspension fork or shock that allows for the setting of the suspension compression.

Prescribed Fire (Prescribed Burning, Prescribed Burn): Formerly called “controlled burns,” these are periodic, intentional fires used to clear underbrush in an effort to control “wildfires,” open areas to wildlife, and promote germination of some species of flora.

Prescription: Management practices which are selected and scheduled for application in a specific area in order to attain goals and objectives.

Preservation: An approach to management with the goal of preventing the loss of natural ecosystem components and processes and cultural resources of historic value. Maintaining an area or structure intact or unchanged.

Press-Fit (Friction Fit): A design in which an assembly is pressed, rather than threaded, under pressure into a slightly smaller assembly such as bearing assembly into a bicycle frame.

Pressure-Treated Wood (Post & Lumber): Round logs and dimensional lumber that has been through an industrial process to penetrate the wood with chemicals to prevent rot and thereby extend their useful life when in contact with the ground.

Presta Valve: The narrow European-style valve found on some bicycle inner tubes. A small metal cap on its end must be unscrewed before air can enter or exit.

Prime: (pronounced preem) Mid-race sprint for a prize, points, or time bonus.

Prime Meridian: An imaginary line running from north to south through Greenwich, England, uses as the reference point for longitude.

Primed (Priming): In gasoline stoves a small amount of fuel must be squirted into the depression on top of the fuel tank and ignited. As this gas burns off it heats the fuel supply and air inside, generating enough vapor pressure to force gas out at the stove’s burner.

Priming Cup: On backpacking stoves, the small depression on top of the fuel tank where priming is accomplished.

Primitive: Characterized by an essentially unmodified natural environment isolated from the sights, sounds, and structures of civilization.

Prism: The trail cross-section as a whole.

Pristine: A place where signs of human impacts are absent or difficult to detect.

Privy: A trailside outhouse, or small structure covering a toilet pit or container for human waste.

Prohibition Methods: The method of prohibition should be compatible with management objectives for the road, trail, or area.

Sign Only—A sign by itself may be adequate to explain the reason for the prohibition and, in many areas, will be honored by the public without any physical barrier. Managers need to evaluate the risk and consequences of entry in determining if a sign alone would be adequate. If the risk or consequences are low, consider signing only. The sign is posted either adjacent to or in the center of the route.

Gate—If a route has intermittent or recurrent use, or is one for which limited access needed, a gate is the appropriate device. Gates imply some use and are frequently used to restrict traffic. Use of gates should only be considered for seasonal restrictions, recurrent administrative use, intermittent entries, potential emergency access needs such as fire suppression or the patrolling areas of concern. Gates should be marked with the appropriate warning signs.

Barrier—Prohibition is enforced by the installation of an identifiable constructed object such as a barricade, guardrail, or fence. These devices should be marked with the appropriate warning signs. Barriers should be considered for permanent restrictions.

Natural—Use of the route is restricted by the placement of natural materials such as berms, ditches, logs, rocks, or vegetation. These methods should be marked with the appropriate warning signs if needed.

Project Construction Notes: Notes and drawings written by a trail designer or agency personnel for a project and used to inform crew leaders of specific tasks to be completed on the project. The notes usually provide by what tasks to be done by section and noted by station measured from a starting point for the project.

Project Leader: The authorized person responsible for onsite execution of work associated with a project.

Prominence: A peak or outcrop.

Promontory: A point of high land that juts out into the sea or some other body of water; a headland.

Property: Used commonly to denote everything which is the subject of ownership. It extends to every species of valuable right and interest, and includes real and personal property.

Protein: In the diet, it is required for tissue growth and repair. Composed of structural units called amino acids. Not a significant energy source unless not enough calories and carbohydrate are consumed. One gram of protein equals four calories.

Pruning: The removal of normal vegetative that intrudes beyond the defined trail clearing limits.

Pruning Hook: A shearing head with a blade, anvil, and lever and pulley system mounted on the end of a long pole that will allow the pruning of limbs from trees. Usually combined with a pruning saw.

Pruning Saws: Single handled, straight bladed pruning saws are useful for limbing, some brushing, and removing small downfall; especially where space is limited and cutting is difficult. Folding pruning saws are handy.

Psoas (Iliopsoas Muscle Group, Inner Hip Muscles): A pair of deep-seated core muscles (psoas major combining with iliacus at their inferior ends) along each side of the spine connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur., an important hip flexor muscle involved in flexion and lateral rotation of the thigh that helps stabilize the spine and affects our posture.

Public: Individuals, including consumer organizations, public land resource users, corporations and other business entities, environmental organizations and other special interest groups, and officials of State, local, and Indian tribal governments affected or interested in public land management decisions.

Public Domain Land: The term applied to any or all of those areas of land ceded to the Federal Government by the Original States and to such other lands as were later acquired by treaty, purchase or cession, and are disposed of only under the authority of Congress.

Public Land: Any land and interest in land owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management.

Public Space: Places created, maintained, and accessible for all citizens. They are owned by the public, serve the public good, and promote social cohesion. Beaches, parks, natural spaces, streets, sidewalks, public squares all typically considered public space.

Public Trust: Any resource that is owned in common by all citizens and managed by the government according to the prevailing values of those citizens.

Public Use Condition (PUC): A condition attached to an STB-approved rail line abandonment authorization prohibiting the railroad from disposing of rail assets for a period of up to 180 days after such authorization unless the properties have first been offered, on reasonable terms, for sale for public purposes.

Puddle: A small pool of water usually a few inches deep and from several inches to several feet across.

Puddle, Sand or Soil: Sand or soil deposited at the low point of a trail.

PUD(S): Is thru-hiker shorthand for “pointless up(s) and down(s)”, referring to rolling terrain that don’t actually result in any elevation gain thru-hikers encounter from time to time; several PUDS in a row are MUDS, which is shorthand for “mindless ups and downs”.

Puffy: Slang for down jacket or vest.

Pulaski: During the early 1900s US Forest Service Ranger Edward Pulaski of Idaho needed a good tool for grubbing and chopping fire lines, so he welded the blade of a pick to the back of an ax head and created what has come to be known as the “Pulaski.” The modern Pulaski combines an axe bit with an adz-shaped grub hoe and is a very popular tool among trail builders.

Pull: In paceline bicycle riding, the riders usually take turns riding in front, allowing the others to draft behind them. The rider in front is “taking a pull,” pulling the others along in their slipstream.

Pump: Actively working terrain when riding—unloading frontsides and loading backsides of features—to gain speed and control.

Pump Track: A continuous loop of berms and smooth bumps (called rollers). Riders gain speed by “pumping” the terrain―absorbing the front side of rollers and compressing the back.

Puncheon (Bog Bridge): A log or timber structure built on the ground for the purpose of crossing a boggy area. Usually consists of sills, stringers, decking, and often a soil or loose gravel tread laid on top of the decking.

Purifier: Usually refers to a filter that employs an iodine-impregnated medium to kill water-borne organisms too small to be filtered out.

Purist: A hiker who wants to pass every blaze on the trail. A hiker who wants others to pass every blaze on the trail.

Pursuit: Bicycle track racing where two riders or two teams start 180° apart. The race is won when one rider or team passes the other, or after a fixed number of laps.

Put-in/Take-out Point: A defined area which provides public access/egress to water trails.

Puzzling: The mental process of fitting rocks together to make a retaining wall or armoring a trail.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – Q

Q Factor (Stance Width): On a bicycle the distance between the crank arms, which is essentially the distance between your feet as you pedal.

Quad(s) (Quadriceps): The large muscle at the front of the thigh, which is divided into four distinct portions and acts to extend the leg.

Quadrangle, 7.5-minute: A US Geological Survey paper map at 1:24,000 scale covering 7.5 minutes of latitude and 7.5 minutes of longitude. Features shown include elevation contours, roads, railroads, trails, water bodies, buildings, and wetlands. This is a basic layer of information for many ecological and natural resource applications. An automated version of the 7.5-minute quadrangle is called a digital raster graphic or DRG. It is informally known as 7.5-minute quad.

Quality-of-Life: Term used to embrace many facets of life and community (culture, density, climate, etc.). Recreation, park, open space, and trail opportunities play an important role in a community’s quality-of-life.

Quarry: A large depression where stone has been mined from the earth, or is still being mined.

Quick Release (QR): A cam-lever mechanism used to rapidly tighten or loosen a wheel on a bike frame, a seatpost in a seat tube, or a brake cable within cable housing.

Quick Release Skewer (Rod): The part of the quick-release mechanism that passes through the part it secures.

QR Code (Quick Response): Alphanumeric characters stored in a barcode commonly found at trailhead bulletin boards to convey a website address. A free barcode reader app is available for smartphones.

Quicksand: An ordinary bed of sand so saturated with water that it has become soupy and unstable.

Quiet Title: An action brought in state court to establish legal rights to property. In the legal proceeding called “action to quiet title,” the word “quiet” means to pacify; to render secure or unassailable by the removal of unsettling causes or disputes. Under this proceeding, the plaintiffs title to land is established by bringing into court an adverse claimant and there compelling them to either establish their claim or be forever after stopped from asserting it.

Quilt: Coined as a backpacking term by thru-hiker Ray Jardine in the 1990’s. To save weight he would use an insulated blanket believing that you lose the insulating property of the underside of a sleeping bag by compressing the loft when laying on it.

Quitclaim Deed: Document that transfers ownership of real estate, but contains no guarantees that the seller has a valid right to do so, or that others do not have rights to the land.

Quotation: A group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated in another piece of writing or speech by someone other than the original author or speaker.

Quote: To repeat a passage, phrase, etc. from a book, speech, or the like, as by way of authority or illustration.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – R

Rabies: An infectious disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mammal. Symptoms appear anywhere from three weeks to a year after being bit and include headache and fever, cough and sore throat, loss of appetite and fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Once symptoms appear, it is too late for treatment. If bitten by a rabid mammal get to a doctor immediately.

Race: A current of water flowing quickly through a narrow or restricted channel.

Race(s): The part of a ball-bearing assembly on which the balls roll. In conventional bicycle bearings, the races take the form of a cup and matching cone. In cartridge bearings there is an inner and an outer race.

Race, Point-to-Point: A race course that doesn’t loop back on itself and whose start and finish are not in close proximity to each other.

Rack: Run at a fast gain, as a horse.

Radiant Heat Loss: Is when heat radiates out from your body into your clothes. Vapor barriers reflect the heat back to your body.

Radio, Two-Way: For crew communication and in case of emergency two-way portable radios can be very useful in areas where there is not cell phone service.

Radius: An arc or curve that connects two straight trail segments in order to provide smooth horizontal and vertical alignment.

Rail: When riding to follow a steady, consistent line through a turn.

Rail (Railing): Horizontal or diagonal structural member which is attached to vertical posts for the purpose of delineating trails, protecting vegetation, providing safety barriers for trail users at overlooks, and assisting users when crossing bridges or using steps.

Rail, Rub: A smooth, flat panel that is attached to the inside of bridge railings to keep users or their gear from catching on vertical railings.

Rail Corridor: The path of a railroad right-of-way, including the tracks and a specified tract of land on either side of the tracks (generally one hundred feet wide).

Rail-Trail (Rail-to-Trail): A multi-purpose, public path or trail (paved or natural) created along an inactive railroad corridor.

Rail-with-Trail: Any shared-use path that is located on or directly adjacent to an active railroad or fixed route transit corridor.

Railbank(ing): Retaining a rail corridor for future railroad uses after service has been discontinued. The National Trails System Act, Sec. 8d, provides for interim public use of the corridor, allowing the establishment of recreational trails.

Railroad Bed: The earth bank or bed supporting railroad tracks. Many miles of these old railroad beds have been converted into trails where people enjoy biking and hiking.

Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC): A US non-profit membership organization based in Washington, DC that works with communities to preserve unused rail corridors by transforming them into rail-trails. Their mission to is create a nationwide network of trails from the former rail lines. RTC was formed in 1986 by Peter Harnik and David Burwell, inspired by the opportunities presented by the increasing abandonment of rail corridors throughout the country.

Rain: Water falling to earth in drops that have been condensed from moisture in the atmosphere.

Rain Poncho: Over garment made from waterproof material designed to keep you dry from rain

Rain Shadow: When prevailing winds encounter a mountain range, the cooling effect of high elevation causes precipitation on the windward slopes, thereby reducing the amount of moisture available on the lee side, becoming a territory where moisture merely shadows the other side.

Rake (Offset): The distance between the bicycle front wheel axle and the extension of the steering axis. This may be accomplished by bending the fork blades.

Rake: A long-handled implement with a row of projecting teeth at its head. To smooth, scrape, or loosen with a rake or similar implement.

Rake, Fire: A tool with triangular tines used to cut duff and debris from firebreaks or trail corridors.

Rake, Leaf (Lawn Rake): A tool with long tines in a fan shape. Used for clearing trail tread of leaves, needles, and other light ground litter.

Rake, Lamberton: Similar to the McLeod, and made with heavier gauge metal, the Lamberton Rake is a strong dependable tool that can be used to push and pull material and even cut tree roots 3 to 5 inches in diameter.

Rake, Steel: A tool with short steel tines. Used to spread soil and gravel.

Rake and Ride: Used by mountain bikers to describe trails that were not constructed. Volunteers rake the leaves out of the way and folks start riding.

Rake Down: Trail construction where all spoils are distributed below or to the side of the trail vs. “full clean” where all spoils must be removed.

Raker(s): The slightly shorter forward-facing teeth on a crosscut saw that chisel out the chips of wood scribed by the offset cutters.

Ramada: A Spanish term for n open or semi enclosed shelter roofed with brush or branches, designed especially to provide shade.

Ramble (Rambling): Used in the United Kingdom for walking or hiking in the countryside. An old English term meaning to walk aimlessly.

Ramp: A sloped transition between two elevation levels.

Randonnée: French for an often quite long organized group bicycle ride. One of the most famous is the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris. To be eligible to ride major randonnées, a ride must qualify by riding a series of shorter randonnées called brevets.

Randonneur: A bicyclists who participates in randonnées.

Randonneuring: A non-competitive similar to Audax events where riders attempt to complete a long-distance cycling event. However, instead of riding together in a group, participants are free to cycle at their own pace, stop or sleep wherever they want, and form groups randomly, provided they stay within the time limit.

Range: A north-south tier of townships or sections in a US public land survey. A range of townships is described by its relationship to the principle meridian numbered east and west.

Range: A line of mountain ridges, with or without peaks, in which the crests are relatively narrow.

Range: An open region over which animals (as livestock) may roam and feed.

Range Improvement: A structure, excavation, treatment or development to rehabilitate, protect, or improve range conditions on public lands.

Rapid(s): An area of broken, fast flowing water in a stream, where the slope of the bed increases (but without a prominent break of slope which might result in a waterfall), or where a gently dipping bar of harder rock outcrops.

Rappel (Roping Down): Self-belaying down a length of rope to get down from a steep climb.

Rare: Plant or animal species that are uncommon in a specific area. All endangered, threatened, and sensitive species can be considered rare, but the converse is not true.

Ratchet (Ratcheting): A bicycle riding technique in which the bicycle rider pedals in partial strokes in order to clear an obstacle on the trail.

Ravel: Constant movement of loose or coarse material on a slope. Also a process where the coarse material on a trail surface comes loose and separated from the travel tread because of lack of binder or poor gradation of tread material.

Ravine: Deep, narrow gouge in the earth’s surface, usually eroded by the flow of water.

Razorback: A dune with a sharp edge. One side has a gradual slope, the other has a steep, sharp incline.

Re-supply: A termed used by distance hikers to describe detours into towns to pick up supplies—often in the form of food-laden re-supply packages that had been packaged and mailed earlier.

Reach: A section of stream between two defined points.

Reach: On a bicycle it is the horizontal measurement from the center of the bottom bracket forward to the fork’s steerer tube where the handlebar stem is attached. This is the x axis.

Read(ing) the Terrain: To study the terrain and obstacles to determine a course or possible locations for a trail through the area. Looking well ahead during riding to anticipate hazards and choose the best line of travel.

Real Property: Real estate; land and anything growing on it or attached to it, such as trees, fences, and buildings.

Rebar: Steel-reinforcing rod that comes in a variety of diameters, useful for manufacturing pins or other trail anchors.

Reconnaissance (Recon): Scouting out alternative trail locations prior to the final trail route location being selected.

Reconstruct (Reconstruction, Renovate): To replace or rebuild trail or trail structure (switchback, waterbar, bridge, etc.) that is no longer safe to use or in poor condition. Also can include all work to bring an existing trail up to its classification standard, including necessary relocation of minor portions of the trail.

Record of Decision (ROD): Also called a decision memo. The portion of a Final Environmental Impact Statement that identifies the proposed action, signed by the appropriate deciding officer. (NEPA process.)

Recreation: The refreshment of body and mind through forms of play, amusement, or relaxation; usually considered any type of conscious enjoyment that occurs during leisure time.

Recreation, Active Outdoor: Activities that involve direct and specialized physical manipulation such as hiking, bicycling, paddling, horseback riding, etc.

Recreation, Developed: Outdoor recreation requiring significant capital investment in facilities to handle a concentration of visitors on a relatively small area. Examples are ski areas, resorts, trailheads, and campgrounds.

Recreation, Dispersed: Outdoor recreation activities that occur outside of developed recreation facilities in which visitors are diffused over relatively large areas away from maintained roads. Also referred to as backcountry recreation. Where facilities or developments are provided, they are more for access and protection of the environment than for the comfort or convenience of the people.

Recreation, Industrial: Intensive high-impact recreational development, usually driven by private industry deriving profits from exploitation of public resources.

Recreation, Passive Outdoor: Recreational uses conducted almost wholly outdoors that generally do not require a developed site, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and birdwatching.

Recreation, Slob: Recreation that demonstrates a high disregard for other people and the land.

Recreation Management Area(s), Extensive (ERMA): BLM administrative units where recreation management is only one of several management objectives and where limited commitment of resources is required to provide extensive and unstructured types of recreation activities. These areas consist of the remainder of land areas not included in the Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA).

Recreation Management Area(s), Special (SRMA): BLM administrative units established to direct recreation program priorities, including the allocation of funding and personnel, to those public lands where a commitment has been made to provide specific recreation activities and experience opportunities on a sustained yield basis.

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS): A means of classifying and managing recreational opportunities based on physical, social, and managerial settings. Each of the following six ROS classes is defined in terms of its combination of activity, setting, and experience: Primitive, Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized, Semi-Primitive Motorized, Road Natural, Rural, and Urban.

Recreation Site, Developed: A site developed primarily to accommodate specific intensive use activities or groupings of activities such as camping, picnicking, boating, swimming, winter sports, etc. These sites include permanent facilities which require continuing management commitment and regular maintenance, such as roads, trails, toilets, and other facilities needed to accommodate recreation use over the long term.

Recreation Site, Semi-Developed: A site partially developed to accommodate specific intensive uses such as camping, trail access, etc. These sites may include some permanent facilities such as a parking area and/or toilet. However, regular maintenance may not occur.

Recreational Corridors: Purchased/protected primarily for recreation, although these corridors contain at least a minimal natural buffer affording some ecological and/or habitat benefits.

Recreational Opportunities: The combination of recreation settings, activities, and experience provided by the area.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP): Federal program first established in 1991, RTP returns a portion of federal gasoline taxes, generated by non-highway recreation, to the states, which in turn provide grants for trail-related purposes to private organizations, state and federal agencies, and municipalities.

Recreational Use Statue (RUS): State law (in all 50 states) designed to limit the liability of public organizations, easement donors, landowners, and others who open their lands for public recreation use without charge.

Red Chalk: The mountaineering term for blood mixed with stone dust while climbing.

Redline (Redlined): The act of tracing in red all the trails on an area map that you have traveled on. You’ve completed a Redline attempt when every section of every trail is “redlined out.”

Reflector (Retroreflector, Safety Reflector, Safety Vest): A safety device that reflects light making the pedestrian, runner, bicycle, motorcycle, or vehicle visible at night when illuminated by the headlights of another vehicle. They shine light back brightly in the direction from which it came.

Reflexology Footpath: Made from a series of small river stones, some thick and round and others narrow, these paths are made to walk on in bare feet. The stone’s stimulate the feet’s reflex points, leading to health benefits and a connection with nature.

Reforestation: The natural or artificial regeneration of an area to protect watersheds, prevent soil erosion, improve wildlife habitat and other natural resources, produce timber and other wood products, and restore function to a particular type ecosystem.

Regeneration, Natural: The revegetation of a site by natural means, whether from seedlings originating by natural seeding, or from sprouts and other plants which reproduce vegetatively. Natural regeneration may or may not be preceded by site preparation.

Registration, Trail: A survey form filled out and left at a trailhead drop box or office that allows managers to obtain use information. Or a required permit to use a trail.

Regulation(s): Are directives or statutes enforced by law. As such they differ from rules which do not have a legal binding.

Rehabilitation (Rehab, Naturalize, Reclaim, Reclamation, Restoration, Restore): Process of restoring a denuded and/or eroded area or trail close to its original condition.

Relief: Elevations or depressions of the land.

Relocation (Relo, Realignment, Reroute): To alter the path of an existing trail that is failing or unmaintainable to better follow land contours, avoid drainage sites, bypass environmentally sensitive areas, improve views, or for other landowner or management reasons. After relocating the trail the old trail will need to be decommissioned.

Remote Sensing: Collecting information about an object without being in actual contact with the object.

Remove: To move from a position occupied; to take away.

Repair: Work to restore a damaged, broken, or worn-out fixed asset, component, or item of equipment to normal operating condition.

Repeat Offender: A person who has been on the same trail more than once.

Repetition (Rep): In weight or interval training, each individual exertion. For example, if you press a barbell five times or do a series of five sprints, you are doing five reps.

Replacement: Substitution or exchange of an existing fixed asset or component with one having essentially the same capacity and purpose.

Request for Proposals (RFP): Allows a number of consultants to bid on a project by outlining their plans and associated costs. A detailed RFP will help weed out unqualified consultants.

Research: Systematic inquiry into a subject in order to discover new information or revise facts and theories. Research follows a scientific method and must be repeatable.

Research Natural Area (RNA): Areas set aside to preserve representative ecosystems for scientific study and educational purposes.

Reserve(s): Large protected areas that serve as primary sites for the conservation of biological diversity, natural resources, and in some cases for important archaeological and historic sites.

Resolution: A measure of the finest detail distinguished in a geospatial image. High resolution (1-meter detail) versus low resolution (15-meter detail).

Resource(s): Available supply that can be used as needed; as, to conserve resources for future generations.

Resource Advisory Council (RAC): A group established pursuant to 43 CFR 1780 and other authorities to advise the Bureau of Land Management on resource management issues.

Rest (Recovery): As essential as the workout. Muscles must be allowed to recover if they’re to grow stronger. Regularly scheduled rest days allow you to train as long and hard as necessary to reach your goals, while minimizing the risk of overtraining.

Rest Area (Rest Stop, Rain Stop): On many long distance trails rest areas are provided at spaced intervals. Many have a picnic table, roof to provide relief from sun and rain, restroom, and potable water.

Rest Area, ADA: A level portion of a hard surface trail that is wide enough to provide wheelchair users and others a place to rest and gain relief from the prevailing grade and cross slope demands of a path.

Rest Area Interval: The distance between rest areas.

Rest Stop: Sanctioned rides typically have rest stops every 25 miles or so, where water, food, and toilets are available for participants of the event.

Restore: To bring back to a former, normal, or productive condition by repairing or rebuilding.

Restrictions, Road or Trail: Limitations placed on the use of a road or trail. Sample codes: S-seasonal closure, Y-closed yearlong to motorized vehicles, R-restriction on types of traffic allowed on road or trail, L-limitations on vehicle dimensions, weight or speed, N-no restrictions applied, B-no bicycles, E-no equestrians, M-no motorized vehicle, P-permit required for use.

Restroom (Comfort Station, Pit Privy, Chum Privy, Vault Toilet, Pit Toilet, Composting Toilet, Chemical Toilet, Port-a-John, Latrine, Bathhouse): Facility for human waste disposal that may or may not meet public health standards.

Re-supply (Resupply): A termed used by distance hikers to describe detours into towns to pick up supplies—often in the form of food-laden re-supply packages that had been packaged and mailed earlier.

Retro: Gear from the past.

Retro-Grouch: Someone who disdains new equipment and innovation in favor of time-test old designs.

Revegetation: Process of planting or transplanting vegetation on bare soil to develop plant cover.

Reversionary Interest (Reversion): The right of a property owner to the future enjoyment of property presently in the possession or occupancy of another. For example, a railroad company could acquire a right-of-way easement that states upon cessation of use as a rail line that the property would revert to the original owner or heirs.

Revetment: A facing of stone, bags, blocks, pavement, etc. used to protect a bank against erosion.

Revolution: A complete rotation of a wheel or a bicycle pedal.

Rhizome: A below ground stem capable of growing a new plant.

Rhyolite: A fine-grained extrusive volcanic rock, similar to granite in composition and usually exhibiting flow lines.

Ride Bride: A female hiker who accompanies a male hiker when he attempts to hitch a ride. It is thought that people are more likely to pick up a male hitchhiker if a female is with him, and that a female hitchhiker is safer if a male is with her.

Ride of Silence (ROS, RofS): The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas, TX in 2003 as a memorial group bicycle ride to honor fallen cyclists and to call attention to motorists of the need to share the roads with cyclists. The Ride has spread to many more cities.

Riding Blind: When you ride a trail for the first time you’re “riding blind.”

Ridge: A hill that is proportionally longer than it is wide, generally with steeply sloping sides.

Ridgecrest: The high point of a ridge.

Ridgeline: A line connecting the highest points along a ridge and separating drainage basins or small-scale drainage systems from one another.

Ridgerunner (Ridge Runner): A person paid by a trail-maintaining club or governmental organization to hike back and forth along a certain section of trail to educate hikers, enforce regulations, monitor trail and campsite use, and sometimes perform trail maintenance or construction duties. Such persons are most often found in high-use areas of the trail.

Riffle: A reach of stream that is characterized by shallow, fast-moving water broken by the presence of rocks and boulders.

Rift: A place where the earth’s crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart. A shallow or rocky place in a stream, forming either a ford or a rapid.

Rig: Slang for motor vehicle used on a trail job.

Rig-up:To load a motor vehicle with gear, food, and tools necessary for a trail job.

Rigging, Cable (Block and Tackle): Rigging refers to a system of cables, pulleys, and winches used to suspend and move heavy loads. Rigging systems are most appropriate when there is a considerable amount of work to do at one site, such as when constructing a bridge, retaining wall, steps, or a shelter.

Right-of-First Refusal: A property interest in which the holder of the right has first option to purchase the property at the price of a bona fide offer made to the property owner by a third party. If not exercised within a set time period after the offer is made, it expires, and the owner is free to sell to the offeror.

Right-of-Way: A linear corridor of land held in fee simple title, or as an easement over another’s land, for use as a public utility (highway, road, railroad, trail, utilities, etc.) for a public purpose. Usually includes a designated amount of land on either side that serves as a buffer for adjacent land uses.

Right of Way: The right of one trail user or vehicle to proceed in a lawful manner in preference to another trail user or vehicle.

Right-of-Way Etiquette: Users going downhill yield to those coming uphill. Slower users yield to faster. Mountain bikers yield to hikers. Everyone yields to horses.

Rill: A steep-sided small channel resulting from accelerated erosion; the most common form of erosion.

Rim: The outside ring (commonly a metal or carbon fiber extrusion that is butted into itself to form large hoop) of the wheel attached to the outer ends of the spokes holding the tire and tube.

Rimrocked: When one becomes so unnerved on a climb that they are stuck and too frightened to descend.

Rim Tape (Rim Strip): A tape of rubber, cloth, or tough plastic that covers the inner part of a rim covering the spoke holes and nipples in order to protect the inner tube from puncture.

Rime Ice: White super-cooled water droplets that stick to surfaces and freeze into the direction of the wind.

Rimrock: A top stratum of resistant rock of a plateau that outcrops to form a vertical face.

Riparian (Riparian Zone, Habitat Zone): A habitat that is strongly influenced by water and that occurs adjacent to streams, shorelines, wetlands, or other water bodies, dominated by high soil moisture content and influenced by adjacent upland vegetation.

Riparian Vegetation: Plant species growing adjacent to a wetland area, including a perennial or intermittent stream, lake, river, pond, spring, marsh, bog, meadow, etc.

Ripple: A specific undulated bed form found in sand bed streams. Undulations or waves on the surface of flowing water.

Riprap (Rip Rap): Rough, large stones or rocks placed randomly on a bank to provide support and prevent erosion; also the stone so used.

Rise and Run (Rise over Run): A measurement of grades expressed as a proportion of the amount of vertical rise in a given horizontal run. For example, “1:4” means that the grade or slope rises one unit for each four units of horizontal run. Taking this one step further, 1:4 is a 25% grade or slope, where 25% is obtained by dividing 1 by 4 and expressing the result as a percentage.

Risk: Relationship of the trail user to the danger involved of traveling through an uncontrolled environment.

Risk: Level of legal exposure incurred by land manager or owner of property for providing access to trail users.

Risk, Assumption of: The legal concept that you assumed and perceived an activity was potentially dangerous and you willingly assumed those risks and participated anyway.

Risk, Perception of: Something that happens more on site, perceiving a big drop off on a trail as being dangerous and therefore not getting too close to the edge.

Risk Management: An element of safety management that evaluates the effects of potential hazards on safety by considering acceptance, control, or elimination of such hazards with respect to expenditure of resources.

River: Large natural streams that continuously or periodically contain moving water, or which form a connection between two bodies of water.

Riverine: Relating to, formed by, or resembling a river including tributaries, streams, brooks, etc.

Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA): A program of the National Park Service that supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities. In order to obtain free, on-location facilitation and planning expertise visit for an application.

Road: A motor vehicle route over 50 inches wide that has been improved and maintained by mechanical means to ensure relatively regular and continuous use. A “way” maintained solely by the passage of vehicles does not constitute a road.

Road, Arterial: A road that provides for relatively high travel speeds and minimum interference to through movement and usually connects with other arterial roads or public highways.

Road, Authorized (formerly known as Classified): Roads wholly or partly within or adjacent to and serving a part of the National Forest System lands that are determined to be needed for long-term motor vehicle access, including State Roads, County roads, privately owned roads, National Forest System Roads, and other roads authorized by the Forest Service; use is restricted to state licensed vehicles.

Road, Designated: Specific roads identified by the land management agency where some type of use (motorized or nonmotorized) is appropriate and allowed either seasonally or yearlong and which have been inventoried and mapped and are appropriately signed on the ground.

Road, Fire (Fireroad): Unimproved dirt road that allows firefighting and ranger vehicles access to the backcountry.

Road, Forest: A temporary or permanent road connecting parts of the forest to existing public roads. They provide access to forestland for timber management, fish and wildlife habitat improvements, fire control, and a variety of recreational activities.

Road, Forest Development: A forest road under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service.

Road, Ghost: An unofficial road or a road that is not represented on a map, but that exists on the ground and is often used by OHVers.

Road, Local: A road that primarily provides access to land adjacent to collector roads over relatively short distances at low speeds.

Road, Low-Volume: A road that has an average daily traffic of 400 or less.

Road, Mixed Use: These are segments of authorized roads that are identified and signed as open to state licensed and unlicensed vehicles; generally more than 50” in width and usually, but not always, low maintenance roads with no high-speed traffic. There are three types of mixed use road: mixed use unsurfaced, mixed use surfaced, and mixed use paved.

Road, National Forest System: A forest road other than a road which has been authorized by a legally documented right-of-way held by a State, county, or other local public road authority.

Road, Primitive: A type of transportation-related linear feature that is used by four-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicles.

Road, Public: A road under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public road authority and open to public travel.

Road, Service: A road which is solely utilized for administrative, maintenance, or emergency purposes.

Road, Temporary: A road necessary for emergency operations or authorized by contract, permit, lease, or other written authorization that is not a forest road and that is not included in a forest transportation atlas.

Road, Unauthorized (formerly known as unclassified): A road that is not a forest road or a temporary road that is not included in a forest transportation atlas.

Road Base: A mixture of sand, clay, and gavel commonly used underneath asphalt on paved roads and trails. For trails, this material can be compacted into a fairly hard surface, yet it remains soft enough to be comfortable for trail users.

Road Rash (Raspberry, Strawberry): Severe skin abrasions caused from sliding on the asphalt in a crash.

Road-crossing: Intersection of trail and road traffic. Can be the most dangerous section of a trail since they are sometimes located on ridge tops, blind hills, or hairpin turns.

Road Diet: A reallocation technique to modify the number or width of travel lanes on a road such as 4-to-3 lane or land reduction to allow for bicycle or pedestrian improvement.

Road-to-Trail Conversion: Involves narrowing an old logging road to provide a meandering trail with a solid trail tread for users.

Roadway: The portion of a highway, including shoulders and auxiliary lanes, for vehicular use.

Roadway, Shared: Roads that are signed with “Share the Road” signs educating drivers to share the road with bicycles.

Roam: To wander purposefully unhindered through a wide area.

Rock: Soil particles greater than 3 inches in diameter.

Rock, Baby Head (Babyheads): Refers to loose rocks (the size of a baby’s head) found on a section of trail.

Rock, Camp: Large rock with overhang where you can camp underneath.

Rock, Cap: Hard rock or stratum of rock that sits atop less hardy material, protecting that material from erosion.

Rock, Foundation: Very large base stones of a constructed rock wall, all set on a solid inlsoped base. Flat on top and insloped for next tier of rocks. Ideally the lowest one is held in place by bedrock or a solid boulder.

Rock(s), Guide (Gargoyle, Corral Rock, Corralling, Dragon’s Tooth, Shepherd, Planted Rock, Iceberg Rock): An embedded object, such as large rocks, that defines the sides of a trail, helping to keep users in the center of the tread. Without such features some trail users will travel around drainage features causing widened tread or travel on the outside of tread collapsing the edge.

Rock, Igneous: Rock produced through the cooling of melted mineral matter. When the cooling process is slow, the rock contains fair-sized crystals of the individual minerals, as in granite.

Rock, Metamorphic: A rock that has been greatly altered from its previous condition through the combined action of heat and pressure. For example, marble is a metamorphic rock produced from limestone, gneiss is one produced from granite, and slate is produced from shale.

Rock(s), Rowing: The lateral swing of a rock bar over a fulcrum to move a large rock sideways.

Rock, Sedimentary: A rock composed of particles deposited from suspension in water. Chief groups of sedimentary rocks are: conglomerates (from gravels); sandstones (from sand); shales (from clay); and limestones (from soft masses of calcium carbonate).

Rock Art (Petroglyph or Pictograph): An archaic to modern cultural site type consisting of incised (petroglyph) or painted (pictograph) figures such as people, animals, plants, or abstracts on a rock surface.

Rock Bar (Rockbar, Pry Bar): A four-foot bar of steel weighing 16 to 18 pounds with a beveled end used to move rocks.

Rock Box(es): Flat-topped rocks are placed so that they interlock like puzzle pieces and are encased within a frame of wood such as small logs or 4x4s. Rock boxes span areas that are prone to soil migration or mud.

Rock Contact:In rock work the area where two set rocks meet. The more surface area shared, the better the contact and protection against erosion and use.

Rock Crawler: Vehicles designed for climbing steep or very rugged terrain, usually at very slow speeds.

Rock Crawling: An extreme form of off-roading using highly modified vehicles to slowly drive up, down, and across obstacles that would appear impassable.

Rock Crush: Small pieces of angular rock (essentially gravel) created by smashing larger rocks with a sledge. Used for fill around rock placements to stabilize them. Small angular rocks can also be collected if readily available. Round rocks and gravel act as ball bearings and thus are unacceptable for rock work.

Rock Garden (Rock Run): Constructed or natural rock feature that is challenging to ride or drive over.

Rock Hop: A river or stream crossing done by hopping from rock to rock without getting your feet wet.

Rock-Hopping: Crossing a boulder field by stepping or jumping from rock to rock.

Rock Rake: A mechanized rake with adjustable 48” comb that is pulled behind an ATV for trail maintenance and grooming.

Rock Scramble: Extremely steep trail or section that requires climbing rather than hiking.

Rock Shopping: The thorough search for quality rocks for construction for walls, water bars, checks, etc. Generally the search is uphill or across the side slope, for ease of transport, since quality rocks will be larger than one person can carry.

Rock Sling: Shaped like a litter, two to four people use a rock sling to carry heavy rocks. Its two poles may be steel pipe or wooden poles about 6’ long. The sling, fashioned from chain or strong rope, should sag close to the ground when a rock is rolled into the center.

Rock Sling, Austin: A carrying device made of steel chain configured in a web pattern with rope or steel ring handles. It is generally used to transport large rock for use in walls or other structures. Several Austins used together can be utilized to move large logs and beams for bridges and turnpikes.

Rocksylvania: Name given to the stretch of Appalachian Trail that runs through Pennsylvania due to the uneven and jagged stones covering the trail making every step an adventure.

Rod Sounding: Driving a steel rod or pipe into the ground to determine the location of firm soil or rock.

Roll Through: To ride through trail technical features without putting your foot down.

Rollers: A stationary trainer with two large rollers where the front and rear wheels of a bicycle balance while spinning the pedals that allows for indoor riding/training. Since the bicycle is not attached to the rollers some cyclists find that this increased attention to balance enhances their workout.

Roller-coaster: Section of trail with constant ups and downs.

Rollers: A stationary trainer with two large rollers where the front and rear wheels of a bicycle balance while spinning the pedals that allows for indoor riding/training.

Rolling Resistance (Rolling Friction, Rolling Drag): The force resisting the motion of a tire rolling on a surface. There are a number of variables that determine rolling resistance: tire tread, width, diameter, tire construction, tube type (if applicable), and pressure are all important.

Rolling Terrain: A trail that gently climbs and descends.

Rooster Tail (Roost, Roosted): The plume of water, dirt, or sand flung off the rear wheel(s) as a bicycle, motorcycle, or vehicle takes off.

Root: The part of a plant/tree, usually underground, that anchors the plant/tree. Can be a hazard to trail users when they protrude through the tread surface.

Root Ball (Rootwad): Earth and soil that is lifted up when a tree and its roots fall over.

Rope: A large stout cord of strands of fibers or wire twisted or braided together.

  • Working End: The end of the rope being used at the time to tie a knot.
  • Standing Part: The part of the rope not being used at the moment.
  • Bight: A curve or bend in the rope. This is usually a loop through which the working end is passed.

Route: A traveled way (road/trail), a means of access, a line of travel, an established or selected course of travel.

Route, Travel: A road, river or trail, that is open for use by members of the general public.

Route Sheet (Turn Sheet): A handout at the beginning of rides that lists every turn and the distance to it. Some people find this easier to follow than a map.

Rubble: Rough, irregular fragments of broken rock or concrete.

Ruck: Originally small informal gatherings of past and future Appalachian Trail hikers, they have evolved into larger annual scheduled events.

Rucking: Hiking with a weighted pack and stopping to perform exercises—a military fitness activity.

Rule(s): Guidelines or instructions of doing something correctly. As such they do not have the legal binding that regulations have.

Rumble Strip (Milled Shoulder Rumble Strip): A textured or grooved pavement treatment designed to create noise and vibration to alert inattentive drivers leaving the road surface in time for them to take corrective action. Poorly placed or designed rumble strips may be a hazard to bicyclists.

Run: A reach of stream characterized by fast-flowing, low turbulence water.

Running Joint: A vertical joint or seam, which is continuous through two or more courses in a wall. Running joints weaken a wall and should be avoided.

Runoff: Water (not absorbed by the soil) that flows over the land surface and ultimately reaches streams.

Runout (Outrun): A section of trail, usually at or near the base of a descent, that provides adequate length and grade reduction in order for the user to safely slow, stop, or negotiate turns, intersections, or structures. Outruns are usually associated with ski touring.

Rural: Areas outside of cities and suburbs with low populations, usually less than 5,000. Often a rural area includes towns surrounded by farms, forests, or ranches.

Rural Area: Outside the limits of an incorporated or unincorporated city, town, village, or any other designated residential or commercial area such as subdivision, a business or shopping center, or community development.

Rut(s) (Rutting, Entrenchment): Sunken tracks or grooves in the tread surface cut in the direction of travel by the passage of trail users or water.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – S

Sack, Compression: A type of stuff sack designed for storage of sleeping bags or other soft items. It is equipped with adjustable outside straps that when shortened the sack and its non-rigid contents are reduced in size.

Sack, Dry (Dry Bag): A roll-top waterproof sack to protect your gear from moisture.

Sack, Stuff: A bag with a drawstring or zipper, used for compact storage of gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc.).

Saddle: A seat (tack) for a rider placed on the back of a horse or other animal. Also refers to a seat on a bicycle or motorcycle.

Saddle: A topographical term for a “sagging” ridge that connects two summits.

Saddle Rails: The two rails underneath a bicycle saddle that are clamped in the seatpost and that allow forward and aft adjustment.

Saddle Sore(s): Caused by friction and bacteria, usually from riding in the saddle too long. It looks similar to a pimple or an open lesion, it can cause a dull or sharp pain and sitting on a saddle will be uncomfortable. Also pertains to a sore developed on a horse from an ill-fitting, or ill-adjusted saddle.

Saddle Sore: A sore developed by a horse from an ill-fitting, or ill-adjusted saddle. Also pertains to the rider (horse, bicycle, or motorcycle) who has been riding too long.

Saddle Stock: Horses or mules that are used for riding.

Saddle Time: Time spent actually riding.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS): International initiative to reduce the number of children killed while walking and bicycling to school. In 2005, Congress passed federal legislation that established a National Safe Routes to School program with funding for each state.

Safety: The prime thing to aim for when constructing a trail or using a trail. Freedom from danger. Protection from, or not being exposed to, the risk of harm or injury.

Safety Awareness (Situational Awareness): Staying focused on hazards in the work environment and how best to reduce their threats.

Safety Glasses (Safety Goggles): Large protective glasses that protect the eyes when using power tools, breaking rock, or anywhere flying debris is present.

Safety Harness: A body belt or strap, usually made of nylon, for use while working near steep drop-offs. Must be of approved construction and design, and in good repair, and attached to a secure anchor point with carabineers and approved climbing rope.

Sag: A depression caused by the uneven settling of the ground.

Sag(s): Typically dips in the ridge without a road. A southern term, Col is typically a northern term.

Sag Stop (Rest Stop): Stops located 15 to 20 miles apart on an organized tour route that provides riders food, water, and restroom break.

Sag Wagon (Broom Wagon, Support Vehicle, Roving SAG, Sweep Vehicle): A support vehicle following a group of bicyclists in a race, tour, or recreational ride that may carry equipment, food, rider luggage, or mechanics. May also pick up riders unable to continue.

Salt Marsh: An area of low lying, wet ground containing a high proportion of salt or alkali; generally in arid regions.

Salvage: Removal of trees that are dead, dying, or in imminent danger of being killed by injurious agents.

Sand: Soil particles ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 mm in diameter; individual particles are visible to the unaided human eye. Usually sand grains consist chiefly of quartz, but they may be of any mineral composition.

Sand-bagging (Sandbagger): Occurs when a racer enters a competition in a category much below their skill and expertise level, but for which they are technically registered.

Sandbag: A bag filled with sand usually used on a temporary basis to hold back water.

Sandbag (Sandbagged, Sandbagging): When something is rater easier than it is and you attempt it—you feel as if you have a sandbag tied to you.

Sapwood: Wood just under the bark of a tree. It is only a few years old. This wood is usually a light color and not as strong or dense as the heartwood.

Savanna: A flat, grassy, meadowlike landscape, intermediate between treeless plains and closed-canopy woodlands.

Saw: Cutting tool that comes in a variety of styles used for cutting limbs, branches, trees, or lumber.

Saw, Bow: A 16-, 21-, or 36-inch thin, replaceable blade saw with a bow-shaped handle used to cut brush or trim small branches.

Saw, Crosscut: A long saw that was favored a century ago by loggers felling trees. Used today in federally designated Wilderness Areas, or by those who prefer not to use chainsaws.

Saw, Folding: Their small size and ability to fold the blade for protection makes them easy to carry and well suited to get into tighter places. They are useful for limbing, brushing, and removing small downfall. There are a vast array of blade lengths and styles, and some have replaceable or interchangeable blades.

Saw, Pole (Tree Pruner, Pole Pruner): A pruning saw with a telescoping handle to trim branches that would otherwise be out of arm’s reach. Some models have built-in loppers that can be operated from the ground with a rope.

Saw, Razor-Tooth (Protooth Saw): These saws have an extra thick, extra wide razor-tooth blade for rigidity and are used to cut limbs encroaching on the trail, cutting small trees or shrubs at the base, and removing small to medium sized windfalls. They come in a wide variety of sizes and tooth patterns.

Saw, Rip: A saw for cutting wood with the grain.

Sawanobori (Shower Climbing, Stream Climbing): the Japanese art of climbing up flowing streams and waterfalls ideally to its source.

Sawtooth: An adjective used to describe a range of mountains or a single ridge in a series of peaks that resemble the jagged edge of a saw.

Sawyer: Crew member who fells trees with chainsaw or hand saw. Usually teamed with a swamper who moves cut debris off the trail.

Scale: The proportionate size relationship between an object and the surroundings in which the object is placed. The relationship of the length between two points as shown on a map and the distance between the same two points on the Earth.

Scarification: The loosening of compacted soil to allow intentional and natural seeding to occur.

Scat (droppings, dung, excrement, feces, patty, pellet, poo. poop, spoor, waste, waste matter): Refers to animal’s elimination discharged from bowels after food has been digested. Many animals use scat to mark territory. Scat packs a history of its host’s diet, territory, and sexual state.

Scenery: The aggregate of features that give character to a landscape.

Scenic Area: An area whose landscape character exhibits a high degree of variety and harmony among the basic elements which results in a pleasant landscape to view.

Scenic Quality: The degree of harmony, contrast, and variety within a landscape.

Scenic Quality Evaluation Key Factors: The seven factors (land form, vegetation, water, color, adjacent scenery, scarcity, and cultural modifications) used to evaluate the scenic quality of a landscape.

Scenic View (Vista): A long-distance view that is pleasant and interesting.

Scenic Viewpoint: A designated area developed at a key location to afford trail users an opportunity to view significant landforms, landscape features, wildlife habitat, and activities.

Scoping: The NEPA process of identifying the range of considerations, issues, management concerns, preliminary alternatives, and other components of an environmental impact statement or land-use planning document. It involves internal agency and external/public involvement.

Scorcher: Used in the 19th century to describe a fast, reckless cyclist who scares horses and old folks.

Scour (Scouring): Soil erosion through the force of moving water.

Scour Line: The visual height (line) that erosion has taken place.

Scouting: The act of inspecting an unknown section of river or mtn bike trail before attempting it. Always a good way to stay out of trouble.

Scramble (Scrambling): Climbing that requires the use of hands, but not ropes.

Scream: To ride really fast.

Screamer: A long fall.

Scree (Scree Slope): Gravel-size loose rock debris, especially on a steep slope or at the base of a cliff, formed as a result of disintegration largely by weathering.

Screening: Full or partial concealment of unsightly views to render them unnoticeable from the trail, by means of natural objects, plantings, fences, or other appropriate means.

Scrench: A screwdriver-wrench combination tool used to maintain a chainsaw.

Screw: A pointed fastener with male threads, usually with a slotted or recessed head.

Screw, Set: A screw or bolt threaded into a ring or collar, designed to press against the shaft that the collar surrounds, so that the ring is held solidly against the shaft.

Scrub: Land overgrown with low, stunted trees (scrub-oaks or scrub-pines), brush, and underbrush.

Sea Level: The ocean surface; the mean level between high and low tides. Sea level is used as a reference point in determining land elevation.

Seam(s), Taped: When a manufacturer applies a waterproof tape to the stitched seams in a tent or garment, to keep water from permeating the holes created during the stitching.

Seam Sealer: A coating applied to the stitching on seams of a tent and clothing for waterproofing.

Seat (To Seat, Seating): Term used when installing a tire on a rim. Seating means getting the tire bead (edge of the tire) sitting on the rim just right before you add air.

Seat Cluster: On a bicycle the junction of top tube, seat tube, and seatstays near the top of the seat tube.

Seatpost: The tubular post on a bicycle that the saddle attaches to. It telescopes into the seat tube of the frame, providing the adjustment for saddle height. It is usually secured by a bindert or quick release bolt at the top of the seat tube.

Second Growth: A renewed area where the trees are the product of re-growth occurring after the original forest was cleared for timer or farmland.

Second Wind: The motivation you need to bypass fatigue and accomplish your goal.

Section: Nominally one mile by one mile area of land bounded by section lines running east-west and north-south.

Section 106 Consultation: Discussion between a Federal agency official and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, State Historic Preservation Officer, and other interested parties concerning historic properties that could be affected by a specific undertaking.

Section 4(f) of the US DOT Act: Section 4(f) resources consist of publicly owned parks, recreation areas, wildlife refuges, and public and private historic sites. Section 4(f) land cannot be used for US DOT-funded projects unless it is determined that no feasible and prudent alternative exists.

Section 8(d): Common reference to U.S.C. 1247(d), the section of the National Trails System Act which provides for interim trail use when a surplus railroad line is placed in the federal railbank.

Section Hike (Section Hiking): Tackling a long-distance trail in sections over a number of years.

Section Hiker: A hiker who is hiking an entire long distance trail over a period of years.

Sediment: Soil particles that have been transported away from their natural location by wind or water action and re-deposited in a different area down-slope or down-stream.

Sediment Deposition: The accumulation of soil particles on the trail tread and banks.

Sediment Yield: The volume or weight of sediment transported from a site.

Sedimentation: Deposition of soil particles or other material carried in water; usually the result of a reduction in water velocity below the point at which the material remains in suspension.

Seen Area: That portion of the landscape which is visible from roads, trails, rivers, campgrounds, communities, or other key observation positions.

Segment (Passage): A portion of a trail. Changes in geographic features, jurisdiction and/or political boundaries often distinguish segments (passages).

Self-Arrest: Ice-axe technique used to stop yourself from sliding off a icy mountainside. You use your body weight to plunge the serrated blade of the axe into the icy mountainside; ideally you find yourself halted midslope.

Semiarid: Moderately dry; region or climate where moisture is normally greater than under arid conditions but still definitely limits the production of vegetation.

Sensitive site: Any site that may easily suffer environmental damage or damage to cultural resources of historic value.

Sérac: A large pointed mass of ice in a glacier isolated by intersecting crevasses.

Service Life: The length of time that a facility is expected to provide a specified service.

Service Trip (Service Project): An organized group of volunteers who work on a project with agency personnel on public lands, usually for a week. Projects include restoring wilderness areas, maintaining trails, cleaning up trash and campsites, and removal of non-native plants.

Session: A single practice period that may include one or more workouts.

Set(s): In weight or interval training, one group of repetitions. For example, if you do eight reps three times, you have done three sets.

Setting: The term used to describe the natural surroundings or a trail or recreation area.

Setting Bed: A layer of aggregate (either crushed stone or crushed gravel), mason’s sand, or mortar placed on solid rock, or a compacted subgrade of existing ground or fill as a base for a row of stone or block. Depending on the setting bed, material, and subsurface conditions, the setting bed may be from 4 to 12 inches deep.

Shaffer, Earl (1918-2002): Trail name “The Crazy One,” the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Poet, WW2 veteran, author of Walking With Spring, and The Appalachian Trail, Calling Me Back To The Hills, and three time thru-hiker, northbound in 1948, southbound in 1965, and northbound again at age 79 in 1998, 50 years after his first hike.

Shaft: An opening made at the surface and extending downward into the earth vertically.

Shale: Soft, finely stratified sedimentary rock that formed from consolidated mud or clay and can be split easily into fragile slabs.

Shale: Soft, finely stratified sedimentary rock that formed from consolidated mud or clay and can be split easily into fragile slabs.

Shank: A metal or nylon plate installed in the instep of a shoe or boot to provide support.

Shared Lane: A traffic lane that is open to both bicycle and motor vehicle travel. Shared lanes can be marked with shared lane markings (Sharrows) or designated as bicycle boulevards. A shared lane that is at least 14 feet wide allows space so that bicycles and motorists may travel side-by-side within the same traffic lane.

Shared Use: A process where land managers and trail user groups work together to identify common goals and share in the process to achieve them. It means sharing of knowledge, tools, trailheads, grant funds, labor, and other resources in an area. In some instances it means sharing the same trail, but doesn’t always require multiple-use trails.

Sharrows (Shared Land Marking): Pavement markings meant to encourage bicyclists and cars to share the road. Sharrows are not bike lanes, which are reserved for bicyclists.

Shear: Force parallel to a surface as opposed to directly on the surface. An example of shear would be the tractive force that removes particles from a trail as flow moves over the surface of the slope.

Sheath: Protective covering made of leather or plastic used to cover sharp blades of tools while in storage or when the tools are transported.

Sheetflow (Sheet Flow): The more or less even disbursement of water flowing on low gradient slopes.

Sheetwash: The widespread removal of surface debris by the steady and continuous flow of water on low gradient slopes. Generally at slow speeds and over long periods.

Shelf: Is sold rock, or bedrock, found beneath alluvial soil or deposits, a flat ledge of rock or a projecting rock layer, as on a slope.

Shell: The outer lining of a sleeping bag, jacket, or other equipment. Usually refers to a non-insulated, waterproof or windproof jacket that allows for layering by virtue of a generous cut.

Shelter (Adirondack, Lean-To, Leanto, Hut): Open front structure (stone or log) that includes a sleeping platform and roof; popular as an overnight facility on long-distance trails, especially in the East. Usually spaced a half day’s hike apart, near a water source, and with a privy.

Shelter, Baseball Bat: An old style of shelter construction in Maine where the floor would be constructed out of parallel logs each with diameters not much greater than that of a baseball bat.

Shelter, Picnic: Roofed structure providing protection from weather for picnic tables.

Shelter Rat: Refers to a thru-hiker on a long distance trail who camps exclusively in trail shelters instead of tenting.

Sherp: A verb meaning to act as a Sherpa and carry gear to a camp.

Sherpa(s): A member of the Himalayan people living in Nepal and Tibet who are famous for their skill as mountaineers. In modern times Sherpas have achieved world renown as expert guides on Himalayan mountaineering expeditions. To carry another’s gear, as in, “I Sherpaed both of our packs the entire morning.”

Shifter(s), Bicycle (Gear Levers, Shift Levers): A hand control component used to control the gearing mechanisms and select the desired gear ration. Typically, they operate and front or rear derailleur or an internal hub gear. They operate by moving a cable that connects the shifter to the gear mechanism. Shifters are most commonly mounted on the handlebars. Various shifter designs include:

  • Friction: Relies on cable tension maintained by friction washers and bolts. Mounted on the down tube on older style bicycles and top-mount (thumb shifters) on older mountain bikes.
  • Index: Shifts into fixed gear positions as it moves through clicks.
  • Rapidfire or Trigger: Use two triggers below the handlebar, one to change up and another to change down.
  • Twist-grip: Indexing shifter that twists around the handlebar.
  • Combined brake and shift levers: Combine a trigger shifter into each brake lever.
  • Bar-end (Barcon): The controls are mounted at the end of triathlon bars or the ends of drop handlebars.
  • Electronic Gear-Shifting System: A new method of changing gears, which enables riders to shift with a light touch of two electronic switches connected to a battery pack which is connected to wires to a small motor that drives the electric derailleurs, switching the chain form gear to gear.

Shifting, Bicycle Gear: The transitioning from one gear to another that allows for a constant cadence to be maintained despite changes in resistance. On most bicycles the shifter on the right side of the handlebar makes fin-tuning changes to the gears (cassette) on the rear wheel. While the shifter on the left side adjust the front gears (chainrings), used for more major shifts.

Shiggy: Anything that catches, cuts, trips, or generally sucks to travel through. Briars, swamps, creeks, razor-grass, stinging nettles all qualify as shiggy.

Shim(s) (Wedge): A short, thin wedge of wood or metal used to fill a space. Used to bring a ledger, stringer, or tread to level. Also used as a verb: to shim.

Shimmy: Harmonic shaking of a bicycle, motorcycle, or ATV, which usually occurs at a fairly high speed and can lead to loss of control.

Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese nature therapy practice of walking through a wooded area; also known at forest immersion or forest bathing.

Shit (defecate, excrement, feces, poo. poop, waste, waste matter,): Refers to human’s elimination discharged from bowels after food has been digested.

Shock Pump: A special small hand-held high-pressure inflator for bicycle air shocks. Shocks require more pressure than standard bicycle pumps can supply.

Shore: That part of the land in immediate contact with a body of water including the area between high and low water lines.

Shoreline: The line of contact between a body of water and the land.

Shoulder: The side or edge of the trail; the side or edge of a rock. The paved portion of a highway, which is contiguous to the travel lanes, allowing motor vehicle use in emergencies. They can also be for specialized use by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Shoulder Season: The transition periods between prime outdoor recreation seasons of winter and summer when recreation areas are uncrowded.

Shovel: A tool with either a square-edged blade for scooping moving loose material or pointed blade for digging, with either a wooden or fiberglass handle that can vary from three feet to five feet long.

Shovel-Ready Project(s): Projects (planning, design, construction, or maintenance) that if funding is available, and working conditions are safe, could be started right away.

Show-off: A careless, thoughtless rider who operates without regard for the personal safety or private property of others usually for the main purpose of getting attention.

Shred: Riding a trail with speed and a higher-than-usual level of expertise.

Shrink-Swell Potential: The susceptibility of soil to change in volume due to a loss or gain in moisture content. A shrink-swell potential is typically associated with soils that have a high percentage of clay.

Shrub: A woody plant that usually remains low and produces shoots or trunks from the base; it is not usually tree-like or single stemmed.

Shrub Steppe: Non forested regions dominated by shrubs and grasses.

Shuttle: Transport designed to quickly take people between points. Many parks offer shuttle service from the parking lot to different sights or trailheads.

Shuttle, Car: Leaving a vehicle at both ends of a point-to-point trip or pre-arranging a shuttle to pick you up at the end of the trip or to drop you off at the beginning, usually for a fee. When you have a group you all meet at the end point and hikers pile into as few of vehicles as possible and drive to the beginning. When the group has hiked to the end they get in the vehicles and drive everyone to the beginning point to retrieve the other vehicles and everyone heads home.

Shy Distance: The distance between the trails edge and any fixed object capable of injuring someone using the trail.

Sick Line(s): Derivation of words that are often associated with gravity (downhill) riding and racing referring to the sickest (hardest) line down a trail.

Sidehill: The side or slope of a hill—the sloping ground or descent.

Sidehilling: Process of excavating or cutting a trail tread across the slope.

Sidepath: A specific type of shared use path that is physically separated from the road but located within the roadway right-of-way.

Sideslope: The natural slope of the ground measured at right angles to the centerline of the trail, or the adjacent slope, which is created after excavating a sloping ground surface for a trailway, often termed a cut-and-fill-slope, left and right of the trail tread.

Sidewalk: A paved strip (typically concrete four feet in width) which runs parallel to vehicular traffic and is separated from the road surface by at least a curb and gutter. Sidewalks are common in urban areas and in some suburban residential areas.

Sideways Miles: Refers to the extra miles you walk on a long distance trail that don’t contribute to reaching the end, such as walks into towns for resupply.

Sight Line (Sight Distance): The visible and unobstructed forward and rear view seen by a trail user from a given point along the trail.

Sign (Signage): A board, post, or placard that displays written, symbolic, tactile, or pictorial information about the trail or surrounding area. Signage increases safety and comfort on trails. There are five basic types of signs: Cautionary, Directional, Interpretive, Objective, and Regulatory.

Sign, Cautionary: Warns of upcoming roadway crossings, steep grades, blind curves, and other potential trail hazards.

Sign, Directional: Gives street names, trail names, direction arrows, mileage to points of interest, and other navigational information.

Sign, Interpretive: Offers educational information that describes and explains a natural or cultural point of interest on or along the trail.

Sign, Objective: Provides information about the actual trail conditions, including grade, cross slope, surface, clear trail width, and obstacle height. This allows users to make more informed decisions about which trails best meet their trail needs and abilities.

Sign, Regulatory: Tells the “rules of the trail” by prohibiting certain uses or controlling direction of travel.

Significant: As used in NEPA, requires consideration of both context and intensity. Context means that the significance of an action must be analyzed in several contexts such as society as a whole, and the affected region, interests, and locality. Intensity refers to the severity of impacts.

Sill (Sleeper): A crosswise member (stone or timber) that supports the stringers, beams, or trusses of a bridge or boardwalk from contacting the ground. A horizontal log or timber laid in a shallow trench to support a plank or log.

Silnylon: A ripstop weave nylon fabric impregnated with silicon to make it waterproof found in ultralight backpacks and other gear.

Silt: Noncohesive soil whose individual mineral particles are not visible to the unaided human eye (0.002 to 0.05 mm). Silt will crumble when rolled into a ball.

Silt Fence (Sediment or Silt Trap): Temporary sediment barrier consisting of filter fabric, sometimes backed with wire mesh, attached to supporting posts and partially buried.

Siltation: The deposition or accumulation of fine soil particles.

Silting-in (Sand or Soil Puddle): The filling in of a drainage structure or low segment of the trail tread by sediment settling out due to improper design or construction or because of infrequent maintenance.

Single-Jack Hammer( Hand Sledge): A short handled hammer with a 3- to 4-pound head. Can be used alone to drive timber spikes, or with a star drill to punch holes in rock.

Sink (Sinks, Sinkhole): A natural occurrence when the crust of the earth collapses and creates a crater. Old sinkholes are often filled with water and resemble ponds.

Silviculture: The art of manipulating forest ecosystems based on an ecological science foundation.

Sit In (Sit On, Hang in): Sitting in another bicyclist’s slipstream to save energy.

Site: A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of public right of way.

Skew Angle: Less than at a right angle to a trail. Usually an oblique angle of 45 degrees or less.

Skewer, Quick-Release: The shaft that runs through the middle of the hollow bicycle wheel axle and the associated hardware (quick release clamp and nut) that allow for the rapid tightening or loosening of the wheel on the frame.

Ski (Skis): A narrow strip of semi-rigid material attached to ski boots used in pairs to glide over snow.

Skid (Skidding): Short-distance moving of logs or felled trees from the stump to the point of loading.

Skid Path: The path created by equipment or draft animals skidding logs from the point where a tree was felled to a log landing. The primary skid path is a collector path, or main path to the log landing.

Skid Steer (Skid-steer loader): A compact engine-powered earthmover with tires or tracks that operate independently and with lift arms that accommodate a wide variety of attachments that can be used for trailwork.

SKIer(s): Stands for “Spending the Kid’s Inheritance.” A not so flattering term for older travelers who are spending their retirement money, and most probably their children’s inheritance.

Skiing, Cross-country, (Nordic, Telemark): In simplest terms—skiing across the countryside. The user is not reliant on ski lifts to get up hills. Nordic skis tend to be lighter, with a free heel to facilitate walking.

Skinny (ies): A narrow (12” or less) wooden constructed technical feature that requires precision and balance to ride.

Skinny-Dipping: Swimming naked in lake or river.

Skipping: On a bicycle the popping feeling in the drivetrain when you pedal hard; it occurs when a cog is worn out and when you install a new chain on worn cogs.

Skipping (Skip, Skipped): When a thru-hiker bypasses a section of trail by leaving and reentering at another location they are said to have skipped a section.

Skirt: To construct a trail around a mountain, often at an even grade, instead of climbing over the mountain.

Skunked: When a car does not stop for you when hitch hiking.

Skyline: Rigging system with a highline by which a load is moved via a pulley, pulled by a separate rope.

Slab: A verb, describing the way that a sidehill trail maintains a more-or-less constant elevation rather than following the ups and downs of the ridge. Example: “The trail slabs to the north for 3 miles.”

Slabbing: A hiking term that refers to going around a mountain on a moderately graded footpath, as opposed to going straight up and over the mountain.

Slackline: Rigging system with a highline, which is lowered to pick up a load, then tightened to move the load.

Slacklining: Balancing activity invented by climbers in Yosemite National Park. User balances, walks, does tricks on a slackline (tubular nylon webbing) anchored between two trees providing a bouncy, physically challenging, mentally intense, and socially stimulating sport.

Slackpack (Slackpacking, Slackpacker, Barebacking, Barebacker, Freedom Packing): Hiking a section of a long distance trail without a backpack by either leaving it in a safe place or having someone shuttle it up the trail for you. This allows you to pack only a few pounds of essentials that suffice until you’re met by outside support each night.

Slackwater: Floodwater with little or no velocity. It is formed when water in creeks, streams, or rivers backs up into low terrain, creating a temporary ponding condition.

Slalom: An event where racers compete on a downhill zigzag course on skis or mountain bike.

Slalom, Dual: Consists of two racers racing two almost identical tracks next to each other down a slope. The course is filled with tabletop jumps, doubles, and bermed turns. Both riders’ times are taken and then they switch tracks for another round, where after the combined times are counted and slowest racer is eliminated.

Slash: The branches, bark, tops, cull logs, and broken or uprooted trees left on the ground after a windfall/blowdown or through logging or trail construction. In low, coastal regions, wet or swampy ground overgrown with brush and various canes, or slash-pine, loblolly, or shortleafed pines.

Sled: Slang term for a mountain bike, either hardtail or full-suspension.

Sledgehammer: A long handled heavy hammer with a 6- to 8-pound head, usually held with both hands.

Sleeping Pad (Ground Pad, Sleeping Mat, Air Mattress): A full length or torso length mat used in conjunction with a sleeping bag, its purpose is to provide padding and thermal insulation from the ground. The two basic types are closed-cell foam and air (manually or self-inflating).

Sleeping Pad, Closed Cell: Usually refers to the thin blue Ensolite sleeping mat that is constructed from dense material that air cannot get into or escape from.

Sleeping Pad, Open Cell: Refers to a sleeping mat that is constructed so that air can get into the pores of the material from which the pad is manufactured to allow for cushioning.

Sleeping Pad, Self-Inflating: A mat that uses open cell construction and will fill itself with air when its valve is opened.

Sleeping Pad, Torso: To save weight some will carry a sleeping mat that is sized for their torso only.

Sleeping Pad, Z Rest: A closed cell sleeping pad that folds into a rectangular block, rather than rolling up.

Slide: Material that has slid onto the trail tread from the backslope—possibly in quantities sufficient to block the trail.

Slickrock: Sandstone buffed smooth by water and wind, and undulating for miles in rounded waves of varying size.

Slime: A brand name of a self-sealing thick chemical liquid that is injected into inner tubes. It sticks to and coats the wall of the inner tube, thus adding another layer of flexible rubber-type protection against punctures.

Slip: The downslope movement of a mass of soil under wet or saturated conditions; a micro-landslide that produces microrelief in soils.

Slipface: A hazard peculiar to sand dunes. A very steep slope that occurs on the side of the dune opposite to the prevailing wind. Generally it is hard to see from the windward side of the dune.

Slipstream: Pockets of air behind moving objects that break the wind. Sitting in the slipstream (also called drafting) allows bicycle riders to expend 30-40% less energy. Drafting behind a motor vehicle is called motorpace or motorpacing.

Slogan (Tagline): A short and striking or memorable motto or phrase used in advertising a product, service, or cause with a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose.

Slope: Rising or falling natural (or created) incline of the land, as shown on contour maps. Generally refers to the hillside (land) and not the trail, as trail “slope” is called the grade.

Slope, Cross (Side Slope, Side Hill): The slope or gradient of the undisturbed hillside; the amount or grade of the pre-existing sloped that is perpendicular to the direction of the trail.

Slope, Cut: The exposed ground surface resulting from the excavation of material on the natural terrain.

Slope, Down: The natural slope of the land downhill from the trail’s outside edge.

Slope, Fill: The exposed ground surface resulting from the placement of excavated material on the natural terrain.

Slope, Running: The average slope of a contiguous section that is in the same direction as the trail; measured by averaging the values of slop measurements taken periodically at different points along the trail.

Slope, Running Cross: The average cross slope of a contiguous section of a trail; measured by averaging the values of cross slope measurements taken periodically at different points along a given section of trail.

Slope, Percent: Number of feet rise (vertical) divided by feet of run (horizontal) times 100 to get percent slope; example: 15-feet of rise over 100-feet of run is a 15% slope.

Slope, Toe: When soil and rock move downslope and come to rest, they form a toe slope, named for its similarity to the human form.

Slope Measurements: Measurements taken on the ground or parallel with the slope of the ground. Slope measurements provide a true indication of the quantities of materials needed for construction. Maps and construction drawings for roads and utility lines are measured horizontally. Measurements taken electronically are also measured horizontally. Slope measurements can sometimes be as much as 10% greater than horizontal measurements.

Slope Ratio: A ratio of vertical distance to horizontal distance, or rise to run.

Slope Stability: The resistance of a natural or artificial slope or other inclined surface to failure by mass movement.

Slopestyle: Is a type of bicycle riding that combines big-air, stunts, and BMX style tricks. Slopestyle courses are usually constructed at already established mountain bike parks and include jumps, large drops, quarter-pipes, and other wooden obstacles.

Slot Canyon (Slit Canyon): Result of the combined forces of wind and water on sandstone, these narrow crevices can be many stories high.

Slough (Sloo, Slow, Slew, Slue): Ingress, egress, or backflow from a creek or river. Usually areas full of soft, deep mud.

Slough (pronounced “Sluff”): Material removed from the backslope by erosion or other means that has been deposited on the trail tread. Silt and debris collecting on the uphill (inside) edge of the trail tread. Slough may raise the height of the tread relative to the original level and result in water pooling on the trail or be sufficient to block the trail.

Slump (Slumping): When the trail tread material has moved downward causing a dip in the trail grade.

Smart Cycling: A League of American Bicyclist program designed to reach people of all ages and abilities, improving bicycling skills, building confidence, and teaching others. Previously known as BikeEd and before that Effective Cycling. Offers a nationwide bicycling instructor certification program.

Smart Growth: Growth management policies and programs to support and encourage growth in existing communities, and in communities with infrastructure and other services that can accommodate that additional growth, while limiting development in agricultural and other areas.

Smokey Bear: Is an advertising mascot created in 1944 to educate the US public about the dangers of forest fires. The Smokey Bear character, created by the art critic Harold Rosenberg, is administered by three entities: the US Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council. In 2001, Smokey’s message was updated to “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”

Snag: Any standing dead, partially dead, or defective (cull) tree at least 10 inches in diameter at breast height and at least 6 feet tall.

Snap Year: A structured and intentional time away from regular life that is shorter than a Gap Year.

Snick (Stick Snake): A stick on the trail that resembles a snake at first glance, or one that strikes you leg when stepped on.

Snowbird: Someone who lives in a northern climate that heads south to live during the winter months.

Snowmobile: A motorized vehicle that operates on skis, pontoons, tracks, rollers, wheels, air cushion, or any other device which is designed for travel in, on, or over snow.

Snowshoe(s): Made from materials such as lightweight metal, plastic, or synthetic fabric they attach to boots allowing the user to walk on snow by distributing their weight over a larger area so that the foot does not sink completely into the snow.

Snowshoeing: A wintertime recreation activity where the user travels on trails or off-trail using snowshoes.

Sock(s), Bicycling: Are durable snug ankle length socks to avoid dirt entering. Made from wicking material to keep feet dry and comfortable while cycling.

Sock(s), Hiking: Wool is the most popular natural sock material. It is warm, cushioning, and retains warmth when wet. Many hiking socks provide extra cushioning around the heel, the ball of the foot, and the toe area to increase comfort. Varieties by thickness are liners, lightweight, midweight, and mountaineering socks.

Sod: Plugs, squares, or strips of turf with the adhering soil.

Soigneur: French for caretaker, attendant, or facilitator. A person who gives training, massage, and other assistance to a team, especially during a race.

Soil(s): The surface material (mineral materials, organic matter, water, and air) of the continents, produced by disintegration of rocks, plants, and animals and the biological action of bacteria, earthworms, and other decomposers. The four fundamental groups of soils are: gravels, sands, loams, and clays.

Soil, ABC: A soil with a complete profile, including an A, a B, and a C horizon.

Soil, AC: A soil with an incomplete profile that includes an A and a C horizon, but no B horizon. Commonly such soils are young, like those developing from alluvium or on steep, rocky slopes.

Soil, BC: A soil with a B and a C horizon but with little or no A horizon. Most BC soils have lost their A horizons by erosion.

Soil, Droughty: A soil that does not hold moisture well and is in the excessively well-drained drainage class.

Soil, Erodible: Soils that are likely to have high soil loss when exposed to water runoff.

Soil, Heavy: A soil with a high percentage of clay.

Soil, Hydric: Soil that is saturated or flooded during a sufficient portion of the growing season with anaerobic conditions in the upper soil layers. Examples include bogs, marshland, and swampland soils.

Soil, Inorganic: Mostly sandy soils containing little or no plant and animal remains.

Soil, Light: A coarse-textured soil with a high percentage of sand and a low percentage of clay.

Soil, Mineral: A soil comprised of rock fragments, sand, and smaller sized particles, and relatively free of organic matter. Mineral soil is typically buried under layers of surface organic matter. It is relatively stable and is the preferred material upon which to build a trail tread. When compacted, it also provides good support to rock walls and other trail structures.

Soil, Organic: Soil that is made up of leaves, needles, plants, roots, bark, and other organic material in various stages of decay, and has a large water/mass absorption ratio. Generally the first (outermost) layer of soil.

Soil, Residual: A soil formed from and resting on consolidated rock from which it was formed.

Soil, Saturated: A condition in which all of the pore space in the soil is filled with water. This may be a temporary condition associated with large amounts of rainfall or snowmelt, a semi-permanent, or permanent condition.

Soil, Surface: The uppermost part of the soil profile (solum).

Soil Cement (Cement-Treated Base): A mixture of pulverized soil combined with measured amounts of portland cement and water and compacted to a high density. As the cementing action occurs through hydration, a hard, durable semi-rigid material is formed. It must have a seal coat to keep out moisture and a surface that will withstand wear.

Soil Compaction: A decrease in the volume of soil as a result of compression stress.

Soil Genesis: The mode of origin of the soil, with special reference to the processes responsible for the development of the true soil from the unconsolidated parent material.

Soil Map: A map showing the kinds of soil types and their boundaries in all the detail significant to soil use and management.

Soil Profile: Site-specific arrangement of soil layers from surface to bedrock.

Soil Stabilization: Measures that protect soil from the erosive forces of raindrop impact and flowing water. They include, but are not limited to, vegetative establishment, mulching, and the application of soil stabilizers to the trail tread.

Soil Stabilizer: Material, either natural or manufactured, used to hold soil in place and prevent erosion due to water, gravity, or trail users. Stabilizers include soil cement, geogrid, etc.

Soil Type(s): Two ways to identify your soil type by touch. For both tests, take a handful of soil and moisten it with water. Work it until it is uniformly wet, then form a 1- or 2-inch-diameter ball. The Squeeze Test. Squeeze the ball lightly. If the ball breaks easily, the soil is sandy or loamy sand. If it stays together but changes shape easily, it is a sandy loam or silt loam. It if resists change, it is clay or clay loam. The Feel Test. If the soil is gritty, there is sand present. If it is smooth, there is some silt. If it is sticky, there is clay present.

Soloing: Whether hiking, biking, or riding, soloing is going alone.

Solum (Soil Profile): A set of mineral soil horizons that lie in a vertical profile from the A through the B horizons.

Solvent (Degreaser): A liquid (spray or drip) used to cut grease and grime, such as when cleaning components or chains.

Sonotube(s): Hollow cardboard cylinders used for forming round concrete columns. The sonotube is removed after the concrete sets.

Spall(s): Stone chip or fragment; to break up into chips or fragments. Spalls are wedged between stones that have been placed without mortar. They have a function similar to that of shims used in wood or metal construction.

Spalling: The result of water entering brick, concrete, or stone and forcing the surface to peel, pop out, or flake off.

Spark Plug: A user-serviceable part within the engine which provides the spark for ignition of the gassy mixture in the cylinder.

Special Events Use: Group activities or events of an exclusive nature taking place on recreation site or trails.

Special Management Area (SMA): SMAs include Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Research Natural Areas, and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Areas.

Special Recreation Use Permit (SRUP): A permit issued under established laws and regulations to an individual, organization, or company for occupancy or use of federal lands for some special purpose such as a motorcycle race, outfitter guide, etc.

Species: A unit of classification of plants and animals consisting of the largest and most inclusive array or sexually reproducing and cross-fertilizing individuals which share a common gene pool.

Species, Invasive or Exotic (Alien, Introduced, Nonindigenous): Non-native plant or animal species that invades an area and alters the natural mix of species by aggressively out-competing native species.

Species, Sensitive: Any plant or animal species for which population viability is a concern as evidenced by significant current or predicted downward trends in population numbers or density, or habitat capability that would reduce a species’ existing distribution.

Species, Threatened or Endangered: Any plant or animal species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and has been officially listed as endangered by the Secretary of Interior or Commerce under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. A final rule for the listing has been published in the Federal Register.

Specifications: Written provisions and requirements (standards) for the performance of work and type of materials to which trails (tread, clearing, grade) and trail structures (bridge, culvert, puncheon) are built and maintained according to type of use.

Specifications, Special Project: Specifications that detail the conditions and requirements peculiar to an individual trail project, including additions and revisions to the standard specifications.

Specifications, Standard: A book of specifications approved for general application and repetitive use.

Specifications, Supplemental: Approved conditions and revisions to the standard specifications.

Speed: Distance traveled divided by the time of travel, for example your speed is 3 miles an hour when you cover three miles of trail in one hour.

Speed: The ability to accelerate quickly or maintain a fast pace.

Speed Hooks: One our two sets of hooks above the eyelets on a pair of hiking boots. Basically posts with a metal tab folded over the top that you wrap the laces around, tighten, and tie.

Speedhiking: Intentionally running or fast hiking the length of a long trail to establish or beat a personal best time.

Speedwork: A general term for intervals and other high-velocity training, such as sprints and time trials.

Spelunker: A cave explorer.

Spelunking: Entering caves or caverns for the purpose of recreation or exploration.

Spider: The right side of a bicycle’s crankset that the chainrings attach to.

Spike (Camp): To campout while working on a trail.

Spillway: A constructed passage for surplus water to run over or around a reservoir.

Spindle: Another term for an axle (such as a pedal axle or a bottom bracket axle).

Spinning: On a bicycle pedaling with a fast cadence using low to moderate gears.

Spinning (Spinning Class): A popular one hour fitness club class led by an instructor using stationary bicycles.

Spire: A needle-pointed rock.

Spoil Bank: A mound of earth piled leavings beside a mining tunnel, road cut, or quarry.

Spoke(s): The rods radiating from the center of a wheel (hub and axle) to the rim of a wheel. One-end of each bicycle spoke is threaded for a specialized nut, called a nipple which is used to connect the spoke to the rim and adjust the tension in the spoke. The hub end of a spoke normally has a 90 degree bend to pass through the spoke hole in the hub, and a head so it does not slip through the hole.

Spoke Count: The number of spokes used in a wheel.

Spoke Pattern: The pattern of how the spokes are laced in a wheel.

Spoke Protector (Pie Plate, Dork Ring, Dork Disc): The plastic disc that sits between the cassette and the spokes on the rear wheel of a bicycle.

Sponsor: Organization or government agency that will sign agreements and contracts and be responsible for a trail or greenway project.

Spork: An eating utensil that adds fork tines to a spoon.

Sports Drink: Beverages whose stated purpose is to help athletes replace water, electrolytes, and energy during training and competition.

Sprawl, Urban: Low-density land-use patterns that are automobile-dependent, energy and land consumptive, and require a very high ratio of road surface to development served. Scattered, untimely, and often unplanned, urban development that occurs in urban fringe and rural areas without provisions for facilities and services and is characterized by strip development.

Spring (Seep, Seepage): A saturated zone at or near the ground surface where voids in the rock or soil are filled with water at greater that atmospheric pressure. A seep is a small spring. Seep or spring sites are typically characterized by riparian vegetation and soil formed in the presence of water. Water may or may not be discharging from these sites, depending on the underlying geology, water source, season, or long term climatic trends.

Spring, Air: A device used in some mountain bike forks and shocks that uses air pressure, rather than a metal spring, to support the rider.

Spring, Coil: A metal spring used in some mountain bike forks and shocks.

Spring Pole: A severely bent green sapling tree or branch held by a larger downed tree in such a way to produce dangerous energy in the sapling that can be released suddenly when cut. Very dangerous, especially because it does not look threatening to the uninitiated.

Springer Mountain: Located in northern Georgia the summit is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Springer Fever: The almost uncontrollable urge to be back on the Appalachian Trail that hits thru-hikers of past years each spring.

Sprint: An all-out burst of speed (usually covering no more than 200 yards) at the end of a race to go for the win.

Sprocket: A wheel with teeth (cogs) that mesh with a chain. It is distinguished from a gear in that sprockets are never meshed together directly, and differs from a pulley in that sprockets have teeth and pulleys are smooth. Sprockets are used in bicycles and motorcycles to transmit rotary motion between a large sprocket attached to the pedal shaft which drives a chain, which, in turn, drives a small sprocket on the axle of the rear wheel.

Sprocket Man: Bicycle-riding, helmet-wearing comic book hero during the late 1970s. The comic books were drawn by Stanford student Louis Saekow, and illustrated basic bicycle safety, etiquette, and theft prevention. In 2002 Ariadne Scott, campus bicycle coordinator, tracked down the retired Saekow and asked him to bring back an updated Sprocket Man in comic books and posters which he agreed to.

Spruce Trap: When snow is deep enough that it covers the top of a spruce tree, beware. Since there will be voids in the snow pack, you can fall into those voids and get caught. When you appear to be above timberline, but you know that the trees are 8 feet high at this place in summer, then beware. Since you can’t see where the trail is, you cannot stay on it, and you cannot avoid the spruce traps.

Squat: Suspension compression due to a rider shifting rearward from acceleration.

Squat, Anti-: A mechanically generated force to oppose squat; some consider anything that prevents suspension compression to be anti-squat.

Squirrel: Slang for a dangerous bicycle rider who doesn’t ride a straight line, doesn’t point out obstacles, and does just about everything wrong on group rides.

Stack: On a bicycle frame it’s the vertical measurement from the center of the bottom bracket to the height of the fork’s steerer tube where the handlebar stem is attached. This is the y axis.

Stack, Dry (Dry Stone): Wall construction technique of stacking rock or stone without mortar or other adhesive.

Staging Area: An area where users can congregate, park, and begin or end a trip. Designed and managed for day use, whereas a trailhead usually caters to those embarking on an overnight or long-distance trip.

Stakeholder(s): Group or individual who can affect, or is affected by, the achievement of the organization’s mission; examples include managers, employees, policy makers, suppliers, vendors, citizens, and community groups.

Stakes, Grade or Slope: Temporary stakes set by the trail locator to establish the elevation and cross section of the completed tread.

Stakes, Line: Temporary stakes set by the trail locator to establish the centerline of the trail.

Stand: A forestry term for a community of trees possessing sufficient uniformity in composition, age arrangement, and condition as to be distinguishable from trees in adjoining areas. Stand density means trees per acre and stand age means average age of the harvestable trees.

Standard(s): A statement and/or illustration describing a design recommendation or principle that recommends a preferred development technique for use as a rule or basis of comparison in measuring maximum or ideal requirements, quantity, quality, value, etc.

Standards, Design: The specific values selected and documented from the design criteria become the standards for a given trail or greenway project. These standards will be identified and documented by the designer. Standards will related to the physical characteristics, users, location, and environmental factors of a project.

Standover Clearance (Standover Height): On a diamond frame bicycle the distance between the top tube and the rider’s crotch.

Stash Note(s): Geocachers create these “clues” about the caches they have hidden.

State Land: Lands administered by any one of several state agencies.

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP): Recreation management plan developed periodically (about 10 years) by each State to help Federal, State, and local agencies assess recreational use trends and the needs for future management and facilities.

Station: One hundred feet or other set measurement along the centerline of the trail or road; used in surveying and construction.

Stationary Sound Test: A test procedure, approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAEJ1287 Jul98), to readily test vehicle sound levels in the field.

Statute: Law passed by Congress or a state legislature that declares, commands, or prohibits something.

Staycation: A vacation that is spent at one’s home – enjoying all that home and its evirons have to offer.

Stays: Rigid pieces (usually long and thin) inserted vertically into the body of a backpack, designed to provide support. Usually made of a lightweight material like aluminum.

Stays, Chain: Tubing on a bicycle frame connecting the bottom bracket shell to the rear dropouts.

Stays, Seat (Seatstays): Tubing on a bicycle frame connecting the top of the seat tube to the rear dropouts.

Stealth (Stealth Camping): A manner of camping where there is no indication that you are there, and no trace of your being there is when you leave. Sometimes used as a term for camping illegally on public or private land.

Steel: A hard, strong, gray or bluish-gray metal alloy made of iron with carbon and other elements used extensively as a structural material such as bicycle frame tubes.

Steel Rungs: Placed on rock faces or ledges to provide ladder-like access in steep terrain.

Stem: The bicycle component that connects the steerer tube to the handlebars.

Step: Structure (stone or wood) that provides a stable vertical rise on the trail, usually in sets.

Step(s), Cable: Steps that are cabled together and draped over a surface of highly erodible material such as sand or seasonally flooded areas (ocean bluffs or river access).

Step, Check (Retainer Bar): A rock or timber step placed in or across a trail tread and designed to act as both a low dam (to slow water flowing down the trail) and as a step for trail users. A retainer bar is usually longer and larger than a check step.

Step, Pinned: Step held in place on a ledge or a rock slab by steel pins set in holes drilled in the rock.

Step, Rest (Limp Step): An uphill hiking technique where with each step, the rearmost leg is locked completely straight momentarily shifting weight from leg muscles to leg bones giving muscles a very short moment of complete rest.

Step-over: A log fallen across a trail that is not a priority for log out—typically less than 10” in diameter lying flat on the ground, at roughly 90 degrees to the trail direction.

Steward (Trail Steward, Land Steward): The person taking responsibility for the well-being of land and water resources and doing something to restore or protect that well-being.

Stewardship: Taking responsibility for the well-being of land and water resources and doing something to restore or protect that well-being. It usually involves cooperation among people with different interests and sharing of decision-making. It is generally voluntary. It is oriented towards assessment, protection, and rehabilitation of trails and greenways as well as sustainable use of renewable resources.

Stick It (Stick): When doing bicycle or motorcycle tricks and you land a jump or drop-off—you “stick” the landing.

Stick Snake: While on a trail when you step on our roll over a stick and it acts like a snake and jumps up you call it a “stick snake.”

Stile: A ramp, step, or set of steps for hikers to pass over a fence or wall without allowing livestock to escape.

Stipend: Fixed amount of money for expenses (i.e. food, fuel, etc.) paid to volunteers by agencies or organizations in lieu of a salary.

Stob: A short straight piece of wood, such as a stake.

Stock (Recreational Stock, Pack Stock, Packstock, Pack Animal, Pack Horse, Pack Mule): Riding and/or pack animals (horses, mules, llamas, burros, goats, etc.) used to ride and/or carry equipment and provisions on a trail. Both commercial pack stock and individual stock are included. Commercial stock in area of trail can be cattle or sheep grazing.

Stoke (Stoked): Describes being excited about something.

Stoker (Navigator, Rear Admiral): The rear rider of a tandem bicycle who only pedals.

Stolon: An above-ground stem capable of growing a new plant.

Stone: Rock or rock fragments put to human use.

Stone, Cap (Cap Rock): Stone or rock placed in the top or uppermost layer of a constructed structure such as a rock retaining wall.

Stone, Ghetto: Slang term for recycling broken concrete used to armor/reinforce trail surfaces to improve the durability.

Stone, Key: A large stone that holds others in place. Also called an anchor.

Stone(s), Stepping: Large rocks (preferably greater than two hundred pounds) set in boggy areas or shallow stream crossings to provide passage for hikers.

Stone, Tie: A header or keystone that spans the breadth of the trail tread.

Stonework: Any construction, as retaining walls or the like, made from stone.

Stop, Rain: A trailside rest stop that has a shelter to get out of the rain, most importantly to have a place to wait out a lightning storm.

Stop, Rest: Facility (picnic table, bike rack, restroom) located next to a trail at which trail users can rest, eat, etc.

Stove, Alcohol (Tin Can, Pepsi or Coke Can Stove): A small backpacking stove made from an aluminum drink can that runs on denatured alcohol or HEET.

Stove, Backpacking: Small stove carried on backpacking trips to boil water and cook food.

Stove, Canister (Gas Cartridge): Type of small backpacking stove that uses metal cans of liquefied gas held under pressure. Designed to address performance shortcomings of white gas stoves in cold or adverse conditions. The principle advantage is convenience; no priming is required.

Stove, Multi Fuel: A compact stove with four main parts: a free-standing burner assembly, fuel bottle (stove’s fuel tank), pump that screws into the bottle, and a tube or pipeline connecting the bottle to burner. Primed in the same manner as other white gas stoves, however, because the tank is not self-pressurizing, the tank must periodically be pumped to maintain pressure to the burner. Capable of burning multiple fuels or volatile liquids including alcohol, gasoline, or other motor fuels, kerosene, and many others.

Stove, White Gas: Small compact “self-pressurizing” stove (Svea, Optimus, Coleman) with the fuel tank at the base and the burner assembly at the top. Priming both pressurizes the tank and pre-heats the burner assembly. Once lit, the heat from the burner maintains the pressure in the tank until the flame is extinguished. Uses Coleman Fuel (white gas).

Stone Pitching: Ancient form of road/trail building similar to cobblestone.

Strata: Layers of sedimentary rock that form beds or bands of colored or textured material. Rock strata are most easily identified in cliffs, canyons, quarries, road cuts, or the exposed banks of rivers.

Straw Bale: Temporary barriers made from bales of straw that are sometimes installed across a slope or around the perimeter of a construction site to intercept and detain sediment transported by runoff.

Stream: Small body of running water moving in a natural channel or bed.

Stream, Alluvial: Any stream whose banks are subject to attack, allowing soil, sand, or gravel to build up in one area while washing it away in another.

Stream, Ephemeral: A temporary or short-lived water flow only in direct response to a heavy rain. Most of the year it’s a dry bed.

Stream, Intermittent: Channels that naturally carry water part of the year and are dry the other part.

Stream, Navigable: A waterway is navigable if it has bed and banks, and it is possible to float a canoe or other small craft in it on a regular reoccurring basis even if only during spring runoff.

Stream, Perennial: Stream channels that carry water year round.

Stream Bank: The side slopes of an active channel between which the streamflow is normally confined.

Stream Channel: A long narrow depression shaped by the concentrated flow of a stream and covered continuously or periodically by water.

Stream Crossing: A trail crossing a body of running water at grade without the use of a developed structure or bridge.

Streambed: The unvegetated portion of a channel boundary below the baseflow water level. The channel through which a natural stream of water runs or used to run, as a dry streambed.

Streamflow: The rate at which water passed through a given point, usually expressed in cubic feet per second.

Street: Any public thoroughfare (street, avenue, boulevard, or park) or space more than 20 ft wide which has been dedicated or deeded to the public for public use.

Stringer(s): The lengthwise members of a structure placed parallel with the centerline of the tread, usually resting on sills, which spans wet areas and supports the decking.

Structure: Anything constructed or erected that requires location on the ground such as a bridge, wall, steps, etc. on or near a trail.

Stub: Projecting (and hazardous) piece of a branch, root, or sapling not cut flush with the trunk or ground.

Stumblees (Stumblebees): Trail users who pay big bucks for guides to lead them to a summit that they would otherwise be unable to make.

Stupid Light: When taking ultralight to far and taking to little to stay safe, warm, fed, and hydrated.

Sub-base (Subbase): On paved trails the sub-base lies between the sub-grade and the trail surface, and serves as a secondary, built foundation for the trail surface (concrete or asphalt). The purpose of the sub-base is to transfer and distribute the weight from the trail surface to the sub-grade. The sub-base consists of four- to six-inches of graded aggregate), which provides bearing strength and improves drainage.

Sub-grade (Subgrade): The native soil mass that makes up the primary foundation of the trail that supports the tread surface. Topography, soils, and drainage are the key factors comprising the sub-grade.

Subalpine: A terrestrial community that generally is found in harsher environments than the montane terrestrial community. Subalpine communities are generally colder than montane and support a unique clustering of wildlife species.

Subsoil: The soil below the surface soil in which roots normally grow. It has been carried over from early days when “soil” was conceived only as the plowed soil and that under it as the “subsoil.”

Substrate: Underlying layer of loose/soft material below topsoil and overlying bedrock. The composition of a streambed, including either mineral or organic materials.

Subsurface Rights: The right to use or control land below the trail surface. Subsurface rights may be leased for water, sewer, or fuel pipelines; or electrical, telephone, or fiber-optic cables.

Sucker Pole: Bicycle locks are only effective when they are attached to a secure object. They are useless when connected to a pole that gives the appearance of security. The thief can easily dismantle the “sucker Pole” and steal your bicycle.

Suitable Material: Rock that can be accommodated in the trail structure, and soil free of duff with a recognizable granular texture.

Summit: The highest point (top) of a mountain.

Summit: As a verb signifies reaching the highest point on a mountain.

Summit: A conference or meeting of leaders or advocates, usually called to shape a program of action.

Summit, False: An area that appears to be the summit of a mountain only to find the real summit ahead.

Sump Pump: A pit, tank, or receptacle installed below grade that receives water, and equipped with a pump to empty the water mechanically.

Sun Cups: As snow melts in the spring, pockets of water form on the surface. This water warms up in the sun and causes the snow under it to melt faster than the surrounding snow. The resulting uneven surface is difficult to walk on.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF): The SPF number is a measurement of the amount of UVB protection―the higher the number, the greater the protection. SPF ratings run from 2 to 50.

Super D Racing: Short for Super Downhill. This mtn bike race discipline is a hybrid of cross-county and downhill racing. Competitors start one at a time at the top of a mountain and race a long, winding, downhill course without the sharp, technical descents, jumps, or drop-offs of downhill racing. The course is built for consistent speed with no climbing involved.

Super-Elevated (Superelevation, Bermed, Banked Curve): Slope or bank of a curve or climbing turn expressed as the ratio of feet of vertical rise per foot of horizontal distance. The outside edge of a trail is raised or banked for the purpose of overcoming the force causing a vehicle (bicycle or OHV) to skid when maintaining speed in a curve.

Superman: Slang for crashing on your bicycle or motorcycle in such a way that you go flying over the handlebars—Superman-style.

Supertrails: Trails measuring more than a 1,000 miles.

Surface (Surfaced, Surfacing): Material on top of the trailbed or base course that provides the desired tread. It can lessen compaction of soil, provide a dry surface for users, and prevent potential erosion and abrasion. In addition to concrete and asphalt, trails can be surfaced with dirt, rock, gravel, sand, mud, snow, grass, and other substances.

Surface Protrusions: Trail tread imperfections, such as rock, holes, stumps, steps, and structures, that are within the acceptable range of tread roughness and challenge level for the trail and that do not obstruct trail users.

Surface Type: The surface expressed in terms of material type, grading, compaction, and roughness of the trail tread. Native—surface composed of naturally occurring soil or rock on or near the trail. Firm—surface that does not noticeably distort or compress by passage of a wheelchair. Stable—surface that is not permanently affected by normally occurring weather conditions and able to sustain normal wear and tear caused by the trail use.

Survey: The plat and the field-note record of the observations, measurements, and monuments descriptive of the work performed.

Survey, Trail (Condition Survey): A physical field assessment of the trail or proposed trail, to determine alignment, maintenance tasks, hazards, impact, etc., prior to work, or as part of ongoing trail maintenance.

Survey, Visitor: Most frequently used method of obtaining detailed information on visitor characteristics, attitudes, and preferences. Consists of two parts: 1) contacting a sample of visitors (either at trailheads or at home): and 2) obtaining visitor use information by either interviewing visitors or asking them to respond to a questionnaire.

Survival Mode: When on an outing you’re so tired, you have to settle into a slow, determined pace to make it back to the trailhead.

Suspension Cable Car: Has a cargo box suspended by rollers from a single steel cable that spans a gap. A continuous loop rope, passed through pulleys at both ends of the bridge, can be grasped by the users while sitting in the cable car to pull the car across the gap.

Sustainable (Sustainability): Community use of natural resources in a way that does not jeopardize the ability of future generations to live and prosper. There are three basic criteria that sustainable design must meet: social needs, environmental needs, and the need to be economically feasible.

Sustainable Development: Development that maintains or enhances economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting and restoring the natural environment upon which people and economies depend. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Swag: In the South term used to describe the lowest connecting point between two ridges.

Swag: A shallow subsidence in the ground that collects water, a swag can be a natural formation or one generated by excavation.

Swag (Schwag, Shwag): Any corporate/branded merchandise given out for free in order to promote the company/brand. Usually little trinkets or doodads, sometimes clothing, and always cheaply mass-produced. Etymology of this term most likely stems from a middle-English use of the word “swag” often in pirate circles or other criminal circles as a euphemism for loot or plunder.

Swale: A linear low-lying natural topographic drainage feature running downhill and crossing the trail alignment in which sheet runoff would collect and form a temporary watercourse. A low-lying ground drainage structure (resembling a swale) can be constructed to enhance drainage across the trail.

Swamp: When canoe or kayak is capsized or inadvertently filled with water.

Swamp: Low lying land saturated with moisture and overgrown with vegetation but not covered with water.

Swamp, Bottomland: An area lying along the flood plain of a river. Like many wetlands, bottomland swamps are often flooded for only a few months a year, frequently in spring. In the South they are distinguished by stands of cypress, gum, and tupelo.

Swamp, Cypress: Dominated by bald cypress or pond cypress, on nearly level ground or in depressions with water at or above ground level for much of the year. Cypress seeds cannot germinate in water and these swamps often form characteristic domes or heads, sometimes appearing as a clump amidst sawgrass marshes.

Swamp, Hardwood: Land bordering rivers and low-lying areas; submerged or saturated part of the year with very poorly drained soils. Overstory species include red, loblolly, and sweet bay, water tupelo, black tupelo, Carolina ash, red maple, and cabbage palm.

Swamp Buggy: A modified 4×4 high clearance vehicle used to traverse boggy swamp terrain—dry land, shallow mud, sand, and shallow water.

Swamper: Crew member who follows the sawyer and moves the debris off the trail left by the sawyer. When the sawyer is using a chainsaw the swamper usually carries the gas, bar oil, and a falling axe.

Sweat Equity: Describes the contribution made to a trail project by people who contribute their time and effort instead of money.

SWECO or SUTTER Trail Dozer: In 1991 using John Mueller’s design the Sutter Welding and Equipment Company ( staring building the 450 and 480 Trail Dozers specifically for trail construction and maintenance. The dozers are 40 inches wide by about 11 feet long and 6 feet high. They weigh about 8,000 pounds, are powered by turbo diesel engines, and have hydraulic controls with full hydrostatic drive. The 6-way floating blade and rock rippers allow for the removal of most rock and roots from the trail bed, leaving a smooth and sustainable finished trail surface. In 2008 John terminated his relationship with Sweco and started producing the SUTTER 480 Trail Dozer. They have now introduced the 500 model.

Swedish Safety Brush Axe (also known as a Sandvik): A machete-like tool with a protected short, replaceable blade and a 28-inch handle used to cut through springy hardwood stems.

Sweep: A designated person who follows behind all others on a group outing, ensuring that no one falls behind or is left needing assistance.

Sweet Spot: Special moment of euphoria brought on by participating in your favorite activity.

Swingarm: The swinging rear end of a dual suspension bicycle frame.

Swiss Army Knife: Name coined by US Soldiers after WW II due to the difficulty they had pronouncing the German name. Knife has a sharp blade, as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers, a can opener, and many others stored inside the handle through a pivot mechanism. The handle is usually red and features a Victorinox or Wenger “cross” logo. Hikers have been carrying the Swiss Army Knife as part of the “Ten essentials” for many years.

Switchback: A sustainable sharp turn on a hillside (usually on a slope of more than 15%) to reverse the direction of travel and to gain elevation. The landing is the turning portion of the switchback. The approaches are the trail sections upgrade and downgrade from the landing.

Switchback, Rolling Crown: A sustainable turn on a hillside engineered for drainage. The trail is routed onto a crowned deck where it makes a transition to the opposite direction. The upper approach is insloped to drain water out the back of the landing and the lower approach is outsloped.

Sylvan: Of, found, or living in the woods or forest.

System: Set of interconnected components that function as a whole and thereby achieve a behavior or performance that is different than the sum of each of the components taken separately.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – T

2000 Miler: Person who has hiked the entire distance between termini of the official (white-blazed) Appalachian Trail, either by thru-hiking or section hiking. ATC presents them with a patch.

Table, Picnic (Picnic Bench): A modified table with benches expressly for the purpose of eating a meal outdoors. In the past, picnic tables were typically made of wood, but modern tables can be made out of anything from recycled plastic to metal.

Tableland: High flatland or plateau.

Tack: Bridles, saddles, and other equipment used on horses and pack stock.

Tackifier: Material sprayed onto a soil surface to bind soil particles and prevent erosion.

Taco (Potato Chip): Refers to the shape of a wheel’s rim, folded in half like a taco shell, when badly collapsing a wheel.

Tactical Urbanism (Guerilla Urbanism, Pop-up Urbanism, DIY Urbanism, City Repair): Coined in 2010 by New York based urban planner Mike Lydon to describe a range of low-cost, temporary changes used to improve and create sustainable buildings, streets, neighborhoods, and cities. Many communities are using these techniques to create bicycle facilities quickly and cheaply.

Tadpole: A child’s tricycle with two wheels in front and one behind.

Tailings: The dump at a mineral processing plant; material remaining after metal is extracted from ore.

Tailgate Safety Session (TSS): A discussion of the hazards about to be encountered during the upcoming trail work and how best to reduce them. Generally held at the beginning of each day before leaving vehicles, though if tasks or circumstances change during the day (such as a thunderstorm approaches or a particularly dangerous task arises), it should be revisited.

Tailpipe: That part of the exhaust system which expels waste gases.

Tailwater (Tailrace): The area immediately downstream of a spillway.

Tailwind: A wind blowing in the direction of travel (from behind).

Taking: A real estate term traditionally used to mean acquisition by eminent domain but broadened by the US Supreme Court to mean any government action that denies viable economic use of property.

Taking Soil Samples: Slang for crashing in which you collect pieces of terra firma in your mouth, nostrils, or ears.

Talus (Talus Slope, Talus Flow, Talus Field, Rubble Land): Large rock debris on a slope or at the base of a hill or cliff. The rocks are larger and have sharper edges than those found on scree slopes.

Tamping: Using a narrow machine compactor, a tamping bar, or the handle of a shovel, or other tool to compact earth backfill around a post, pole, or pile.

Tan Line(s): A line on the body where the skin is tan on one side and pale on the other. Many cyclists show off their shorts and jersey tan lines like badges of honor representing all the long hours they’ve spent in the sun cycling.

Tap: A tool in the form of a bolt with flutes for cutting female threads. It has a taper at the end that is intended to start the thread.

Tape Measure (Measuring Tape): A flexible open or closed ruler made of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. Its design allows for a measure of great lengths to be easily carried.

Tar and Chip: Pavement made by applying hot tar to a gravel base, then covering it with a layer of stones, more common for driveways.

Target Heart Rate: The heart rate at which you get the maximum benefit from exercise.

Tarmac: Macadam sprayed with tar to combat dirt, dust, and erosion, with a capital T, refers to a trademarked kind of macadam process.

Tarn: A small, glacier-carved mountain lake or pond set in a steep-walled amphitheater called a cirque. Glacial debris deposits (moraines) often create tarns by damming melt water runoff.

Tarp (Tarp Tent, Tarpaulin): A simple plastic or nylon sheet used in place of a tent with no floor or door. It is usually rigged with poles, tent pegs, and guy lines. Ultralight backpackers use tarp tents because they are lightweight compared to other backpacking shelters. Because it is more open, it does not provide as much protection from rain, snow, wind, or cold as a tent does. It provides no protection from insects unless you use netting.

Tear Offs: Strips of clear plastic that are attached to goggles and torn off when they get splattered with dirt during a ride.

Tear Strength: A fabric’s ability to resist further tearing once it has been ripped.

Technical: A section along a trail that is difficult to navigate; used by mountain bikers to describe challenging sections of trail.

Technical Assistance: Help (advice and knowledge; usually not financial) offered by federal and state agencies to local groups developing trails and greenways.

Technical Trail Feature (TTF): An obstacle on the trail requiring negotiation, the feature can be either built or natural, such as an elevated bridge or a rock face respectively.

Tech Weenie (Technogeek): Someone who knows everything about the newest tech gear innovation to the point that they must have the latest gadget and newest parts even though they may not know how to use them.

Teeter Totter: A trail structure constructed from a narrow log or boards suspended in the middle so that, as one end goes up, the other goes down which provides a challenging bicycling experience. Teeter totters must always be accompanied by a ride-around. The pivot must be offset enough to allow the teeter totter to return to it’s original position after use, but still tip early enough so that the rider doesn’t ride off the end before it touches down on the other side.

Ten Essentials: 10 or 12 items thought necessary to be carried in every pack to be prepared for a trail emergency requiring an overnight stay. One example of such a list: map & compass, water and a way to purify it, extra food, rain gear/extra clothing, fire starter/matches, first aid kit, knife/multi-purpose tool, flashlight with extra batteries/bulbs, sun screen/sun glasses, emergency shelter & cord, whistle.

Ten Percent Rule: Laying out a trail so that the overall grade is under 10% with maximum not to exceed 15%.

Ten Percent Average Guideline: Generally, an average trail grade of 10% or less is most sustainable. This does not mean that all trail grades must be kept under 10%. Many trails will have short sections steeper than 10%, and some unique situations will allow average trail grades of more than 10%.

Tensiometer: A bicycle wheel-building took used to measure the tension on a spoke.

Tent (Backpacking Tent, One Person Tent, Two Person Tent): A shelter just big enough for one or two persons to sleep in consisting of nylon/fabric attached to poles. Can be free-standing or attached to supports. Along with the tent there is usually a ground cloths and rain fly. When packed the tent needs to be sufficiently light enough to be carried for long distances in a backpack.

Tent, A-Frame: Features vertical poles at each end and two sloping sides falling away from a rigid centerline pole or cord.

Tent, Dome: Three or more crisscrossing flexible poles are threaded thru a number of sleeves or clips to create a freestanding dome shaped tent.

Tent, Family-Sized: Designed to accommodate up to six people they can weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. Meant for car campers who plan to stay at the same place for longer periods of time.

Tent, Freestanding: Refers to a tent that needs no tie downs or stakes to remain upright.

Tent, Hoop: Cylindrical design with curved poles at each end creating curved sidewalls.

Tent Fly (Rainfly, Fly): Refers to the outer waterproof covering that fits over the roof of a tent to keep rain and wind out or a piece of material which is strung up using rope as a minimalist, stand-alone shelter.

Tent Pad(s): An area the size of a tent where soil and gravel are built up inside some cribbing (log or stone) to improve drainage.

Tent Platform(s) (Tent Pad): Wooden “platform” (single, double, or group tent sizes) or built-up gravel “pads” used to minimize damage to fragile alpine or wetlands areas, or to reduce impact on heavily used, erosion-prone campsite(s).

Tent Peg (Tent Stake): A spike, usually with a hook or hole on the top end, typically made from wood, metal, plastic, or composite material, pushed or driven into the ground for holding a tent to the ground, either directly by attaching to the tent’s material, or by connecting to ropes attached to the tent.

Tent Site(s) (Tentsite): A designated flat, dry spot where a tent may be pitched. Site may have a central fire pit and pit toilet.

Terminal Facility: A transfer point between road/trail network and road/trail served. Typical terminal facilities are vehicle parking areas, trailheads, etc.

Terminus: Either the beginning or end of anything such as a trail.

Terrace: (1) A step-like surface, bordering a stream or shoreline that represents the former position of a flood plain, lake or sea shore. (2) A raised, generally horizontal strip of earth and/or rock constructed along a hill on or nearly on a contour to make land suitable for tillage and to prevent accelerated erosion. (3) An earth embankment constructed across a slope for conducting water from above at a regulated flow to prevent accelerated erosion and to conserve water. (4) A natural change in a topographic slope that goes from relatively steep to relatively level and then continues in a relatively steep configuration.

Terraforming: Mountain bike trail construction technique using grade reversals, banked turns, undulations and meanders to shed water and improve bike flow.

Test Boring: A deep, narrow hole drilled into the ground with a power auger. A record is kept of the types of soils encountered and their depth.

Test Hole(s): Dug by hand or with a backhoe, test holes are wider than test borings, allowing the soil strata on the sides of the hole to be easily seen.

Texture: The visual manifestations of the interplay of light and shadow created by the variations in the surface of an object or landscape. Refers to relative proportions of clay, silt, and sand in soil.

Texture, Soil: Relative proportions of the various size groups of individual soil grains in a mass of soil. Specifically, it refers to the proportions of clay, silt, and sand in soil.

Texturing: The act of placing natural features (rock, logs) back into a trail to help control speed or user conflict.

The Big Three (The Big 3): The three most essential pieces of gear that any backpacker carries: backpack, sleeping bag, and shelter. These items also tend to the heaviest gear, so those looking to go ultralight often look to these 3 items to cut the most from their base weight.

Thinsulate: A thin, synthetic insulating material produced by 3M provide superior warmth without added bulk to a variety of clothing including jackets, hats, boots, etc.

Thread, Left-hand: Thread direction in which turning the piece left will tighten it.

Thread, Right-hand: Thread direction in which turning the piece right will tighten it.

Thread Count: The number of threads in one square inch of material. Listed as two numbers, i.e. 150 x 100, there are more threads running in one direction that the other.

Thread Locking Compound: A liquid applied to threads to ensure that the part stays tight after it’s attached.

Three-Foot Law (3-ft Law, 3-ft Rule): Many states have passed new laws that require motorists to give bicyclists a three foot buffer as they pass them on the road (defined as a safe passing distance).

Three-Hour Tour: A short hike or ride that looks all too easy at the trailhead until unforeseen events makes it an all day affair.

Three Season: Refers to gear that is intended for Spring through Fall use, not having enough insulation to safely camp in Winter weather.

Threshold Limits: Are resource conditions or critical elements, which if exceeded, become unacceptable.

Thrillcraft: Motorized recreational craft such as ATVs, off-road motorcycles, dune buggies, snowmobiles, and jet skis.

Throwing The Bike: Technique of pushing the bike forward in a close sprint so the front wheel crosses the finish line first.

Thru-Hike (Thru-Hiking): The act of hiking a long trail, such as the Appalachian Trail, in one continuous trek.

Thru-Hiker (End-to-Ender): Someone who attempts to cover a long trail, such as the Appalachian Trail, in one continuous trek.

Tick(s): Small parasitic blood –sucking insects that can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses.

Tick Puller: Small tool to remove ticks intact.

Tide Flats: Saltwater wetlands that are characterized by mud or sand and daily tidal fluctuations.

Tight and Technical: A type of trail design that allows for tight turns and slow speeds, while using natural features as technical obstacles.

Timber: A lumberjack’s call to warn those in the vicinity that a cut tree is about to fall to the ground.

Timber: The wood of growing trees suitable for structural uses. Wood that has been sawn or hewn into a square or rectangular cross section that is at least 3 inches thick.

Timber Carrier (Log Carrier): A tool, with a long handle and hooks, which allows two people on each side of the carrier to transport logs or timber.

Time Trial: A competitive event against the clock in which a riders are started separately (ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes apart). The winner of the race is determined by the fastest person across the course.

Tinder: A fine, combustible material used to start fire.

Tire(s): A pneumatic inflatable doughnut-shaped structure made from rubber, fabric, and wire bead that fits around a rim to protect it and generally contains an inner tube filled with compressed air to provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock while keeping the wheel in contact with the ground. They consist of a tread for traction and a body for support. Used on bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, etc.

Tire(s), Balloon: 26 x 2.125-inch tire with a road tread pattern, usually found on a cruiser bicycle.

Tire(s), Clincher (Wire-on): These bicycle tires have a wire or fiber bead that interlocks with flanges in the rim. A separate airtight inner tube enclosed by the rim supports the tire carcass and maintains the bead lock. An advantage of this system is that the inner tube can be easily accessed in the case of a leak to be patched or replaced.

Tire(s), Folding: These bicycle tires feature beads made of Kevlar, a flexible fabric, which allows folding the tire flat for easy storage and portability. It makes it easy to carry an extra tire if you are on a long off-road tour.

Tire(s), Knobby: A tire with an aggressive tread pattern of knobs and bumps of various shapes, designed to dig into soft surfaces (dirt, gravel, snow, and mud) for better traction.

Tires(s), Sew-up (Tubular): A bicycle tire in which the tube is sewn inside the tire and the tire is glued to a special flat wheel rim.

Tires(s), Slick: Bald tires with no tread pattern. They provide the best performance for bicycles which are just used on pavement.

Tire(s), Tubeless: A tire with a robust sidewall used as part of a system that requires an airtight seal of valve steam, spoke holes, and the bead seat. The main benefit of tubeless tires for mountain bikes is the ability to use low air pressure for better traction without getting pinch flats because there is no tube to pinch between the rim and an obstacle.

Tire Casing: The woven fabric constructed out of several layers that makes up the majority of the tire. The casing runs from bead to bead under the tread and is comprised of fabric cord and a rubber coating.

Tire Cord: The individual strands of fabric coated in rubber that form the tire casing.

Tire Lever (Tire Iron): Used to pry a tire off a rim. Bicycle tire levers (often made of plastic) have one end that is tapered and slightly curved and the other end a hooked C-shape cut into one end of so that it may be hooked on a spoke to hold it in place and keep the bead free of the rim at one point while a second is used to progressively loosen a larger segment of the tire bead from the rim. One or two levers are usually enough, but in extreme cases you may need the third.

Tire Liner: A protective plastic strip that’s placed between the tire and tube to stop glass, thorns, and debris from popping the tube.

Tire Pressure: Pressure rating of tires is usually stamped somewhere on the sideway in psi (pounds per square inch) usually given in a range (for example, 90-120 psi, or 35-60 psi).

Tire Saver: A wire device mounted to the frame or fork designed to brush sharp debris from the tread of bicycle tires before it can penetrate through to the inner tube.

Tire Sidewalls: Bicycle tire sidewalls are called blackwalls, gumwalls, or skinwalls depending on the composition and how thick the sidewalls are.

Tire Studs: For ice riding special screws are used in the tire tread to reduce tire spin.

Titanium (Ti): An alloy of aluminum and vanadium originally developed for the aerospace industry. Used today for bicycle frames and parts for its high strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance.

Title: Rights of ownership of property; paper that indicates ownership.

Title Search: A legal review of deeds of record in the chain of title to a piece of property analyzing all encumbrances or prior sales of the property to make sure that a piece of real estate can be sold without anyone else claiming rights to it.

Toe: The break in slope at the foot of a bank (trail or stream) where the bank meets the bed.

Toe Clip(s) (Rat Traps): A thin metal or plastic clip stirrup-like device and strap mounted on the front of a bicycle pedal that holds the foot on the pedal. The toe clip is shaped like the toe of a shoe and its function is to prevent a bicyclist’s shoe from slipping off the pedal during the forward pedaling motion. Early racing shoes had a hard sole to which a cleat was attached. The cleat had a slot that fitted onto the pedal. The rider had to reach down to tighten or loosen the toe strap.

Toe Clip(s), Half: A then metal or plastic clip attachment without the strap device mounted on the front of a bicycle pedal that holds the foot on the pedal. The toe clip is shaped like the toe of a shoe and its function is to prevent a bicyclist’s shoe from slipping off the pedal during the forward pedaling motion.

Toe Clip Strap(s): A strap made from leather or nylon that goes through both the pedal and the toe clip to encircle the bicyclist’s foot on top of the pedal.

Toe In: The practice when installing bicycle brakes shoes to adjust them so that the front part of the shoe hits the rim first. As the brake arm flexes under braking, this will permit the whole surface of the brake shoe to engage the rim. It can also reduce or eliminate the squeal some brakes make when in use.

Toe Overlap: When the foot, on the pedal, overlaps and hits the front wheel of a bicycle while turning.

Toenail(ing): Joining two pieces of wood by driving nails at an angle to the surface of one piece and into the second piece.

Tool (Implement, Instrument): An implement, especially one held in the hand (hammer, saw, Pulaski, etc.) for performing or facilitating mechanical or labor operations.

Tool Care: Proper use, maintenance, and storage of tools so they are safe, sharp, effective, and never lost.

Tool Up: At the end of a work day when you gather and count all tools before leaving the work site.

Top Bank (Top of Bank): The break in slope between the bank and the surrounding terrain.

Topographic (Topo, USGS Topographic, Contour) Map: Maps that indicate built and natural features (buildings, roads, ravines, rivers, etc.) as well as elevation changes and land cover. United States Geological Survey maps are available from many government offices, outdoor shops, and map stores; or from digitized versions on the Internet.

Topographic: Of or having to do with topography or the physical features of a place.

Topography: The elevation and slope of the land as it exists or is proposed. It is represented on drawings by lines connecting points at the same elevation. Typically illustrated by dashed lines for existing topography and solid lines for proposed.

Topophilia: A love of place.

Topsoil: The top layer of earth, dark and rich in organic matter.

Torque: The measure of the turning force on an object such as a bolt or a flywheel.

Torrent: A turbulent, swift-flowing stream. A heavy downpour, a deluge.

Torx: Developed in 1967, is the trademark for a type of screw head characterized by a 6-point star-shaped pattern. A popular generic name for the drive is star. Commonly found on motorcycles and bicycle disc brakes.

Tour: To travel or journey from place to place visiting sites for pleasure.

Tourism: The business or industry of providing information, local transportation, accommodations, food, and other services for tourists.

Tourist: A person who undertakes a traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

Touron: Tourist/moron. People who demonstrate too little wisdom for the types of activities they are involved in.

Town Food: When you’re on a long distance trail and you make a stop in a town and eat food you do not plan to carry back to the trail.

Townie: Someone who lives near a popular trail and hangs out on the trail or at a shelter. Some townies help hikers and others hassle hikers.

Township: The unit of survey of the public lands; normally a quadrangle approximately six miles on a side with boundaries conforming to meridians and parallels within established limits, containing thirty-six sections, some of which are designed to correct for the convergence of meridians or range lines.

Trace: Simply, a line etched across a plane. Old game trails that have evolved into human footpaths.

Track: Mark left by something that has passed along; footprint or wheel rut.

Track: A pair of parallel metal rails on which trains run.

Track, Animal: Foot prints that animals leave behind. By identifying and reading tracks and other signs you can learn about animals along the trail.

Track, Competitive: A recreation facility (referred to as a track) designed, constructed, and maintained for competitive-type activities that allows for high speeds, technical and sport use.

Track, Dirt (Short Track, Flat Track, Oval Track): A prepared flat or banked oval dirt track between 2,250 feet and 2,640 feet in circumference designed for competitive motorcycle racing.

Track, Fitness (Jogging Track): Path or course laid out for exercise (walking, jogging, running). Usually no more than a mile and laid out in an oval.

Track, Peewee: A track designed and restricted to motorcycles or ATVs of 80cc or less. Also referred to as Children’s, or Beginner Tracks or Loops, are generally for young riders just learning to ride.

Track Tie Memory: On rail-trails the removed railroad cross ties can leave an imprint (or memory). To remove this “memory” the ballast needs to be graded and compacted before laying a trail surface.

Trackstand: A skill where a (motorcycle or mountain bike) rider comes to a full stop without putting a foot down. On a technical trail, a trackstand lets you pause to decide what to do next, and it may save you from toppling over if you suddenly come to an unexpected halt.

Traction: Tread friction between the ground and the tires of a motor vehicle or bicycle.

Traffic: The aggregation of things (pedestrians or vehicles) coming and going in a particular locality during a specified period of time.

Traffic Calming: Consists of physical design and other measures, including narrowed roads and speed humps, put in place on roads for the intention of slowing down or reducing motor-vehicle traffic as well as to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Traffic Management Strategies: The following strategies can be used to manage and control traffic and to guide visitors from the time they first encounter the Transportation System (roads and trails) until they reach their destinations.

Encourage—To encourage traffic on a route, destination signing should be included with the route identification. Traffic should be encouraged only on routes that are designed and maintained for the type of traffic desired. Routes should be portrayed as more desirable on visitor maps using standard symbols and map keys.

Accept—On routes where traffic is accepted but not encouraged, sign only with the appropriate route identification signs. These routes should be shown as suitable for traffic on visitor maps using standard map symbols and map keys.

Discourage—Discouraging types of traffic is normally accomplished through warning or informational signs, maps, or other sources of information. Destination and/or route identification signs may be appropriate if discouraging one type of traffic but encouraging or accepting another type. Enforcement is not feasible or intended.

Eliminate—To eliminate types of traffic, methods should be incorporated that are suitable for the restriction. Ditches, berms, earth mounds, vegetation screens, and different surface textures may be utilized to physically eliminate one type of traffic while allowing another. Enforcement is not feasible or intended.

Prohibit—To prohibit traffic, a legal order citing the appropriate Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) shall be prepared and enforced. Restriction devices should be installed as necessary. The prohibition is marked with signing and the restriction device is also signed. An order should not be issued applying a prohibition unless it is clearly needed and enforcement is planned. If enforcement is not planned or feasible, access should be managed by physical methods to either discourage or eliminate traffic.

Traffic Signal, HAWK Pedestrian Flasher: The High intensity Activated Cross WalK (HAWK) is activated when pedestrian presses a button. A flashing yellow light warns motorists that a pedestrian is present. The signal then changes to solid yellow, alerting drivers to prepare to stop. The signal then turns solid red and shows the pedestrian a walk symbol. The signal then begins flashing red and the pedestrian is shown a flashing don’t walk with a countdown timer.

Traffic Signal, PELICAN: The Pedestrian Light Control ActivatioN (PELICAN) system provides a safe, two-stage crossing for pedestrians. The mid-block crossing incorporates the median island refuge between the two stages. A pedestrian uses the crossing by pressing a button to activate the first signal, then proceeds to the median, walks a short distance along the median to activate the second signal.

Traffic Signal, TOUCAN: The TwO groUps CAN cross (TOUCAN) system was designed to provide a safe crossing for two groups – pedestrian and bicyclists. Bicyclists respond to a bicycle signal and use a special lane when crossing. Pedestrians get a standard WALK indication and have a separate, adjacent crosswalk.

Tragedy of the Commons: Described by Hardin (1968) as the loss to all caused by the natural tendency of individuals to overuse a resource owned by all, such as common pastures in medieval England.

Trail: On a bicycle the horizontal measurement of the distance between where your front tire makes contact with the ground and where a line drawn through your steering axis (also known as the head tube angle) would make contact. Wheel size, tire size, head tube angle, fork length, and fork offset (rake) all influence trail. It has much to do with how a bicycle turns into a corner or maintains a straight line.

Trail: A designated route on land or water with public access for recreation or transportation purposes such as walking, jogging, motorcycling, hiking, bicycling, ATVing, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, and backpacking.

Trail, Abandoned: A trail no longer in use, often eroded for lack of maintenance. May be a user-created trail or an official system trail that never was decommissioned.

Trail, Access: Any trail that connects the main trail to a town, road, or another trail or trail system.

Trail, Airline: Used to describe a straight section of trail or section to be built.

Trail, Animal (Game Trail): Trail created by repeated use from animals (deer, cows, sheep, etc.) and often spur off of established trails where animals use both to find food or water.

Trail, Backcountry: A primitive trail (can be open to motorized or nonmotorized users) in an area where there are no maintained roads or permanent buildings.

Trail, Balloon: A trail that starts along a linear route and then branches out to a loop.

Trail, Barrier-free: A stable trail with all obstacles removed from the tread for people with mobility, sight, and/or hearing limitations.

Trail, Black Diamond: Originated with downhill skiing and refers to the most difficult runs. Also used in cross-country skiing and mountain biking to describe the most difficult trails or sections of trails.

Trail, Blaze a: This expression was first used literally in the 18th century for the practice of marking a forest trail by making blazes, that is, marking trees with notches or chips in the bark.

Trail, Braided (Braiding): The process or name of undesirable multiple parallel paths created by users who have deviated from the main trail, often to avoid an undesirable feature (e.g. downed log, mud hole, sand) within the main trail causing erosion and expansion of the existing trail around the feature.

Trail, Braille: A trail designed for the blind and sight impaired where they learn to touch, to listen, and to smell the forest. Hikers follow a rope along the trail leading to signs that are written both in Braille and in extra-large print.

Trail, Break: To hike in the lead, forcing one’s way through untrammeled snow or brush. It is far easier to walk in the tracks of someone else who has already “broken” the trail.

Trail, Break (Breaking Trail): For some leaving an established trail gives a feeling of breaking free.

Trail, Bushwhacked: New trail made by individuals with no planning, or thought of environmental impact, legal use privileges, or affects it might have on others. Their creation is considered unacceptable by responsible trail users.

Trail, Carry: The trail paddlers use when leaving a river to carry their boat and gear around hazards and back to the river.

Trail, Connecting or Side: Name give to trails providing additional points of access to national recreation, scenic, or historic trails per the National Trails System Act.

Trail, Contour: A trail constructed or exists such that it follows a contour, with its elevation remaining constant. Constructed at full bench with outslope, grade reversals, and sustained grades.

Trail, Crowned: A trail bed built up from the surrounding area and sloped for drainage (usually by excavating trenches parallel to the trail).

Trail, Dendritic: Resemble linear trails except that they have many branches which are, for the most part, unconnected to each other, and which terminate in dead ends.

Trail, Designated: Specific trails identified by the land management agency where some type of use (motorized or nonmotorized) is appropriate and allowed either seasonally or yearlong and which have been inventoried and mapped and are appropriately signed on the ground.

Trail, Destination: A trail that connects two distinct points (A to B) rather than returning the user to the original beginning point.

Trail, Destination: A regional attraction with scenic appeal that people are willing to travel to use. Should have “lure” and “wow” factors. Are considered economic revenue generators. Has high quality standards for design, maintenance, and amenities.

Trail, Directional Use (One-way): A trail laid out in such a way as to encourage users to travel in one direction.

Trail, Doubletrack: A trail that allows for two users to travel side by side, or to pass without one user having to yield the trail. Doubletrack trails are often old forest roads.

Trail, Dumbing Down the: Refers to changing a trail (removing technical features) to the lowest common trail standard denominator so everyone can use it. Many users like a little challenge to their trails.

Trail, Equestrian: Single-tread trails reserved exclusively for horses and mules, also called bridle trails, bridle paths, and bridleways in urban settings. Most public trails are designated for shared use.

Trail, Extended: Trails over 100 miles in length (as defined in the National Trails System Act).

Trail, Fall Line: Trail constructed on the fall line (direction water flows down a hill) which encourages water to run down the trail.

Trail, Feeder (Collector Trail): A trail designed to connect local facilities, neighborhoods, campgrounds, etc. to a main trail.

Trail, Flat: A trail built across level terrain. The terrain is without a pronounced cross slope and has inefficient or unpredictable drainage. Techniques for flat trail include elevated tread or a system of channels to improve trail drainage.

Trail, Flow (Flowy Trail): These are purpose-built trails with a smooth trail tread to let gravity carry wheeled users (mainly mountain bikers) down a succession of berms, rollers, jumps, and other features making for a fun ride.

Trail, Forest: A trail wholly or partly within, or adjacent to, and serving the National Forest System and which is necessary for the protection, administration, and utilization of the National Forest System and the use and development of its resources.

Trail, Forest Development: A forest trail under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service.

Trail, Frontcountry: Less emphasis is put on minimizing contact with signs of the civilized world. The main objective is to provide enjoyable trail experiences within the vicinity of developed areas by utilizing the scenic and interpretative features of semi-urban, rural, and natural environments.

Trail, Gravity Mountain Bike: A one-way downhill trail with plenty of fun features and go-arounds for intermediate mountain bike riders. Many are in mtn bike parks which have lifts to take you and your bike to the start of the trails.

Trail, Greenway: A trail established along a natural corridor, such as a river, stream, ridgeline, rail trail, canal, or other route for conservation, recreation, or alternative transportation purposes. Greenway Trails can connect parks, nature preserves, cultural facilities, and historic sites with business and residential areas.

Trail, Half-Track (Halftrack): A trail so narrow and/or overgrown that it would be hard to call it a singletrack.

Trail, Hard Surface (Paved): A trail tread surfaced with asphalt, concrete, soil cement, or other hard, stabilized material.

Trail, Hiker-Biker: An urban paved trail designed for use by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Trail, Hiking: Moderate to long distance trail with the primary function of providing long-distance walking experiences (usually two miles or more).

Trail, Historic: An interpretive trail that provides an integral link in relating a part of history and allows users to take part and experience some of the historic moments.

Trail, Interpretive (Nature Trail): Short to moderate length trail (1/2 to 1 mile) with primary function of providing an opportunity to walk or paddle and study interesting or unusual plants or natural features at user’s pleasure. The ideal nature trail has a story to tell. It unifies the various features or elements along the trail into a related theme.

Trail, Limited Use: Designed for the exclusive use of certain trail users or during specific time periods.

Trail, Linear: Trails that run generally straight (usually along a linear feature) and start and return exactly along the same route and have a beginning and an end.

Trail, Long Distance: In general a trail best characterized by length (more than 50 miles), linearity (follows a linear feature), and diversity (geographic and political).

Trail, Loop(ed): Trail or trail systems designed so that the routes are closed circuits connecting a number of points of interest, giving users the option of not traveling the same section of trail more than once on a trip.

Trail, Maintained: Tread, clearing width, and structures maintained for user safety and convenience.

Trail, Mature: A trail that has been around long enough to have aged well. Drainage is working and tread as settled in.

Trail, Motorized (Off-Road Vehicle Trail): Trails specifically made available to motorized off-road vehicles such as ATVs, dirt bikes, 4-wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles and so on.

Trail, Multiple-Use (Multi-Use, Diversified Use, Shared Use): A trail that permits more than one user group at a time (equestrian, OHVer, hiker, mountain bicyclist, etc.).

Trail, National: One of four types of trails that make up the National Trails System under the authority of the National Trails System Act in 1968. These include National Scenic Trails, National Recreation Trails, National Historic Trails, and Side and Connecting Trails.

Trail, National Forest System: A forest trail other than a trail which has been authorized by a legally documented right-of-way held by a State, county, or other local public road authority.

Trail, Natural Surface: A tread made from clearing and grading the native soil, and with no added surfacing materials.

Trail, Non-Motorized: Trails that restrict motorized uses to all but wheel chairs.

Trail, Open and Flowing: A type of trail design that provides tempo and rhythm by incorporating sweeping turns, higher speeds, passing zones, and better sight lines. Primarily applies to bicycling and motorized traffic.

Trail, Out-and-Back: A one-way trail on which you travel to a destination then backtrack to the trailhead.

Trail, Pack: A trail used by recreational stock; usually extended trails used by pack stings for overnight trips.

Trail, Preferred-Use: Challenges the notion that all trails must be all things to all people. They can be preferred for certain activities in their design. For example, a trail this is preferred for mountain bikers might be designed to be fast and flowing through open terrain, with swooping turns and dips. The trail is not closed to hikers, but they are considered in its design.

Trail, Primary: Continuous through route that originates at a trailhead. Primarily for directing users through an area while promoting a certain type of experience.

Trail, Primitive: Trails the receive no maintenance are kept open from use, most common in wilderness areas.

Trail, Purpose Built: Trails designed and built with a specific user group (i.e. mountain bikers) in mind.

Trail, Recreation: A trail that is designed to provide a recreational experience.

Trail, Recreational: In the 1991 National Recreational Trails Fund Act a “Recreational Trail ” is defined as a “thoroughfare or track across land of snow, used for recreational purposes such as bicycling, cross-country skiing, day hiking, equestrian activities, jogging or similar fitness activities, trail biking, overnight or long distance backpacking, snowmobiling, aquatic or water activity and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all-terrain off-road vehicles, without regard to whether it is a “National Recreation Trail” designated under section 4 of the National Trails System Act.”

Trail, Regional: An extended or longer trail that may cross one or more land management agency jurisdictions and connects diverse trail systems.

Trail, Rolling Contour: A trail characterized by gentle grade, grade reversals, and outsloped tread.

Trail, Rhythm: A trail that has a series of multiple dirt jumps in a row for wheeled riders.

Trail, Seasonal: Open during specific time periods.

Trail, Seasoned: After construction it’s a good idea to let the trail settle in (rain or snow will allow tread to harden) or “season” before allowing trail use.

Trail, Secondary: Short trail used to connect primary trails or branchings of primary trails. They encourage movement between two primary trails or facilitate dispersal of use through secondary branching.

Trail, Side: Dead-end trail that accesses features near the main trail.

Trail, Sidehill: Where the trail angles across the face of a slope. The tread is often cut into the slope.

Trail, Silent: A trail fully removed from roads and motorized trails.

Trail, Single-Track (Singletrack): A trail so narrow that users must generally travel in a single file.

Trail, Single-Use: One that is designed and constructed for only one intended use (i.e. hiking only).

Trail, Soft Surface: An unsurfaced natural trail or a trail surfaced with compacted earth, crusher fines, bark, or gravel.

Trail, Snow: Winter trails that accommodate cross country skiing, snow shoeing, winter hiking, or dog sledding and snowmobiling on trails that allow motorized use.

Trail, Spine: A regional trail that acts as a “backbone” to a regional trail system.

Trail, Spur (Spur): A trail that leads from primary, secondary, or spine trails to points of user interests—overlooks, campsites, etc.

Trail, Stacked Loop: Trail or trail systems designed with many loops “stacked” on each other, giving users the option of not traveling the same section of trail more than once on a trip.

Trail, Standard Terra Trail: A trail that has a surface consisting of predominantly of the ground and that is designed and managed to accommodate use on that surface.

Trail, Stock (Stock Driveway): A route/trail used by commercial stock.

Trail, Supplement: Additional trail required by zoning law in single-family housing developments and around developments which would block access from one area to the main trail system. They may take the form of easements or right-of-way.

Trail, Sustainable Natural Surface: A trail that supports currently planned and potential future uses with minimal impact and negligible soil loss while allowing the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, recognizing required pruning and eventual removal of certain plants over time. The sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time.

Trail, Sustainable: A trail that has been designed and constructed to such a standard that it does not adversely impact natural and cultural resources, can withstand the impacts of the intended user and the natural elements while receiving only routine cyclic maintenance and meets the needs of the intended user to a degree that they do not deviate from the established trail alignment. From Trail Management: Plans, Projects, and People training course.

Trail, System: A formal trail with an official name and number, managed by the agency responsible for the land through which the trail passes. Maintenance is scheduled and carried out by a professional trail crew or trained volunteers who have officially adopted the trail.

Trail, Temporary: A trail necessary for emergency operations or authorized by contract, permit, lease, or other written authorization that is not a forest trail and that is not included in a forest transportation atlas.

Trail, Tight & Technical: Section along a trail that is filled with obstacles such are rocks, roots, logs, sharp turns, and steep grades, making it difficult to navigate and putting a premium on (motorcycle or mountain bike) riding skills.

Trail, Tourist: Shortest point between two places without regard to grades or features.

Trail, Undesignated (Unauthorized, Social, Rogue, Illegal, Renegade, Non-System, Wildcat, Bootleg, Way, Informal, User or Visitor Created): Any unofficial trails that developed informally from use and are not designated or maintained by an agency; often found cutting switchbacks or between adjacent trails, campsites, or other sites of interest. Undesignated trails can be dangerous, eroded, and unsustainable.

Trail, Undulating: One that follows a wavelike course, often going in and out of gullies.

Trail, Unimproved: An unpaved/unimproved off-road facility, open for bicyclists and/or pedestrian use, which is not required to meet ADA Standards.

Trail, Urban: Trails in urban or suburban areas that provide local and ready recreation, fitness and aesthetic amenities, reclaim otherwise abused or under used land such as utility right-of ways or abandoned rail corridors. Greenways, open spaces, and the enhancement of natural or built waterways for use as parks and trails is a popular urban project.

Trail, Wash: A designated trail established primarily in a wash bottom.

Trail, Water (River Trail, Canoe Trail): A recreational waterway on lake, river, or ocean between specific points, containing access points and day use and/or camping sites for the nonmotorized boating public.

Trail Access Information: Objective information reported to trail users through signage, about the grade, cross slope, tread width, and surface of a trail.

Trail Alignment Angle: The orientation of the trail to the prevailing land form.

Trail Analysis: An evaluation of a trail or section of trail to document all the work that needs to be done, including the tools, personnel, and time needed to complete the tasks to bring the trail up to standard.

Trail Angel(s): Name given to anyone who goes out of their way to help out a trail user by offering food, shelter, or a ride into town out of the goodness of their hearts rather than for profit or gain.

Trail Assessment and Condition Surveys (TRACS): The US Forest Service’s approach for the field collection of trail inventory and condition assessment information, and the documentation of tasks needed to meet standard.

Trail Bum: Someone who “lives” on a long distance trail soaking up all the free handouts they can.

Trail Call: A call out used when passing other trailworkers on the trail or to announce the presence of a trail user.

Trail Candy: Term for good looking man or woman on a trail.

Trail Care Crew (TCC) Program: Subaru/IMBA sponsored two-person crews that travel and teach trail users and managers how to design, build, maintain, and manage trails that are environmentally sound and fun to use.

Trail Class: A rating indicating the level of development of a given trail. It is based on many factors including the land through which it passes, the intended users for whom it is designed and built, the resulting design parameters and its likely level of maintenance. US Forest Service Trail Classes are 1 to 5 with 1 being most primitive, such as a faint wilderness trail, and 5 most developed, such as a paved trail.

Trail Class: Many thru-hikers identify with the “class” or year they started their end-to-end hike; for example referring to themselves as the Class of 2001.

Trail Commute: Using a trail or bikeway to go to work, school, or run errands.

Trail Crew: A group of four to six members and one or two leaders who work together to construct or maintain a trail.

Trail Crew Boss: Responsible for the entire trail crew (paid or volunteer) and directly supervises the crew leaders during the day-to-day operation of the field-based program (trail construction, repair, or maintenance). In addition this full-time or temporary field-based position has proven leadership and trail skills The Crew Boss sets the tone and acts as the “go-to” person for most of the crew’s needs.

Trail Crew Leader(s): Make sure that expectations are met on projects and that crew members are not only pulling their weight, but also learning the necessary skills in the process. Leaders have at least two seasons of experience and are enthusiastic and committed to the program.

Trail Crew Member(s): The muscle of the program, crew members have from one to three seasons of trails experience and are looking for a physically and mentally demanding work. This can be a paid or volunteer position as well as full time or temporary.

Trail Community: Includes those with an interest in, or relationship to a particular trail (long distance or system): volunteers, landowners, government agency personnel, and the officials and citizens of local communities through which the trail passes or trail system is located. For example, there is the Appalachian Trail community.

Trail Days: Annual event held each May (weekend after Mother’s Day) in Damascus, VA (Friendliest Town on The AT, Trail Town USA) that celebrates the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, the Appalachian Trail (AT). Draws in excess of 20,000 hikers, sponsors, vendors, families, and friends who come together to celebrate the AT and all who have played a role in making the Trail what it is today. There’s a Hiker Parade, Hiker Talent Show, Auction, Music, and more.

Trail Depot (Break Station): Used to describe a restored train station buildings on rail-trails that often serve as a rest stop for trail users.

Trail Design: Designing and layout of trails requires special training, knowledge, experience, and skill. When designing trails, many different factors are taken into account including hydrology, topography, soils, flora, fauna, management objectives, user expectations and characteristics, and trail design standards. The designer will utilize data collected from area site analysis, environmental assessments, public meetings, and area trail and management plans.

Trail-drenaline: A jolt of useful energy and stimulation when thinking about getting on a trail or experiencing a strong emotion while on a trail.

Trail Ecology: The art, science, and engineering involved with trail design, construction, maintenance, and management.

Trail Editing: Generally editing a trail involves obstacle removal or rerouting the trail to make it easier for all skill levels to navigate.

Trail Emergency Access System (TEAS): TEAS signs are mounted on benches, sign posts, restrooms, and shelters within close proximity to the trail. Each sign contains a simple ID code (such as 06 J44) indicating your location to Public Safety Officials when you place a 911 call.

Trail Eye: The ability to see how a trail is functioning in the landscape, and most importantly what trail work needs to be done to bring it into good shape. Primarily includes attention to clearing limits and drainage, but also tread condition, hillside hydrology, and intended use.

Trail Failure: Some trails just don’t work out where they were constructed. This could be for ecological reasons – failed to protect resources or social reasons – doesn’t meet needs of users.

Trail Fun: A crew leader’s effort to help trail volunteers have a good time during work parties so they will want to return. Depending on the leader, Trail Fun may include lively conversation, storytelling, games, singing, or other activities. Requires striking a balance between fun and other important objectives (safety, quality work, tool care).

Trail Fundamentals: The five concepts that are the cornerstone of the US Forest Service trail management, including Trail Type, Trail Class, Managed Use, Designed Use, and Design Parameters.

Trail Goggles: Much like “beer googles,” meaning that after hiking hundreds of miles on a long distance trail almost any women or man for that matter looks good.

Trail Gorilla: A volunteer who helps trail maintenance the Pacific Crest Trail.

Trail Legend: People who have traveled a trail many times or maintained same trail for many years.

Trail Legs: Getting into good hiking condition after a few days or weeks on the trail.

Trail Hub: Junction point where two or more trails meet.

Trail Magic: The special unexpected pleasures (help or food) that happen and the generosity from others that trail users experience while on a trail trip.

Trail Management Objective (TMO): The goals and objectives pertaining to a specific trail management project (new construction, maintenance, reroute, bridge, etc.). Usually intended to provide guidance for a trail crew leader.

Trail Mix: A type of snack mix combining granola, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc. taken along on outdoor adventures because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick energy boost.

Trail Name: A chosen or given nickname a trail user adopts while on an extended trail trip to identify themselves when making register entries, often based on personality, lifestyle, or traveling style. (i.e. Bill Walker’s trail name is Skywalker).

Trail Network: Interconnected or linked trails that form local, regional, or state-wide trail systems.

Trail Poaching: When used by mountain bikers, poaching refers to riding trails where bikes are prohibited or riding illegal trails or riding trails on private land. May also refer to illegally creating new trails without permission.

Trail Prescription: Report from a trail professional on what’s wrong with a trail and how to fix it.

Trail Protection: Implies that where a trail is threatened by development or where the route is constantly being rerouted, specific measures are invoked to guarantee a permanent or protected status. When a trail is adequately protected, development cannot dismember it or destroy its values to trail users.

Trail Provides: Means that just when you need something the most, it seems to come to you out on the trail, as if by magic

Trail Register (Trail Journal, Shelter Log): Along long-distance trails you may find “trail registers” at overnight stops or trailheads that allow users the chance to make comments to those behind them, and read comments from those ahead. Registers can be an important safety measure to pinpoint the location of trail users.

Trail Runner(s): People who find pleasure running on trails instead of asphalt.

Trail Runners(s): A light-weight style sneaker designed with aggressively knobby soles that are generally more rigid than road running shoes.

Trail Runner(s), Ultra-: People who run on trails of 100 miles or more, usually in a competition.

Trail Running: A sport which consist of running on trails, often in mountainous terrain. Runners often cite less impact stress compared to road running, as well as being out in nature, as primary reasons for preferring trail running.

Trail Sanitizing (Dumbing Down): The act of removing natural features or rerouting trails to avoid challenging natural features to make it easier to ride, ski, or hike. Examples include removing logs, rocks, or roots, removing trees to make the trail wider, etc. This can be controversial as there are many trail users who prefer the challenges created by leaving these natural features.

Trail Sensory Stimulus: Any feature, object, or characteristic of a trail that captures a user’s attention and enhances the user experience.

Trail Sentinels: Wearing specially marked jerseys these trail ambassadors can be found bicycling on the trails in Greene County, OH assisting users with minor repairs or information.

Trail Setting(s): The setting is the overall environment of the trail. Three commonly used settings are wildlands, rural, and urban.

  • Wildland Settings are generally minimally developed or dispersed multiple-use areas, such as forests, swamps, deserts, or alpine areas.
  • Rural Settings often incorporate some combination of rivers, creeks, unimproved drainages, hillsides, undisturbed open space, and other natural features near populated areas.
  • Urban Settings usually are highly developed or congested areas.

Trail Spice: The dirt and trail debris that finds their way into your food and water.

Trail Squatter: A causal hiker who arrives at a backpacking campsite early in the day and stakes a claim to the best site while everyone else is still hiking to get there.

Trail Swag: Equipment and accessories dropped by other trail users and found by you.

Trail System(s): A collection of individual trails that may or may not be connected to one another, whereby each retains its distinctiveness, and yet belongs to the system by association with a federal, state, local, or bioregional context.

Trail Town: A community through which a trail passes that supports trail users with services, promotes the trail to its residents, and embraces the trail as a resource to be protected and celebrated. The concept has been adapted to Trail Communities, Canal Towns, River Towns, Creek Towns, and more. Some programs use the term Gateway Community.

Trail Triage: When there is more work to do than available labor, choices must be made about which work to do now and what to postpone. Usually problems that threaten the safety of users or are causing serious erosion are top priority. This term derives from battlefields where medics must decide which of multiple wounded soldiers to attend to first, and which to attend to later.

Trail Type: A category that reflects the predominant trail surface and general mode of travel accommodated by a trail.

Trail User(s): Individuals who recreate on trails.

Trail User Group(s): Users that join together to share common activities, concerns, problems, and needs.

Trail Virgin: Someone who is attempting a long distance trail for the first time.

Trail Watch: A safety patrol using volunteers along a trail or greenway

Trailbed: The finished surface on which base course or surfacing may be constructed. For trails without surfacing, the trailbed is the tread.

Trailblazer: One that blazes a trail. An innovative leader or pioneer in a field.

Trailbuilder(s): Those that build trails.

Trailcraft: Skillful making of trails that requires experience and specialized knowledge.

Traildog(s): Nickname for someone who has worked in the woods seven season (a dog year) designing, constructing, maintaining, and repairing trails.

Trailhead: An access point to a trail or trail system often accompanied by various public facilities, such as hitching posts for horses, a horse or OHV unloading dock or chute, parking areas, toilets, water, directional and informational signs, and a trail use register. Designed and managed for those embarking on an overnight or long-distance trip, whereas a staging area caters to trail day use.

Trailway: The portion of the trail within the limits of the excavation and embankment.

Trainer, Resistance (Indoor, Wind, Mag, or Fluid Trainer): A stationary training device into which the bicycle is clamped. Pedaling resistance increases with pedaling speed to simulate actual road riding. A fan, magnet, or liquid is used to create resistance for the rear wheel.

Training Log (Diary): A daily record (mileage, time, speed, etc.) of your training. This will provide the hard numbers and impressions or your training needed in order to alter your program and derail overtraining.

Tramily: The group you have a tight bond with while on the trail – your trail-family.

Tramper: A hiker dedicated enough to keep going regardless of weather conditions, popular term in New England.

Trample (Trampling): To tread heavily so as to bruise, crush, or injure; refers to the process of vegetation being destroyed by trail users.

Tramway: A track or way for street cars or trams (open, box-shaped wagon run on tracks). The abandoned right-of-way can be used as a trail.

TransAmerica Trail (US Bicycle Route 76): Started out as 4,000 mile route of Bikecentennial ’76, a planned cross-country bicycle event to celebrate the US Bicentennial. Adventure Cycling Association provides updated maps of the route and leads tours along it.

Transition(s) (Tranny): Structures that lead to and act as the take-off or landing areas on jumps or drops. Their construction prevents the natural surface from erosion by riders hitting these areas with force as they prepare for or land after a jump or drop.

Transpiration: An essential physiological process in which plant tissues give off water vapor to the atmosphere.

Transplanting: Refers to digging up plants for replanting in a nearby impacted area such as a closed campsite or trail.

Transportation, Alternative: Other than single occupancy vehicle travel – walking/biking, public transportation, etc.

Transportation Enhancement: Projects that include: providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities; converting abandoned railroad rights-of-way into trails; preserving historic transportation sites; acquiring scenic easements; mitigating the negative impacts of a project on a community by providing additional benefits; and other nonmotorized projects.

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21): Federal legislation authorizing highway, highway safety, transit, and other surface transportation programs from 1998 through 2003. It provides funding opportunities for pedestrian, bicycling, and public transit facilities, and emphasizes intermodalism, multimodalism, and community participation in transportation planning initiated by ISTEA.

Travel: The distance a suspension fork or a shock can compress.

Travel: The movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve foot, bicycle, automobile, train, airplane, or other means, and can be one way or round trip.

Travel, Adventure: A serene to extreme trip that has a mix of culture, nature, and activity. A large part is meeting the locals through the activity and experiencing local culture.

Travel, Green: When hotels and resorts take the environment into account in their daily operations.

Travel, Recreational: Travel for pleasure to pursue leisure activities.

Travel Management (Access and): A continuous process of analyzing, controlling, and regulating travel to accomplish management objectives. It is that portion of the planning and implementation process that develops clear specific direction on the appropriate levels of access and travel opportunities to be made available. It takes into account long-term social, biological, economic, and physical considerations; it combines a variety of design considerations that are commensurate with how access will be provided and travel will be managed; and it also involves sharing this information with the public.

Travel Management Area(s): Polygons or delineated areas where a rational approach has been taken to classify areas open, closed, or limited, and that have identified or designated networks of roads and trails that provide for public access and travel across the planning area.

Travel Management Atlas: An atlas that consists of a forest transportation atlas and a motor vehicle use map or maps.

Travel Trailer (Camper, Popup Camper, Caravan, Fifth Wheel, Teardrop, Toy Hauler, Tagalong): Type of RV towed behind a vehicle to provide a place to sleep on a journey or a vacation. In some areas campers are restricted to designated sites for which fees are payable. Vary from basic models little more than a tent on wheels to those containing several rooms and furniture.

Travel Warning (Travel Alert, Travel Advisory): An official warning issued by a government agency to provide information about inclement weather, safety, security, civil unrest, or disease. The purpose is to enable travelers to make and informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip.

Traveled Way: The portion of the roadway used for the movement of vehicles, exclusive of shoulders and auxiliary lanes.

Travelway: The trail as a whole, including the trail tread and the cleared areas on either side of the trail.

Traverse: To cross a slope horizontally going gradually up and across in lieu of the more direct up-and-over (up the fall line) approach.

Tread: Structural member consisting of the horizontal part of a stair or step.

Tread: The part (as of a wheel or shoe) that makes contact with the ground.

Tread: The grooved surface of a pneumatic tire.

Tread, Firm & Stable: A firm & stable trail tread surface remains unchanged by applied force so that when the force is removed the surface returns to its original condition.

Tread, Trail (Treadway): The surface portion of a trail upon which users travel excluding backslope, ditch, and shoulder. Common tread surfaces are native material, gravel, soil cement, asphalt, concrete, or shredded recycled tires.

Tread Creep (Slipped Tread): When the loose soil of the trail tread moves (sags or slides) downhill because of erosion or use. Specific causes include bushes or trees protruding into the trail from above, exposure of roots from an uphill tree, an improper bench cut, or poor trail flow.

Tread Lightly!: Educational program designed to instill outdoor ethics of responsible behavior when participating in outdoor activities.
TREAD Lightly! Pledge:
Travel and recreate with minimum impact
Respect the environment and the rights of others
Educate yourself, plan and prepare before you go
Allow for future use of the outdoors, leave it better than you found it
Discover the rewards of responsible recreation

Tread Rugosity: Smoothness or roughness of trail tread including roots or rocks protruding above the main tread surface.

Tree: Any woody plant that normally grows to a mature height greater than 20 feet and has a diameter of four inches or more at a point four feet above the ground. Mature tree is of age greater than 120 years and old growth tree is of age greater than 250 years.

Tree, Flag (Banner Tree): Branches on the windward side are killed or deformed by the almost constant strong winds, giving the tree a characteristic flag-like appearance. Commonly seen in the wind-swept high peaks and plateaus of the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains.

Tree Cookies: Cross-sections of tree stumps cut at least 4” thick and 12” wide. On primitive trails, tree cookies may be used as steps for hikers, but they are extremely slippery when wet and often tip downward in soft soil causing the hiker to slip or fall. Corduroy logs or firmly imbedded stepping stones are safer.

Tree Line (Timber Line, Treeline): The farthest limit, either in altitude on a mountain, or the farthest north in the northern hemisphere, in which trees are able to grow. Beyond this line, the environment is too harsh for trees to survive.

Tree Tip Pit: When a tree falls, its upended root ball leaves a depression as well as a mound of earth made of displaced material.

Tree Trunk: Refers to the main wooden axis of a tree and often differs markedly from the bottom of the truck to the top of the tree.

Treehuggers: Special webbing straps used to loop around trees in order to create attachment points for hammocks or rope.

Treehugger(s) (Tree-Hugger): A slang, sometimes derogatory, term for someone who is regarded as foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world from pollution and other threats.

Treeing: The practices of hanging food from a tree branch when camping so that a bear can’t get to it.

Trek: To hike a long way.

Trekker(s): Hiker(s) who enjoy the travel and journey on remote trails.

Trekker(s): A commercial client who hikes, aided by guides and porters, along multiday circuits among the foothills and approaches of high mountains.

Trekking: Essentially synonymous with hiking, but implies longer multi-day hikes sometimes in mountainous terrain. In North America we generally use the term hiking, but you hear people use the term trekking in Europe or Asia.

Trekking Pole(s): Poles used in pairs that can reduce weight on the legs and back thereby reducing fatigue, increasing speed, and providing stability when hiking with or without a backpack. There are three types: Fixed length – the shaft is one piece; Telescoping – two-or-three- piece poles that collapse into themselves for storage; and Folding – poles divide into two or three parts that are lightweight and packable.

Trench (Trenched, Trenching): Badly eroded trail in which the user travels in a ditch down the center that may be knee deep or deeper. Any long furrow or ditch cut in the ground.

Trespass: The use of private or public land without authority, resulting from an innocent, willful, or negligent act.

Trespasser: Person who uses property without the owner’s implied or stated permission and not for the benefit of the property owner. Due the least duty of care and therefore pose the lowest level of liability risk.

Trestle: Mid-span support for a bridge.

Trials (Observed Trials): A slow-speed event in which the objective is to ride (trials motorcycle or trails bicycle) over a difficult, obstacle-filled course without putting a foot (dab) on the ground to prevent yourself from falling over. The winner is the rider who puts a foot down least often.

Triangle, Front: The main triangle of a bicycle frame consisting of the head tube, top tube, down tube, and seat tube.

Triangle, Rear: The rear portion of a bicycle frame consisting of the seatstays, the chainstays, and the seat tube.

Triangulation: System of equating compass and maps to a known landmark.

Triathlete (Tri-Head, Tri-Geek): A competitor in a triathlon.

Triathlon (Tri-Sport): A competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. While many variations exist, the most popular form involves swimming, bicycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances.

Tributary: A river or stream feeding into a larger waterway or lake.

Tricked Out: When your equipment has the latest and hottest components.

Tricycle: Three wheeled toy (two wheels in rear and one in front) designed for small kids to be ridden only on sidewalks, and always under parental supervision.

Tricycle, Recumbent (Trike, Delta, Tadpole): Are closely related to recumbent bicycles, but have three wheels instead of two. Trikes come in two varieties, the delta, with two rear wheels, and the tadpole, with two front wheels. Characteristics include: rider does not have to disengage from the pedals when stopped; can be geared very low to enable mountain climbing at a slow speed without losing stability; and may also be more suitable for people with balance and limb disabilities.

Trio Maintenance: Three-step function of removing slough, berm, and brush. Also called fire line trail maintenance.

Triple Crown Trails: The Appalachian Trail (2,181 miles long), the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles), and the Continental Divide Trail (approximately 3100 miles) are known as the “Triple Crown” of long-distance trails.

Triple Crowner: Someone who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail which are known as the “Triple Crown” of long-distance trails.

Troad: Can’t decide if it’s a trail or a road.

Trot: A two-beat diagonal gait.

True: The measurement of the straightness of a bicycle or motorcycle rim. Can be used as a verb: to true a wheel.

True North: The direction toward the geographic North Pole. Most maps are oriented to True North.

Truing (Wheel Truing): The act of bringing wheel geometry into adjustment by elimination of local deviations of the rim to the left or right of center (lateral truing), local deviations of the radius (vertical truing), and left-right centering of the rim (dish).

Truing Stand (Wheel Truing Stand): A mechanical device with an axle stand on which the wheel can rotate and calipers to measure slight deviations of the rim from ideal alignment (roundness and side-to-side). The stand is used in conjunction with a spoke wrench to loosen or tighten the spokes that connect the wheel’s hub to the rim.

Truss(es): Structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight slender members whose ends are connected at joints. Trusses rest on top of the abutments and support the bridge deck (tread).

Truss, King Post: One of the simplest truss styles to implement, the King Post consists of two angles supports leaning into a common vertical support.

Truss, Queen Post: Similar to a King Post Truss in that the outer supports are angled towards the center of the structure. The primary difference is the horizontal extension at the center which relies on beam action to provide mechanical stability. This truss style is only suitable for relatively short spans.

Tube, Down: The tube of a diamond bicycle frame that connects the head tube to the bottom bracket shell.

Tube, Head: A bicycle or motorcycle frame’s front tube that contain the steerer tube and headset (the bearings for the fork).

Tube, Inner: A donut-shaped tube made from rubber or latex that has a valve to allow air to be pumped in and sits inside a tire.

Tube, Seat: The tube of a diamond bicycle frame that connects the bottom bracket shell, top tube, and chain stays and contains the seatpost.

Tube, Steerer: The tube attached to the bicycle or motorcycle fork blades or crown that runs through the head tube and onto which the stem is attached.

Tube, Thorn-Proof Inner (Thorn-resistant Tube): A tire inner tube built extra thick on the outer side that meets the ground to prevent thorns and other sharp objects from popping it.

Tube, Top (Cross-bar): The tube of a diamond bicycle frame that connects horizontally or sloping from the head tube to the seat tube.

Tube Sealant: A latex-based liquid with small particles mixed in, that’s put inside of tubes and tubeless tires to fix flats before they happen. The sealant seals small holes immediately so you can keep riding.

Tubing, Butted: The wall thickness of bicycle tubing changes from think at the ends (for strength) to thinner in the middle (for lighter weight).

Tubing, Plain Gauge: Bicycle tubing which remains a constant thickness over its entire length.

Tubing, Seamed: Tubing made from steel strip stock that is curved unit its edges meet, then welded together.

Tubing, Seamless: Tubing made from blocks of steel that are pierced and drawn into tube shape.

Tuck: Extremely aerodynamic position on a bicycle used for descending and time trials.

Tuckamore: A Newfoundland term for gnarled and tangled stands of stunted spruce and balsam fir. Trees are dwarfed and weathered into swept-back, sculptural shapes by harsh coastal growing conditions.

Tuckerizing (Tuckerized): It’s when a group of hikers pull your pack apart and take out all the items they deem you don’t need, in a way to lighten your load.

Tumpline: A strap slung over the forehead, to anchor a backpack.

Tundra: A treeless plain lying north of a coniferous forest. For most of the year the temperature is below freezing. During the brief summer the topsoil thaws, permitting the growth of mosses, lichens, and some flowering plants.

TIG Welding (Tungsten Inert Gas): Electric arc welding where the area being heated is bathed in an inert gas to prevent oxidation. Commonly used to build lugless bicycle frames.

Tunnel: Horizontal or nearly horizontal underground passageway dug through the earth. Many rail-trails have tunnels that were originally dug for trains.

Turbidity: A measure of the content of suspended matter that interferes with the passage of light through the water or in which visual depth is restricted. Suspended sediments are only one component of turbidity.

Turf: Surface layer or ground containing a mat of grass and grass roots.

Turf Reinforcement: Semi-rigid three-dimensional products designed for installation at or near the soil surface to reinforce vegetation mats and increase resistance to shear stress. These “wear-and-carry” surfaces can be used in porous pavement systems.

Turn: Where a trail or river changes course or direction.

Turn, Climbing: A turn on a hill to reverse direction that doesn’t have a constructed turning platform or landing. The upper and lower legs of a climbing turn are generally joined by a short section of trail (the apex of the turn) that lies directly in the fall line. As a result, climbing turns located on hillsides with a grade of more than 7% are erosion prone and should be replaced with well-built switchbacks.

Turn(s), Inside: On a trail traversing a hillside, concave, or naturally banked turns in which the sideslope helps direct trail users around the turn.

Turn(s), Outside: Convex or off-camber turns (usually on trails that traverse hillsides) that are more difficult to navigate, as centrifugal force pulls trail users to the outside of the turn. Turns in which the ground slopes toward the outside, making it harder to keep (wheeled) traction as speed increases.

Turn, Thru-Cut Climbing: A turn which is constructed on a sidehill of 20% or more when measured between the exterior boundaries of the turn, and which cuts through the sidehill grade as it changes the direction of the trail 120 to 180 degrees.

Turn, Topographic: Some think they are better than a switchback or climbing turn, because they utilize a feature in the topography to wrap the trail around. Unlike “stacked” switchbacks, they are less detectable, and therefore less prone to cutting and erosion.

Turn Radius: The minimum horizontal radius required for a trail user to negotiate a curve (for example, a switchback, climbing turn, or horizontal turn) in a single maneuver.

Turnout: A place where the trail is widened to permit trail traffic traveling in opposite directions to pass.

Turnpike (Turnpiking, Raised Tread): A trail building technique of raising the trail bed above wet, boggy areas by placing native mineral soil (sometimes over fabric) between parallel side logs or rocks (along edge of tread). The tread must be “crowned” and ditches dug alongside the logs or rocks to provide drainage.

Turnpike: Slang term for overused trail for getting trail users directly from one place to another, such as to more scenic backcountry. Often wide, always crowded.

Turtling: To fall backwards onto one’s backpack at an angle that makes it exceedingly difficult to right oneself. Always funny when it happens to someone else.

Twist: A defect in lumber and timber caused by a tree growing with a twisted grain. The result is a piece of lumber or timber with surfaces at one end that are not in the same plane as the surfaces at the other end. Occasionally, usable short lengths with little twist can be cut from the original piece. More commonly, the original piece is useless.

Two-Stroke: An engine with only two cylinders and pistons, usually producing more pollution than four-stroke engines.

Tyvek: A breathable, water-resistant material favored by home contractors, is also popular with hikers who make their own ultralight tents and tarps from the light-weight material.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – U

Ultra-Endurance Racing (Ultra): Extreme events that cover longer-than-normal distances and last for several hours or days. Such as 50- or 100-mile races or 12- or 24-hour competitions in which solo competitors or relay teams compete.

Ultralight(er) (Ultralight Backpacker): A backpacker who carries the absolute minimum in light-weight gear. The goal is to carry a base weight of less than 12 lbs. Going ultralight means you can hike farther, faster, and see more without getting as tired and with less chance of injury. The trade-off is that you need more experience and skills.

Ultraviolet Ray(s): The sun emits three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays: A, B, and C. UVC waves are reflected back by the ozone layer and never get to earth. UVB are short wave length rays responsible for most sunburn. UVA are long wave length rays. While less likely to cause sunburn, they penetrate the skin more deeply and promote wrinkling and leathering of the skin. There are broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.

Umbles: The stumbling and mumbling of the beginning stages of hypothermia.

Underpass: An underground tunnel or passage enabling trail users to cross under a road or railway.

Understory: All forest vegetation growing under the canopy or upper layers of forest vegetation.

Unicrown: A type of bicycle fork in which the upper ends of the blades bend together to attach directly to the steerer, eliminating a the need for a separate crown.

Unigrid: In 1977 Massimo Vignelli designed the distinctive National Park Service brochure standard (Unigrid) that gave them a coherent, legible, identifiable look. The Unigrid dictates details from the font, type size, column width and folds to the size of the signature black bar and overall layout. The design has been imitated around the world and many have adopted the black band—which practically become a global signifier of “park.”

Universal Design: Few if any barriers exist to inhibit accessibility. A term related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and accessible trails.

Universal Distress Signal (UDS): Used to summon help UDS is three visible or audible signals—Three shouts or whistles, three shiny objects, three gun shots, etc.

Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP): An inventory process that can be used by trail managers to assess a trail to determine compliance with design guidelines and to provide objective information to trail users regarding grade, cross slope, tread width, surface, and obstacles.

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM): A map coordinate system that consists of an east-west distance in meters called an “easting” and a north-south distance in meters called a “northing.” All of the coordinates are decimal numbers. There is no need to worry about minutes and seconds. The grid is square and coordinates represent the same distance east-west as north-south. There are no negative numbers or east-west and north-south references required. UTM can make plotting GPS coordinates on a map much easier.

Unload (Unweighting): When riding to reduce the down force on your tires to navigate terrain.

Unobtanium: What any obscenely expensive recreation accessory is made of.

Unravel: To lose material from the edges of a retaining wall (revetment, cribbing).

Upland: Land at a higher elevation than the alluvial plain or low stream terrace; all lands outside the riparian-wetland and aquatic zones.

Upper: This is the piece or pieces of a boot or shoe that surround your foot and hold the laces.

Upshift: On a bicycle or vehicle to shift into a higher gear.

Upstream V: Lines in a river that form a “V” shape with the point of the V closer to you and widening downstream. This feature generally indicates water flowing around a rock or other hazard. Steer clear.

Urban: Places within boundaries set by state and local officials with moderate to high population densities, and with the majority of land developed as residences, stores, offices, and roads.

Urban Interface: An area characterized by an intermingling of residential private land with federal lands.

Urushiol: A toxic substance present in the resin or on the surface of plants of the genus Rhus, including poison ivy.

Use, Appropriate: A use that is consistent with the established management goals and/or regulations of a specific are or trail

Use, Managed: The primary trail users for which a trail is designed, constructed, and maintained.

Use Volume: The total volume of visitor use each segment of a travel route/trail or use area receives.

User(s) (Trail User(s)): Refers to persons who are on the trail undertaking a recreational activity.

User(s), Intended: The specific users for which a given trail is designed, constructed, and maintained such as hikers, bicyclists, horse riders, OHVers, or disabled persons. Trails for different intended users are built to different design parameters, as well as trail class and difficulty level.

User Fee: Any charge for use of services, facilities, trails, or areas. Examples include trail use fees, entrance fees, parking fees, shelter fees, or voluntary donations.

Utility: Public utilities (electric, telephone, fiber optic, water and sewage, and gas companies) and utility-like facilities (pipelines, roads, levees, canals)

Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV): (Mule, Side-by-Side, SxS, Dune Buggy, Recreational Utility Vehicle (RUV), Buggy, Ridge Runner, Rhino, Coot2): Off Highway Vehicle that exceeds the established width (over 50”) of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) but smaller than a jeep. Typically includes a side-by-side seating arrangement, roll cage, and a steering wheel as opposed to a handlebar.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – V

Vacation: An extended period of leisure and recreation when someone does not go to work or school, especially spent away from home or in traveling. The British go on “holiday.”

Vagabonding: The act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time.

Vale: A valley, often coursed by a stream.

Valley: A long, narrow land area lying between two areas of higher elevation, often containing a stream. Valleys with steep sides are usually called canyons or ravines.

Valve, Bite: A small valve at the end of a hydration bladder house that allows water to flow when bitten.

Valve, Presta: A narrow diameter stem valve with a non-removable, built-in nut used on most high-performance bicycles, and all tubular tires. The cap must be opened before you can pump up the tube. There is no spring in a Presta valve, the nut must be retightened after inflation.

Valve, Schrader: An inner tube valve with a tiny plunger in the center of its opening that must be depressed for air to enter or exit.

Valve Cap: a metal or plastic screw-on cover intended to protect the innards of a tire valve from dust and other foreign matter.

Valve Core: The mechanism inside the valve stem that allows air in and then shuts to keep it from leaking back out.

Valve Nut: The knurled ring or nut that comes on fully-threaded valve stems.

Valve Stem: A self-contained valve which opens to admit air to get into the tube then automatically closes and keeps sealed by the air pressure or a spring.

Vandalism: Malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property.

Vapor Barrier: A sealed or waterproof fabric worn close to the skin during cold weather to keep body warm and moisture in instead of trying to drive it out.

Vegetation: Plant life; growing plants.

Vegetation, Aquatic: The vegetation that grows as either submergent (below the surface of the water) or emergent (some portion of the plant floating on or rising above the surface of the water) in an aquatic habitat.

Vegetation, Native: Indigenous species that are normally found as part of a particular ecosystem; a species that was present in a defined area prior to European settlement.

Vehicle: Means of land transportation, usually wheeled conveyance used on land for carrying people or goods.

Vehicle, All-Terrain (ATV, Quad, Four-Wheeler): Small four wheeled motorized vehicle 50” or less in width used for off-highway use. ATV’s are equipped with gasoline powered engines, handlebars, and a seat designed for one driver only to straddle. ATV’s were designed in the late 1960’s and first sold in the United States in the early 1970’s. This type of vehicle is very popular and is commonly used for recreation, rescue efforts in emergency situations, and agricultural maintenance.

Vehicle, Four-Wheel Drive (4 X 4, 4WD): A passenger vehicle or light truck having power available to all wheels.

Vehicle, Mechanized: Any non-motorized vehicle capable of, or designed for, travel on or immediately over land. An example of a mechanized vehicle is a mountain bike.

Vehicle, Motorized: Synonymous with off-highway vehicle. Examples of this type of vehicle include all-terrain vehicles (ATV), Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), motorcycle, and snowmobiles.

Vehicle, Non-Highway-Legal (Unlicensed Vehicle): Any motor vehicle including the operator that is not licensed or certified for general operation on public roads.

Vehicle, Off-Highway (OHV, Unlicensed Vehicle): Any motorized vehicle used for travel in areas normally considered inaccessible to conventional highway vehicles. OHVs generally include dirt motorcycles, dune buggies, jeeps, 4-wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles, and ATVs. Used to be referred to as Off-Road Vehicles.

Vehicle, Sport Utility (SUV): A street legal, high clearance vehicle used primarily on-highway but designed to be capable of off-highway travel.

Vehicles with a tread width less than 50” on the widest axle: This type of vehicle includes motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

Vehicles with a tread width greater than 50” on the widest axle: This type of vehicle includes sand or rock buggies, side-by-side utility vehicles, and highly modified jeeps, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.

Velcro (Hook and Loop): A two-piece fastening material that features hooks on one side and a swatch of loops on the other. When pressed together, the sides entwine. Used on many outdoor products.

Vélo: French for bicycle, commonly used as a root for compound words relating to cycling. Short form of velocipede.

Velodrome: A sports arena equipped with a banked track for bicycle racing.

Velomobile (Bicyclecar): A human-powered vehicle (HPV) enclosed for aerodynamic advantage and protection from weather and collisions. They are derived from recumbent bicycles, with the addition of a full fairing shell and most have three or four wheels.

Veloway: Bicycle path with few intersections.

Venue: A place where an event such as a sports competition is held, especially one where such events are often held.

Verglas: A thin, often clear coating of ice on rock.

Vermud: Name given to the stretch of Appalachian Trail that runs through Vermont due to the pools of muck and mud covering the trail making every step an energy sucking adventure.

Vestibule: Sheltered storage area that is outside the tent interior, but still overs shelter from rainfly to store dirty or wet gear.

Via Ferrata: Italian for steel cable fixed to rock which runs along a climbing route found in the Alps and certain other locations. Climbers can secure themselves to the cable, limiting any fall. Klettersteig is German for climbing path.

Vibram: A vulcanized-rubber sole that revolutionized footwear when developed in the 1930s by Italian designer Vitale Bramani. Today the soles are found on all kinds of outdoor footwear.

Vice: A large heavy tool mounted solidly to a workbench useful for holding parts in place while you work on them.

Vice-Grip(s): A type of locking pliers with serrated jaws. It has a toggle link mechanism in one leg, and an adjusting thumbscrew in the other. This is a tool, they should only be used for removing nuts or bolts whose heads are so badly damaged that a proper wrench will not fit.

Viewshed: The landscape that can be directly seen under favorable atmospheric conditions from a viewpoint or along a trail corridor.

Virginia Blues: The Appalachian Trail covers more miles in Virginia than any other state (over 500 miles). A lot of people attempting a thru-hike drop out here; thus was coined the term.

Viscosity: A measure of the resistance of a fluid to flow. For liquids, viscosity increases with decreasing temperature.

Vision Zero: A traffic safety program implemented first in Sweden (1997) with the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths—motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Vision Zero is based on strategies such as: lowering speed limits, redesigning streets, implementing meaningful behavior change campaigns, and enhancing data-driven traffic enforcement.

Visitor Center: A facility, open to the public, that provides information about the area’s natural and cultural resources. A visitor center may contain exhibits, visitor facilities, and interpretive information.

Visitor-Day, Recreation (RVD): 12 hours of recreation at a given site. One recreation visitor-day can be one person for 12 hours, 2 people for 6 hours, 12 people for 1 hour and so on. Used by agencies to count visits to developed sites, trails, and backcountry.

Visitor Use Infrastructure: Amenities such as roads, parking areas, facilities, and trails, to protect the resource and support the recreation user in their pursuit of activities, experiences, and benefits.

Visitors: Total number of people that visit an area during some unit of time, usually a year. Used by agencies to count visits to developed sites, trails, and backcountry.

Visual Foreground-Middleground: The area visible from a travel route, use area, or other observation point to a distance of 3 to 5 miles. The outer boundary of this zone is defined as the point where the texture and form of individual plants are no longer apparent in the landscape. Vegetation is apparent only in patterns or outline.

Visual Magnets: Are features (natural or constructed) that lure us along a trail route.

Visual Quality: The relative worth of a landscape from a visual perception point of view.

Visual Resource(s): The visible physical features on a landscape (e.g., land, water, vegetation, animals, structures, and other features).

Visual Resource Management (VRM): The inventory and planning actions taken to identify visual values and to establish objectives for managing those values; and the management actions taken to achieve the visual management objectives.

Visual Resource Management Classes: Categories assigned to public lands based on scenic quality, sensitivity level, and distance zones. There are five classes (Preservation, Retention, Partial Retention, Modification, and Rehabilitation/Enhancement). Each class has an objective which prescribes the amount of change allowed in the characteristic landscape.

Vitamin G: Time spent in green spaces. Interaction with nature reduces depression, promotes healing, sparks creativity, and even increases life expectancy.

Vitamin I: Ibuprofen—an over the counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory pain reliever that many take during or after strenuous exercise.

Vitamin N: A prescription to get outside in Nature and connect to the natural world to improve physical and mental health.

VO2 Max (Maximum VO2): Maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed during all-out exertion. A key indicator of a person’s potential in aerobic sports. It’s largely genetically determined, but can be improved somewhat by training.

Void: An empty area or space; “the huge desert voids.”

Volunteer: Person who works on a trail or for a trail club without pay.

Volunteer Vacations: A combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism—arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation—while in the destination. Participants arrive as individuals with no prior preparation and will meet for the first time when they arrive at the location of the trip.

Volunteering: An altruistic activity intended to improve quality of life while having a positive benefit for the volunteer: skill development, socialization, and fun. There is no financial gain involved. It can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect.

Vortex: Name for something off the trail that draws trail users and they find difficult to leave—town stop, restaurant, hot springs, etc.

Vulnerable Road User law (VRU): Law which helps ensure equal protection for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists when they’re struck by drivers. They also help increase awareness and offer guidance to law enforcement about how to cite the driver if they’re at fault.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – W

Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese art of finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay. Celebrating cracks, crevices, and all other marks that time, weather, and love leave behind.

Wadi: A stream bed that is dry except in the rainy season.

WAG Bag (Waste Alleviation and Gelling bag): This product is used to provide a sanitary way to dispose of human waste when there is not a toilet available and there is a requirement to pack out your waste. It is a double bag system with the inner bag containing a gelling powder to gel the waste while neutralizing the odor.

Walk (Amble, Ambulate, Browse, Clomp, Constitutional, Gait, Jaunt, Limp, Lumber, Lurch, March, Meander, Meandering, Mosey, Pace, Parade, Perambulate, Plod, Prance, Promenade, Prowl, Ramble, Roam, Saunter, Shuffle, Sidle, Slog, Step, Stride, Stroll, Toddle, Totter, Tramp, Trudge, Walked, Walker, Walking, Walks, Wander): The act of traveling by foot for exercise or enjoyment.

Walk: A slow gait of a horse in which two feet are always on the ground.

Walk: A path set aside for walking.

Walk, Ridge (Ridge Walking): When you walk the crest of mountains or hills where the trail is very narrow with a sheer drop on either side.

Walk, Road (Road Walking): In order to connect segments of long distance trails roads are used. These sections are called road walks. Occasionally, a road walk may be required due to a temporary closure of the trail due to an emergency or weather damage. Also when you have to walk into town for resupply this is referred to as a road walk.

Walk-up: A summit that can be reached without technical climbing skills, like Mount Whitney, CA.

Walkathon: A walking event usually put on to raise money for a charity.

Walking, Nordic: The use of walking (trekking) poles when walking or hiking aids in balance and they make you use muscles in your shoulders, arms, and torso. The poles transform walking into a total-body workout that burns 20 percent more calories.

Walking, Road: On a long distance trail when you have to walk into town or to the next segment of trail is referred to as road walking.

Walking Distance: The distance which may be covered by a 5- to 10-minute walk, usually one-quarter to one-half mile, at an easy pace from the outer limit of a development to a transit station or activity center. Mostly used while referring to mixed-use development and trying to create a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Walking Meditation: A form of meditation in action that has positive effects on blood pressure, cortisol levels, and other markers of stress reduction. You can meditate while walking or hiking. Slow down and focus on your breath and body, on the sensation in your feet, on the rocks, roots, and earth. Consider counting your steps to keep your mind from wandering. Count up to 10, then start over.

Walking School Bus: Parents take turns walking large groups of students to and from school.

Walking Stick: A stick held in the hand and used to help support yourself when walking.

Walkway (Concourse, Esplanade, Promenade): An area for general pedestrian use (other than a sidewalk or path) such as courtyards, plazas, and pedestrian malls.

Wall, Boulder: Wall consisting of larger stones, typically 8 inches and larger, that are fitted and stacked.

Wall, Double (Double Walled): Tent construction that reduces condensation by having an inner net and an outer waterproof shell separated by some space.

Wall, Retaining (Revetment, Cribwall, Cribbing, Mono-wall, Multi-Tier Wall): A structure used to prevent soil from slumping, sliding, or falling; usually made of log, stone, bags, block, or pavement. Often used to provide stability and strength to the edge of a trail or stream bank.

Wall, Rubble: A roughly built wall or structure or irregular or greatly differing sizes of stone usually laid at or nearly at the same angle as the cross slope; frequently used to discourage shortcutting corners and to armor native slopes to prevent erosion.

Wall, Single: A type of tent construction with one piece if material that is lighter but can result in increased condensation if not vented properly.

Wall, Sutter Retaining: A patented prefabricated component retaining wall using rebar, “H” posts, and 2-inch lumber. For information call Sutter Equipment at 415-898-5955.

Wall, Wing (Wingwall): A structural component of a retaining wall, which is interlocked with the facer or front of the wall. The wing generally intersects with the facer at a 45º angle, but may be at an angle between 1 and 90º. This component is anchored by tie logs and both assists the facer in retaining the fill material, and helps prevent flanking.

Wall Ride (Wallride): A wall made of plywood or planking or natural rock face. The rider uses momentum to ride up and across the wall and then descend. It can be straight or curved, and range from sloping near 45 degrees to almost vertical.

Wanderen: German word meaning walking for walking’s sake.

Wane: A defect in a piece of lumber or timber, caused by bark that was not removed or a beveled edge.

Waney Edge: A term used at the sawmill to describe a board, plank, or timber of nonuniform width when one or two edges contain bark or irregular sapwood just below the bark.

Warmers, Arm, Leg, or Knee: Sleeves for keeping your arms, legs, and knees warm. Easy to put on and remove and easy to carry in a pocket.

Warmshowers (Warm Showers): A free member-based worldwide hospitality exchange that connects touring bicyclists with hosts.

Warp: Severe bend in a piece of lumber or timber making it unusable in its original length. Sometimes the warp occurs mostly at one point, usually a knot, and short usable pieces can be cut on either side of that point.

Wash: Removal or erosion of soil by the action of moving water. The dry bed of a stream, particularly a watercourse associated with arid environments and characterized by large, high-energy discharges with high bed-material load transport.

Wash Out: When one or both wheels (motorcycle or mountain bike) lose traction and slide toward the outside of a turn, taking the rider off course and perhaps causing a crash.

Wash Rack: Area set aside for cleaning or cooling animals after a ride or washing off bicycles.

Washboard (Washboarding): A series of small, regular undulations on a dirt road or trail that make for a rough ride.

Washer: A thin, round spacer used under a nut screwed onto a bolt to prevent damage when tightened.

Washout: Erosion of a relatively soft surface, such as a trail, by a sudden gush of water, as from a downpour or floods. A channel produced by such erosion.

Water, Gray: Water after washing dishes, clothes or yourself. Some campsites will have designated spots to dump your gray water. Such designated spots may be provided with a strainer so that you can remove your food particles from the gray water and pack those out.

Water, Surface: All water on the surface of the Earth naturally exposed to the atmosphere, for example, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, streams, impoundments, seas, estuaries, etc., and all springs, wells, or other collectors directly influenced by surface water.

Water Bottle: A container (disposable or reusable) that is used to hold water, liquids, or other beverages for consumption. They allow you to carry a beverage from one place to another. Usually made of plastic, glass, or metal. Available in different shapes, colors, and sizes.

Water Course (Watercourse): Any natural or built channel through which water naturally flows or will collect and flow during spring runoff, rainstorms, etc.

Water Pollution: Generally, the presence in water of enough harmful or objectionable material to damage the water quality.

Water Report: An on-line resource where Pacific Crest Trail hikers can post condition of water sources along the trail.

Water Trough (Stock Tank): Used to provide drinking water for animals such as cattle or horses. Troughs or tanks can range in size from 30 to over 1500 gallons and typically are made of galvanized steel. These tanks are filled either by a pump, windmill, creek, or spring. Many riders prefer watering their stock in clean, freshly filled water troughs.

Water Quality: The chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water with respect to its suitability for a particular use.

Waterbar (Rock Waterbar, Log Waterbar): A drainage structure (for turning water) composed of an outsloped segment of tread leading to a barrier (log, stone, or timber) placed at a 45° angle to the trail. Water flowing down the trail will be diverted by the outslope or, as a last resort, by the barrier. This type of drainage structure is no longer recommended for construction or use on trails. Grade dips are preferred.

Waterfall (Fall, Falls): Sudden, near vertical descent of water from a height as it flows over rock or a steep embankment.

Waterfall, Bridal Veil: A steeply vertical waterfall of gently expanding or billowing length that resembles a brides veil.

Waterlogged: A soil condition in which both large and small pore spaces are filled with water. The soil may be intermittently waterlogged because of a fluctuating water table or it may be waterlogged for short periods after rain.

Waterproof Breathable: Describes outdoor clothing and other gear that prevents water from soaking through, yet lets water vapor escape.

Watershed (Drainage Basin, Catchment Basin): A region or area bounded peripherally by a water parting formation (i.e. ridge, hill, mountain range) and draining rain and melting snow ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water.

Waterway(s): The volume of water distinguishes waterways. Rivers have the greatest volume, followed by streams, creeks, and brooks.

Way (Vehicle Way): A route established and maintained solely by the passage of motor vehicles. It has not been improved and maintained by mechanical means to ensure relatively regular and continuous use.

Wayfaring: Traveling, especially on foot.

Wayfinding: The ability to orientate yourself and navigate.

Wayfinding: Comprehensive signage and/or markings to guide travelers to their destinations along preferred routes by providing information such as distances or times to reach key destinations or areas.

Waypoint: A point between major points on a route, as along a track.

Wayside(s): The side or edge of a trail, road, way, path, or highway. Site(s) along a trail that allows users a place to stop to sit, rest, eat, enjoy a view, or read an informational display. They can be located where there are noteworthy natural or cultural resources, attractive views, or a lack of other nearby facilities.

Weathering: The physical and chemical disintegration and decomposition of rocks and minerals.

Web-walking: Being the first person on the trail in the morning, which means you will be the first one clearing spider webs from across the trail, usually with your face.

Webbing: Flat, nylon straps that are used to tie down gear. Also used for rock climbing and many other uses.

Webface (Web Face, Web Master, Cobbknocker): What happens to the first person on the trail each morning—they clear away all the spider webs across the trail with their face.

Wedge(s), Feather: Set of three wedges that are driven into a crack to split a boulder. These wedges will not become stuck in a boulder as will a single steel wedge or rock chisel.

Wedge, Steel: Use a steel wedge with a sledge hammer to split wood.

Weed: A plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, usually introduced and growing without intentional cultivation.

Weed Cutters (Weed Whip, Swizzle Stick, Swing Blade, Weed Whip): Tool with a serrated blade at the end of a wooden handle, used to clear trail corridors of succulent vegetation.

Weekend Warrior (Weekender): A person who participates in a usually physically strenuous activity only on weekends or sporadically.

Weephole: Opening left in a retaining wall (revetment, cribbing) to allow groundwater drainage.

Weight-weenie: Someone’s who’s fanatical about having the lightest gear.

Weir: A depressed channel in a dam providing an outlet for the overflow water in a pond when the water level exceeds a desired height. They are usually concrete or timber, or a combination of the two. A structure to control water levels in a stream. Weir (fish trap) barrier constructed to catch upstream migrating adult fish.

Wellness: General state of good health and well-being; may be increased by outdoor recreation and sound nutrition.

Wet Exit: Bailing out of a capsized kayak when rolling is not an option.

Wet Suit: A neoprene bodysuit worn by a paddler close to the body and used to keep out the chill of cold water.

Wetland(s): Lowland areas, such as a marshes or bogs that are saturated with water, creating unique habitat for plants and wildlife.

Wetland(s), Jurisdictional: Areas subject to the regulations of the Clean Water Act of 1977; generally concave or low-lying topographical forms that collect, store, or flow water frequently enough to favor a majority of plants that are adapted to saturated soil conditions.

Wetland(s), Tidal: Ranging along the East Coast, across the Gulf and from southern California to Alaska, salt-water marshes are beautiful, productive, stabilizing ecosystems. Cordgrass, glasswort, sedges and sea grasses can be found in various locations. In areas of the South, knock-kneed, deep-rooted mangroves anchor the shore and bear the first blasts of storm winds from the sea.

Wetted Out: When a materials waterproofing properties fail, such as a rain jacket or tent.

Wheel: A circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle. Bicycle and motorcycle wheels are made up of a hub, rim, and spokes.

Wheel, Disc: A bicycle wheel designed to minimize aerodynamic drag. It may be a fairing that clips onto a spoke wheel or the disc (carbon fiber) can be integral to the wheel with no spokes inside.

Wheel(s), Jockey: The circular cog shaped pulleys on the rear derailleur.

Wheel, Measuring (Clyclometer): A wheel that is rolled along the trail used to measure distance. It records the revolutions of a wheel and hence the distance traveled by the wheel on an existing trail or proposed trail corridor. Measuring wheels can be used to measure distance for guidebook descriptions and also noted in survey or assessment forms to pinpoint the location of work to be done along the trail.

Wheel Guard (Curb Edge, Bull Rail, Curbing, Kick Rail): Narrow logs, poles, or lumber installed along the edges of bridge or puncheon decking designed to help define the edge of the structure and prevent damage to the edges of the decking material by trail users. Also to help keep wheeled equipment (wheelchair, bicycle, OHV) from running off the edge of the structure.

Wheel Kiss: The kissing sound made when the front tire of the rear bicycle rider gets to close and rubs the rear tire of the rider ahead, this can cause and accident.

Wheel Suck (Wheel Sucker, Wheel Sucking): A bicycle rider in a group who rides closely behind another rider for an extended period of time without changing position (moving forward in the group) to gain a physiological or aerodynamic advantage by reducing the amount of work they have to do.

Wheels, Training: Two small wheels that are bolted onto the rear wheel of a child’s bicycle to keep the bicycle upright while the child learns to balance and ride safely.

Wheelbarrow: A shallow open box with a wheel or wheels in front and lifted and pushed by handles in the rear; used for moving small loads of loose material.

Wheelbase: The distance, measured along the horizontal plane, between the front and rear hubs of a bicycle or motorcycle.

Wheelchair: Manually-operated or power driven mobility aid designed for and used by individuals with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion.

Wheelie: A technique in which you elevate the front wheel (motorcycle or mountain bike) and ride on the rear wheel only.

Wheelie, Nose: A reverse wheelie in which the rider elevates the rear wheel while still rolling the front tire.

Wheelie Drop: A combination of a wheelie and a jump, used to negotiate a large drop with little speed.

Wheelset: A pair of bicycle wheels, especially in the context of ready built performance-oriented wheels.

Whip: This person keeps fellow trail users moving in the right direction at the right speed.

Whip: The act of bringing the rear wheel of a bicycle or motorcycle forward vigorously during a jump, almost as if the rider were whipping the air with the wheel.

Whistle Post: Relic found along rail-trails. They are posts with a “w” signaling engineers to “blow the whistle” because of an upcoming vehicle crossing.

Whiteblazer(s) (Purists): Hikers who believe you must walk by every single white blaze along the Appalachian Trail—and if you miss one, you return to where you missed it.

White-out: Extremely heavy snow conditions with near-zero visibility. May also refer to thick fog or low-hanging clouds or dust that produce the same effect.

Whites: Commonly used instead of saying White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Whitewater (Rapids, Wildwater): A stretch of turbulent, fast moving water that flows through rocks, over falls, and around other obstructions.

Whoop(s): A course or trail with humps one to three feet high that cause riders to “whoop” with excitement as they ride over them.

Wicking (Wick): Ability of a fabric by capillary action to move moisture (sweat) away from the skin to the outer layer of fabric where it can evaporate more easily thus helping to keep the skin dry. Used in activewear and high performance fabrics.

Wide Outside Lane (WOL): An outside lane on a roadway that is wide enough to be safely shared side-by-side by a bicycle and motor vehicle. The road may be marked with partial lane markings to designate the portion of the lane to be used by bicycles.

Widening: The instance when the main trail has expanded beyond its original width.

Widow Maker: A uphill time trail on a very steep slope. Also a hazard tree.

Width, Clearing: The outer edges of clearing areas (cleared of trees, limbs, and other obstructions) as specified by trail use.

Width, Design: The width specification that a trail was designed to meet, generally considered part of the trail (the beaten path or tread width).

Width, Minimum Clear: The narrowest point on a trail; created when significant obstacles, such as utility poles or tree roots, protrude into and reduce the design width.

Width, Tread: The width of the surface portion of the trail used for travel.

Width, Vehicle Tread: The distance from the outside of one tire to the outside of the opposite tire on the widest axle of the vehicle or, in the case of vehicles with only a single tire on the widest axle, the distance from one side of the tire to the opposite side.

Wild and Scenic River: A river and adjacent lands protected under the 1968 Wild and Scenic River Act. The Act protects rivers in one of three classifications:

  • Wild river areas – those rivers or sections of rivers free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted.
  • Scenic river areas – those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
  • Recreational river areas – those rivers or sections of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

Wilderness (Small W): A cultural, not an ecological concept. Undeveloped land and associated water resources retaining their primeval character and influence, where the impacts of human culture are minimal.

Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131-1136): Act of Congress that established federal Wilderness Areas. As defined, Wilderness Areas are undeveloped federal lands without permanent improvements or human habitation that are protected and managed so as to preserve natural conditions. The Act prohibits the use of mechanized vehicles and construction in Wilderness Areas.

Wilderness Area (Capital W): Uninhabited and undeveloped federal land to which Congress has granted special status and protection under authority of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Allows foot and horse traffic only; no mountain bikes, OHV use, hang gliders, or other “machines.” Most important to trail workers, motorized tools and mechanized transport such as chainsaws and wheel barrows.

Wilderness Study Area (WSA): An area possessing wilderness characteristics as defined in the Wilderness Act. These areas are maintained in their original condition and evaluated for possible inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Wildland(s): Landscapes that historically may have been, but are not currently subjected to agricultural, silvicultural, industrial, mining, or other operations that were aimed at causing significant alterations in natural ecosystem components and processes.

Wildland Urban Interface: Areas where humans and their development meet or intermix with wildland.

Wildlife: Any undomesticated animal species living in its natural habitat including birds (raptors, songbirds, upland game birds), mammals (furbearers, big game, nongame mammals), reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

Win Hands Down: An easy victory in a competitive event.

Winch: Applicable to a broad array of devices that use a drum, driven by a handle and gears, around which a cable is wound, to provide mechanical advantage for moving heavy objects.

Winching: Attaching a winch to a nearby tree or large rock and using a rope or chain to pull a vehicle through an otherwise impassable area or to move large rocks, trees, or lumber during trail work or construction.

Windbreak: A linear arrangement of trees, shrubs, and even plants in one more closely spaced rows that are oriented across the direction of the prevailing wind to provide shelter for dwellings, soil, etc.

Windchill: The cooling effect that results from wind—especially dramatic if wearing wet clothes.

Windfall (Wildthrow, Downfall, Blowdown): Anything (trees, limbs, brush, etc.) blown down on the trail by the wind.

Windrow: A ridge of loose soil that is produced by the spill from a grader or dozer blade.

Windward: Direction upwind from the point of reference.

Wing: Angled barriers at a bridge approach used to channel traffic and prevent trail users from inadvertently plunging over embankment.

Wing Wall (Wingwall): A structural component of a retaining wall, which is interlocked with the facer or front of the wall. The wing generally intersects with the facer at a 45 angle, but may be at an angle between 1 and 90 . This component is anchored by tie logs and both assist the facer in retaining the fill material, and helps prevent flanking.

Wipe Out (Wipeout, Wipe-out): A crash. Can be used as a verb.

Wonky: When something is off-kilter or not functioning properly.

Wood(s): A forested area or region filled with trees, or woody plants reaching a mature height of a least twenty feet with a single stem or trunk and a more or less crown shape. A small wood is often referred to as a grove.

Wood Chips: Chipped wood, often available from tree trimming operations; produces a soft, spongy trail surface, and is used on many nature trails.

Woodland(s): Land that is covered with fewer trees and shrubs than a forest and they are not so close that they make a continuous canopy.

Woodsy Owl: Is an owl icon created in 1970 for the US Forest Service campaign to raise awareness of protecting the environment. Famous for the motto “Give a hoot—don’t pollute!” His current motto is “Lend a hand—care for the land!” Woodsy’s target audience is children five to eight years of age, and he was designed to be seen as a mentor to children, providing them with information and advice to help them appreciate nature.

Woonerf: Dutch for “living yard.” Is a residential street where people who are not in cars are given priority over people who are. This is accomplished by using physical design to slow drivers with strategically places trees, bollards, bike racks, and other amenities.

Work for Stay: The AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) Huts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and a few other places along the Appalachian Trail allow some thru-hikers to work instead of paying the fee for lodging. Doing chores (i.e. washing dishes, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, etc.) earns the thru-hiker a place to sleep (usually the floor of the dining room) and some of the leftover food.

Workamper(s): Travelers who take temporary jobs in exchange for a free campsite—usually including power, water, and sewer connections—and perhaps a stipend.

World Trails Network (WTN): Since 2012 a global member collaboration to inspire the enhancement, development, and promotion of all trails especially hiking and walking trails which connect walkers and communities to both culture and nature. As a voice that advocates for the protection of trail landscapes and experiences WTN hosts an annual conference.

Wreckreation: Recreational activities that degrade or destroy public lands for fun or profit.

Wrench: Slang for a bicycle shop mechanic or term meaning to work on your bicycle.

Wrench, Allen (Allen Key, Hex Key): A six-sided wrench usually “L” shaped for leverage that is used to loosen and tighten internal hex-head bolts.

Wrench, Cone: Similar to an open-ended wrench but much thinner used to access flats on a bicycle axle where very little of the axle is exposed.

Wrench, Ratchet: They turn a nut or bolt only when moved in one direction, leaving the nut or bolt in place when turned the other way, allowing the wrench to be used by swinging it back and forth, without having to lift it off the nut or bolt for the backswing.

Wrench, Torque: A tool used to precisely apply a specific torque to a fastener such as a nut or bolt. It is designed to prevent overtightening and to match the specifications for a particular application.

Wrench, Torx: A 6-point star-shaped tool used to tighten and loosen Torx screw heads—the trademarked name—generic name is stars, as in star bits.

Wrench, Y: A small Y-shaped tool usually with 8, 9, and 10mm sockets or 4, 5, and 6mm Allen keys.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – Y

Yahoo Subculture: A culture that celebrates unbridled power and a fascination with powerful motorized machines while showing little respect for others and encourages unsophisticated, loud, rude, and destructive behavior.

Yammer (Yammering On): Chatting while on your bike or hiking.

Yard Sale: A crash causing every piece of gear to be scattered all over the place, like bottles, multi-tools, energy bars, hand pump, etc. The resulting scene is reminiscent of a yard sale.

Yard Sale: When someone unpacks their backpack and spreads the gear out so it looks like a “yard sale.”

Year, Calendar (CY): The period of time between January 1 and December 31 of any given year.

Year, Fiscal (FY): Annual schedule for keeping financial records and for budgeting funds. The Federal fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30, while most state fiscal year’s run from July 1 through June 30.

Yield: Being prepared to yield the trail to another user by slowing down, preparing to stop, establishing communication, and passing safely.

Yo-Yo(ing): Turning around after completing a long-distance trail trip and returning to the start making it a round-trip.

Yo-yoer: A thru-hiker who reaches trail’s end only to run around and hike back to the beginning.

Yogi(ing): Trail users “yogi” when they entice a non-trail user out of something they need or want without actually asking for it. Named after Yogi Bear from cartoon fame because of his habit of making off with people’s picnic baskets. (If you ask, it’s begging!).

Yurt: A round domed tent-like semi-permanent structure with wood floors, electricity, heating, lockable doors, and sleeping accommodations for typically four or more people.

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Trail and Greenway Terms – Z

Zeek: When on a long distance trail a week in which no trail miles are traveled.

Zero Day (Zero, Take a Zero): Is a day in which no trail miles are traveled, usually to stop in a town to resupply and/or rest or wait out a storm.

Zero-Mile Mark: The point at which a measured trail starts.

Zip Tie(s): Invented in 1961 to bundle wires in airplanes. Plastic strips now made in every size and length that secure items by one end slipping into the other end and “zipping” tight.

Zipline: Rigging system with a taut, stationary wire rope highline for moving loads on a movable pulley.

Ziploc Bag(s): Plastic bags that zip closed and come in many sizes. Good for repackaging items when going camping to save weight and keep items organized. Also used to keep items dry and out of the rain.

Zipper: A fastening device consisting of parallel rows of metal, plastic, or nylon teeth on adjacent edges of an opening that are interlocked by a sliding tab.

Zipper, Mating: Compatible fasteners that allow two sleeping bags to be merged into a somewhat larger bag.

Zipper(s), Pit (Pit Zips): Zippers in the armpits of a jacket designed to improve ventilation.

Zone, Alpine: Area consisting of all the land above tree line. Best defined by its plant life. Conifers such as spruce and balsam grow as Krumholz near the tree line, giving way to tundra-type lichens, moss, and shrubs above.

Zone, Background Distance: The visible area of a landscape which lies beyond the foreground-middleground. Usually from a minimum of 3 to 5 miles to a maximum of about 15 miles from a travel route, use area, or other observer point. Atmospheric conditions in some areas may limit the maximum to about 8 miles or less.

Zone, Experience: Planning technique that divides management areas into special-use zones designed around specific activities: one zone may be preferred for mountain biking, another for motorized off-road vehicles, another for backcountry hiking, and another for interpretive or accessible trails. Such zones can provide a variety of visitor experiences and recreational opportunities that reduce conflict between differing user groups and provide sustainable, long-lasting trails.

Zone, Fall: The area on either side of or below a technical trail feature that provides a clear landing for a rider who has failed to negotiate the obstacle.

Zone, Feed: A designated area on a race course where team members hand food to racers as they pass.

Zone, Filtration: Material placed in such a way as to act as a filter or cleaning bed to slow down the flow of and filter water.

Zone, Seldom Seen Distance: Portions of the landscape which are generally not visible from key observation points, or portions which are visible but more than 15 miles distance.

Zoned (Zone, In the Zone, Flow): The mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

Zoning (Laws): Specifying use or restrictions on land. Zoning can effectively protect trail corridors from development adjacent to the trail that might block views, destroy sensitive habitat, create traffic problems, and generally diminish a trail experience.

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About the Author

During his career Jim Schmid served as South Carolina’s first State Trails Coordinator as well as working for the US Forest Service as a Trails Manager in AZ, ID, and FL and also had the pleasure of managing the Florida National Scenic Trail. Jim is a collector at heart. Check out his collection of trail quotes, terms, acronyms, sayings and more at In addition to updating his website and writing book reviews for American Trails Jim enjoys traveling around the country riding rail-trails and mtn bike trails.

Contact: [email protected]

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