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Appendix B: Nature Trails

A nature trail is a short planned walkway through a natural area in which interesting and important natural or historic features are pointed out to the visitor and explained by a guide or by interpretive signs.

The planning of a trail must include:

- an inventory of the land to find the most interesting features;

- concern for the public it is to serve, to give both beauty and safety;

- an understanding of the education it is to provide; what to label and why.

A conservation center can start with only one trail: a general conservation trail, which may include shorter specialized connected loop trails for soil study, forest study, wildlife study, etc. (see Fig. 16).

The self-guiding trail is one where the visitor is helped by labels which point out features of environmental interest, and which together cover the broad characteristics of the area.

Later, if it is possible, a second, informal trail for walking and hiking can be added (while future trails might be planned for special uses such as horses, bicycles, handicapped persons). The longer walking and hiking trail is for the visitor who wishes to go a longer distance without specific interpretive guidance.