Hiking Orange County Trails

How To Read the Hike Brief

If you’re new to hiking (or my website), here’s how to understand the hike breakdown.

Trail Types

You might see me refer to different types of trails in the guide. Here’s the terminology.

Trail Example

A trail is generally a planned path built by an agency such as the National Parks Service, U.S. Forest Service, a state park, or local park. They are often maintained, wide, marked with signs, and designed to ease the climbs with switchbacks.

Use Trail Example

A use-trail is a smaller, unofficial trail formed by people trying to get from point A to point B. They are not marked with signs and often go up or down steep slopes.

Route Example

A route is a way that doesn’t follow a trail, but instead just goes straight over or through the local topography. Routes are sometimes marked by small piles of rocks called cairns.

Animal Run

An animal run is a trail formed by the passage of animals. They often look like use-trails but are not as worn since animals are much lighter than humans.

Bonus Tip

If you haven’t checked out my 360 videos, they’re a great resource. Here’s how to use them to feel better about a hike.

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