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Term or Phrase Definition
Ballast Stone Large stones that comprise railroad beds. When ballast stone is used as a trail surface it's definitely a fat tire ride.
Bikeway A pathway or multi-use trail designed for or allowing bicycle use. On this web site the terms 'trail' & 'bikeway' are used interchangeably.
Bollards Posts intended to block automobiles from entering a trail. Most commonly found where roads intersect trails.
Connector A spur or other type of connecting route to a trail or bikeway. Bike route signs or bike lanes along roads can serve as a trail connector for cyclists. Trails can also be connectors that join 2 or more trails together.
Crushed stone A fine crushed gravel trail surface, most often limestone, commonly found on towpath trails. Road bikes can usually navigate a crushed stone surface that is firmly packed.
Greenway Corridors of open space managed for recreation and conservation purposes. These linear open spaces often follow natural lines such as a river and its banks, a valley, canal and its banks, etc. Rail corridors converted for trail use and scenic parkways are also a type of Greenway.
Kiosk A signboard or information stand for trail users. Usually found at trailheads.
Multi-use trail Trails that allow several uses such as: cycling, rollerblading, hiking, cross country skiing. These trails often restrict or ban some activities like snowmobiling or horseback riding. Check the trail rules for allowed uses.
"On your left" Or "Passing on your left." A courtesy used to let trail users know that you are about to overtake them, or to encourage them to move to their right to permit a safe pass.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) National non profit organization whose mission is "to enhance America's communities and countrysides by helping communities convert thousands of miles of abandoned rail corridors, and connecting open space, into a nationwide network of public trails."
Rail-trail Trail or bikeway constructed directly on the path of an old, abandoned rail line.
Rail-with-trail A configuration whereby a trail shares a rail corridor with an existing rail line. The two are often separated by a fence or natural barriers such as gulley or tree line.
Railbanking An agreement between a rail company and a trail group to preserve a corridor, by way of trail use, until such time that the corridor is once again needed for rail service.
Spur An offshoot or connecting path that joins to or merges with a trail or bikeway.
Trail commute Using a trail or bikeway to go to work, school, or run errands.
Trail depot Also known as "Break Station." Terms used to describe restored train station buildings or other trailside structures that often serve as a rest stop for trail users.
Trailheads Official trail access points that usually include parking. A bikeway can have several trailheads.
Trail hub Junction point where two or more trails meet.
Trail network Interconnected or linked trails that form local, regional or state wide systems.
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