Funded hiking and mountain trails
Since walking and hiking in the mountains are seen as a central pillar of summer tourism in Tyrol, the Province of Tyrol has invested heavily in infrastructure. For many years government fundings amounting to just under 3m Euros have been awarded for maintaining the infrastructure and signposting the paths. The Mountain Trail Rating System of the province’s Department for Sport was reworked in 2008 to provide the framework for consistent guidelines.
What does it offer?
The main purpose of funding hiking and mountain trails is to provide users with certain advantages. Attention also has to be paid to legal aspects of environmental protection and the interests of landowners.
Funded paths are equipped with the following features which are secured and checked at clearly defined intervals:
- good condition of the paths
- requisite safety measures such as cables
- adequate signposting and information boards
- attention is paid to protecting the landscape and environment
- usage agreement with landowners when new hiking trails are created
All hiking and mountain trails which are funded by the Province of Tyrol are equipped with signposts and markers which adhere to the Department for Sport’s guidelines of the Mountain Trail Rating System. Above the tree line, signs are erected by alpine associations, with responsibility as a rule resting with the relevant tourist board.
Consistent design and the display of relevant information such as hiking time, altitude and pictogrammes to represent areas of danger, inns etc. make it easy to choose your trail and find your way about in the area.
Additional location and orientation boards at central points complete the package and provide a clear representation of the region’s network of mountain trails.
The "Tyrolean Mountain Trails Seal of Approval" is awarded by the Department for Sport in recognition of the holder of the path’s efforts in providing correct classification of difficulty, securing areas of danger, consistent markings, good signposting with comprehensive information at the starting points or in the hiking areas’ information centres. In Tyrol there are already lots of tourist boards working effectively with competent sections of the alpine associations which have been recognised by Tyrol’s provincial government. The guidelines of the Tyrolean Mountain Trail Rating System provide the basis for the classification and designation of the hiking and mountain trail network.
Individual mountain trails which are particularly remarkable for their natural or cultural landscape, views, mountain flora or historic significance can also be granted the "Tyrolean Mountain Trail with Distinction" award.