What are Greenway Trails and Why are They Important?
Sustainable Activity

What are Greenway Trails
and Why are They Important?

Greenway trails are one of the world’s answers to sustainability and environmental protection. They can be found across all continents and allow nature to thrive while also providing benefits to the local economy and residents.

What are greenway trails?

Greenways are unused areas of land that have been transformed into eco-friendly recreational parks and trails for the general public to enjoy. They are often built to help protect the natural environment by reviving abandoned areas that have been redesigned for public use in a sustainable way. 

How does a greenway park start? And where can you find them?

Although the first official greenway was created in Raleigh, USA in the 1970s, the idea of these trails had been in the air since the late 19th century. 

Most greenway trails are built on top of disused train tracks, canals and old construction zones. Although most of them are built in urban areas, there are many that get created in more rural regions to easily connect to the surrounding urban locations. By replacing these areas and turning them into appropriate greenways, the areas are no longer just taking up unnecessary wasted space and can instead be enjoyed for many years to come. 

What makes greenway trails sustainable?

Each greenway park is popular due to how eco-friendly they are. Each of these places is given a new lease of life so they can be enjoyed while being beneficial to our environment. With sustainable features like wildlife protection, increased numbers of trees and plant life, as well as allowing a previously unused place to have purpose again, it means that abandoned places can be loved once again instead of being unusable.

How can a greenway park be enjoyed?

Visitors can enjoy greenways in multiple ways, including walking or running along the trails, cycling on the best bike route and paths, skating, having picnics and enjoying nature. Many of these trails are protected wildlife areas so you can even participate in birdwatching and wildlife observation. Plus, being outside promotes active lifestyles which can benefit people’s health.

Where are the most recommended greenway trails?

Around the world, there are so many amazing greenways for the public to take advantage of.

Europe’s longest greenway connects Krakow in Poland, the Czech Republic and ends in Vienna, Austria. In total, this network of greenways consists of 780 kms of walking trails and is arguably one of the best bike route paths that takes you through the heart of the continent.

But that’s not the only greenway that takes you through multiple countries. Another favourite of ours is the Vannbahn trail. This greenway connects Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg via an unused train track for over 125 km. Its main selling point is the stunning landscapes the trail takes you through in western Europe.

Luckily, Europe is not the only continent to utilise previously unused space. In the USA, the East Coast Greenway is the longest completed route which spans 4,800km from the Canadian border down most of the United States’ eastern coast for Florida. The trail gives you uninterrupted nature-filled walkways along with the best bike route available to the public on the east coast. Its main goal is to have shared paths for all off-road activities and promote an active lifestyle. 

Greenway trails can be found in almost every city worldwide and the number is steadily increasing. They can be small and confined to only a small area, or like our favourites above, they can span a large distance through multiple destinations and even countries. Plus, if you’re located in Europe you can take a look at the following site which covers all you need to know about greenways from the official association

Since there is not one site that lists every greenway in the world, the best way to find out if there are any local to you is by heading to a search engine and asking if there are any greenways in your area. The system will automatically use your IP address and location to find the closest ones to you. Better yet, just enter the location you are looking for. What are you waiting for? Check out some local greenway trails now!

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