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A trail (also track, byway) is a thoroughfare with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel. Trails may be for use only by walkers and in some places are the main access route to remote settlements. Some trails can also be used hiking, cycling, or cross-country skiing and less often for moving cattle herds and other livestock.



Trail often denotes a hiking trail. Historically the term was used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants (e.g. the Oregon Trail). In the early years of the 20th century the term auto trail was used for a marked highway route, and trail is now also used to designate routes, including highway routes, designated for tourist interest (e.g. National Historic Trails, the Cabot Trail and Quilt Trail). The term trail has also been used by developers and urban planners for a variety of modern paved roads, highways, and boulevards. A particularly unusual use of the term is in the province of Alberta, Canada, which has multi-lane freeways called "trails".

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