Premium Hiking Trails

Criteria for the "Hiking Certificate Premium Trail"

How does a hiking experience become measurable?

With 34 criteria for an optimal hiking experience

At the suggestion of leading tourism professionals, we have developed a catalogue of criteria that allows us to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a hiking trail as objectively and precisely as possible. Since 1999, this catalogue has been improved again and again on the basis of the results of regular surveys of hikers (Profilstudien Wandern, now Hiking Monitor). Under the name "Hiking Certificate Premium Trail", this catalogue offers the possibility of comprehensively evaluating the quality of hiking trails.

For every kilometer of trail, about 200 characteristics concerning the trail format, the landscape, cultural sights, civilizational barriers, the hiking guidance system, and the macroenvironment are surveyed on the basis of 34 criteria.

Thus, in addition to purely technical conditions, a very broad spectrum of influences that make up the hiking experience is put into figures.

In this way, the diverse elements of the hiking experience can be related to each other in such a way that a guarantee of eventful experiences can be drawn for the most diverse preferences. The path inventory associated with the "German Hiking Certificate – Premium Hiking Trail" is very complex and can only be carried out by trained experts. It is only offered for trails of particularly high quality, which are to be advertised as tourist hiking trails for the respective destination and marketed at a correspondingly high cost.

Core criteria (simplified)

Composite surface max. 1,200 m at a stretch (when boarding attractive destinations up to an additional 300 m to max. 2,000 m per destination), max. 15% of the total trail length
Traffic safety (e.g., passages on through roads) max. 150 m at a stretch, max. 3% of the total trail length
Alongside through roads max. 1.200m at a stretch (when boarding attractive destinations up to an additional 300 m to max. 2,000 m per destination), max. 10% of the total trail length
Path not easily walkable max. 500 m at a stretch, max. 5% of the total trail length
User-friendly markings visual marker obligatory, if the direction changes there should be a reassuring marker on the trail within sight. reliable locating of the hiking trail along the entire route
Changes in landscape at least two distinctive changes of environment within a stretch of 6 km
Intensively used environment max. 1,000 m at a stretch (when boarding attractive destinations up to an additional 300 m to max. 1,500 m), max. 8% of the total trail length

Hiking Certificate – Quality criteria for Premium Hiking Trails (Version 6.0)

Trail format
Trail surface earth, grass
gravel, asphalt
Trail width single track
wide, straight
Trail margin green, constructed
fence, wall
Obstacles difficult to walk on negative
Trail usage car or bicycle traffic negative
Through roads alongside road negative
Traffic safety passages on roads negative
Forestscape open, picturesque, biotope
monotonous, destroyed
Open fields meadow valley, copse
intensive crop cultivation
Nearby relief hollow way, ravine positive
Edges forest margin, shore positive
View opening, vastness
settlement, traffic
Water bodies pristine, picturesque
modified, polluted
Geology rocks, caves positive
Idyll idyllic area positive
Flora tree veterans positive
Construction dreary, anattractive negative
Townscape pleasing, historical center positive
Construction and excavation power poles, landfill negative
Permanent exposure to emissions silence
noise, stench
Historical buildings castles, fortresses positive
Monuments monument, artwork positive
Small monuments wayside shrines, crosses positive
Guesthouses guesthouse, hut positive
Hiking guidance system
Signpost including distance and other information
confusing, incorrect
Marking visual, reassuring
confusing, incorrect
Emergency orientation location information positive
Panels orientation, information
Furnishing benches, resting areas positive
Scenery extensive, unspoiled
stripped, populated
Variety change in landscape formations positive
Lack of care landscape, panels negative
Trail orientation bad alternatives negative
Cross links stops, junctions positive