Forest road

Forest road in North Bohemia
Forest track in the Bavarian Forest
Forest road created itself due to walkers' trail, Sri Lanka

Forest roads or forest tracks are non-public roads or tracks intended to carry motorised vehicles or horse-drawn wagons being used mainly or exclusively for forestry purposes, such as conservation or logging.


Forest roads may be tarmacked, gravelled or metalled (using hard core) and often have restrictions on use. In many regions the establishment of forest roads is not only subject to approval under forest management law, but also conservation law.[1]

In riparian forest and other especially important conservation areas, forest roads and tracks are generally signed as being out of bounds and/or closed off with barriers.

In mountainous regions the situation is more complex. On the one hand, forest roads on steep mountainsides must be wider than on the plains in order to enable vehicles to safely negotiate hairpin bends. On the other hand, the widening of old tracks runs the risk of heavier erosion or landslides.

Public access

Forest roads may be open to ramblers, but their use by mountain bikers is the subject of heated discussion in some countries. The forestry industry often wants to impose restrictions in the very areas where tourist authorities want to argue for free and open use.


Forest roads may be subdivided into various classes according to their capacity. For example, in Germany, the key of topographic maps distinguishes between are metalled roadways (Befestigte Fahrwegen), roadways (Fahrwegen), forest tracks (Waldwegen) and footpaths (Fußwegen), the latter not being suitable for forest vehicles.

See also



  1. Forstweg in Tyrol retrieved 28 June 2010
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Forest roads.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/18/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.