Establishing minimum criteria for the location, design, and functions of the trail centres, and the information that they must provide to users

To ensure the success of trail centres, the project members developed a number of minimum criteria for the location and design of the trail centres. Criteria was also established regarding the minimum service functions that the trail centres need to accommodate as well as the information that centres need to present. 


Minimum criteria:

  • located at the centre of a varied range of trails, routes, and tracks that are preferably marked
  • situated in an interesting park area, terrain, landscape or natural area
  • information about e.g. the routes’ terrain, length, degree of difficulty, changes in altitude
  • parking spaces
  • a common room that all sports associations can use
  • a covered area for e.g. gatherings, warm-up stretches, abdominal exercises
  • a good range of relevant service functions


Each of the centres that have been, or are being, developed adhere to these minimum criteria. They are all located in or near natural environments that provide access to different outdoor sporting activities. Core service functions are integral to the architectural designs of each centre. 

  • Communication with local partners to understand user needs and determine core design functions.
  • Clear vision: Project members established core purposes of trail centres
    • Increasing social coexistence and understanding across different user-groups
    • Developing all-in-one facilities that meet different user-group needs
    • Increasing participation in, and accessibility of, nature-based sports/exercise
    • Increasing awareness of, and interest in, the nature that underpins their activities
    • Inspiring others to establish high-quality trail centres based on the above goals
  • Cross-sectorial collaboration is crucial for determining what criteria is deemed necessary for successful centres, as well as to better understand user needs.
  • Establishing minimum criteria for trail centres ensures that these will accommodate and fulfil the service functions that are required and desired by users – critical for informing the architectural design of the centres.
  • Determining minimum criteria also ensures that trail centres are situated in natural areas that provide opportunities for diverse outdoor activities. This guarantees that trail centres are located in the most suitable natural environments and in areas where many activities can be practiced. In some cases, it also provides opportunities to bridge the gap between urban and natural environments and facilitates access to nature for urban populations.
  • Requiring trail centres to share information about their surrounding areas ensures that users have easy access to information relating to their outdoor activities as well as the best-practices and codes of conduct that one must adhere to whilst participating in outdoor nature-based activities.