National hiking trails: Regularization, statutory planning, and legislation

Havatzelet Yahel, Rachel Katoshevski-Cavari, Emir Galilee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The current study discusses the spatial planning and legal policies of national and long-distance hiking trails, focusing on the Israel National Trail (INT) as our primary case study. Hiking trails (HTs) have developed into a global phenomenon of modern leisure activity over the past decades. The INT originated as a private initiative in the late 1970s and increased in popularity; it is now even considered an Israeli icon. Every year, tens of thousands of people hike the trail. However, despite its centrality in the Israeli public, its route has never been regulated, and it has no planning or legal binding status. Thus, the INT does not appear within the planning information layers. The continuity of the route depends on the goodwill of landowners, and it is continuously exposed to threats by development plans and other pressures. Based on interdisciplinary perspectives that combine planning and legal tools, this study focuses on regulatory policies in several countries while examining appropriate planning and legal measures for HTs’ preservation. In addition, it analyzes the background of the INT and explores the regularization options available in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105586
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Hiking trails
  • Israel National Trail
  • Leisure
  • Master Plan
  • Open-space
  • Regularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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