The hike to the lofty peak of Ben Nevis in Scotland has been revealed as Britain’s most popular hiking trail.
That’s according to new data from sports-themed social platform Strava, which revealed the 3.15-kilometer (1.9-mile) route leads from the town of Fort William to the 4,413-foot (1,345-m) peak , which is the highest mountain in Britain, is the UK’s most frequently walked footpath. At the time of writing, this route has been hiked 26,772 times by 17,504 Strava users.
Analysis by Strava shows that the 1.5-mile (2.41 km) Llanberis Trail to the summit of Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain at 1,085 m (3,560 ft), is the nation’s second most popular route (25,125 attempts by 13,060 Strava users). . It follows the 1.01km (0.6 mile) walk to Pen-y-Gent – 24,949 attempts by 19,066 Strava users – a 694m crash in the Yorkshire Dales in third place.
The climb up Scotland’s Ben Nevis (pictured) has been revealed as Britain’s most popular hiking trail, according to new data from Strava
Fourth place, meanwhile, goes to the 3.04 km (1.8 miles) trail for Pen y Fan (19,778 attempts from 13,081 Strava users), the highest peak in South Wales at 2,906 feet (886 m) above sea level.
Another trail in the Yorkshire Dales ranked fifth – the 6.74 km (4.18 miles) climb from Ribblehead to the 2,414 ft (736 m) high Whernside Mountain (15,116 attempts by 10,321 Strava users).
Finally, sixth place goes to the 1.69 km (1.05 miles) route to the 19th Century Belfast Castle (2,400 attempts from 876 Strava users), located on the slopes of Belfast’s Cavehill Country Park.
The Llanberis path to Mount Snowdon, pictured, has been cited as the second most popular route for walkers
Strava, used in 195 countries worldwide and used by 100 million people, is able to produce these statistics because its users can identify “segments” from A to B and make them publicly available (sometimes with comedy names). If another user with an active Strava app then passes this segment – whether consciously or unconsciously – this journey is registered in full with speed and time.
Strava then ranks each user by time and speed.
Strava says users share their favorite hiking routes with other users so they can “discover and explore new adventures in some of the most beautiful places in Britain” and reveals that the most popular day for hiking this summer was Thursday 2nd June – the first day of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The platform notes that the most active day to hike, run and walk together was Tuesday 21 June, which coincided with strikes across the UK train and tube network.
The trail to Pen-y-Gent (above), a 694m waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales, ranks third in popularity
The route to Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales (pictured), has been revealed as the fourth most popular in the UK
Climbing the 2,414ft (736m) Whernside Mountain (pictured) in the Yorkshire Dales finishes in fifth place
THE UK’S MOST POPULAR HIKING TRAILS
1. Hike to Ben Nevis, Scotland
2. Walk to Snowdon, Wales
3. Route to Pen-y-Gent, Yorkshire Dales
4. Hiking trail for Pen y Fan, Wales
5. Ribblehead to Whernside Walking Trail, Yorkshire
6. Route to Belfast Castle, Northern Ireland
Source: Strava, using all-time stats
Since the pandemic, the number of global Strava users uploading information about their hiking routes has tripled, the platform reveals.
And it says trail sports like mountain biking, hiking and trail running are growing twice as fast as pavement sports like road cycling.
In response to this surge in trail sports activity, Strava recently introduced a new feature, “Trail Routes,” which highlights the most popular trail networks and launch points around the world, with users accessing 3D maps. It also notifies users of the popularity of a particular route based on the month and time of day.
Commenting on the data, Michael Horvath, CEO and co-founder of Strava, said: “The growing popularity of hiking across Europe is a trend that is being mirrored globally as many of us continue to prioritize access to nature post-pandemic.
“That’s why over the summer we launched our Trail Routes feature to empower our global community of over 100 million athletes to explore the great outdoors with more confidence.
“This summer we’ve seen more people than ever hitting their local trails and enjoying the legendary hiking routes far away.
“We’re proud that our community shares their love of exploration and inspires one another to get outside and tell their stories on Strava.”
For more information on hiking routes see www.strava.com.