What’s the difference between “the wilderness” and a natural trail? While they may seem the same to the uneducated person, there are some very clear differences.

Location

The average person can find a natural trail pretty much anywhere. Whether they are at a state park or even a local park in your neighborhood and is open to the public. Whereas the wilderness is government designated land secured by a perimeter that has little to no interaction with mankind.

There are only a few states that have designated “Wilderness” areas such as:
Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Michigan
Minnesota
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
Oregon
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming

Human Involvement

Natural trails are great to visit with your friends and family for a fun day of hiking and other adventures. Natural trails, by definition, are a man made path through a wild area such as a forest, that provides the opportunity for observing and learning about the plants and animals around them. It’s perfect to visit for a holiday such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day especially during the warmer months.

The Wilderness, on the other hand, in banned from human involvement as it’s designated land protected by governmental agencies to be preserved for scientific, historical and educational purposes.

Maintenance

Most nature trails are property of the park that they belong to whereas “the wilderness” to a combination of four different government agencies such as Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Although there are some wilderness areas that you can visit, there are very strict guidelines called “Leave No Trace” which has 7 basic principles. All motor vehicle transportation including bicycles is banned from these areas. So if you are looking for a remote and spiritual adventure, you can take your luck visiting the wilderness or you can be safe and stick to nature trails.

What’s The Difference Between The Wilderness And Natural Trails