The trek up to the lofty summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland has been revealed as the UK’s favourite hiking trail.
This is according to new data from Strava, the sports-themed social platform, which revealed that the 3.15-kilometre (1.9-mile) route from the town of Fort William up the 4,413ft (1,345m) peak, which is the highest mountain in Britain, is the ‘most walked’ UK trail. At the time of writing this route had been hiked 26,772 times by 17,504 Strava users.
Analysis from Strava reveals that the 2.41km- (1.5mile) long Llanberis path to the top of Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain at 3,560ft (1,085m), is the nation’s second-most popular route (25,125 attempts by 13,060 Strava users). It’s followed by the 1.01km (0.6-mile) trail up Pen-y-ghent – 24,949 attempts by 19,066 Strava users – a 2,277ft- (694m) high fell in the Yorkshire Dales, in third place.
The climb up to Scotland’s Ben Nevis (pictured) has been revealed as Britain’s favourite hiking trail, according to new data from Strava
Fourth place, meanwhile, goes to the 3.04km (1.8-mile) trail for Pen y Fan (19,778 attempts by 13,081 Strava users), the highest peak in South Wales at 2,906ft (886m) above sea level.
Another trail in the Yorkshire Dales snaps up fifth place – the 6.74km- (4.18-mile) long climb from Ribblehead up the 2,414ft- (736m) high Whernside mountain (15,116 attempts by 10,321 Strava users).
Finally, sixth place is snapped up by the 1.69km (1.05-mile) route to 19th-century Belfast Castle (2,400 attempts by 876 Strava users), which lies on the slopes of Belfast’s Cavehill Country Park.
The Llanberis path to Mount Snowdon, pictured, has been named the second-most popular route for hikers
Strava, used in 195 countries worldwide and by 100million people, is able to produce these statistics because users can identify A to B ‘segments’ and make them publicly available (sometimes with comedy names). Then, when another user with the Strava app active passes through that segment – whether consciously or not – that journey, complete with speed and time, is registered.
Strava then ranks each user by time and speed.
Strava says that users share their favourite hiking routes with other users so they can ‘discover and explore new adventures in some of the UK’s most scenic spots’ and reveals that the most popular day for hiking this summer was Thursday, June 2 – the first day of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The platform notes that the most active day for hiking, running and walking combined was Tuesday, June 21, which coincided with strike action across the UK’s train and Tube networks.
The trail up to Pen-y-ghent (above), a 2,277ft- (694 m) high fell in the Yorkshire Dales, ranks in third place in terms of popularity
The trail for Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales (pictured), has been revealed as the fourth-most popular in Britain
The ascent up the 2,414ft- (736m) high Whernside mountain (pictured) in the Yorkshire Dales lands in fifth place
THE MOST POPULAR UK HIKING ROUTES
1. Trek up to Ben Nevis, Scotland
2. Trek up Snowdon, Wales
3. Route up Pen-y-ghent, Yorkshire Dales
4. Hiking trail for Pen y Fan, Wales
5. Trail from Ribblehead to Whernside, 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 such as mountain biking, hiking and trail-running are growing twice as quickly as sports on pavement, such as road cycling.
Responding to this surge in trail sports activity, Strava recently launched a new feature, ‘Trail Routes’, which highlights the most popular trail networks and start points around the world, with users able to access 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, says: ‘The growing popularity of hiking across Europe is a trend we are seeing reflected globally as many of us continue to prioritise access to the outdoors following the pandemic.
‘That’s why we launched our Trail Routes functionality over the summer to empower our global community of over 100million athletes to explore the outdoors more confidently.
‘This summer, we have seen more people than ever before hitting their local trails as well as enjoying iconic hiking routes further afield.
‘We are proud to see our community share their joy of exploration and help inspire each other to get outdoors and tell their stories on Strava.’
For more information on hiking routes visit www.strava.com.