Determination of the physical characteristics of the trekking tracks in Hatila National Park through GIS
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Today's living conditions restrict the time people can spend in the nature. Studies conducted in the recent years exhibit that people's longing for the nature increases more and more. Trekking is an activity that can be performed by almost everyone and it is among the sports activities people can perform in order to satisfy their longing for the nature. This study was conducted for the purpose of evaluating the quality of 45 in-forest tracks of the mainly mountainous Hatila National Park located in the city of Artvin in terms of being regarded as trekking tracks. The area is an important recreational spot where the characteristics of natural landscape meet cultural landscape, and is under protection owing to the flora and wild life it embodies. Within the scope of the study, the physical characteristics of the trekking tracks including the slope, walking distance, walking time, aspect and elevation were determined through the use of geographic information system (GIS). From the findings obtained in the study, it was determined that the examined 45 tracks varied largely in terms of length (min 1612 m, max 33735 m), and that also track walking distances and the elevation differences between track starts and track ends vary (min 157 m, max 2189 m) according to the track length. It was also determined that variability in terms of slope levels also exists (minimum average gradient being 16.07% and the maximum average gradient being 27.90%) due to the topographical characteristics of the area, and that once again due to the topography, four different aspects are predominant in the area.