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Signpost on the Pennine Bridleway, Austwick

Types of paths and trails

Within the National Park, there are over 2600km of footpaths, bridleways and byways open to all traffic.

This extensive network of public rights of way is one of the primary assets of the Yorkshire Dales National Park area. We develop and manage this sustainable network of routes to enable sympathetic use and enjoyment of the National Park.

Where you can go

Public rights of way, excluding roads, are:


Footpaths are for use on foot only. There is no right of way for horse riders or cyclists.


These are for use on foot, on a horse or on a pedal cycle, but not in a motor vehicle, in a horse and cart, or on a motorcycle.

Restricted byways

A restricted byway is for use on foot, on a horse or pedal cycle, or by horse drawn vehicle. They are not for use by motor vehicle.


A byway open to all traffic is available for any mode of transport – on foot, on a horse, on a pedal cycle or motorcycle, or in a motor or horse-drawn vehicle – but are mainly used for the same purposes as footpaths and bridleways.

In addition to these routes, access is also available in a few other situations:

Open Access

For information about Open Access land designated under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000, please look at Open access.

Permissive paths

Permissive paths are where a landowner allows the public access over private property with permission. There is no statutory legal right to use these routes. There may be a charge for use of some of these paths in the National Park, for example, the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk, the route through the grounds of Ingleborough estate at Clapham, and the path to Hardraw Force.

Temporary closure of rights of way

There are occasions when a path may need to be closed for a period, for example to allow restoration works, or for reasons of public safety. These temporary closures are advertised in the local press for the area of the closure and they are listed on Access restrictions. The period of closure and the alternative routes will be indicated by site notices and maps.