Easy: Little or no physical challenge involved. This level of hiking includes 2-4 miles, usually covering terrain that moderately rises and falls with hikes on unpaved trails as well as paved or gravel surfaces; cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over flat terrain for 1-3 miles; road biking less than 15 miles on fairly flat terrain; paddling 3 miles or less on a calm lake or river.
Easy to Moderate: Some exertion required. Hiking with an elevation gain of up to 1,000 ft. including 4-6 miles, covering terrain that is rolling; cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over slight hills for 3-5 miles; road biking for 15-30 miles with flat terrain or small rolling hills; paddling 3-4 miles on a calm lake or river with a slight current.
Moderate: Your heart rate will go up now and then. For a reasonably fit person. This level of hiking includes an elevation gain of up to 2,000 ft. with 6-8 miles, including terrain that is rolling with possibly a few steep sections; cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over moderate hills for 5-8 miles; road biking for 30-45 miles with rolling hills and possibly a few steep hlls; paddling in 4-5 miles on a river with a moderate current or 4-7 miles on a calm body of water.
Moderate to Strenuous: Be prepared for some serious huffing and puffing. You will need a pre-trip workout program. Hiking 8-10 miles on hilly climbs with a few steep sections including an elevation gain of 3,000 ft.; cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over fairly steep hills for 8-12 miles; road biking for 45-60 miles with rolling hills and a few steep hills; paddling 5-6 miles on a river with a moderate current or 8-11 miles on a calm body of water.
Strenuous: Even if you are in good shape, expect to be seriously challenged. A vigorous pre-trip aerobic workout program is mandatory. Hiking includes 10-15 miles on hilly, rugged terrain with several steep sections and an elevation gain of up to 4,000 feet; cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over fairly steep hills for 12-15 miles; road biking for 60-80 miles with many moderate hills and several steep hills; paddling 6-8 miles on a river with a moderately swift current or 12-16 miles on a calm body of water.
Very Strenuous: If you haven't done a few strenuous trips, don't even consider this one. You'll need to be in top cardiovascular condition, have endlenss stamina, and be of robust health. Hiking 15+ miles on steep, rugged terrain with climbs of 4,000 feet or more; extreme cross-country skiing and mtn. biking over 15 miles with steep hills; extreme road biking over 80 miles with many steep hills; paddling 8 miles per day with a moderate to swift current or 16 miles or more on a calm body of water.