Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline centered around map reading in natural and urban terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, including people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition equitably. Manual or electric wheelchairs, walking sticks, and helpers etc. are permitted when necessary for movement and speed over ground is not relevant for the competition.
The challenge is to identify the correct control marker from the information given by the map. This is done from a distance and mostly from a road or path, which make it possible for people with limited mobility to attend. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have an O-class and a P-class, the O-class is open for all, and the P-class is for athletes with functional disadvantage due to a permanent mobility disability, who therefore cannot participate on reasonably equal terms in able-bodied foot orienteering
In Trail orienteering there are two individual formats: PreO and TempO, plus one team format: Relay. In PreO, you have to identify a number of controls on a course, where your only limitations are to stay on the allowed path and don’t use more time than the decided maximum time. In TempO you sit in a chair and have to solve the tasks from there in the shortest possible time, so you have to think fast. There is also an virtual version of TempO called E-TrailO, that you can do from your own PC.
Trail Orienteering was recognized as an official IOF discipline in 1992. The first ever World Cup in trail orienteering was held in 1999 and replaced with World Trail Orienteering Championships in 2004. The World Championships were organized every year from 2004 to 2019 and will be organized every other year from 2023 onward.