Ratings for Phoenix's hiking trails to be unveiled

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Authorities will announce a new rating system for hiking trails in metropolitan Phoenix so that people can pick routes that are best suited to their fitness levels.

The move to be announced Wednesday also is intended to increase hiker safety and reduce injuries.

The current trail rating system has three levels of difficulty.

The new system will have six and will able to be viewed on the websites of land management agencies in communities such as Scottsdale, Tempe, Fountain Hills, Mesa, Apache Junction, Surprise, Goodyear and Glendale.

The effect may eventually be expanded to include stickers on signs located on heavily used and more difficult trails with frequent injuries.