There may be instances where it is not possible to build recreational trails that fully comply with the minimum requirements of the Standard. Exceptions are permitted in some instances where the value, significance or characteristics of the existing environment are exceptional, have significant heritage value or are in close proximity to protected natural habitats. The Standard recognizes that there can be exceptional conditions where the need to provide accessible trails may need to be balanced with other legitimate concerns. In such instances, the obligated organizations are expected to meet the requirements of the Standard to the greatest extent possible.
Where it can be successfully demonstrated that cultural heritage, natural heritage, national historic interest or ecological integrity would be negatively impacted by applying the requirements of the Standard to a recreational trail, exceptions may be granted. Exceptions may also be permitted where existing physical or site constraints do not allow for modifications or additions.