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Is it appropriate to post non-trail tracks?


Original Post
Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24

So, I feel like I might start a religious war here, but...

I'm wondering what this site's policy is on posting gps tracks that are not actually trails.


Suppose, for example, that I link a couple existing trails with some cross country travel on a pig trail that isn't on any map and doesn't officially exist, creating a nice loop hike. Should I post my loop as a hike? Should I list the pig trail as a trail?


Wondering if the site has an official stance, or if the community has some input.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,024

Hey Brice, 

Hopefully no wars here - but you bring up a great question. All of us admin recognize the value of off-trail hiking, and we're not dead set against off trail routes, however we do tend to set a higher bar for routes that travel cross country. For instance, if the route is a popular, well marked (cairns, etc.) route with plenty of other information widely available (from other hiking sites, from the land manager, etc.) we will usually approve it. Basically, if it's a route that you might recommend to your friends from out of town, it should be good. However, if you have a series of GPS tracks from your last weekend backpacking trip that would be pretty difficult for another hiker to replicate, I would recommend holding off on adding that. 

Let me know if all of that information makes sense, and we can go from there! 

Best regards, 

Mikhaila 

Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24

That makes sense. One more question though - would it be acceptable to post a hike that includes off trail travel. For example, "take trail A to trail B, then navigate cross country back to the trailhead" - where A and B are gps tracks, but the cross country travel is not displayed on the map.

So not necessarily tracing an off trail route, but letting people know the possibility exists.

Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24

Asking because I'm planning on doing exactly this in a couple weekends, and I'm wondering if a contribution would be appreciated or scorned. Thanks!

Alan Coles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 1,035

Please carefully consider what the impact on the land might be if more people start using your route.  Social media sites have had a major impact on some areas that previously saw few visitors.  You don't want to degrade sensitive habitat for endangered plants and animals.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,024

Hey Brice, 

I think that Alan brings up a pretty good point. A lot of our popular routes that don't utilize trails are in desert areas where washes can be used, in locations where individual use won't cause harm to the local flora/fauna, or where navigation is fairly straightforward (say to a prominent ridge, etc). Additionally, I think that my notes about whether or not this particular off-trail route is one of the more popular ones in the area, or if there is readily available information on the route is worth keeping in mind. Is the one of the most recommended routes in the area, or is this more of a short cut between two popular trails? 

If you'd like, you could send in the route with minimal description initially, just to get a feel for what we're looking for, and we can always add more detail later. I'm thinking that might save you the effort of submitting a fully detailed report that might not be approved. Because off-trail routes tend to be so variable, we have to take them on a one by one basis, and it's hard to know to know whether or not your route will fall into the "approve" bucket without knowing a little more about it. 

You're asking some great questions, so let me know if there's anything else I can do to help! 

Best, 

Mikhaila 

Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24
Alan Coles wrote:

Please carefully consider what the impact on the land might be if more people start using your route.  Social media sites have had a major impact on some areas that previously saw few visitors.  You don't want to degrade sensitive habitat for endangered plants and animals.

Yeah, that's essentially what I'm trying to do here. Just trying to get community feedback, and perhaps suss out a site policy while I'm at it.

Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24

@Mikhaila PM'd

John Toepfer · · Buena Vista, CO · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 78

I agree with Alan.  The trails listed on this great site will quite possibly have more use, therefore more environmental impact.  There might also be people attracted to an off-trail link who are not adept at route-finding and navigation. 

Brice C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 24

I pm'd Mikhaila with the details, and she gave me the go-ahead. So I guess I'll post the details here and see what others think of this specific case. Copied from the pm:

I'm looking at this

https://pmags.com/return-to-beaver-creek

You can turn up other articles about the route if you search around, though none post a map.

If you check out Beaver Creek

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7004046/beaver-creek-swa

You'll note that Trail Gulch Trail is not completely mapped, and continues to the reservoir north. My hike would link this extension to the powerline trail, and then go north up Beaver Creek, past the old town, and back to the res.

Yaseen El-Kanuni · · Tripoli, Libya. · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

I live in Libya North Africa, and there are great trails to be discovered across the country. Some of which the Maghadet Hiking team would like to share with you , how is this possible ? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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