A little guidance before starting

Original Post
George Lamson
Norden, CA
Joined: Oct 2016
Points: 266

I would like to contribute to this site, but before I do I would like to get a little guidance. I am a very experienced hiker in the Donner Summit region of California which has many great hiking opportunities. I manage a site that has has descriptions of many of the hikes in the area.

I have the following preliminary questions before I start adding information:

  • It's not clear to me what the difference between a trail and a hike is. A case in point. There is a trail defined on your map named the Mariah Pt trail. The trail is plotted as starting from a point that is actually quite a ways out from any trailhead or access point. In order to get to the start of the trail one has to hike out a mile or so from an access point that can be driven to. So my question is should the "trail" really be plotted from the access point rather than the arbitrary point out in the field or would that be better defined as a "hike". I guess what I'm really asking is how does one define a trail.
  • Related to my first question, it seems that a hike to a particular location might use more than one defined trail. This is true for the Donner Summit area where there are many cross county ski trails already esablished. It is not clear to me then how to map a hike vs a trail. 

I did look around a little for some kind of a mapping guide but I didn't find one and may have missed it. If you do have such a guide could you point me to it?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

George — Dec 28, 2016

George Lamson
Norden, CA
Joined: Oct 2016
Points: 266

Ah-ha. I did stumble onto a page that gave a definition of a trail and hike. My understanding from the definitions is that a trail is one that is labelled on a map. In my area there are many labelled ski trails on maps that are used for hiking in the summer. Would the best way to enter the data be to define each of those trails? There are about 50 of them that form a network of trails throughout the area. The Mariah Pt trail is just one of those trails. — Dec 28, 2016

Mikhaila Redovian
Unknown Hometown
Joined: Jul 2015
Points: 8,901

Hi George, 

Thanks for reaching out with some great questions! I think that you have things right, were a trail on our site should appear exactly as a trail would appear on a land manager's map. A hike is more like the recommended route that you would suggest to a friend. For example, you might want to recommend a hike to a friend that leads to a mountain summit. In order to get to the summit however, you might have to take two trails, one that leads around the base of the mountain, and one that climbs to the summit. On our site, we would map out each trail, and then the Featured Hike would highlight the most direct route leading to the summit. Doest that make sense? 

To answer your second question, we would love to get each of those 50 individual trails mapped out. From there, we can add Featured Hikes to highlight some of the most popular loops, or out and backs that lead to special places. 

Let me know if I was able to answer your questions, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you still have more! 

Mikhaila  — Dec 28, 2016

Kris Mitchell
Unknown Hometown
Joined: Aug 2016
Points: 0

Also under beginner guidance.... I am new the app and noticed many local trails are not listed. How can I add them? The FAQs refer me to the Mapping Guidelines; however, I cannot find them. Thanks! — Jan 21, 2017

Tom Robson
Unknown Hometown
Joined: Mar 2015
Points: 30,423

@Kris, here's a link to our mapping page. If you need anything, please let us know!

-Tom — Jan 21, 2017

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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