We may all be stuck indoors right now with the Coronavirus outbreak, but that doesn’t mean we can’t daydream about our next outdoor adventure. For those planning to hit the trails again as soon as the pandemic dies down and it’s safe to venture out again, you can always begin planning your next trip. Here to help you with that are a few places online where you can discover your next hiking adventure.
National Park Service
The National Park Service provides an interactive map of over 21,000 miles worth of trails you can explore. They have everything from easy trails to rugged slopes at an advanced level.
U.S. Forest Service
The lead agency for six National, Scenic, and Historic Trails in the U.S. is the Forest Service.
The U.S. Forest Service also provides an interactive map of hiking trails throughout the United States.
Another excellent option for discovering new trails is a free service called TrailLink. Created and maintained by Rails to Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit that seeks to create, connect, and protect trails throughout the nation. Register to access the site’s full range of features, including a database of more than 30,000 miles of trail maps along with itineraries and the backstory behind many of the trails. There’s also an app you can download for easier access.
Summit Post is a mountaineering website that relies on user-provided information and has details on a number of mountain hikes. The site includes trail descriptions and maps, directions, a climber’s log, and trip reports from other hikers.
Though American Trails’ database focuses primarily on National Recreation Trails in the U.S., there’s also a small number of trails listed for Canada and other international locations. The site provides listings of all kinds of trails, including scenic trails, rail trails, historic trails, and state-specific community trails.
The Outdoor Project
The Outdoor Project is a website chock-full of curated outdoor activities that can be searched by location. The backpacking and hiking section provides hiking overviews, driving directions, current weather conditions, photos, and field guides for trails throughout the world.
As far as advanced GPS systems go, View Ranger is your best bet. It’s among the best trail finder apps available. It’s even used by search and rescue teams. This app comes with a host of features that’s hard to beat. It works with both Android and Apple watches so you can safely pack your phone away while you’re hiking. It provides maps, suggested routes, and photos without requiring a WiFi connection or mobile data, and you have the option to download the trail map to provide easy access.
It would be nearly impossible to include all of the online resources that are available to hikers and backpackers in just one blog post. Still, this list does offer an excellent starting point for future adventures. Until then, stay safe, and I hope to see you back out on the trails in the near future!