Have you ever tried searching for hiking trails, mountain biking trails, or snow shoeing trails online? We just finished building and launching a brand new website for client Al Walsh that makes it much easier to find trails in the Fort Collins – Laramie – Cheyenne area: JustTrails.com.
Al came to us in December describing his vision for this very useful website.
The problem with existing hiking trail websites:
Existing hiking trail websites are littered with ads, always trying to get you to sign up for something. Then when you get in, they don’t have all the information you need!
The problem with traditional hiking trail guidebooks:
It’s a pain to take a whole book with you while hiking. My wife and I like to hike as well and I would agree. We also find it’s a pain to hold a book open while you are on the trail.
When Al and his wife were looking for home rentals, they found a site that used a map search to locate homes. Eureka! Al’s vision was born to use a map search to find trail heads for hiking, then include very useful information in an uncluttered interface about the trails. He wanted to meet the needs of people who had a couple of hours and wanted to take a hike, and wanted to find a local trail.
Thus was born JustTrails.com.
To find a trail go to the home page where you’ll find a map and see icons where trailheads are. Zoom and pan, click on a trailhead name get a description and see squiggly line of the trail.
More solutions from JustTrails.com:
- If you’ve never been to the trail before, it’s often frustrating to find the parking area or trail head if the only information you have is written directions from a guide book. JustTrails.com includes a photo of the parking area, and a photo of the trail head so you know exactly what to look for to find the trail and get started.
- Short video reviews of each trail so you can get a quick feel for it visually, and hear Al describe of some of the key features and views in less than a minute.
- Photos taken along the trail system. The key here is that Al has hiked ALL the trails on the JustTrails.com website. So you’ll find this visual log for every trail so you can really get a feel for it before you venture out on your own.
Al has also used his GPS to map out the trail while he’s hiked it – and that’s the trail you see plotted on the map – the actual GPS path of the trail, not the theoretical path of the trail from a map, it’s the real thing, where you actually need to go. You can purchase the GPS track and download it immediately for just $2, then load it into your own GPS to make it super easy to follow the path, even on tails that are normally difficult to follow or not well marked. You’ll never have to guess again which way to turn on a trail.
We built an ecommerce component into the website for visitors to purchase not just GPS track downloads, but also detailed trail maps. So once you’ve decided to hike a trail, you don’t need to wait for a store to be open and purchase a clunky guide book. You can instantly download a high resolution version of the tail you see on the website for just $2, print it out, and hit the road. You can easily carry this one sheet of paper with you while hiking the trail which also includes driving directions, trail description, elevation facts, fees if any, list of activities approved (and which are recommended or not and why), dog information and more. For some trails you can also purchase weather-proof trail maps for just $3 + shipping which will arrive by mail in just a few days.
Once you’ve made a purchase you’ll have a login where you can go back to re-download any the trail maps and GPS tracks you’ve purchased in the past. One of Al’s key goals is to take very good care of his customers and all of the features of the website have his constituents in mind first.
Al and his wife Rebecca are now working hard to build the community of the JustTrails.com website. All the trail pages allow comments and their goal is to have people who hike the trails leave helpful information for other hikers so it becomes a true community resource containing current trail information. Rebecca and Al blog regularly on the site with lots of useful information about hiking gear, techniques, and trails. Their vision is for this to be a very useful site with resources for their visitors first, and for that community to support them by purchasing their extremely useful high-res trail maps, weather-proof guides and GPS tracks.
If you hike, mountain bike, cross-country ski or snowshoe in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming, or just want to check out a highly innovative, useful and user-friendly website, visit JustTrails.com.