Trail reporting is one of the core features of Trailforks and one which we provide a lot of functionality around. We have created many features to make trail reporting faster, more flexible and ultimatly more relevant. The main feature is the versatile "trail reports" which provide several different uses.
- Indicator of the current status of a trail (open, closed, issues or hazards)
- Inform riders of the ground contitions on a trail
- Inform builders of problems or something needing attention on a trail
- Log work done to a trail
- Creating detailed trail assessments
Users can check a riding areas current trail status before heading out on a ride, to avoid closed trails or trails with major issues. After a ride they can report the trail conditions or any issues on the trails they rode. Builders and associations can monitor the reports for issues that require action and send someone out to check or fix the issue and report that work done.
Reports can be added to Trails, Skillparks or POIs
Submitting Trail Reports
The two primary data points for a report are the status & condition of a trail. The most recent report on a trail affects that trails status. Adding additional data like a description and photos is optional but can be very helpful if there is an issue on the trail.
There are many ways to add a trail report, one such way is directly from a trail page, there is a link in the yellow "add/edit" dropdown menu for "add trail report". This pre-populates the "trail" field on the report form, you can always add a report from the form page directly but will have to type in the trails name.
The report form has useful features like showing the trails previous reports on the right.
Bulk Trail Reports
On a region page there is a link to add "bulk trail reports", this allows you to change the status and/or condition of many trails at once.
The bulk report form has useful time-saving features like selecting a current snow elevation level and applying the snow condition to all trails above that elevation. Or selecting all winter trails, wet weather trails. Bulk reports can also be scheduled or set to expire. Useful for known closures like fire season or maintenance.
Only users with a built-up "trust" score can submit bulk reports, this is to avoid new user spammers.
After a user ridelog is added to Trailforks we identify all the trails they rode. An email is then sent to the user asking them to contribute trail reports & conditions for their ride. This links to a special bulk report form that has a mini report for each of the identified trails, allowing the user to quickly add reports for the trails they choose.
As a time saving feature a small map of each trail is shown under it's name. If your on a widescreen monitor a map of your ride is also shown in the bottom right of the page, which highlights each trail as you progress through the form.
This ridelog report form can be accessed manually when viewing one of your own ridelogs and the email reminder sent out can be disabled in your Trailforks settings.
Reports can be scheduled to expire on a certain date, reverting to the previous reports status & condition. This is useful when temporarily closing a trail for a race event or trail day.
Reports can also be scheduled to be posted at a future date, they remain unpublished until the scheduled date. Useful for bike park opening days, or to schedule closing of trails for races or maintenance. Can be used in with the expire feature.
Trailforks Mobile App
You can submit trail reports on the trail using our mobile app. This app shows nearby trails then allows you to quickly submit a report for a trail. You can even optionally take a photo with your phones camera and it will be uploaded with the report.
If you submit a report on the trail, your location will be saved with the report. If you take a photo with GPS data and add a report later, the report will extract the location from the photo. Making it possible to snap a quick photo on a ride, and submit reports after.
You can also submit reports offline, they will be uploaded when you next have internet access.
You can log work hours, paid & private in the app, along with setting reports to private. So only local admins can view them.
To make adding a report easier and faster, you can click a train on the map to highlight it, then press the yellow "+" button on the map and choose "Write Report". This will pre-populate the selected trail in the report form! Also to help give more context when adding a report, the trails most recent report is shown at the bottom of the form!
Riding Area Region Status
Region admins can optionally manage the overall status of each riding area region. However we recommend not manually setting the status of a region, but instead encourage you to create bulk trail reports for a region. When a report is added to a trail, the regions status is automatically recalculated based on all the reports in that region. If >80% are green, then the region will be green. If 80% are red, then the region will be red.
There are 2 widgets available to display region(s) current status.
The bulk reporting feature above applies to entire regions. Reporting zones allows more customized groupings of trails that you can then apply bulk report updates. For example if one side of a valley often gets more snow than another, or drys out faster.
Report zones use the "trail lists" feature to specify the trails in a zone, then a bulk report can be applied to that trail list.
Viewing Trail Reports
There are many ways to view the data generated by trail reports. Each region has a "status" & "reports" tab. The status page lists all the trails in the region and their current status which is derived from the most recent report. The reports page lists all the reports in that region chronologically.
You can toggle the display mode of the map to show trails colour coded by their status or condition. Additionally when viewing condition you can filter by date ranges. For example you can view trails that have an update condition within the last week.
Viewing an individual trail you can also see that trails report history, there are various icons indicating if a report has photos, files or assessments attached.
Reports also generate activity feed items, so you can monitor all the reports being added by users.
There are many options for filtering and searching the log of past reports for an entire region or specific trail. This is a major advantage to logging reports & conditions on Trailforks over a social media platform like Facebook.
Regional "Groups" can be setup, users in a group will have a small group icon beside their name on a report. Reports can then be filtered to only show those submitted by users belonging to a specific group. This can be used to indicate more "official" reports from trail association builders.
Users can "subscribe" to a trail and get email notifications if a new report is added. Users can also subscribe to entire regions and be notified of any reports added in that region. This is useful for trail builders, land managers and trail associations.
There are also reports RSS feeds for every region & trail. Look for the orange RSS feed icon on report tab pages.
Trail reports can be used to log work done to trails whether it's a trail day or a lone builder fixing some issues.
The amount of hours and attendees helping with the work can be tracked. Work report history for a trail or an entire region can be filtered and searched, providing a record of trail maintenance. Hours can be logged for both volunteer and paid work. Reports can be marked private so only region admins can view.
Region admins have access to a work report summary tool, which allows the export of summarized work data filtered by date range. Which can be useful for sending to land managers.
Another one of the optional uses of trail reports is for posting detailed trail assessments. This is something often done on a yearly basis or prior to a trail recieving funding for major reconstruction.
Assessment reports are highlighted and seperated from regular reports, to provide easy historical access. PDF documents can be attached then viewed.
Official Trail Reporters
A user group can be specified as an official reporting group, which means users in this group are a trusted official source of trail reports.
Reports from trail reporter users are highlighted from the rest and can optionaly display a group logo on the report.
There is a regional admin interface for assigning a specific user as an official reporter for a trail, the idea being they are responsible for submitting regular updates on that trails condition and issues.
Facebook Group ReportsSocial Media Feed
There are many benefits to reporting on a platform like Trailforks, the data is filterable, searchable and archived. Alerts can also be sent to trail builders and associations for the specific trails they manage.
However we recognize that using social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter to post local trail conditions is popular in some locals. To try and bridge the gap Trailforks can aggregate posts on public Facebook Groups. We will scan each post and try to identify local trails and then try and determine a report status and condition from the text. If we do an optional trail report will be generated.
Export Report Data
At the bottom of a regions reports page there is a small green Excel icon, this will download all the reports as a spreadsheet. You can use this data for your own records or further manipuate the data in Excel.
Trail Work Photo Feed
Get inspired to do some trail work, this feed features any work reports with photos from around the world.