Trailforks Now on Garmin Wearables

Dec 7, 2020
by Todd Neumarker  
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Trailforks App enables route browsing on the Garmin Watch

The Trailforks development team is pleased to announce Trailforks App support for many of the Garmin wearables. Last year Trailforks introduced support for multiple activity types, like hiking, trail running, moto and winter activities. With all these new activity types, we felt it was important to add support on this expanded line of devices. Owners of the following Garmin wearables can now install Trailforks through the Connect IQ Store:

• Forerunner® 245, 645, 745, 935, 945
• fēnix® 5, 6 and Chronos
• quatix® 5 and 6
• tactix®

The Trailforks wearable interface provides all the same features previously only available on Edge Cycling Computers. Seamless integration between the Trailforks Website, Trailforks App and Garmin devices, enabling users to research the perfect day out on the trails.

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Website - Route Finder
Trailforks provides multiple ways to view, find, and select trail routes. I have a favorite trail run loop I like to do just a few blocks up the road, which I'll use to illustrate the new features. Trailforks provides a "Route Finder" feature where you can see all the most recent activities in an area and popular routes. My favorite lunch run is called "Against the Grain". By zooming into the trail system in the "Route Finder" I quickly see it popup on the list and select it. From the main route landing page, I can click the button "Save / Wishlist". That's it, the route is saved to your wishlist.

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Selecting a route (or someone elses ride) from the Route Finder

Trailforks App - Discover
In the Trailforks App finding great routes is easy when using the "Discover" menu item or button. The best way to do this is to first navigate on the main map to the location you want to look for routes. Select the "Discover" button to get an instant list of suggestions and links to specific regions nearby.

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Select Discover
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Select a suggested Route or Specific Area

From here you have many ways to research and find that perfect route. For this example, I am going to navigate to a local trail system "Corner Canyon", and select it from a list based upon the length of the run I want to do.

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Select a route
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Select a suggested Route or Specific Area

To display more Route options, select the Title or Route Metrics above or below the elevation graph. You can also use your finger to slide the graph up. One you do this, you will see more Route options

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Click "Save To"
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Click "Add to Wishlist"

Note: If you are going to start a ride that has no cell service, it is best to load it onto your watch before getting out of cell service range. Once on the watch, the route and all trails will be available in the back country.

In this example, I am starting from a trailhead near town. Once at the trailhead, first select "Trailforks" as the activity (Shown in the picture above). You will be given the opportunity to select the actual activity once the route is completely loaded.

The Trailforks Connect IQ App starts up and provides a list of various route finding options. Before I started on my trail run, I added my morning run to my "Wishlist", so I select "My Routes". If you have not put a route on your wishlist, you can use the other menu options to search for local routes:

Available Menus
My Routes- All routes on wishlist
Browse Top Routes - Trailforks Gold, IMBA Epics, Featured Nearby, Upcoming Races
Nearby Routes - Uses the Garmin GPS to detect location and list routes nearby
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Select Route
After pressing "My Routes", you will see a list of all of the routes you saved to your wishlist. I just added this new route to my wishlist, so it pops up right at the top of the list.

Select the route you want, and the watch will load a preview of the route.

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Route Preview
Once the route preview is loaded, a quick view of the route will be provided:
• Route Name
• Distance
• Elevation
• Route path preview (Not supported on all wearables) - This is the one feature that is not fully supported on all watches. Some of the higher end wearables have more memory and processing capability.

Click the Garmin "Select" button to initiate the route and elevation data download
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Select the Activity
Once the download is complete, and the wearable has loaded the route successfully, the activity screen will be presented again. At this point the Garmin software takes over and you can start your desired activity.
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Start Routing
Now the Garmin will try to determine your location. This route starts in the parking lot, so the Garmin detected that I was already partway on the course. At this point, my activity recording is started, and the Garmin is navigating me along the course.

Elevation (Below)
Trailforks provides elevation for each point along the route as part of the route upload. This feature enables you to preview the elevation and see your progress clearly displayed. Here you can see I have started up the climb and I can view altitude gain stats, as well as see a full graph of the entire route with min/max elevation.

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Route Guidance
This is one of my favorite features that the Garmin software provides. As I run, the software tracks you along the route and lets you know if you deviate off course. You don't have to be looking at the watch, as the device will make a little buzz sound and the watch will vibrate.

This is a Garmin feature, but it works best with accurate route data. Creating a course on Trailforks using the route creation interface enables you to use trail segments that have been corrected using our background heatmaps. Trailforks routes combined with Garmin location detection will provide the best route guidance experience.

Note: Trailforks trails are often re-aligned using ridelog averages for optimum accuracy. When you use a single ridelog that is a smartphone recording, or download routes from websites that use essentially the same thing, this feature doesn't work that well. A single recording will indicate that you are off course even when you are not.
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Trailforks Basemap
We are now back on course, and the Garmin routing calculates the remaining difference. You can see from the map view, that we are back on course and following the correct trail.

Note: This device is the Forerunner 945. Not all supported watches provide maps and color.

Pro Tip: Traiforks App support on Garmin Wearables does not require a Pro Membership. However, the map displayed is the Garmin Basemap, which is free to download for Pro Subscribers.
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Download the Trailforks Garmin Connect IQ App

More Trailforks Garmin Info


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One you complete the route, the watch buzzes


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todd avatar

Member since Mar 6, 2013
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