Our philosophy with Trailforks, and a big reason why we've branched out to map all trail sports not just mountain biking is this. You can't just bury your head in the sand and hope people don't find trails, cause they will, especially with stuff being mapped on OpenStreetMap or Strava (The Wild West). Often trails are already mapped publicly on OpenStreetMap, often with wrong names and gps tracks. But on OSM you can't easily tell what activities are allowed on the trails, just lines on a map.

So the most effective way to avoid trail conflict and misuse is EDUCATION. You can't really blame a moto rider riding a MTB trail, or a mountain biker riding a hiking trail if there are no maps or signage telling them they can't. By having ALL trails mapped on Trailforks with proper tagging of what activities are allowed on each trail, the trail user now has easy access to information letting them know what they can and cannot ride. Putting the responsibility in their hands. There will always be some bad apples that will ride whatever they want, they would do so with or without maps. But at least with the properly labeled maps, it will stop and educate the majority and can be used to maybe educate the others over time. Of course on-trail signage is probably the most effective in education, but that takes money, time and resources to create and implement, updating maps on Trailforks is an easy free low-hanging fruit to start the education.

There is also safety reasons to have trails mapped and a complete map of a trail network. It can help people navigate out if lost. Or if there is an incident, help in describing to 911 or SAR their location. SAR can use the map to determine the most efficient way to an incident site and best way for extraction if needed.

This is only two reasons to map trails. This page lists many of the other benefits to mapping trails on Trailforks.
Why Map Trails to Trailforks
  • By canadaka Trailforks Plus
  • #121 - 685 views