I created Trailville.com to document and share information on my local Hiking, Cross Country Ski, Biking, Mountain Biking, and Canoe & Kayak water trails as well as regional trails I have visited. In creating the site, I decided to use the concept of a Wiki and build in the ability for others to document and share their local trails. At this point I am limiting the site to trails in the United States and Canada.
This site is simply a hobby. If others want to document and share their local trails, then the site may grow into a large trail resource. If not, I will continue documenting the trails I use and the site will remain a small local/regional trail resource. Either way is fine with me.
Is the information on Trailville.com accurate? Maybe. The information provided on Trailville.com is submitted by trail users, not professional cartographers. The information provided is intended to supplement other maps and information and basic outdoor navigation skills. If you are solely depending on a map or other information provided on this site to get you safely through the trail, you are making a big mistake.
Think of this information as advice provided to you from a stranger that you bumped into on a trail. It's probably useful, possibly very accurate, and potentially completely wrong.
This could also be said of much of the trail maps and trail information provided by parks and other sources. I've picked up park trail maps at trailheads that were absolutely horrible. Overall, I think you'll find information provided on this site to be highly useful, but be aware that serious mistakes may be present.
Why should I (or you) want to share my trails? I'll admit I'm not particularly fond of the idea of bringing publicity to the trails I frequent. Being somewhat of a loner (not a scary dangerous loner, just someone that doesn't like a lot of company)I would prefer that the trails were just for me. But I realized that it was probably a little unrealistic to think that I could get tax dollars to purchase and preserve natural areas and build trails just for me. Which brings me to plan B. Bringing attention to trails and trail activities and getting greater participation in these activities means it's more likely that more land will be protected from urban sprawl and more trails will be created. In addition, if I share my local trails with others, maybe others will share their local trails with me. So in the end it's really all about me.
I've also found some other side benefits. Primarily, putting together information on local trails has gotten me to visit some trails that I haven't hit for years (or ever). There were a few that just reaffirmed my reasons for not frequenting them, but others that I really don't know why I stopped going there. I'm now spending more time on more trails than before I started the site. Plus, each published trail has a "Discussion" page where others can post additional information. This can be especially useful for posting trail conditions reports such as snow and grooming conditions for local cross-country ski trails, paddling conditions on rivers, or trail events such as cleanups or trail building. .
How is Trailville.com different from other trail sites? In some respects it's not. There are some very good trail sites out there. What I'm trying to do different with Trailville.com is to focus on not only covering the more popular trails, but getting information on the small local trails that don't get coverage on the big trail sites. In addition, the site is structured so there are logical groupings of trails based on locality. I'm also not focusing on a specific trail activity.
So, to use my local trail page as an example, if you go to Kenosha Area Trails you will find information on bike paths, hiking trails, ski trails, mountain bike trails, and canoe/kayak water trails in the Kenosha area. These would include small trails that would probably only be of interest to local residents as well as more popular trails in the area that may be of interest to visitors.
I'm also focusing on getting detailed useful information on the trail pages so site visitors reading a trail page can easily decide if the trail is right for them and have some valuable information related to navigation and potential hazards or obstacles. The Wiki functionality makes it easier to customize a page to the specific trail rather than be restricted to a strict form.
And for those interested in authoring trail pages on Trailville.com, I am not asking you to give up your rights to your own article (as many sites do). You continue to hold the copyright for your own work, you are just allowing me to publish your works. I am not asking for the right to sell, publish elsewhere, or authorize others to publish your works. You can even remove your content from the active portion of the site in the future if you so choose (though the information may still remain in the site history database and in various web caches that may still be available to the public). If you are interested in authoring trail pages see Becoming an Editor
And, I'm not charging fees or requiring registration just to view trail information.
On the down side, this site is just a hobby. I'm not a professional web developer and there is only a limited amount of time and money I am willing to put into keeping this site running. I'm not going to let this little trail site get in the way of my trail time.
What Trailville.com is NOT
- Trailville.com is not for motorized trail activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, paddling, climbing and other self-powered trail activities are OK. ATVers and snowmobilers will have to go elsewhere for their trail information.
- Trailville.com is not a "Racing" site. Though I don't have any problem with the occasional mention of a race as an event occurring on a specific trail, the main focus needs to be the trail, not the race on the trail.
- Trailville.com is not a "things to do while your in …" site. If it's not directly related to the trails, it doesn't belong here. So please refrain from mentioning that nice little antique shop or café in town unless the antique shop specializes in antique hiking gear or the café has a ski-thru window.