The Sierra Club has launched a great new site for outdoors enthusiasts: a trail wiki simply called Sierra Club Trails. This is an idea I've long thought about, and I'm glad a stellar organization like the Sierra Club jumped on board to make it happen.
If you've ever visited a place -- or found yourself strapped for a good idea for an outing in your own 'hood -- then this is the Website for you. Or, it will be. Right now, it's a great Website if you fancy yourself, as I do, a Chamber of Commerce for the outdoors in your hometown.
The idea is simple: Everyone has the ability to upload information about trails of any kind -- hiking, biking, equestrian, kayaking, etc. -- and everyone else has the ability to edit the information about those trails. I uploaded some information about Black Creek Forest Preserve (pictured here at sunrise), one of my favorite hikes in New York's Hudson Valley. I plan on uploading a lot more (all of New York only had 8 hikes, including mine, so there's a lot of room to grow.) The whole process of creating a new hike only takes a few minutes (it may take a little longer if you're not used to posting to blogs). Have a photo handy, as well as basic info about the trail (directions for getting there, approximate length and difficulty, links to maps, etc.).
And if you live in, or are visiting, the Hudson Valley, check out the hikes I love. (Incidentally, if you are visiting, and want to try kayaking the Hudson River, check out my friend Lee's great new business, combining kayaking tours, lessons and nature photography on the Hudson out of Rhinecliff: Hudson Valley Kayak Tours.)
Here's some more information from the Sierra Club about its new site:
In addition to hiking and paddling trails, the site also features tips for hikers, a birding blog, photo contests, and Nature Notes, a series of audio features based on interviews with naturalists and Sierra Club Outings leaders. Sierra Club Trails is also an online community where users can create profiles and meet other hikers and nature-lovers, as well as join discussion forums with topics like the best trail mix recipe or whether guns should be allowed in national parks. Community members can form groups around a particular outdoor interest or place.
The site also features discussion boards for parents, to help encourage families to spend more time together outdoors in nature.
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