One of the best parts about hiking (or even taking a walk in your neighborhood) is paying attention to your surroundings, and noticing new things each time. But with so much of the world to explore, you probably also want to see new parts of it—including in your own area.
No matter how much we love our favorite trail at the local park, or Sunday stroll through a nearby graveyard, chances are, there are hidden gems you haven’t come across yet. Or, let’s say you want to do a day trip somewhere a few hours away, and know the general area where you want to hike, but aren’t familiar with the trails. That’s where the interactive online tools on a site called Wandermap come in. Here’s what to know.
What is Wandermap?
We first learned about Wandermap from the smarties over at Recomendo—specifically, Mark Frauenfelder, who included the site as one of his picks in a recent newsletter.
In short, it’s a map with both “official” and user-generated trails all over the world, where you can search for a variety of new-to-you hikes, or plan your own route. And in fact, the route-planning tool is Frauenfelder’s favorite feature of the site, because it allows users to not only see the distance, but also the changes in elevation along the way.
How to use Wandermap
It’s free to register for the site, and save and store your personal route collection and training log. (You can also use the site without registering, if you’d prefer.) If you’re looking for a hike in a particular location, first make sure that you can see its continent on the map.
Europe is the default continent on the map when you visit the website. To search for hikes in North America, use the cursor to move the map so North America is visible. Then, pop your desired hiking location into the search bar, or keep zooming in until individual hikes show up in your chosen area.
Another one of Frauenfelder’s favorite features is that the desktop website generates a QR code of your hiking route, making it easy to transfer it to your phone and hit the trail. You also have the option to export the GPS data for the hike.
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