About this Guide

When this site was started in the early 1990s, trail mapping was done with map and compass in the field. We connected to the Internet with dial-up modems. No affordable mountain bike had suspension. There were no Slime tubes and Power Bars stuck to the frame and tasted like sawdust. It's good that some things change. And some things don't. This is still a free, no-frills, and no-advertising guide to trails.

About the ratings. One of the toughest parts of a guide is rating trails and giving a realistic riding time. The shortest time listed is usually our best time and the longest is an estimate of a things-went-wrong ride. I give a few words of Quick Rating but the Rating paragraph should give you a good idea what to expect.

Trail Maps are based on USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps. The trails themselves are taken from topographic maps, remote imagery, and my own mapping and GPS readings on the trail. Whenever possible I have used GPS measurements to update older maps.

Distances were initially measured directly from the topographic maps and in recent years updated with GPS tracks. In light of the variability and limitations of existing technology, it is unlikely that your on-the-trail mileage will match mine. I've found it best to rely on landmarks (like trail crossings) to keep track of where you are, along with a good trail map. The trail logs are geared toward this type of trail riding.

Elevation profiles can be very helpful when trying to get an idea what an unknown trail is like. The older elevation profiles were taken directly from topo maps. More recent profiles were extracted from USGS DEMs. An attempt was made early to give all profiles the same vertical exaggeration (approximately 4:1) for ease of comparison. As steeper trails were added, vertical exaggeration was reduced to 2:1.

Printing trail maps. Much time has been spent creating detailed and accurate trail maps that download quickly. Older JPGs are slowly being replaced by newer PDF versions.

JPG Trail Maps. These trail maps are sized to fit on an 8.5x11-inch sheet at 200 dpi (dots per inch). Unfortunately, web browsers convert JPG files to screen resolution (72 dpi). That means the browser gives you a huge map nearly 3 times its original size. Do not print these out of your browser unless you want a multi-page map. Print the map from a graphics program that understands dpi and you'll get a one-page map with good detail.

PDF Maps. As trail descriptions are updated, JPG maps are replaced with PDFs to eliminate the hassles involved with printing JPGs. PDF maps should open and print from your browser with no additional manipulation.


Copyright 1997-2010 R Scott Cherba All Rights Reserved