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Overview of Trail Run Project Features

On Trail Run Project, you can discover, research and plan your run with the following information which can be found by clicking on any trail or run page. Note that not all features that are available on the website can be found in the mobile app. If you have an account, you can also contribute the following items:
A trail is a single trail as you would find on a printed map.
Recommended Runs
A recommended run is a complete route that uses one or more trails. Runs will have detailed description, photos and need to know information like fees, parking and any notable highlights.
Photos offer snapshots of the trail or run to give others an idea of the experience. These can be landscapes, viewpoints, the trail, actions shots of people and interesting features.
Gems highlight iconic landmarks or highly memorable experiences that visitors won't want to miss.
Difficulty ratings
The difficulty icon can be found next to the trail/run name. It will also be listed in the Trail Data by the length. Difficulty ratings are an average of all votes; perceived difficulty can differ from person to person, so the rating system is designed to give you a general sense of the communities’ overall opinion.

If you are signed into your account, you can add your vote by scrolling to the “Rate This Trail/Run” section. You can see the breakdown of individual ratings by clicking the “Full Details” link in the ratings section. Trail difficulty is characterized by the following:

Flat. Few obstacles.

Some uneven terrain. Mostly flat.

Moderate inclines. Uneven terrain.

Some rocks, roots. Steep sections.

Steep. Tricky terrain.

Very Difficult
Very steep. Potentially hazardous terrain.

Star ratings
Star ratings are an average of all votes. Enjoyment and perceived difficulty can differ from person to person, so the rating system is designed to give you a general sense of the communities’ overall opinion. You can see the breakdown of individual ratings by clicking the “Full Details” link in the ratings section. If you are signed into your account, you can add your vote by scrolling to the “Rate This Trail/Run” section.
Trail conditions can be updated by contributors with a Trail Run Project account. You can also click the “See History” link for a list of past condition reports. To update conditions, click the Update Conditions next to the Current Trail Conditions section. There are standard conditions to select from, a box for optional details and a checkbox to apply conditions to nearby trails. If conditions have not been updated in 100 days, the site will report unknown.

  • All Clear: Trail is open and there are no obstacles or wet sections.
  • Minor Issues: There may be patches of mud, snow, ice or possibly a downed tree. The trail is open but should be used with caution. Care should be taken to avoid damaging the trail.
  • Bad/Closed: Trail has been closed by the land manager or using it will damage the trail. Potentially dangerous/hazardous conditions may exist.

Offer personal insight or thoughts about a trail or run so others can learn about your experience on the trail. Anyone with an account can post comments to trails, runs, photos, gems or videos.
You can toggle between four background maps: Terrain, Satellite, OSM and NeoTreks. You will need to be logged in to your account to use OSM and NeoTreks. In order to toggle between the different base layers, click the layers icon at the lower right of the map and select the base layer you would like to use.

  • Terrain: Offers a topographical overview of the area.
  • Satellite: Overlays the trails on a satellite image.
  • OSM (Open Street Maps): A crowd-sourced compilation of map data from around the world.
  • NeoTreks: National Forest, National Park, BLM and State Park map data which may outline trails and OHV tracks in addition to roads

On the Mobile App, to switch from one map base layer to another, tap the info icon on the map. Here you will be able to toggle between satellite imagery and a topographic terrain base map. OSM is not available on the Mobile App.

Different lines are used on the map to help you determine the type of trail and its difficulty rating. The color of the line is associated with the difficulty rating.

  • Green lines indicate trails are Easy.
  • Blue lines indicate trails are Intermediate.
  • Black lines indicate trails are Difficult or Very Difficult.
  • Yellow highlight indicates a run or suggested/recommended route.

Trail data
You can switch from imperial to metric units under your account settings.

  • Length The mileage listed corresponds to the mapped green start point and red end point on the map. Most trails will indicate point-to-point mileage. Loop or out-and-back runs may indicate round-trip mileage with the start and end point at the same location.
  • Trail Type:
    • Singletrack is defined as a dirt trail that can accommodate the width of one runner.
    • Doubletrack is a wide trail, ATV track or dirt road.
    • Paved Path is a paved trail like a bike path or city walking path, not a sidewalk or road.
  • Elevation Ascent/Descent: Based on the mapped direction of travel, this is the total amount of elevation gained or lost over the entire length of the route.
  • Elevation High/Low: These are the highest and lowest elevation points reached on the trail or run.
  • Avg. Grade/Max Grade: The average grade is the average steepness of the entire trail. The max grade is the single steepest section you will encounter on the trail. (Keep in mind the accuracy of the grade is related to the accuracy of the GPS track over an elevation model that may also have inaccuracies.) These numbers are only meant to be used as a guide and should not be used to determine the exact slope angle. On-trail risk and other hazards posed by steep terrain should be assessed in the field, not exclusively by the numbers provided here.

Virtual tour
This allows you to visualize the run or trail in three-dimensions, with options to change the angle of view, altitude, speed of the tour and position along the route. You will need to be logged in to your account to use this feature.
Features and descriptions
  • Dogs: Lets others know if dogs are allowed on a trail and, if so, if they need to be leashed.
  • Features: Lists the highlights of the trail or run.
  • Summary: Recaps the trail or hike in one complete descriptive sentence.
  • Overview: (runs only) A brief, high-level description that summarizes what makes the hike special, including highlights like viewpoints, fun sections, etc.
  • Need to Know: Outlines any parking fees, restroom access, nearby cafés, etc.
  • Description: Descriptions guide others through the entire experience of the trail or run (e.g. terrain, trail surface, major turns, highlights, etc.). Currently, we do not require descriptions for trails although we would love for you to add them anyway. However, we do require detailed descriptions for runs.
  • Access Issues: Includes, but is not limited to, closure dates and known restrictions.
  • History & Background: (runs only) Describes any key historical features or interesting background notes on the trail or area.
  • Trail Run Notes: (Will only appear on Trail Run Project) Depicts anything runners should know, such as trail surface or if running is prohibited.
  • Flora and Fauna: Describes the plants and animals runners might encounter along the trail or run.
  • Land Manager: Links to the website of the entity that owns or manages the land.
  • Local Clubs: Links to the website of the club that is active in the area.
The weather forecast is pulled from the National Weather Service for the nearest recognized location.
Driving directions
Directions may be shown to any of the following: the start of a trail or hike, to the parking area symbol, to the drive-up camping symbol or to the visitor center symbol. For driving directions to the start of a trail or run, click the Driving Directions button which will open a navigation map such as Google or Waze. For symbols with driving directions, click on the symbol to bring up a “Driving directions” option, which will open a navigation map.
GPX file
A .GPX file is the georeferenced track that shows up as a line on the map. Click the GPX File link to download a .GPX file of the trail or run. Once you’ve downloaded the file, you can then upload or save the track to a GPS enabled device (Garmin, phone, etc) for navigating on trail.
Favorites are a great way to keep track of trails and runs that you'd like to complete. If you are logged into your account, you can add a trail, run or gem to your Favorites list by clicking the Add Favorites button. If you would like to remove a trail, run or gem from your Favorites list, click the trash icon.
Check-Ins help you keep track of where you've been and help you see how recently others have done a given route. Once logged into your account, you can add a check-in for it by clicking “Check In” on the trail, run or gem page. All check-ins are saved to your personal profile and are added to the list of public Check Ins on the page.

Please check out the FAQ topics.

You can Contact Us if you still need help, but we have limited capacity to respond to everyone.