By Jim Hagerty
Those wishing to get the scoop on where the hottest mountain biking trails, fishing holes, hiking trails and mountain climbing spots are in the United States now have just about every location at their fingertips.
Billed as the “world’s most comprehensive guide of outdoor sports,” Trails.com is just that. Owned by Internet conglomerate Demand Media, Trails.com provides topographical maps, outdoor tutorials and guides in just about every city in the nation, including Rockford and surrounding areas. More than 45,000 travel guides are downloadable on the site, while each article is written by an enthusiast or outdoor professional.
Trails.com also houses a massive online store that specializes in outdoor gear apparel, footwear and more. Top brands like North Face,Timberland and Keen are all available at the online store.
While users can opt to pay for a premium membership for complete access to the site’s features, there are many free perks. Trail maps, gear reviews and other features are free. Each trail map includes the lengths of trails and three-dimensional views. Powered by Google, Trails.com also contains a massive list of outdoor events in participating cities.
For example, Rockford road bike enthusiasts can turn to Trails.com for updates about the Blackhawk Metric Challenge. Member riders have the option to map the ride based on elevation, length, latitude and longitude coordinates and load the information into any GPS system.
Looking for lodging as well as outdoor activities? The Trails.com reservation engine searches for lodging where special rates often apply for premium members. From Eugene, Ore., to Skowhegan, Maine, Trails.com has information about their outdoors.
According to Trails.com officials, the recently designated Rock River Trail will certainly be part of Illinois and Wisconsin listings alongside state and national parks, campgrounds, hiking trails and mountain biking areas along the Rock River as they become mapped and picked up by Google.
Outdoors news and photos can be sent directly to Jim Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org. Glossies and hard-copy press kits can be mailed or delivered to The Rock River Times’ office at 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101. Jim can be reached at (815) 964-9767.
From the May 5-11, 2010 issue