GPS Trail Data Available

posted in: Indoors | 1

As part of the new maps initiative, all trails, hikes, and rides on will eventually be GPS-mapped and all the GPS data will be available for download. Right now, a number of trails in the Pisgah National Forest, as well as all of the Tsali trails, have GPS-based maps. As time goes on, details about how each trail’s GPS data can be accessed (as well as updated) on the sites will be refined and finalized, and much more data will be added.

For now, here is a view of all the trails for which we have GPS data in WNC. The map will be displayed in Google Maps. You can download the KML by clicking “View In Google Earth” by clicking the link in the upper-right hand corner of the page. You can get this data into your GPS unit by saving a trail or Hike/Ride as an individual KML file, and converting that to a format your GPS understands with GPS Babel, which is a great, free program.

The data is all original, produced solely by It is hand-drawn in Google Earth, and then compared to (usually multiple) GPS tracks, official Forest Service GIS data, USGS topographical maps, satellite and aerial imagery, other available maps, and memory of the trail in relation to natural features for accuracy. This means that the routes shown represent what we feel is a general consensus of where that trail actually is on the ground. It is mainly intended for the purposes of displaying maps, and as with all maps and GPS data, it should not be relied upon for navigational purposes (without a certain, boulder-sized?, grain of salt). Excellent GPS units and even the most accurate private and government map sources can be slightly off, out-of-date, or just plain wrong in their depictions of trails! However, the process used to map these trails should produce a more accurate representation of our trails than many sources that have been available in the past.

The data is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means you can do whatever you want with it, as long as you attribute Be sure to let us know if you have suggestions, want to make corrections, or have other comments about the maps and data. Enjoy!

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