How To Turn Your Strava Data into a Usable Mountain Bike Trail Map

The massive popularity of Strava has changed the way many of us analyze data from our trail rides and has even changed how some people ride their mountain bikes. What some people don’t seem to realize, however, is that the data you collect via your Strava app can be used for much more than just proving that you’re actually the fastest rider to the top of the hill.

Mountain Bike Trail Maps

While Strava is a great way to track your personal data and compare yourself with others, it’s not a great app for finding trails to ride. Sure, there’s the “explore” feature, but that puts segments of all kinds on the map, including both pavement and dirt segments. The biggest problem is that the majority of segments are for just a single climb or single descent. Very rarely are there actual segments for an entire trail or trail system.

One of the thousands of trail maps hosted on Singletracks.com

That’s fine with us, because as you’re probably aware Singletracks.com is the best place to go to find information about mountain bike trails near you, and we boast the biggest mountain bike trail map database in the world with well over 20,000 miles of mapped singletrack.

No, the maps themselves aren’t free… it takes a lot of work to create and curate all of these maps. However, if you’re a Strava user, you can easily take your Strava data and earn a free Singletracks.com Lifetime Pro Membership.

How to Export .GPX Files from Strava

To turn your Strava data into mountain bike trail maps, you need to first export your data as a .GPX file. To do this, click on over to Strava, and go to the ride that you want to turn into a trail map.

Click on “View Details” to pull up the complete page for that specific ride.

Next, click on the down arrow next to the “Actions” button.

Then, select “Export GPX” from the drop down list.

Then click the button verifying that you want to save the file to your computer.

How To Upload .GPX Files to Singletracks

Now all that’s left is to upload the GPX file to Singletracks.com. First, find the trail listing for the trail that you rode (in this example, that’s Pandapas Pond).

Second, scroll down a little ways and click the “Submit GPS Data” button on the right hand side of the page.

Now, click the “Upload GPS data file” button, click “Browse” to find the file that you downloaded from the Strava website earlier, add a title, and then click “Preview.”

If everything looks good, click the “Great – save it!” link, and then we’ll take care of everything from there!

Conclusion

With just three new map uploads or map updates, you can quickly earn a free Pro Subscription and access to thousands of mountain bike trail maps! But if you have a Lewis and Clark complex and just love to explore, don’t stop there… keep uploading your maps whenever you ride a new trail so that together we can build the best source of mountain bike trail information possible!

Your Turn: What are you waiting for? Start uploading your Strava data now!

Related posts:

  1. Singletracks Strava Club + Strava Segments on Trail Pages
  2. Using Data to Predict Mountain Bike Trail Conditions and Improve Trails
  3. GPS Trail Data Manager: GPS Tracks + Ridelog Integration
  4. GPS Trail Data Manager: Now accepting GPX files
  5. Convert your Garmin Edge cycling data here!

This entry was posted in Beginners, MTB Trails, Singletracks and tagged , , by mtbgreg1. Bookmark the permalink.

About mtbgreg1

My name is Greg Heil, and I am the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com. I've been mountain biking seriously since 2005, and I love to travel and ride new trails. My travels have taken me across the United States multiple times. To date (November 2013), I have ridden hundreds of different trails in 18 different states, and am adding more singletrack to my trail resume every year! I enjoy all types of mountain biking, from ultra endurance cross country all the way up to chair lift-accessed downhill runs.

43 thoughts on “How To Turn Your Strava Data into a Usable Mountain Bike Trail Map

  1. Does the upload have to be of a trail that has not been explored yet? Or can it be of anything?
    Just wondering because I have tons of different places that I have logged on Strava that I would love to upload to you guys!

    • It can be any trail. Look for trails near you that are already posted here, but lack a topo map. Go out, ride trails, log singletrack and upload to the website and win. That is how I did it. There were TONS of trails around me that didn’t (and there still are some) have data here, but were already listed. So, I spent weekends out riding and logging and uploading data to Singletracks.com.

      I’ve posted some trails to Singletracks that I’ve found on other sites and then uploaded the GPX data after.

      If it can pass as singletrack, post it up here.

  2. I have wondered and wondered if you guys could use my Strava info. Good to know that you can and I almost messaged you this morning and asked after reading the thread about Strava and how it effects the ride and specific riders on the trail. I guess the attitide that comes with trying for KOM can be a buzz kill. My fiance’ for example is QOM on everything in our area. Two factors contribute to this, one being she is a very strong female rider that isnt afraid of a little air so she doesnt slow down over the jumps and things of that nature. Another being that there aren’t many female riders in our area (East Texas) and the girls that do ride would prolly never even think about tracking thier times or care to. rant rant rant, ramble one etc….

    To the point of this article though. Thanks! I have months of data on singletrack in my area that i would love to share. I appreciate the step by step instructions and will be happy to contribute these upcoming weeks. Excited about the pro membership as well.

    I dont get in the mix much with comments/post like i should but i do appreciate the information that Ive had at the tips of my fingertips to pursue my passion.

    I have hundreds and hundreds of trail pics in my area as well that i will upload to the specific system that its on. ill be sure to contribute to reviews as well.

    Im about to step up my singletrack.com game sir. And im going to start by purchasing 2 shirts that i saw on the feed. (the 2 for $20)

    Thanks Gregg and company!

  3. For uploading purposes, if I rode a trail multiple times in a ride is there a way for me to clean that up on my end (so there aren’t 3 tracks on the same trail) or is that something you do on your end?

    • Interesting. I noticed when looking at others’ rides on Strava that the GPX Export option wasn’t available (only for my own rides). So maybe that’s what they’re enabling for premium members?

      • I was about to comment on that. Strava’s latest feed is that the GPX download is a premium feature. Kinda sucks for those of us who (haven’t yet) paid for the premium part. I’m waiting on a heart rate monitor (come on, Christmas!) before that happens.

        Everyone else, take a look in the forums for other GPX logging apps available out there. MyTracks is one where you can ride, save the data as GPX and then upload to both Starva AND Singletracks. I’ve found it to be a bit more accurate, too. But the Strava app may have updated and changed that.

        Either way, there are options for submitting your data. It might mean a bit more on the head end (not just log, and submit), but it isn’t that tough.

  4. Actually, upon rereading the post, it sounds like premium members can download OTHER people’s tracks and things to GPX. You should be able to download YOUR data at any point in time.

  5. I’ve tried logging gpx files from a ride I did last week. I followed your instructions, but in addition to the file being .gpx, it’s also .xml

    So it reads “filename.gpx.xml” after downloading it from strava onto my macbook.

    Any suggestions??

    Thanks.

  6. I uploaded 4 trails, of which 3 were rejected, and 1 is pending. I initially didn’t know where to look to see if you already had a trail mapped. However, I uploaded 2 more trails that you didn’t have and haven’t heard or seen anything since. I’m assuming you guys are now completely covered up with data. I hope to hear from you soon! Also, I’m planning to go ride another one you don’t have this weekend!

      • Thanks Greg! I just submitted another unmapped one today and will likely get another one next week. There seems to be a lot of good trails in Ohio that haven’t been mapped yet for some reason. I’ll upload some trail pics too.

  7. I uploaded 3 updates and 2 that where combined so far and all of the maps for them are now not listed in the trial maps area. Also about how long or what will I have to do to upgrade my membership to pro?

    • Uploads are combined when you upload multiple files for the same trail. I then go in and mesh those submitted files with the currently existing file and try to eliminate the extraneous data.

      The files that you uploaded aren’t listed on the trails page because they are now “pending,” meaning that we are waiting for the PDF files to be made. Once that’s done, they’ll be reset to “active.”

      Once you have 3 accepted submissions, we will upgrade your account to pro for you! (Note: combined submissions, rejected submissions, and duplicate submissions, do not count towards this total.)

      Hope that helps! :)

      • Awesome, I can’t wait for better weather here in St. Louis so I can hit all of the other single track yet to be added and get all of my local trails updated!

  8. How can I delete pending submissions? Being the first time I created a new trail (Chambers Gully) I was learning. Finally I got one really good copy of the map. The earlier versions I uploaded are now useless and should be deleted.

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