Spring is in the air here this week and I’ve been having great luck mapping some of the local mountain bike trails with my GPS (Lake Crabtree, Harris Lake, and Southern Village all in the last 5 days). This really is the best time of year to get out and map the trails with your GPS for a number of reasons:
1. The weather is warmer and the days are longer. I know I’ve been seriously itching to get back on the trails and having a goal (to map a trail) makes it that much easier to make the time for riding, even if I’m still a bit out of shape.
2. The leaves are still off the trees. GPS signals often get lost in thick leafy tree cover so hitting the trails while the leaves are down gets you the best mapping results. Spring is also better than late fall in this regard since the leaves on the trail are probably crunched down and swept off the trail by now, making unfamiliar trails easier to follow.
3. You can score a free trail map membership to singletracks before the summer riding season. Yep, it’s a shameless plug but I’m really trying to help you out here. If you submit just 3 of your GPS trail maps you’ll get access to our entire catalog of mountain bike trail maps and GPS data covering almost 200 MTB trails across the US.
Of course in some areas of the country the snow is just starting to melt and wet trails really aren’t ideal for GPS mapping. (in fact, please don’t ride on wet trails for any reason – it’s not worth it!) Fortunately here in the southeast the trails are pretty dry right now ahead of the April showers so now is a great time for a summer trail preview!