Organizing Mountain Bike Trail Info

heilvalleymap

Heil Valley Ranch map courtesy Boulder County. (you are not actually “here” 🙂 )

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: singletracks.com exists to help you find the best mountain bike trails. We’re serious about making trail information more accessible and we’re always adding new features like the interactive trailhead map to help you find the best dirt. We’ve put a lot of thought into organizing trail information over the last 11 years and with all the new members on singletracks this summer we thought it would be a good time to talk about our trail organization philosophy.

Perhaps the most important question to start with is: What makes a trail a trail? We actually wrote about this 2 years ago in detail but I’ll try to boil down our ideas to a few simple points:

  1. Just because a trail has a name doesn’t mean it needs its own listing or map on singletracks. Places like Palmer Park have at least a half dozen named trails contained within the park but it gets just one listing. Same goes for open spaces, trail networks, preserves, etc. This makes it so riders don’t have to look at 6 different pages just to see what a MTB destination is all about. The image above shows a map of Heil Valley Ranch which contains 4 named trails but a single listing.
  2. Length is important. The Colorado Trail is hundreds of miles long and it’s impossible to ride the whole thing in a day. In this case it makes sense to break the trail listings into single trip segments that start and end at established trailhead areas with convenient parking even though it is technically a single trail.
  3. Trails need to be open to mountain biking on a regular basis to be listed on singletracks. Clearly this means illegal trails should never be listed but it also means trails on private property that are only open for occasional races shouldn’t be either. Some trails are open opposite hunting season while others are only open one month a year – these are ok to be listed, just be sure to make closure information clear in the description.

Unlike some other MTB sites you may have used, we’re constantly checking for duplicate trail listings and updating trail info based on member feedback. We’ve even set it up so all the reviews, photos, wishlist entries, etc. are transferred when we have to consolidate duplicate trail listings to keep all the info in one place. Sweet.

Want to add a trail but aren’t sure if it needs a new listing? First, search the site to see if it’s already listed using the trailhead map or the search box at the top of the page. Also feel free to email us if you have questions – we’re here to help and we love finding out about new trails!

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