Let’s Map Our Trails!

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For years we’ve talked about how good it would be to have a free online database of trails we run across Australasia that we can refer to, update and use as a reference when we’re looking for exciting places to plan our next adventure.


There exists an excellent online system for creating and maintaining the trails we run in the shape of “TrailRunProject” a ‘not-for-profit’ initiative by the massive REI coop.

All that is needed it smart time-rich kiwis to upload their GPX files and add course descriptions.

Take a moment to check out the finished product I made for The Tongariro Northern Circuit.

And the awesome web-page ‘widget’ we can use to share and highlight the trails

You get naming rights and all the cool internet points for being the person that submitted the trail  (“FIRST!”), and you help establish the online trail network that will help other trail runners find their way and share their runs.

Trail Run Project (TRP) has a great “check-in” feature well as letting you add routes to your ‘to-do’ lists, download GPX files or update important information about current conditions or hazards etc.  This making it a living breathing database of real-time info for people planning their adventures.AllTrailsMapEditor

Creating trails is easy! – Get a GPX of a track.  Either download it from your watch, pinch it off strava or make it from new with an online app such as “AllTrails“.  All Trails is great because it has an excellent ‘snap-to-track’ feature which means you can create the route in a few clicks.

In the AllTrails Map editor save the GPX then upload it to TrailRunProject.

Once uploaded you can add descriptions and important information about the track as well as some photographs before submitting it for approval.  If you get anything wrong the friendly support team at TRP will get back to you overnight (USA hrs) and work with you to complete your submission.

NOTE – Featured runs are made of many trails.  You need to create the trails one-by-one THEN add the featured run.  So for example, The Hillary Trail is made of many trails.  You need to create and submit each of the trails and have them approved before you can create and submit the Hillary Trail in it’s entirety.  Similarly the Ultra-trail Australia course is a series of linked trails like Kedumba, Futber etc.Creating a Trail or Featured Run

Some areas will be a complicated network of individual trails (Blue Mountains, Waitakeres, etc) while some areas will be one or two trails to complete (Faulconbridge, Glenbrook, Te Aroha, Pirongia etc).

Take your time with it and chip away a few trails a day and within no much time we’ll have most of Australasia mapped for the use of trail runners across the wider continent.