Going on a hike?
You may be concerned with running into a bear. Or maybe getting bitten by a copperhead or timber rattlesnake. Or contracting Lyme disease from a deer tick. Maybe you're worried about bees, wasps, or hornets. Or being the first on the trail and walking through all the fresh spider webs (the worst).
Scary, I know. But what you shouldn't worry about is not knowing the length or difficulty of a trail. Does it have a million side trails? You should know. Is the trail rocky or covered in roots? Is is a wide gravel path or a narrow overgrown trail? What's the number for the ranger station I should call if I want more info or up to date open/closure information? There's a lot of things you can't control, but you should know what kind of hike you're getting yourself into.
Enter Hike The South
If you live in the Southeast US, Hike The South has you covered. Many other hiking sites only have a few images and usually these are just the view or waterfall at the end. Some sites allow users to upload images so you get 200 of the exact same waterfall. Some sites have elevation graphs but are too small to read or don't have enough axis markers to really tell what's going on.
I built Hike The South with a focus on data driven design. The goal was to answer one question: Do I want to go on this hike? So how is this site different?
- Images that show you what the trail is like from beginning to end.
- Full screen width elevation graphs and Google Maps of the trail topography.
- A difficulty formula based on exponential elevation differences (twice as steep = more than twice the difficulty rating) between each GPS Trackpoint. Additional difficulty is given for factors beyond length and elevation such as rough terrain, difficult navigation, stream crossings, etc.
- A comprehensive list of all the data you need to get hiking.
Where does your donation go?
I currently have the hiking gear, camera equipment, and other things I need while hiking. I really just need to keep hiking and keep the site running. Your donation will go directly to...
- Gas. They keep charging me for it.
- Website hosting. This will grow as the site traffic increases.
Any donation is greatly appreciated.
As I said, I really need to keep hiking and add as many trails as I can possibly get.
Other than that, I have a lot of updates in mind for the site. First and foremost, I recently did a complete redesign of the site and left out some functionality I wanted to spend more time on so I'll be adding that soon. The most pressing of which is the map view for search. Beyond this I have plenty of ideas, some vetted and others not so much.
- Feature pages to focus on...
- States with breakdowns for major cities, waterfall hikes, paved paths, etc.
- Major trails like the AT and the Mountains-to-Sea trail
- Major parks/areas like the Smokies and the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Other fun/random classifications such as Southern Sixers
- Updates to search to include location/distance filter options and split map/grid view.
- Question and Answer sections on each hike.
- More hike details such as bathroom condition, park hours, and similar hikes based on length and difficulty.
- More user options like saving favorites and side by side hike comparisons.