Thinking of getting outside to enjoy the warm weather? Looking for a safe place to walk, skate, or ride your bicycle? Going on vacation and wondering about the trail system there?
A national non-profit organization called Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is creating multi-purpose trails out of the nation’s abandoned railroad lines. These trails are appropriate for walking, bicycling, skating, cross-country skiing, equestrian, and wheelchair use. So far the group has created more than 20,000 miles of rail-trails, including several in the State of Michigan. Follow the Conservancy’s free “Find a Trail” link to locate a trail.
Take a look at other websites that offer trail information.
Trails.com –This website allows users to find hiking trails, mountain biking trails, walking trails, off-road trails, and rail-trails for national parks, mountains, and more. Visitors to the website can view summaries of trails for free, but to download or print the trail guides or topo maps, one must be a subscriber.
American Trails – This group has been around for more than 25 years and claims to be “the only national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests.” These include not just hiking and biking, but horseback riding, cross-country ski, and snowmobile trails. Their Trails tab allows searching by state, or by type of trail, such as National Scenic trails or National Historic trails. A search by state recreation trails will link up to the National Recreation Trail database.
Book Description: “Santella, along with top expedition leaders, explores the world’s greatest walking adventures. Whether it’s climbing the Rwandan mountains to view mountain gorillas or strolling through bistros along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, there’s a memorable hike at everyone’s level within these 50 chapters.” –Provided by publisher
Book Description: “Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a-glance information, helping readers quickly find the perfect trip. Sized to fit in a pocket, the book’s detailed trail descriptions will help readers find their way on and off the trail. Driving directions and GPS trailhead coordinates will help with navigating the myriad of unnamed roads. The trails covered range from those best suited to the novice, families, experienced hikers, or backpackers.” – Provided by publisher
Book Description: “A picture-driven guide…created for visual learners, it covers every step needed for the best hiking and backpacking experience one step at a time. From picking the right gear to cooking gourmet trail food, from good hiking technique to dressing the part.” –Back cover
Book Description: “How to ride off-road motorcycles gives first-time riders all the information they need to know to get started in this exciting sport. Author Gary LaPlante takes riders through a step-by-step lesson plan that details the basic and advanced techniques to safely navigate the trails.” –Provided by publisher.
Book Description: “This manual’s contemporary styling and breathtaking photography combine to create a title rich in technical content and accessible to all levels of rider from the complete novice to the more advanced. A must-have book for anyone looking to improve their core riding skills or advance their abilities to the next level.” – Summary
Book Description: In this edition in the popular series, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy presents the best of the Great Lakes rail-trails, home to the most rail-trails in the country. With 113 rural, suburban, and urban trails threading through nearly 2300 miles, Rail-Trails Midwest: Great Lakes covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Book Description: “From the remote roadways and rolling hills in Keweenaw County to the flat terrain and urban riding near Detroit, enjoy the dramatic diversity of Upper and Lower Michigan on two wheels. Grab this guidebook, put on your helmet, and hit the road for forty carefully designed tours that range in length from a 9.5-mile ramble to an 85-mile classic and cover a whole range of abilities and fitness levels.” – Back cover
Book Description: Gives an overview of trail riding, provides advice on choosing and buying the right trail horse, offers information about where to ride, how to haul the trailer, and even finding places to stay.
Book Description: A complete guide to the sport and pastime, this primer is for the novice and aficionado alike. It includes routine bike maintenance tips, simple tricks, and tutorials that will increase cycling performance. It focuses on both learnable skills and understanding components and hardware, and is aimed at road and mountain cyclists as well as tri-athletes. –Summary