CANADA – A new interactive trail map that helps hikers find little-known backpacking routes in North America officially launched this week.
The announcement comes as the Labor Day long weekend approaches – an especially busy time for national parks and hiking trail systems in the U.S. and Canada.
The map can be found on Slick & Twisted Trails, a website dedicated to helping backpackers and hikers explore areas that are off-the-beaten-path.
“Famous routes like the Appalachian Trail or West Coast Trail get all the attention,” said Dustin Walker, owner and editor of Slick & Twisted Trails.
“But often there are backpacking trails relatively close to those hotspots that are just as amazing – and they get just a fraction of the crowds.”
Walker added that it’s important to help build awareness around these lesser-known trails to help reduce the traffic on more popular routes. The number of visitors to national parks in the U.S. has increased by nearly 8% over last year alone.
Dustin created the map with the help of four backpackers and thru-hikers who are located across North America. Trails are each given a ‘Solitude’ factor and descriptions include tips on when to best experience the routes.
The map covers everything from remote treks through the wilds of New Mexico and the lesser-ssen side of Badlands National Park to overnight hikes on remote B.C. islands.
Dustin hopes more people contribute trail descriptions to the map.
“As backpackers contribute their own little-known trails to the map, it will help even more people appreciate places they wouldn’t otherwise know about.”