We have a lot of visitors to our shop wanting to rip on some of the trails that the Gorge has to offer. We try to provide as much info as we can, showing our favorite maps, giving some tips and tricks around, and offering our best recommendations.
We like maps. We think carrying a good map In your backpack is a really smart idea to get you around. We are also lucky the trail maps for Hood River area are very well thought out. However, everyone knows the ultimate* tool to guide you through the forest is your freaking cellphone.
(*almost ultimate; because it makes you battery dependent.)
We have tried different navigation maps: Strava, Mtb Project, Single Tracks, Trail Forks, Ride with GPS, Map My Ride, Connect, All Trails… you mention it. Even though some of those are great, they all have a few down sides that make it too much of a pain in the butt to stick to. Not cool.
During one of our trips to European lands (because here at the HRB committee we are kind of fancy, you know?), we got introduced to a popular navigation app out there: Wikiloc! So we started using it, we liked it, and we decided to adopt it as our main navigation system (for now).
Wikiloc started as a trail .GPX sharing website for multiple outdoor activities. They have a good database backing them up, linked to a pretty darn powerful website that lets you upload files, easily see them on a world map, draw your own routes, connect with people and all sorts of things.
Nowadays they offer a user friendly app that works like a Garmin. This way you can collect GPS tracks but you can also follow someone else’s, as if you were navigating with Google Maps on your car. The app also lets you download offline maps of the entire state; this way one has more chances of getting back home with enough juice on the phone to cover the entire ride. Pretty cool huh? But what makes it even cooler, is the fact that the app lets you do a lot without having to spend money on it. Although if you like it, and you use it a lot, they do accept donations and offer certain privileges when downloading tracks directly to your phone and such.
So far we have been really happy with it, so we chose Wikiloc to share our rides with YOU through this blog. Are we going to stick to it? We don’t know, but we will keep using it as long as it serves our purposes. It is your choice to use the app, but at least you will get a good idea on the rides we do through our profile on Wikiloc’s website. Feel free to download the .gpx files and open them on whatever platform you please, but we do encourage people to use the Wikiloc app to share rides, in order to build up a trail network of this area for everyone to follow.
Keep posted for more riding suggestions!
The HRB committee