Whether you want to go on or off the beaten path, you can find a trail that suits your family's needs with a trail finder. These interactive listings let you search by activity (from birding to snowshoeing), by state, by terrain and more. Check out what's in your neighborhood
or at your next vacation destination with a simple-to-use trail finder. I bet you know what I'm going to say next: Happy trails!
Use this tool to find a park by name, location, activity, or topic (topics include American Presidents, glaciers, mountains, and many more).
This trail finder lists more than 45,000 trails in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It also includes topographic maps. The catch: It's open to members only, at a rate of $50/year. But you can get a 14-day free trial and download 3 trail guides during that time.
This trail finder is a service of the Rails to Trails Conservancy
, which supports the creation of trails on former railroad lines. TrailLink lists Rails to Trails projects that are complete and also those under development (if you choose). Search by activity, surface (crushed stone, grass, asphalt, dirt, etc.), and length.
You guessed it: This one specializes in trails for horseback riding
. Search by region/state, then find details on location and terrain of local trails (with links for additional info).
Choose your state to be connected to local trail sites and information—some formal, such as county government websites, and some not (personal experiences and photos).
Skim through a lot of search results quickly on this trail finder (Gorp is part of a comprehensive outdoor/adventure site). Enter a few parameters and search for a trail, and you'll receive a one-line description, plus location and distance, of each matching trail. Click through for more details.
This site provides information on local hiking opportunities near metropolitan areas in the United States, both large and small. Hikes are contributed by volunteer LocalHikes reporters from around the country (so the info can be spotty, but you get first-hand experiences).
Use this tool to find a bike ride that's custom-made for your family: Search by location, distance, grade (from flat to steep), length, amount of traffic, and environment. Or browse through photos taken along bike routes in your state.
Zero in on the right trail quickly with this planning tool; it allows you to browse by destination (national park, scenic trail, etc.), activity (from birdwatching to climbing to ski/snow), or organization (such as a trekking company).
Find cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, parks, and resorts throughout the U.S. and Canada. Search within your state or browse an alphabetical list.
This finder is mostly for playspaces such as playgrounds, pools, and skate parks, but it also includes some nature trails. Click on "search by playspace name" and enter "trail" in the search box (this isn't perfect but it's a start). You can also submit your own favorites.
EveryTrail is a resource for geo-tagged, user-generated travel content from over 80 countries. Search for an interactive map and see others' photos of the route; you can use EveryTrail for road trips, hiking, geocaching, biking, snowshoeing, and more. Apps are available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile.