Friday, February 12, 2010

Clueless in trailtown

Okay, here's a little homework assignment for you. Don't worry, it's easy and doesn't involve any math or writing, just talking. All you have to do is talk to people in your home town, or better yet, in a town you're visiting. Ask them where X trail is located. The X in this equation represents the name of a fairly major trail in the town. (Okay, so the assignment involves a little algebra.)
Here's what I/you want to find out. How many people do or don't know the trail exists. You may be surprised to find out that most people, even long time residents, have no idea where the world class trails in their own community are located. The only thing I can think of that is worse than that is if they don't know where the library is.
In my many "trail travels"I'm  amazed how hard it is to find trails. For those of you looking for the trails found on, it's easy. You just look at the trail map on the bottom of each trail description page. For example, take a look at the trail map on the bottom of the Mineral Belt Loop bike trail information page. (a rail-trail in Leadville, Colorado)
But on most of my bike trips, I have to rely on directions from locals to find the trails. And more times than not, "the locals" have no idea where the major trails that run through their towns are located. For example, when I was looking for the Ashuelot Rail Trail near Keene, New Hampshire, I asked over a dozen people where the trail/trailhead was. Not one of them could tell me. Four of the people I asked were within a block of the trailhead when I asked them. Not a clue. And in the same town, absolutely no one knew where the Cheshire Rail Trail was located. Granted this one starts about a half mile out of town, but the Ashuelot Rail Trail started in the center of town.
So back to your homework: Let me know what you find out. Are the people in your town aware of the wonderful trails available to them? If not, it's a shame.


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