Transit & Trails: Go Hiking Without a Car

Old Transit and Trails locater map

QuterSpatial.com

One of the hard truths about hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor pursuits is that most trips start and end with a car ride. Trailheads are, by their very nature, not often found within walking distance of where most people live. A trip into the woods, which itself is pretty environmentally benign, comes with a not insignificant eco-footprint when you factor driving into the mix.

Transit & Trails (now OuterSpatial) is a site that solves that problem by mashing up data on where the best hiking trails and trips are with how to get there via public transportation. In it's very earliest stages the site only had data for the San Francisco Bay Area. But now, offers information for New York, Missouri, Indiana, Utah, California, and many more states. It provides alerts and posts before you hit the trail and helps you see your location and nearby amenities while hiking.

The site is super clever in its simplicity. Users first find a trip or trailhead using a custom Google Map. Let's pretend I live in Berkeley and want to see everything within a 20-mile radius.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

I can zoom in to see the trips that are close by.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

I can quickly view some basic information about each of the highlighted trails and trips.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

When I find one I like, a quick click brings up a new map showing the driving route to the trailhead as well as links to Google Transit and 511.org where I can plan out getting there via public transportation.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

Clicking over to Google Transit brings up the information that'll get me to my hike.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

Or if you prefer, 511.org will do the same...

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

I can adjust my arrival and departure times on Transit & Trails and even find out how much CO2 driving there in a car produces.

Old Transit and Trails map
QuterSpatial.com

After the trip is over, the developers of Transit & Trails hope you take the time to share the details in a section that isn't quite ready for public consumption yet.

If we're going to get more people out of their cars, we have to give them some way to get around to do all the things people like to do, and Transit & Trails (now Outer Spatial) is a fantastic way to do that.

One of my college buddies, Jereme Monteau, is the lead developer of Transit & Trails and is a super smart and savvy dude, so I expect the site will only get better and better as time goes by. I'll report back on this one when there's more to share.