Become a Trailblazer

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In August 2012, we launched a brand new online Trailfinder. Built in collaboration with the great folks at TransitandTrails.orgParkinfo.org, and iNaturalist.org, this new service highlights what’s best about Bay Nature: People like you!

That’s right. What has made Bay Nature such a success over the past decade is the ongoing contributions of people who devote themselves to experiencing, understanding, and sharing the natural world of the Bay Area.

That’s why our new Trailfinder is fueled by a corps of Trailblazers who love to share their favorite trails with other people. We already have trail experts like Jane HuberJules Evens, and Laure Latham on board, and we’d love to have your contributions too!

One caveat: Our “Add a Trail” system requires a current browser, such as Firefox 13+, Internet Explorer 9+, Safari 5+, or Chrome (any recent version should work). If you are using IE 8 or an old version of Safari or Firefox, we’d love to have you use our site (save favorites and comment away!), but we didn’t have the capacity to make the “Trip Builder” work with those browsers.

What You’ll Do

As a Trailblazer, you get special account privileges on both BayNature.org and TransitandTrails.org.

  • You’ll create a trail review, give it a name, trace it on a map, write a description, and upload photos (if you have any). Each write-up should take at most 30 minutes.
  • Do that three times (or more!) and you’re a Trailblazer.
  • Your trail reviews will appear on both BayNature.org and on TransitandTrails.org, reaching thousands of people and encouraging them to get outdoors and to use transit.

What makes a good trail description? It’s all about hitting the happy medium between too short and general (“I hike here with my dog.”) and too long (2,000 words and a complete plant list). We think the ideal is four to six paragraphs with salient details on (a) what makes this trail cool or interesting (Wildflowers? Views? Easy bike access?) and (b) the logistics one needs to follow the trail, plus a bit about the trail itself (Wide or narrow? Flat or steep?). And then 2 to 4 photos that give a sense of the place and some of the scenic highlights. Just think of what you might want to know about a place if, like most web visitors, you wanted to decide within a minute or two if the trail you found is the right one for you.

What You’ll Get

We want this to be a two-way collaboration! Become a Trailblazer and you’ll get:

  • the Trailblazer who enters the most trails in our first three months after launch wins a cool REI daypack valued at $100*
  • links back to your blog or organization website from both BayNature.org and TransitandTrails.org
  • special recognition on our new site and in the magazine
  • a free year’s subscription to Bay Nature
  • entry in drawings for cool outdoor gear
  • invitations to special events

And of course the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping thousands of people discover what we already know: that we live in a region blessed with amazing nature nearby, from the wave-splashed coast to the rugged inland mountains, from the shady redwoods to the wide-open grasslands.

*Note: This is for new hike content only. We’re grateful to folks who’ve donated their existing content, but the contest is meant to inspire the creation of new hikes. Also, Bay Nature staff and board members are not eligible.