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Trailfinder Help

What is this thing? It’s a service to help you find great hikes and parks all over the Bay Area. We’ve brought together information from several sources:

  • Trail reviews from BN friends and associates who love to hike and know what they’re talking about.
  • Trailhead locations and trip planning from Transitandtrails.org, a service from the Bay Area Open Space Council to make parks and trails as accessible as possible.
  • Park data from ParkInfo.org, the definitive source for California public lands data.
  • Wildlife sightings from iNaturalist.org, a community of citizen scientists logging accurate data about the natural world.
  • And, of course, knowledge gained over 10+ years of publishing Bay Nature magazine and BayNature.org.

OK, how do I use it? You can search either for trails, choosing from the growing number of specific outings we’ve mapped out for a whole variety of interests and abilities. Or you can search for parks, discovering great places even if we haven’t yet mapped a hike there. Thanks to TransitandTrails.org, we’ve got the locations of tons of trailheads all over the region. thanks to our volunteer Trailblazers, we’re adding more and more trails all the time!

Are you already a Trailblazer looking for guidance on how to enter your hikes? Here you go. Want to be a Trailblazer? Read on to find out about that.

1. Choose to search Trails or Parks
The default view is Trails. Click on Parks to search those instead.

Set your location, radius, and any keywords you like, or find trails by county or park. 

After you fill in the fields, hit search. Or skip this step and use the checkboxes explained below instead.

Use length and difficulty scales or the checkboxes to find what you want.

These update as you click, and the results are cumulative — so clicking “Views” and “Wildflowers” and “Dogs” would give you only hikes that are good for all those things. Choosing a length would then narrow that down further.

Pick a Trail or Park and learn more!

If you are searching trails, you’ll see icons like this: . And for parks, they’re like this: 

Sometimes, there are too many items crowded together to show. Those appear as clusters that you can click to zoom in on the contents:

When you click on an icon, you’ll get a popup with the trail or park name. Click on that to go to the page for that item, with lots of great information about that hike or place. If you like the park, click “Add to Favorites” to save it for later. This will save in your browser cookies if you’re not logged in. All the more reason to create an account and start saving great trails and parks!

Bonus: Add extra layers to see what else is happening nearby

You can also use these toggle switches to show upcoming events from our regional calendar as well as wildlife sightings logged by the citizen scientists over at iNaturalist.org (and we encourage everyone to become one of those! Here’s how.) The iNaturalist links will take you over to their site, by the way.

Have fun on the trail!
Got feedback?
This is the biggest web effort we’ve made in more than a decade of covering local nature, so we know there’s more to do and lots to make better. Comment below or send your ideas to webmaster@baynature.org.

Want to become a Bay Nature Trailblazer?

We’d love to hear from you! For now, we’re working just with folks who’ve either written for the magazine or who we know know their trails well. Is that you? Tell us about yourself and we’ll get back to you pronto!

Bay Nature