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  1. #1
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    Default The Crowd Sourced Guide to the New England Trail?

    I'm just back from hiking from New Britain CT to Robinson State Park, MA, and have now completed the CT portion of the NET. What a great trail!!!! The need for a long distance hikers guide is certainly there, and I wonder about putting it together as a group. I'll post info from my most recent hike in a few days when I've had a chance to clean it up... and would welcome others cutting and pasting/revising/extending/correcting it to eventually cover the trail -- from Guilford to Mt Monadnock. Most useful would be adding water sources... (I don't even know if a map exists for the little section of trail north of the NH border to Monadnock.) So far, it seems to be an incredibly dry trail, with water sources mostly at Dunkin Donuts along the way! In contrast to the AT, there are plentiful resupply stores and restaurants within a half mile or so of the trail. Best news so far: the trail passes right by an Irish Pub.

    Any interest?
    Lazarus

  2. #2
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    Well you know I'm pretty interested! Especially since I live right on it!

    Let's talk about data, format etc. I'm MORE than happy to cover off at least through Middlefield if not farther.

    Jane

  3. #3

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    I have been hiking the Mattabesett and Metacomet Trails in Connecticut for about 45 years. Used to be you could get the road walking down close to zero using local neighborhood trails (picked up from old tops quads and local town maps) that have mostly disappeared into developments, as has a lot of the main trail itself.

    Online there has seemed to have developed a really hostile attitude about discussing the sleeping issue for multi-day hikes. And the water is disappearing!

    So I have become a little turned off over recent years as the "New England Scenic Trail" concept has been developing.

    But I have mountains of disorganized notes and recollections of details I'll certainly contribute to any online project. But if we discuss must-day hikes and sleeping, there's going to be sniping.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    "must-day hikes"
    "multi-day hikes". Combination of some kind of auto spelling correction on my computer and lack of message editing ability for us freeloaders makes posting here an unpleasant chore.

  5. #5
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    thanks, gsingjane and wil... gsingjane, i will definitely take you up on your offer to help!!!!!! I think a linear list of miles, starting from guilford and going north, would be my preference, with direction to services and distances, phone numbers, addresses and hours/days open listed at road crossings. Water availability would also be good. So... you get to start at mile 0!

    wil, your concern about discussing multi-day hikes is appropriate. I'd just like to be a gentle and constant irritant pushing for more long distance use of what is clearly a wonderful long distance trail. I think this (Whiteblaze) is a safer and friendlier place to start to gather data than either of the official trail maintainers because of the sensitivity over overnight use. For our purposes, I'd like the "guide" to include nearby lodging (certainly, every other guide in existence does that!) so that, at least in theory, our guide could be used by an end-to-ender who stayed only at legitimate campsites and at motels, inns or b&bs. Yes, someone could conceivably stealth camp -- but we don't need to encourage it or even address that issue with our guide.

    Hopefully, there someday be a list of trail angels... a garden hose open to hiker use would be miraculous.

    As a disclaimer, I do own a b&b in Wallingford near the trail, but I doubt hikers staying with me will make my dream retirement.
    Lazarus

  6. #6
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    ...and including a "Rohland" like parking guide (their guide covers parking for the whole AT) for the trail heads would be incredibly useful -- overnight parking on the NET can be very tricky!
    Lazarus

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    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    Here's my first contribution... please cut and paste to add and correct. Gsingjane is already working on the section to the south of this... (thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


    Northbound New England Trail Northern CT portion:
    0 New Britain Avenue Trail Head: NO PARKING
    West .4 mi. to 400 New Britain Ave, Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub,(860) 846-0764
    East .8 mi. on NET to 1015 West Main Street Dunkin' Donuts, (860) 229-1551

    Pinnacle Rock
    Rattlesnake Mountain
    Will Warren’s Den
    4.2 Route 6 Trail Head: PARKING
    Farmington Reservoir
    Mountain Road: East .6 mi, Dunkin' Donuts 348 Colt Hwy (860) 676-1211

    Farmington Mountain
    Hillstead Museum
    6.1 Route 508/4 Trail Head: PARKING
    Prattling Pond Road
    Metacomet Road

    Talcott Notch Road
    Old Mountain Road
    Killkenny Rock
    12.4 Route 44 Trail Head: PARKING
    West to Avon
    Hartford Reservoir #6
    Talcott Mountain State Park
    Heublein Tower (Water fountain outside tower in season)
    King Phillip Mountain
    17.8 Route 185 Trail Head: PARKING
    Penwood State Park
    The Pinnacle
    Wilcox Park
    Laurel Hill
    24.1 Tariffville Route 189 Trail Head: PARKING (Water fountain at Main Street green in season)
    North 400 ft to The Cracker Barrel Pub,30 Main Street,(860) 651-0598
    Route 540 Trial Head: PARKING
    Hatchett Hill
    28.5 Route 20 East Granby Trail Head: PARKING
    East .8 mi. to Dunkin Donuts, 4 Rainbow Rd, (860) 653-0883

    Peak Mountain
    Windsor Locks Scouts Primitive Campsite (Actual location slightly north of indication on map. Bottled water stocked by Angels in season)

    West Suffield Mountain
    Sunrise Park
    33.6 Route 168 Mountain Road Trail Head: PARKING
    Suffield Mountain
    MA Border
    36.2 Rising Corner Road Trail Head: PARKING
    Harts Pond
    38.6 Route 57 Trail Head: PARKING
    West .5 mi to Moolicious Farm Restaurant 258 Feeding Hills Rd, Southwick MA 413 569 1700
    41 Route 187 Trail Head: PARKING
    East .4 mi. to 911 Burgers & Dogs 1157 N Westfield St, Feeding Hills, MA (413) 786-6800
    41.6 Westfield River (dead end trail)
    Lazarus

  8. #8

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    Any chance this could be this year's MLK hike?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  9. #9
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    I've been hesitant to bring up the MLK hike since my son is getting married that weekend... last year it was my dad's 90th and I barely made it to the Harrriman gathering. I was wondering if I would get any traction on making the hike the week AFTER MLK... but I doubt it.
    Lazarus

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    So you should know that not only does the NET have an Artist in Residence, we also have a Poet in Residence: http://davidkleff.typepad.com/home/2...manifesto.html

    How cool are we?

    Jane

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1azarus View Post
    I've been hesitant to bring up the MLK hike since my son is getting married that weekend... last year it was my dad's 90th and I barely made it to the Harrriman gathering. I was wondering if I would get any traction on making the hike the week AFTER MLK... but I doubt it.
    For me it doesn't matter in the least which weekend. I only use MLK as a reference to the winter gathering. Only the two weekends surrounding Presidents' Day, and subsequently the school vacation, would eliminate me. (that and sub-zero, freezing rain, cheesecake shortage, etc....)
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  12. #12
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    Am I late to the party? I meticulously collected the GPS track and waypoints during my thru-hike this fall and I've been building a guide over the last few months or so. Here you go: http://www.parkshikes.com/adventures/new-england-trail/

    All work is done through GitHub. One repository is for the software that makes the profile pages and one repository is for holding the data, supplementary pages, overview maps, etc for each trail (hoping to do more). You can find those here: https://github.com/nawagers/Guidebooks and here: https://github.com/nawagers/ProfileMaker Feedback would be very much appreciated.

  13. #13
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    what a wonderful effort! the trail really needed water sources marked to be attractive for long distance hiking. I fantasized that this would get done as a group effort. You just proved that the best group size is............one.
    thanks a lot for your work. The whole trail is also now available, by the way, on Maprika as well, and is gps synced.
    Lazarus

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwagers View Post
    Am I late to the party? I meticulously collected the GPS track and waypoints during my thru-hike this fall and I've been building a guide over the last few months or so. Here you go: http://www.parkshikes.com/adventures/new-england-trail/

    All work is done through GitHub. One repository is for the software that makes the profile pages and one repository is for holding the data, supplementary pages, overview maps, etc for each trail (hoping to do more). You can find those here: https://github.com/nawagers/Guidebooks and here: https://github.com/nawagers/ProfileMaker Feedback would be very much appreciated.
    Would you consider getting your geographic data onto OpenStreetMap.org? Having a separate guidebook is well and good, but OpenStreetMap.org is a common geodata repository that also feeds sites like caltopo.com and waymarkedtrails.org.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    Would you consider getting your geographic data onto OpenStreetMap.org? Having a separate guidebook is well and good, but OpenStreetMap.org is a common geodata repository that also feeds sites like caltopo.com and waymarkedtrails.org.
    Funny enough, I actually stumbled on some information about that a few hours ago when I was looking up something unrelated. I want accurate data to be as widely available as possible. This leads me to 2 concerns:

    1) What is the most upstream source(s) that the data can be pushed to? There are surely repositories that OSM is pulling from, just like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. do. Can the data be put at a higher level so it gets more widely distributed without more effort?

    2) Who/how will the data be updated? Trails get rerouted over time. Collection errors and artifacts may turn up in the data. If I upload the data, am I now the only one that can change it? I live 1000 miles away and not particularly interested in actively updating things over many years. Controlling the data is much better left to NPS (or CFPA/AMC) which has long term institutional support.

    I like the idea of the trail being searchable in OSM. Let me look into these two concerns and figure out the best path.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1azarus View Post
    what a wonderful effort! the trail really needed water sources marked to be attractive for long distance hiking. I fantasized that this would get done as a group effort. You just proved that the best group size is............one.
    thanks a lot for your work. The whole trail is also now available, by the way, on Maprika as well, and is gps synced.

    The best group size is hardly one! There is still much work I'd like to see done. My goals of this project were two-fold.

    1) Build a quality, succinct guide for the NET to make it more attractive as a long distance hike.

    2) Build an easy to use work flow for making guidebooks. I want to keep the tools I make flexible and easily understandable so that other people can use them to make guidebooks for other trails, both with and without my help.

    My next steps for #2 are big ones. The gpx data needs a fairly specific format right and there is no easy way to convert it. Also, people like graphical interfaces, which will be one of my next steps.

    As for #1 though, I'm working hard on all the supplemental pages right now. I also need to cut out a bunch of the current waypoint set and the text to make it more readable. There is more information right now than a hiker would want/need. The supplemental pages need maps, like the trail overview. I would love it if people gave specific feedback one how to improve it all and helped edit specific things. Someone also needs to validate the waypoints. Hopefully I can sucker a 2018 thru into doing it.

  17. #17
    AT 2012 1azarus's Avatar
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    I tend to be serially monogamous with my long distance trails...I just have too little left to hike to be of much use.again, though, I am delighted you see doing this!
    Lazarus

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    I live right by the trail in mid state CT, I'm hiking the AT next year but if I can help with waypoints or anything when I can I'd be glad to. I really don't know what they are but a quick search shows its a landmark or gps coordinate, is it just a gps device (or smart phone) to confirm a location?

    I also section hiked the entire trail to Mt. Monadnock this year, not a thru though I section hiked it on weekends. I took many pictures and organized it all by date/where I was and everything so if you need any help looking back at anything maybe I could help. I'm close enough to plan one of my weekend hikes wherever if you need any specific info. There's not anywhere on that trail not worth going back to. I'd like to thru hike it someday, and the Monadnock-Sunapee

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwagers View Post
    Funny enough, I actually stumbled on some information about that a few hours ago when I was looking up something unrelated. I want accurate data to be as widely available as possible. This leads me to 2 concerns:
    1) What is the most upstream source(s) that the data can be pushed to? There are surely repositories that OSM is pulling from, just like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. do. Can the data be put at a higher level so it gets more widely distributed without more effort?
    2) Who/how will the data be updated? Trails get rerouted over time. Collection errors and artifacts may turn up in the data. If I upload the data, am I now the only one that can change it? I live 1000 miles away and not particularly interested in actively updating things over many years. Controlling the data is much better left to NPS (or CFPA/AMC) which has long term institutional support.
    I like the idea of the trail being searchable in OSM. Let me look into these two concerns and figure out the best path.
    The way I think about OSM that it is like a Wikipedia for maps. Anyone who creates an account can make changes to the map just like anyone can update Wikipedia articles. That means that trail data gets continually updated by lots of volunteers around the world - for example I modified over 82000 data points on OSM and I rank only # 509 in the U.S. as of today. I believe OSM currently may be the single largest source of unified trail data. The trails on OSM are by no means complete and 100% accurate but thanks to open data model they can be updated quickly by anyone who has sufficient local knowledge and is willing to chip in.

    Here is New England Trail as shown on waymarkedtrails.org based on OSM data: https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#....0661!-72.5462 . While large parts of it are already marked there are still gaps in coverage.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyLightning View Post
    I live right by the trail in mid state CT, I'm hiking the AT next year but if I can help with waypoints or anything when I can I'd be glad to. I really don't know what they are but a quick search shows its a landmark or gps coordinate, is it just a gps device (or smart phone) to confirm a location?

    I also section hiked the entire trail to Mt. Monadnock this year, not a thru though I section hiked it on weekends. I took many pictures and organized it all by date/where I was and everything so if you need any help looking back at anything maybe I could help. I'm close enough to plan one of my weekend hikes wherever if you need any specific info. There's not anywhere on that trail not worth going back to. I'd like to thru hike it someday, and the Monadnock-Sunapee
    Good luck on the AT next year. You should convince people to get more miles in by taking public transit from Gorham, NH down to Guilford and then hiking back along the NET and then other connecting trails back up to the whites! As far as validating waypoints goes, really it's just needs to have someone hike it with the guide and say "yep, these things listed in the guidebook are there". Anything not there, or in the wrong place, could be adjusted in future updates. Certainly other things could be included if I missed something important.

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