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Introducing Trailmap, Your Comprehensive Guide to Local Trails

On the first day of Bay State Bike Week, MAPC celebrated by announcing the launch of Trailmap, a comprehensive online map of trails for cyclists, walkers, and others engaging in active transportation and looking to explore the trails and other amenities throughout the MAPC region and beyond.

Senior Transportation Planner David Loutzenheiser unveiled the tool at an event attended by local bike and transportation advocates on Monday, May 15. The data on the map comes from a number of sources, including city and town trail data, land trusts, DCR, MassDOT, and OpenStreetMap. MAPC plans to keep updating the map when towns build new trails, expand old ones, or let a network fall into disrepair.

Using Trailmap on their phones or desktops, he explained to attendees, users can identify what type of trail they’re looking for: a cyclists can search for roadways with bike lanes and shared lanes or paved multi-use paths, while a pedestrian can specify foot trails and multi-use paths. The map tool can identify a device’s GPS location to determine nearby trails. Users can also use the tool to see where trails are proposed or under construction.

The information on the map includes foot trails, bicycle facilities, multi-use paths, and the LandLine network. Foot trails are identified as areas accessible by foot that are not along a roadway – parks, open spaces, and paths through campuses are examples. Bicycle facilities include bike lanes, protected bike lanes, and roadways with shared lane markings. Multi-use paths accommodate foot, bike, and other nonmotorized uses, including rail trails, river path systems, and other similar trails. LandLine, or the Metro Greenway Network, is a project with a goal of connecting trails and paths in different communities to eventually develop a continuous greenway network in the region.

Most of the trails in the map are in the 101 cities and towns that comprise MAPC’s region. Users can help update or edit the map using an online editing tool, or they can submit location-specific feedback on the map. To find out how to access editing functions, email David Loutzenheiser at dloutzenheiser@mapc.org.

The hope is that cyclists, walkers, and others looking for new trails will use the tool to explore new haunts and plan routes, and make suggestions to include more data in the map.

“I believe that we’re entering a period of cycling renaissance,” said Transportation Director Eric Bourassa at the launch. “I see a lot of enthusiasm for bike facilities at the local level.”

Looking to explore the local trails?

In addition to launching Trailmap, MAPC and the LandLine Network are hosting a series of bicycle rides and walking tours this summer. The rides and walks include recently-constructed trails and trails that could benefit if key gaps are closed. The first ride, along the Malden River, will take place on Wednesday, May 24 at 6 p.m. Learn more at www.mapc.org/summer-rides-2017.