One of the most popular sets of posts on Marking My Territory has been the series I wrote about hiking while pregnant. We’re fortunate that Amelia at Tales of a Mountain Mama like them too, because I’m guest blogging today on her blog talking about what I learned while hiking with a bun in the oven. We are honored and excited to be guest blogging this week on this wonderful blog. Amelia and her crew live in Yellowstone and their commitment to getting outdoors with little ones in tow is inspiring.
We’ve hit record traffic levels in recent months (thanks to everyone for your interest and support!), and we know it’s important to continue to improve access to trail reviews, maps and some of our most popular posts. Over the last month we’ve been working to improve the usability and aesthetic of MarkingMyTerritory.com. In addition to the new design, be sure to check these improvements and let us know what you think!
Improvement #1: Trail Map Finder
Improvement #1: Trail Finder Map
One of my favorite improvements is the interactive map we’ve created to plot all the trails we’ve reviewed. The Trail Map Finder is found on the Trails page and is designed to give you a birds eye view of the trails that we’ve reviewed.
Simply click on the blue dot to learn more about the location. The trail name will pop up along with a link that will take you directly to that trail review page. Using Google Maps, we’ve plotted the exact trailhead coordinates, so if you’re interested in a certain trail, just click on it and hit “directions” to route yourself out to the trailhead.
Improvement #2: Interactive Trail Review Chart
Improvement #2: Interactive Trail Review Chart
This one has been a long time in the making – we’ve been using the same criteria to rate trails since the blog began in 2009, but because of the previous platform that we were on, we couldn’t make the kind of usability improvements that would make finding the right trail easier and more intuitive. On our new Interactive Trail Review Chart, you can now self-select how to find the trails that may interest you the most. Now you can search by name and sort by criteria (in the example above I’ve searched for trails that only contain the word “river” and sorted them by difficulty level).
Improvement #3: Trail Maps on Review Pages
Improvement #3: Trail Maps
Earlier this year we added a GPS tracker to our stash of hiking gear. Not only has this been a great tool for tracking progress, but now we’re able to share our exact hiking route on each Trail Review Page.
Click on the blue dot to get driving directions to the trailhead. Also, this interactive map allows you to view by 4 different view options:
Standard Road Map
Satellite View (shown in example image)
Google Earth View (must have Google Earth installed on your browser to view.
Improvement #4: Featured Posts
Featured Camp Recipes
As our Camp Recipes page has become ever more popular, we integrated a featured post format that provides snapshots of the most recent recipes. Expect more improvements in the coming months to this page, especially as we more formally expand our “S’more of the Month” Series… dark chocolate & strawberries was just the beginning
Once you’ve had a chance to check out the changes, let us know what you think!
We’ve been hitting the trails pretty solidly the last several weeks, but in honor of National Trails Day, this Saturday we’ll trade in our hiking shoes for work gloves and clippers. National Trails Day was established by the American Hiking Society to celebrate the great trail systems throughout the United States and is an opportunity to meet up with other hiking enthusiasts.
There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of events going on throughout the country this weekend to celebrate the great outdoors. In Tennessee, events include sunrise hikes, waterfall hikes, snorkeling trips, night time hikes, trail maintenance treks and many more opportunities. Here’s a list from the American Hiking Society of events to celebrate National Trails Day in Tennessee and here’s the list for events by state.
Whether you’ll be fixing up trails or venturing out on your first hike, take some time on Saturday to appreciate the importance of our great natural resources.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”