Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Trail Tracker Works


Finding Trails on Trail Tracker
Browsing for trails in California.
Browsing for trails in California.
Screenshot by HowStuffWorks.com

You don't have to be a member of Trail Tracker to find a trail to explore. The site offers up its entire search engine for free.

On the Trail Tracker home page, you'll see two options to help you find a trail. There's even a search bar that prompts users to enter a location or keyword to find trails that match. There's an interactive map of the United States. Toyota also features trails on the site, giving users a quick glimpse at one of the trails in its database by displaying it on the right side of the screen.

Type a keyword into the search bar and Trail Tracker will present you with a results page containing all the trails that match your query. Trail Tracker organizes trails by state. A column on the left side of the site lists the total number of trails in the database for each state based on the search.

The interactive map gives users a quick way to see if there are any trails nearby. Moving your mouse cursor over the states on the Flash-based map will bring up a bubble that includes the state's name and the number of trails that state has in the database. A click on any state brings you to that state's page in Trail Tracker. If the community has submitted trails for that state, you'll find them on the left side of the Web site. Trail Tracker organizes the trails by city.

Before you hit the road to visit a trail you've found on Trail Tracker, it's important to learn a bit about your destination. Every trail on Trail Tracker should have a rating. The easiest trails are asphalt or scenic trails -- these are often paved roads and aren't challenging drives. Ratings between one and three indicate an easy drive on surfaces like clay or gravel -- the trail may have a gentle tilt but it shouldn't be too extreme.

A trail with a rating between four and seven is a little more challenging. The road may be rocky and uneven or very narrow in places. There may also be points along the trail that involve a steep climb. You'll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to tackle the trails in this category.

Finally, trails with a rating between eight and 10 are for the adventurous explorer who doesn't mind a challenge. Many of these trails require vehicles with options like winches or lifts. You may even have to ford a stream or drive on trails with an extreme tilt. Before tackling a trail in this category, make sure your vehicle is in good working order and that your driving skills and confidence are equal to the task.


More to Explore