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New Map Shows Nearly Every Hiking Trail in California

Insets for Los Angeles and Orange County included!

To many Californians, hiking is a way of life. From the Santa Monica Mountains to the Sierras, the state offers a seemingly unlimited array of options for anyone looking to get out into the great outdoors.

Now, those searching for the next trail to explore can likely find it on a single poster-sized piece of paper (at 40 by 60 inches it will take up a good chunk of wall space). That's because, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, air quality planner and hiking enthusiast Jason Mandly is releasing a map detailing every trail that the state of California has to offer. Well, maybe not every trail—Mandly restricted his list to established trails that are open to the public, free of most motor vehicle traffic, and at least two to three miles in length. Still, that's an a whole lot of trails conveniently mapped in one place.

In an interview with Backpackers.com, Mandly explains the difficult process of assembling such a comprehensive map. Using information from the California Protected Areas Data Portal as a starting point, he scoured maps and satellite images from every county in the state looking for precise geographical data on every hike-able trail.

Mandly does acknowledge on his website that he might have missed a few trails, and encourages users of the map to reach out to him, as he is compiling a list of future revisions. On his Kickstarter page, he says he was drawn to undertake the project because a statewide map of this kind simply didn’t exist. Now, avid hikers can chart their progress and plan future trips using a single point of reference.

The map is also interesting as a tool for understanding how California is shaped by both its terrain and its occupants. Longer trails wind through the sparsely populated eastern edges of the state, but webs of smaller trails can be seen around the state's major urban areas. Mapping these complicated trail networks in Southern California and the Bay Area proved to be difficult enough that Mandly created individual insets for San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Marin County, and the San Francisco Bay.