Join a run and become part of a huge and great project to help out the sport of legal off roading.
Since ExploringNH is all about promoting legal off roading and most of our runs are based on New Hampshire Class VI roads, we decided to put together a system of maps to help show our members where the Class VI roads are.
Instead of just posting a list of all the Class VI roads (over 2300 of them) and the towns they belong to, we decided to take it to the next level and make it more detailed and more user friendly. We are using the latest Google mapping software to show the Class VI roads highlighted on a map of a particular town. We have also color coded these roads to show their difficulty level and as we scout out the trails we will create a link that will take you to a scouting report. The scouting report will go into a lot more detail about the trail and may also contain pictures showing the entrance, scenic views, or obstacles you might want to be careful of. We have also started using gps systems to track the trail when we are scouting or when we do a trail run of multiple trails. This way you can download the file to your gps to show you exactly where the trail is or if it is a trail run file, you can use the data to lead a group out on a run, even if you have never set foot on the trails before.
As much as we would love to make this database public, we can’t. All it would take is for a handful of people that have no respect for others or the trails to ruin what we are trying to do for all of the responsible off roaders out there.
If you would like to gain access to our mapping section, either to become a scout or to organize and lead trail runs, you can fill out an application. Before you can be approved, however, you must first participate in one of our trail runs that contain a member of the management or a MappingNH member (these titles are listed under their user name) in good standing. If The person you run with feels that you are a responsible off road enthusiast and would be beneficial to this project, then you will be granted access.
How does MappingNH work?
There are multiple sections of the website and features that MappingNH members have access to, that normal users do not.
Interactive Class VI road map
Our interactive map based off of Google Maps API software and adapted for our needs allows MappingNH users to view legal Class VI roads town by town, or multiple towns at once. Maps are color coded to show trail difficulty: Red for “Hard,” Brown for “Moderate,” Green for “Stock-Friendly,” Black for “Closed,” and Purple for roads that have not been scouted yet (and therefore we don’t have any trail data for). This is the best tool for finding legal places to ride anywhere that you plan to visit in New Hampshire, since mass-produced atlases often contain errors (such as non-existant or closed roads, or omitting roads). Atlases and topo maps also do not show trail difficulty, and nothing is worse than getting a mile down a narrow trail and having to back out or find a way to turn around because of difficult obstacles ahead. These maps are drawn and maintained by people who enjoy legal offroading in New Hampshire, for people who enjoy legal offroading in New Hampshire. The maps can be printed off if you have a printer, and taken with you, or accessed anywhere with Internet access through your ExploringNH account.
The interactive maps can be a great tool to help you find legal places to go offroading, as well as plan routes for a trip in a town that you’ve never been to. The maps work best when also used with the Scouting Reports forum, which contains more information on each road. As of September 1, 2012, MappingNH members have scouted 627 miles of legal Class VI roads in New Hampshire, with more left to be scouted!
How the maps work:
When you load up the MappingNH map page, the map will initially be blank on a zoomed-out picture of New Hampshire. Below the map is a list of towns, sorted by county. When a town is checked off, all Class VI roads in that town will be shown on the map. Multiple towns can be checked off at once. Unfortunately since this is a public forum and there are people out there who would abuse the information, we cannot show town maps. This information is available to MappingNH members only. MappingNH members can zoom to street level, and view the maps in satellite, street map, or topographic view.
Scouting Reports form
After a trail is run for the first time, the MappingNH user who “scouts” the trail fills out a Scouting Report. This includes critical and helpful information such as the difficulty of the trail, length in miles, width (is it full-size friendly or not?), water crossings, trail head location, and often includes pictures of the trail head or obstacles encountered on the trail. As people continue to run the trail, this is noted and if any changes are found, the scouting report is updated. Reports are filed by town. This screenshot shows part of the scouting report form.
New Hampshire Class VI Master List + Trail Data
This is a condensed version of the Scouting Reports forum. All of the most critical information is compiled into a spreadsheet file which can be downloaded and opened with programs such as Microsoft Excel, Works Spreadsheet, or OpenOffice. By being in spreadsheet form, you can highlight certain roads or towns and have them print and have the information you need to run the trail or embark on your own Scouting adventure.
Private section to talk about particular trails.
Did you go out on a trail to find a big tree down and you didn’t have a saw? Let someone know about it so others don’t make the same mistake, and stay informed yourself. As mentioned above, we can’t give this information out on the public forum since unfortunately some people abuse the trails. But MappingNH members can discuss this with each other in a “private” forum.