Designed by mountain bikers and built by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County are utilized for recreational activities from mountain biking and hiking, to trail running, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Like most trail systems throughout Pennsylvania during the lockdown, Allegrippis Trails experienced a skyrocket in usage this past spring. This higher-than-normal traffic, coupled with downed trees from spring storms, and the prevention of regular trail maintenance gatherings due to COVID-19, created obstacles for trail volunteers to effectively maintain the 36 miles of single-track trails.
The volunteers at Allegrippis Trails however, found a way to make trail maintenance not only manageable, but entirely more efficient with the usage of the Trailforks Mobile App.
Trailforks is a free database encompassing over 130,000 trails that was created primarily for the use of volunteer trail associations. Partly crowd-sourced and partly a moderated site, users of Trailforks contribute to the data within the app, including mapping new trails, taking photos of trails, and submitting trail reports. This in effect, removes the burden on trail associations to have to map IT systems, trail inventory, or reporting. The app also offers features and tools to help promote local clubs, business and trail supporters, and encourages users to join or donate.
“The app has a lot of useful mapping functions for the mountain-biking community, but it’s ability to allow app users to geo-tag and take a picture of a trail issue has been really helpful,” noted Brent Rader, a Friends of Raystown Lake board member as well as Allegrippis Trails volunteer who has been involved with the trails since 2013.
If you’re a trail organization, Brent encourages giving the app a try, as a lot of trail users are already using the app for trails and trail data is readily available. There are also additional apps available for trail usage, with Gearmoose providing a comprehensive list of trail apps and their features. Not all apps can be adapted for trail maintenance; be sure to check each one for usage compatibility.