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#1 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:43:49 AM(UTC)

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Okay, so I was going to log some trails that I have done already, but ran into a bit of confusion with the website. Let's use Inks Lake State Park as the example, because the trails there are the ones I was wanting to log.

I did the search for trails using Burnet, TX as the point to search around. The choices that came up were Canyon of the Eagles, Longhorn Cavern, and Inks Lake State Park. Looking at the page for Inks Lake State Park, and reading the description, it only shows one trail. This leads to my first question: Generally on this site, are all the trails in one location lumped together as one trail, or was the information on this trail gathered back when it was just one long trail?

I know there are now three different trails that make up the majority of the trail that is shown on the map, and even some trail ground that isn't shown on there. There is also a whole other newer trail that is on the complete other side of the park that is not shown on the map. I know all this because I live here in Burnet, I am out there regularly, and I also used to be a Ranger at the State Park.

Was this lumping together of all the trails done on purpose, or if I (or someone else) was able to get the detailed information for each trail, would there be an update that allowed for each of the trails to be logged separately?
Austin Explorer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 4:05:34 PM(UTC)
Austin Explorer

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The lumping of trails is done on purpose. When the websites were first developed there was a tendency to have a separate entry for each named trail. For some parks this was fine, but parks provide a spectrum of patterns and some had so many named segments that having a separate entry for each was overwhelming. So the decision was made to consolidate parks that had "jumbled messes" of trails into one entry.

You might find some older parks that continue to be broken up into multiple locations. These will probably be consolidated as time goes on to make things more consistent.
#3 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 1:57:08 AM(UTC)

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I know it may be a little confusing at first since there are a number of different "color trails" at Inks Lake SP, and only one location/trail to log on this site, but the problem is all of these trails are interconnected into what Robert and I refer to as a "tangled mess." Since each of the color trails is not that long and most people may hike several or all of them in a day, it made more sense for one location to be created for this entire state park trail system and allow each person to describe the particular route they took on their hike when they log their hike. If a separate location was created on this site for each color trail and a person hiked several or all of them at one time, creating a log of their hike would be burdensome because all of their logs for each of the color trails they hiked would have to be hyperlinked together.

In the larger parks, such a Big Bend National Park, where each trail is fairly long and distinctive, it makes more sense to create a separate location for each trail. And while some of the trails there are interconnected, too, the chances are a hiker wouldn't hike too many at one time and, therefore, the hyperlinking of log would be kept to a minimum.

Finding that balance point between when a trail system should be represented by one location or many locations is not easy to achieve. I know Robert and I have discussed this issue at length as there are pros and cons of going each way.

As for now, the easiest thing to do is to log your Inks Lake hike using the one location provided for that SP and then describe the particular route you took if you hiked various trails in that SP. Hope that makes sense!
Happy Trails!
#4 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 4:27:23 AM(UTC)

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Right on, man. Sounds good. Thanks.
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