Of course the best way to see what Nature has to offer is to get up and get outside!
I can think of no better way to explore nature than to go for a hike and take a look around. Here are a few Web sites that will help you get back on the trail.
The premiere Web site offering information on all kinds of trails is, of course, trails.com. Get all your online trail maps and trail descriptions for hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, snow sports, driving and nature activities for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean for one inexpensive subscription.
You can browse for trails by state or region, find a trail within a certain driving distance of your zip code location and search for trails that accommodate your activities.
A subscription to trails.com will give you complete access to topo maps and downloads of hi-resolution maps.
If you want to try-out the service to see if it fits your needs, then use the 14-day free trial period to decide if trails.com is right for you.
If you're not so good with a compass and map, you'll want to check out these GPS related pages. The little handheld units are rugged and reliable and a whole lot of fun!
Ever hear of geocaching? It mixes GPS with a treasure hunt! Geocaching is catching on as a great way to spend time outdoors. Visit geocaching.com to find a trail where a "cache" is hidden. Using latitude and longitude coordinates, find the cache and it's yours! Sign the guestbook, take a treasure with you and leave a treasure for the next visitor. Some treasures are just trinkets and some treasures are worth the hunt! Check out the GPS features for geocaching that will help you find the cache.
The USA traildatabase states it is the largest collection of trail info the world over!
That may be a true statement judging by all the links to hiking and climbing info for the USA — it includes general hiking links, links to personal hikers' pages, and links to regional, state, and trail Web sites.
Hiking guide from GORP is superb. Just click on the state or region where you want to find hiking info and you'll be whisked away to a page with lots of links to sites that highlight specific trails to hike. Sign up for a free account to get all the details.
The trail finder feature could use a little help. When you search for the trails in a specific state the results are listed in definition form with some descriptive text underneath the trail's name and length.
To be really useful it would be nice to show the trail locations on a map so the reader doesn't have to read several pages to find a trail in their vicinity.
Once you do locate a trail of interest GORP gives you a lengthy description of the trail and driving directions to it.