JessTrev with a quick note about a new Sierra Club wiki (website with user-generated content) that might have saved her a lot of grief back in 1995 when the Pacific Trest Trail kept not opening for months and months because of freakish snowfall. Which is, of course, another story entirely....
Says Sierra Club Media Assistant Natalie Gaber:
"I think parents and other readers of Green Phone Booth might be interested in this site because hiking is a great activity for families that is affordable and, most importantly, eco-friendly!
We are gearing up to launch a new website called www.sierraclubtrails.org. It's (as far as we know) the first-ever comprehensive hiking wiki...A website where anyone can post their favorite hikes and anyone else can edit the descriptions so that the trails are constantly up-to-date. The site is up and running in a beta test now, and we're planning to launch it this Thursday, July 9th - so I wanted to make sure you were in the loop.
What makes this site unique is that it's a wiki - i.e. anyone can update or edit the trails that are posted. So if I post a trail in, say, Yosemite, and you've been there recently and saw that part of the trail is really muddy, or the bugs are bad this time of year, or if camping spots are getting really popular and should be reserved in advance, you can update that.
In addition to hiking and paddling trails, the site also features tips for hikers, a birding blog, photo contests, and Nature Notes, a series of audio features based on interviews with naturalists and Sierra Club Outings leaders. Sierra Club Trails is also an online community where users can create profiles and meet other hikers and nature-lovers, as well as join discussion forums with topics like the best trail mix recipe or whether guns should be allowed in national parks. Community members can form groups around a particular outdoor interest or place."
JessTrev here -- I've checked out the beta and there's a forum for kids & families, so I'm hoping to get some insight into local camping sites in the DC area. Our smallest one is two plus and we're ready to bite that bullet. Plus? I mean it when I say I would have spent hours on this site back when I was planning that three-month backcountry adventure with my brother years ago. Kudos to the Sierra Club for putting together such a great resource.