Trailside Services are now part of CT Trail Finder!

Two mountain bikers ride on a narrow dirt track surrounded by a light green grassy field
Joe Gaylor Photography

Tips & Tricks for Using CT Trail Finder

With so many options for getting outside in Connecticut, we want to give you a few tips on how to use Connecticut Trail Finder to find the right trail for you.

Finding the right trail for you

If it gets overwhelming looking at pins on the map, you can use the Find Trails filter to narrow your choices. Choose the distance, difficulty, town and/or activity and then click search and only the trails that fit your choices will show up on the map.

Do you want to stay local? Make sure location services is switched on on your phone or browser then click the box next to “Find trails near me.” Enter your distance parameter and the map will zoom to the trails in the area around your location.

If you aren’t seeing the type of filters you want, check out the Popular Searches drop down. This will allow you to see some of the trail types that are a little harder to search for, like Waterfront Trails and Summits and Family-Friendly trails.

If you are looking for a specific trail, you can type it in the Keywords search. It helps if you put quotes around the trail name (e.g., “Appalachian Trail”). If you don’t, every posting that contains the word “trail,” which is likely most of them, will display!

Using the Find Trails Map

The statewide map shows all the trails we have on the site. Click the numbered pins or use your mouse to zoom in. Once you get to the non-numbered pins, you can click to see some quick facts about the trail.

If you would like to see the trail lines and not just the pins, click the Show Trail Lines button on the left side of the screen. Note that this only shows up once the trail lines load so if you have a slow connection, it might take a minute.

The map has all the functionality of Google maps. Click "Basemaps" to choose the underlying map. Use the zoom to location feature or drag the little yellow person onto a road to see the street view.

If you would prefer to see your search results as a list with all the quick facts right there, click “See List View.” 

Discovering more about each trail - the Details tab

The inner trails pages start with the quick facts about the trail - all the stuff you need to know right away to find out if it is the right trail for you. Scroll down to get a more detailed description of the trail and notes about any important use guidelines. 

At the bottom of the Details tab, there is contact information for the Trail Manager, the organization or department who maintains the trails. If you have specific questions about the trails, contact them. They know best!

Discovering more about each trail - the Trail Map tab

If you click the Trail Map tab, you will see a map of the specific trail system along with important points of interest, like scenic viewpoints and parking areas. Click on the point of interest to get the name and more information. You can also click on the trail line to find out that specific trail segment’s name, length and other important information.

Just like the Find Trails map, you can switch basemaps and see the street view to see a bit more of what you can expect at the trail location.

If you have location services turned on and you have cell service, a little blue dot will show at your location on the trail map. If you aren’t sure if you will have service and you want to use your phone or a GPS for navigation, download the KML (Google Earth) or GPX (most GPS units) files from the right side of the page. 

If there are any connecting trails, they will be listed at the bottom of the trail map page. You can click “Show” to view the trail on the map, or “View Trail Posting” to see that trail’s specific page.

Discovering more about each trail - the Directions tab

The Directions tab gives you general written directions to the trailhead, but you can also use the small map to get directions from your location. Just click the Parking icon and then “Get Directions to here.” A new tab (or the Google map app) will open with Google Maps directions from your location to the parking lot.

Discovering more about each trail - the Alerts tab

If there is any timely and important information from the trail manager about the trail, it will show up in the yellow alerts tab. Be sure to check it out to stay up-to-date on the trail! If there aren’t any alerts, you won’t see the tab.

Discovering more about each trail - Even more info!

If you want to see what other folks have said about the trail, go to the Comments tab. No comments? Visit the trail and then log in to tell other users what you found out! 

While you are out, take some photos to share to the page! Log in to your free account and then click “Add photo” and upload it to the site. Click on the photo to see a larger version. Please note that some phone cameras upload a rotated version to the site. Don’t worry! We get notified and will make sure to fix it ASAP.

Check out the Trail Tips section. The great little reminders about caring for trails and the people who use them rotate through so you are likely to see something new as you explore different trails pages!

If you need a paper copy of the trails information, you can click “Print this Trail.” A new screen will pop up with a more printable version of all the information from the tabs.

Personalizing your search

Create a free Connecticut Trail Finder account and open up even more functionality! Once you have an account you will be able to post comments and add photos to inner trails pages. You can also create a trail log, a trail wishlist and favorite trails. All of the lists are private and we won’t share your contact information with anyone.  

Do you have a question we didn't answer here or in our FAQs
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