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I've been a keen cycle tourist and hiker for years and have previously built the route planning site Surprisingly there aren't any comprehensive sites for finding information about trails. Sources of information are generally:

  • narrow scope (eg, The Great Trails Victoria which only has 15 trails/mountain bike parks)
  • glossy showcases, rather than genuinely useful tools (again, see above)
  • commercial (eg, Open Spaces Publishing has a few excellent books, but they don't combine with other sources)
  • badly executed in terms of making good use of the map at hand: many use pins to show a trail location instead of the actual shape and distance of the route

There are also community sites like, and, but they quickly become a dumping ground of every walk/ride, and they don't make any distinction between physical infrastructure (roads and trails), formal routes, trip records, and community suggestions of routes - which are all quite different.

Finally, most of these sites don't support both trails and POIs (points of interest).


So I'm trying to build a comprehensive aggregator of trail data that preserves source, motivates government to provide better quality metadata, and allows curated community contributions. This is something I've wanted to exist for a long time, so I'll be continuing to work on this.

It sources data from:

  • trails in Victorian State Forest, plus campsites there
  • the few Great Trails Victoria (with a few photos whose license status is unclear)
  • OpenStreetMap - a massive, and massively underutilised resource, with squillions of campsites, bike trails etc, but patchy metadata on them.
  • a private dataset of past cycletours that I have been on (as a model of what "trip records" look like)
  • a privately curated dataset of "cycle tour advice" (as a model of what "community suggestions of routes" looks like

How is AusTrails different?

  • Scalable design: easily supports thousands of trails with interactive interface
  • Wide scope: combines Government, OpenStreetMap and community contributed datasets
  • Feedback: rate and comment on routes from any source
  • Shows lots of POIs (camping sites particularly), and through the basemap, lots of other useful POIs relevant to planning outdoor adventures, such as toilets, breweries, mountain huts, mountain names, etc.
  • Alternative VicMap basemap for another view on the world.


These parts were not developed during the weekend:

  • base map
  • List of rail trails and locations (I already had this at
  • Privately curated datasets described above
  • Some of the basic HTML frame etc is reused from earlier projects like
  • A small amount of code for styling the DELWP campsites (with star ratings) was made last week (I didn't know I was going to use it for GovHack, honest!)
Datasets Used: 
The Great Trails Victoria: DELWP Recreation Track: DELW Recreation Site: VicMap API: OpenStreetMap:

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