Tim Schaefer reporting
Check out our new site! http://tehcc.org/wiki. Many might not know that we have non-AT trail information on our website. Even if you did, it was hard to find and only editable by a certain few. So I am very excited to introduce the club to a little project I’ve had in the works for quite some time now. It’s our new Trail Wiki. Even though our website is just beginning, I myself am already finding out lots of information about trails very near my house that I wasn’t even aware existed before Vic Hasler added them. Maybe you’re wondering exactly what a “trail wiki” is? The first part should clue you in to the fact that it’s trail related. Maybe the “wiki” part is less clear. Well I could write a bunch about what a wiki is, but it’s best just to go to the best wiki of them all, Wikipedia, here’s their definition. Essentially it’s a site made for easy contributing, editing, and internal cross-referencing by anyone on the internet. The best part is that the ‘engine’ that runs Wikipedia, MediaWiki, is free open-source software. So if you’re familiar with Wikipedia viewing or editing, this site should be instantly familiar to you. Since amassing all of the relevant information about trails in this area is too much of a task for a few people, the system is open to everyone who would like to contribute.
We have several ways to help you find trails that suit your particular needs or desires. We have embedded interactive Google maps with pins at the trail heads. We also have lists that can be resorted alphabetically, by distance from Kingsport or Johnson City. There are also “use” categories like horseback riding, dog friendly, bicycling, etc…; and also “feature” categories like waterfalls, overlooks, difficulty, and more. Finding trails that match your desires should now be a lot simpler.
As I said before, this site is open to editing by anyone, so please do. We really need your help, because getting all of this information and adding it to the site is more than the current two primary people can do in a reasonable time frame. If someone inadvertently (or even intentionally) messes up a page, all revisions are kept, and rolling back to a prior one is extremely simple. Vic Hasler and I have been feverishly making edits and we keep an eye on the “Recent changes” list, so don’t worry about messing something up. It can be fixed and I would much rather see a contribution we need to edit than to never receive a piece of information at all.
We are planning on having a ‘trail wiki’ topic at our May club meeting and I encourage all of you to attend. We will likely cover things like how to use the site to find trails that suit your needs and what information is needed from the community to populate the site. We will finish with some basic wiki editing to help get new comers started. Please check our schedule for the time and location of this meeting.