Wilder Ranch State Park, CA, USA
Located along the California coast just North of Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch is grassy hills, ocean views, beaches and forests, with over 30 miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

Wilder is also a "cultural preserve", with ranching and farming demonstrations, and a history of Spanish and Native American habitation.

The wide variety of trails seem custom-built for mountain bikers. Maps below show "raw data" collected with a GPS receiver and mountain bike.

A complete trail map of the area is being compiled, using GPS tracks and more traditional methods, and it will be available soon from the Wild Rose web site.

To be most useful and accurate, a map should not include GPS errors, which are discussed in the GPS section. To get around them, trails can be recorded several times, or in opposite directions, so problems can be averaged out.

Two problems appear on the plot at right: The trail seems to cross the "Gulch" near the North arrow, but this is a "spike" caused when trees obscured the GPS satellite signals. The actual trail rounds the corner, like the double-dashed line on the USGS base map.

Further South, the USGS map shows the road before it was rerouted. The new route follows the edge of the gulch more closely, as shown by three different GPS tracks plotted at left.

Another example of a "simplified" road on a USGS map (left) can be compared to the more-detailed shape plotted by GPS. The horizontal line near "018" is the seam between two different USGS "quadrangle" maps.

At right, three "waypoints" are marked along a trail. If a GPS waypoint is temporary, most receivers can number them sequentially. For permanent locations, pick a name that will be easy to remember.

Finally, an example of what happens when there are just too many points or trails to see clearly. We can work with you to reduce clutter, while still including the important stuff.

For professional-quality results, we can combine GPS and other methods, sending high-resolution "proofs", and we'll work with you to get just the results you need.

From here, you can go to Adventures or wild home page, or use "Back" to return.

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