www.trailhiking.com.au was founded as a hobby by me, Darren Edwards, in 2015 to further the development of Australian trails and to increase the promotion of trail hiking as a major health benefit to the Australian public.
Why I hike
I have been running my own design agency for the past 24 years and spend a lot of time sitting at my desk in front of a computer. I didn’t do a lot of exercise apart from a few short walks and a bit of manual labour. One day I woke up and realised that I was not as fit or skinny as I used to be and running around after my two young boys would leave me feeling exhausted. I had just passed the 40-year mark too and felt like if I didn’t make a change now then the second half of my life would really be tough.
Growing up, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, walking, camping, fishing but had never truly hiked. In Christmas 2012 we were holidaying at the Grampians with friends when I decided I’d had enough of sitting around the campsite so I headed to the Pinnacle for a short hike. It was so tiring and felt like it took me hours to finally reach the summit. But I loved it. It hurt but it felt good. So the next day I work up at 5:30am, grabbed my pack and breakfast and headed up there again to watch the sun rise. I did that every day for an entire week before we returned home.
At the time, I was fortunate to be living on the edge of the Lerderderg State Park in Victoria’s west so when we returned home I purchased a topographical map of the area and started hiking. I hiked every weekend, sometimes on both days and after approximately four months I was astonished that I had lost 14kg.
I hiked for fitness and I hiked for mental well-being. I found that getting up early on Saturday morning and going for a hike separated my working life from my family life and I could better engage with everyone around me. That is where it started and I have never looked back.
Now hiking has become my life!
Why I started this Trail Hiking site
I love detail, analysing and information. As soon as I started hiking I tracked and photographed every trail that I hiked. When I returned home from the hike I would write up detailed trail notes and would store all of this information on my PC for my own personal use.
In 2013 I joined a hiking group as I wanted to start to experience more remote locations that I didn’t feel comfortable visiting alone. After speaking with people on hikes I was quite amazed at how little people knew of the local trails and parks close to Melbourne and beyond.
As my background is in web design I decided to set up a blog so that I could easily share trails with others. The site quickly grew and after two years of hiking I already had in excess of 150 trails that I had hiked, I had to find more.
What this site offers now
My site now offers detailed information on hiking trails throughout all of Australia, including trail descriptions, key features, photos, maps, gpx files, elevation profiles and more. The site is organised to make it easier for you to compare and choose trails that best suit your hiking preferences. Before the launch of Trail Hiking, hikers had difficulty finding detailed web-based trail information. Most existing sites list only a handful of the most popular trails, and provide only limited information without regard to individual hikers’ skill level or preferences.
With this website, you can search for trails based on location, hiking grading, distance, or via the ‘Map View’ or ‘Near Me’ features which will display all hiking trails on a state by state level or within a 50km radius of your current location. I hosts gpx files for most trails so that you can easily navigate to the start point and the trail itself. This information will benefit any day or overnight hiker; including people looking for a short stroll to a nearby lake, to the long distance hiker looking to visit the Alpine National Park, as well as hikes of varying lengths and difficulty in-between.
My goal is for Trail Hiking Australia to become the most comprehensive source for free information on hiking trails throughout Australia. In order to do this I am seeking your support.
Please provide your support
Trail Hiking Australia is not a commercial initiative. I have personally funded and developed the website and eBooks and offer them FREE for the outdoor community. Kind of my way of giving back. Any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated. I would love to receive new hiking trails, tips, articles or financial donations; all which will help further develop this tool for you.
- The addition of trails to the website is an ongoing process. I am well on the way, but have a reasonable way to go before all of Australia’s trails are published on this site – so please be patient if your favourite trail isn’t there yet. Or better still, submit your favourite trails today.
- Join me in reviewing and commenting on trails, upload your favourite trails and share trails with your friends.
- Connect with other hikers on Trail Talk. An online community for you to ask questions, share ideas and join in discussions relating to hiking, bushwalking and trekking.
- Use the hashtag #trailhikingaust when you share your trail pics on social media
- Join me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- If you have any feedback or questions please contact me via the form below
Today my goal is to:
- Encourage the Australian public to take charge of their health through hiking
- Make it easier for Australian’s and visitors from abroad to find quality web-based information on hiking trails.
- Be a central source of information regarding all things hiking including tips, trail information, gear reviews, safety tips and planning advice.
- Connect adventurers with each other and encourage everyone to ‘discover a new adventure!’
- Put Australia on the map as a trails destination.
- Provide FREE eBooks to help educate people about the benefits of hiking, how to get fit for hiking, the skills and gear required for hiking
I hope you enjoy using this site, reading my eBooks and do hope to see you on a trail one day.
Darren Edwards | firstname.lastname@example.org | Melbourne, Victoria