What are some good websites to get hiking GPX tracks from?

Started by QuestionsGPS, May 19, 2012, 11:28:27 AM

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I'm trying to expand my hiking capabilities. 

So far this is what I've done: I use the free maps from GPSFileDepot.  For hiking trails, I downloaded maps4gps's "Trails from 100K maps Map", the popular "My Trails" map doesn't include the state I'm in.  I also try to create my own hiking routes by going to the Map, making sure "My Topo" is selected and visualizing where the hiking trails are and then creating a Route by placing waymarks near the contour lines on GPSFileDepot maps I've transferred to my GPS ( maps are copyrighted against any type of printing without paying money, but they're free to view online).

Another option, I've also noticed there are hiking GPX tracks online which you can transfer to your GPS.  So my question for this post, what are some good websites to find them at?  So far I've found and  However, at, in order to download the "Guides" you need a smartphone, you can only download the "Trips" as GPX to a dedicated handheld GPS.  The other site,, is often a bunch of clutter when looking through all the tracks. 

What are some additional websites which hold hiking GPX files?


There are a few ideas here:

What model GPS do you have? The newer ones have a feature called "custom maps" where you can make your own from any form of raster imagery, such as scans of paper trail maps or .pdf files with trail guides. You can check with your state park website as well as the national park service for sources of these maps.

Garmin's guide to making this kind of map is here, and there are also third party programs that can help you make bigger/better maps.  Click on the compatibility tab at this link to see if your GPS supports this kind of map.


I was looking at an area with a lot of trails but no PDF/JPG or any kind of trail map that I could find anywhere to use to make a KMZ (custom map). I was able to find the trails I wanted on, so I started poking around to see if there was a way to get those onto my GPSr. The solution was amazing:

1) go to
2) download the IMG / zip file - took 3 hours, so I let it run overnight
3) Unzip the IMG file - for me, the US file was / is 3.5 GB (yes, gigabytes)
4) rename the IMG file (since my Garmin GPS supports multiple IMG files)
5) copy the IMG file to the "\garmin" folder on the SD card in my GPS
6) "Enable" the OSM map on the GPS
7) At this point, I couldn't see the trails on my GPSr that I could see on the website. I figured I was out of luck...but...
8) So this step may only apply to my GPS (GPSMAP 62/78 series), but perhaps there are similar steps for other Garmin GPSr: go to SETUP MAP, ADVANCED MAP SETUP, DETAIL, select MOST, and bingo! I now have the entire US version of on my GPSr, including all the trails you can see on that website. Absolutely amazing.

This IMG file is not transparent, so I can't see any other IMG files at the same time. I could probably figure out how to fix that, but I haven't yet.
This IMG file has no topo contours (and since it isn't transparent, I can't see the contours from my other IMG file, even with both of them enabled). doesn't have as much trail detail as some of the PDF/JPG trail maps that I have found, so I'm not going to give up on my KMZ collection. [But I was pleasantly relieved to see that most of the OSM trails match the location of the trails on my KMZ maps!] So as another source of trail information, it is great. And it was simple to get onto my GPSr.

my KMZ collection:
My custom KMZ map collection:


Quote from: dbperry on May 19, 2012, 08:38:18 PMThis IMG file is not transparent, so I can't see any other IMG files at the same time. I could probably figure out how to fix that, but I haven't yet.

You can use gmaptool to make your .img file transparent. That's a nice collection of custom maps!



    You can go to and to get some tracks from activities ranging from hiking to kayaking. You can download in both kml and gpx format. They only provide tracks but not the maps.

hope it helps.