How-To Guide: Tools For Browsing, Navigating & Viewing


1)  Browse the locations MAP at the top of the page.  Click map markers to zero in on a certain location.  Click the corresponding location’s photo to view its guide. The “Half”, “Full”, “Close” and “All” tabs on the bottom of the map allow you to adjust the map’s size.

2)  In the top MENU, browse by CATEGORY or #TAG.  Each category and tag will have its own corresponding map of locations at the top of the page.

3)  At the bottom of every page are more “Browse”, “List” & “Search” tools to help narrow your interests by categories and attribute tags.

Maps & Navigation

     Each location has a link to a detailed map, intended for use on your phone’s Google Maps App (free for iPhone & Android).  You can reveal or hide additional layers in the map like so.  The Google Maps format is useful for turn-by-turn directions and as a real-time GPS reference on location (data connection required).  Click the graphic below for a basic overview:

halifax trails maps

     See this video tutorial for navigating with Google Maps.  Some phones may be set to open Google Map links in a web browser rather than within the much preferable Google Maps App; Troubleshoot it for iPhone or AndroidDisclaimer: Google Maps should be treated as an additional aid rather than your primary means of navigation.  Its reliance on a cellphone network connection means it is not a dependable primary means of navigation (see the “GPS Maps & GPS Devices” heading below for more reliable electronic means).  You should also set Google Maps to download areas to allow you to navigate offline (the custom trail map overlays still need a data connection).

     Always carry a compassprinted mapextra battery, safety gear, & tell someone your plans.  A satellite communicator is a good safety investment especially if you head out alone or into remote areas with no cellphone reception.  Know how to use a compass.  Do not overestimate your abilities, and ease gradually into being able to do more challenging adventures.  Check out my “Bushcraft” curated playlist of videos to help further your outdoor knowledge.

360° Virtual Views: 

     See how to open 360° Virtual Reality Views of specific locations on each map in the graphic below.  For full emersion, you can view these photos with an inexpensive virtual reality headset that uses your phone to produce a fully immersive virtual experience.  Simply click the eye-goggle icon in the upper-right corner of any VR capable 360° photo, to view with your headset.

how to view 360 photos on google maps

GPS Maps & GPS Devices

     If you have a smartwatch or handheld GPS device, you can download GPS map files for use in your device.  These downloads come with both .KML and .GPX file formats, the most common file types, which work in almost any GPS device.  Each device will have a different process to load these files.  Below are links to the most common devices.

     Garmin Basecamp:  How to load, view and edit maps on your computer and transfer to your Garmin device.

     Apple Watch:  Many GPS apps allow you to import KML files for offline GPS navigating, like this one.

     Google Earth:  The Google Earth app and computer program is a powerful tool that allows you to easily edit any map.  View these simple instructions on how to import GPS files into Google Earth.  Google Earth & Google Maps mobile apps both require a cellular data connection to load custom maps.  They do not currently allow custom maps for offline use as of Oct. 2019.

     Many other GPS enabled devices, including some smartphone apps, are capable of importing GPS maps for offline use (no cellular reception required).

     All of these methods should be tested in low-risk, familiar locations to gain confidence, and proficiency in their use.

Outdoor Ethics

     I offer these maps and guides for free because I believe everyone should have equal access to our great outdoor spaces.  I don’t believe in keeping them secret for a privileged few and have always believed the more people getting into nature the better.

     I ask 3 things in return:  1) That you follow Leave No Trace principles & Burn Safe.  2) If you see any; pick up and carry out as much trash as you safely can.  3) Support local volunteer organizations mentioned in my guides, or any organization working locally to protect nature.

     This blog is the result of countless hours of work, free & unrestricted to the public.  Your appreciative support will help me continue to add, update & ensure it stays a free resource for all.

I Appreciate Feedback!