MountainZone.com introduces a separate Web site for hiking

SEATTLE -- MountainZone.com, a mountain sports Web site, now offers a separate hiking Web site, TrailMaps.com.

The site offers information on hiking forums and events and includes photos and tips for planning hiking trips.

It includes trail maps, a national parks directory, a hike-of-the-week feature and a boot-fitting guide. All necessary gear for a hiking trip can be purchased directly from the site's Marketplace.

"We wanted to give hikers a site where they could access information on a countless number of trails and then search that database to find the perfect trail for their needs," said Greg Prosl, MountainZone.com cofounder.

The TrailMaps database includes reviews of more than 4,000 hikes covering Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and Montana.

"We expect to have trails for the rest of the United States by the end of the year," said Prosl.

The site's search engine enables users to search for trails based on several topics, including region, distance, difficulty and season. Once a trail is located, the user will find more detailed information on their selection, such as the trail's campgrounds or nearby lodging and restaurants.

Through a partnership with the Mountaineers Books, a publisher of climbing and hiking books, MountainZone.com's "hike of the week" represents areas throughout North America, including the Sierras, Cascades, Canadian Rockies, the eastern United States, the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.

The hikes range from easy to difficult, well-known to well-kept secrets and all include trail maps.

All the hikes are catalogued on MountainZone.com for future reference by Web site visitors.

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