Well, the 2018 hiking season is over and it’s time to get down to work!
On July 1st, I launched westkootenayhiking.ca and posted my vision and plan for the site: Introducing… WestKootenayHiking.ca.
Since then, I’ve had so much positive feedback from the local hiking community and the site has had over 23,000 views. There has been an incredible response to this project, and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s offered feedback and support. Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism reached out over the summer and re-designed their hiking page with links and content from this site. They’ve made a donation to Nelson Search & Rescue on my behalf – thank you!
Summer 2018 was a record wildfire season. We had several trail closures and weeks of heavy fire smoke. My goal was to really use this last summer to explore more trails and expand the hikes on this site, but the fires limited where we could go and what we could see (summited Mount Reco twice but never saw the view!). Nevertheless, trails did get hiked and things are moving along on schedule…
Work completed Summer 2018
- 12 new hikes added
- Redesigned trail review pages: added interactive GPS maps, driving directions, and trip rating system
- Added trip report form so visitors can rate hikes
- Expanded the Resources page with info about hiking safety, access roads, and more!
- Updated site to HTTPS (secure)
- 9 graphic designs added to Redbubble to support westkootenayhiking.ca
So what is happening over the winter? Here is my to-do list over the next few months:
- Improve post categorization and search functionality.
- A few tweaks to the site design and layout. I find the font a bit small – anyone else?
- Reformat old hikes with the new trail review template – post new photos and GPS files.
- Add ‘Guest Post’ option for locals to contribute hikes and tips.
I’d like this site to make some money! My hope is to cover the monthly webhosting costs and then contribute in a meaningful way to local trail initiatives and Search & Rescue chapters.
Over the last few months, I’ve created a collection of Kootenay hiking designs that can be ordered as prints, t-shirts, tote bags, mugs, and more through Redbubble. Redbubble is a print-on-demand site and a share of each purchase will go back to support this project! Check out the Shop & Support link for more info.
I’m also thinking of putting up a bit of online advertising on the site to help boost revenue. Right now the web traffic is too low to be worth the effort, but long term it could be a good option to help support the project. What do you think?
Trail Review Pages
The “Trail Review” pages have been redesigned to include interactive maps. I’ve also started adding detailed driving directions based on your comments. Check out Mount Jardine for a sample of the new layout and please send me any feedback any time!