Over the summer, Nature Valley sent out a team of hikers to record miles of trails, street view style, from various National Parks. In addition to helping spread awareness of the current plight of these wilderness areas, Nature Valley hopes their Trail View project will ultimately get more people to the parks by first helping them to experience the trails from the comfort of their own home.
Teaming up with the National Park Service, Nature Valley assembled a group of professionals to hike for 45 days this summer along the trails of a select number of National Parks. The hiking group included Backpacker Magazine editors to lead the way, creatives from the marketing communications firm McCann Erickson, as well as a full technical camera team in support.
The team began with the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon, digitally capturing over 100 miles of trail. Trail View will replicate all the mileage covered online, where you will be able to experience the trail just as if you were there hiking yourself. You will be able to click on embedded points of interest along the way for further information and videos.
As this was one of the first times that a 360 degree street view style camera was used for hiking, the technology team had to create a specially designed rigging for backpacks. Google is supposedly trialing their own Sherpa-Cam version that will be used to document all the mountains and trails where the Google Trike can't go.
Nature Valley's Trail View will debut in February 2012, first as a platform where you can simply explore, street-view style, the trails recorded. Eventually, the company will add layers of user-generated content and team up with travel sites to help you plan your next visit to one of the National Parks.