Guidelines for authors and editors of Region, Hike and Park descriptions

General Guidelines

  • Be familiar with basic editing procedures on this website. They are outlined in an introductory presentation: click here to access the pdf.
  • There are a number of content types. Each contributes to creating a database comprising a category of information. The category is typically indicated by the first word after the first slash after org. Examples: a database of hike descriptions (, a database of park information (, a database of regional information ( general information ('content' is the non-specific database of info.)
  • Databases vary in their complexity.
  • Not all fields in each database display on the public web page.
  • Not all fields in each database are currently used.
  • Below, we outline the procedures for completing a description in the Parks database and the Hikes database. Generally, the principles are tranferrable to othe content types.
  • The display of fields does not necessarily follow the order of fields in the database.
  • From time to time, new fields may be added, renamed, removed, or their content changed.

Guidelines for Park descriptions

Park Name (plain text)

Use the exact park name that is used in primary sources such as the Walk Book and official governmental sites. If there is an alternative name or an alternative spelling, include that in brackets.

Park Map

See Hints for Placing Google Maps on a Page.

Park Photo

The photo block is 300 dpi x 300 dpi. Things work best when the photo is scaled and cropped to that size before uploading it. (Drupal does not always insert photos scaled or at the correct size.)

Park Description (rich text)

There is no length limit, but keep in mind that visitors do not like to do too much vertical scrolling. Enter bullet points, indentations and links using the icons you see when rich text is enabled.

Trails Overview (rich text)

You need not include every trail in the park. Give an overview and then hit the highlights.  Use Italics to identify the trail name and follow its initial mention with [XX miles; blaze color], e.g. [20 miles; red] . You may include directions to trailheads that are not covered by the main directions to the park.

Park Overview (plain text or rich text)

This is the teaser. Keep to around 30 words or less.


Googlemaps can be helpful as well as the Walk Book and other primary sources. Remember, people can be coming from anywhere. Use the full spellings of terms such as, "route" and "street". Specify if the road is a State Route or a US Highway.

Include links to public transportation schedules wherever possible.

Nearby Parks

Select from the dropdown list after entering the first few letters of the nearby park name.

All Trails in Park

In a later phase of site development there will be links to all the trails. For now, leave this blank.

TC Book

If the park is described in either the New Jersey Walk Book or the New York Walk Book, select the appropriate one from the dropdown list.  Note: on this dropdown, as with all of them, several taps of the key for the first letter of the name will take you quickly to the proper selection. 

TC Map

If we publish a map, select it from the dropdown list.

Web Link Title and Web Link URL

Enter the name and the URL for the external link for the park.


Enter the phone number for the park or park manager. Use the format  ##########.

Walk Book Region

From the New York Walk Book or the New Jersey Walk Book.

Physiographic Region and Tourism Region

Not currently being used. Leave blank.


From the dropdown.


From the dropdown.  Here again use several taps of the key for the first letter of the county's name to locate it easily.


From a primary source.

Trail Uses

Check all that apply. 

Trail Miles and Acres

Usually available from primary sources. Our cartographer will help, but  asks that requests be summarized into one list. Leave such requests as comments to this page.


Usually available from primary source.


Leave blank unless you are sure that there is never any fee. You may include fees in the Park Description, if you know what they are, but leave out references to specific dates when fees are charged. "No fees in winter. Check with Park for other seasons." is ok. The Web Committee is still formulating the dropdown choices for this field.

Modified By and Last Update

Not necessary to fill in. Use the Track tab to see who edited the page last and when he or she did it.


Leave Blank except for Landowner, which may be selected from the dropdown.

Guidelines for Hike descriptions

Note: To add a hike to the database, you must be approved as a Trail Conference volunteer content provider. To inquire about volunteering for this position, please click on Volunteer Now in the left column and complete the Volunteer Survey form. Thank you.


Title: Give a unique title for the hike. Titles are used by Search engines, so include trail names, park or region, or feature that people might look for in a search.

Historic: Leave alone for now.

Publication Date: Date description first published. If description is appearing first on this website, then choose date that it is being entered.

Length: Distance of hike in miles

Route type: Choose from drop-down options

Time: Approximate time to hike the distance. Generally assume about 2 miles/hour pace, unless very strenuous.

Dogs: Choose from drop-down options

Difficulty: Somewhat subjective; choose from drop-down

Picture: Upload a photo, 300 dpi x 300 dpi. Things generally work best when the photo is scaled and cropped beforehand. Enter alternate text and Title (can be photographer, as there is no field for this elsewhere)

Features: Check all that apply. (Fees most often are parking fees. Relevant notes about fees may be made in the body text, though do not cite specific fees or dates, as these are subject to change and can quickly be out-of date. Folks can find this info on official websites, which we include.)

Teaser: 25 words or less

Sponsor: leave blank

State: checkappropriate button

Region URL: type first few letters (Regions are based on Walk Book regions), region names will pop up; select correct one. This provides a link to our web page for the region

Region: Choose from drop-down 

Park URL:  type first few letters; park names will pop up; select correct one. This provides a link to our webpage for the park

Parking Map: this field is for Google code to identify as close as possible the parking area for the start of the hike. See Hints for Placing Google Maps on a Page.

Park: Type in name of park

County: Select from list

Web map title and web map URL: Provide these for trail maps that can be downloaded from other sites, ex, park websites.

Buy Trail Map: Select appropriate TC map if one exists for the hike area

TC Map: Select specific TC map appropriate for hike

Sketch Map: skip this field

Other map: Generally skip this field

KLM file title and URL: skip these fields

Buy Book: Select appropriate book from drop-down. If in doubt, either the NY or NJ Walk Book is usually a good choice.

Turn-by-turn description (enable rich text):  Just the facts, in a list

Description (enable rich text): The main text that describes the hike. Be sure to note all trails and turns, major features, any cautions (tricky route, rough treadway). 
  • Select Enable Rich Text at bottom of box.
  • If you are copying text first developed elsewhere, select the icon that shows a clipboard under the letter T. A box will pop up; copy your text here, then insert into the description field. Format using  Bold and ital as appropriate. 
  • Our style is flush left, including first lines of paragraphs, with a line space in between each paragraph.

Reference/Source: Name of newspaper, book, or other source if relevant (ie, if description was published elsewhere first)

Report title and URL: skip these fields

Driving Directions (enable rich text): Give from nearest main road. Walk Books are a good reference, as is Google Maps.

Train (enable rich text): Fill in if appropriate with station stop and train line name. Can include link to train line (find links at

Bus (enable rich text): Fill in if appropriate with station stop and bus line name. Can include link to bus line (find links at

Log message: Generally leave blank

Remaining fields: Generally make no entries; leave URL path settings checked for Automatic Alias.

Click Submit and the hike is added to the database. (You may want to submit periodically as you work to be sure you don't lose your work in the middle.)