It's the weekend and you feel like getting out of the city. Most people automatically jump in their cars. However, whether you are in Seattle, San Francisco, or New York City, most major cities in the US and Europe have public transit options to hiking/biking destinations near or far from the city.

You can meet up with friends from different locations or bring the family. And in addition to reducing your carbon footprint, a great benefit of taking transit is that you can create trips that start at one location and end at another location. You can avoid doubling back on the same trail or the need to have multiple cars.

New web and phone based technology solutions make it easier to find and plan your trips.

TRIP PLANNING TOOLS:

- GOOGLE MAPS now has a transit option for most major cities around the world. Not all regional transit agency information is included, so for locations where there is a local trip planner, you may want to check the city site. Google Maps also have bike mapping options for many locations.

- LOCAL TRANSIT SITES. Many cities and regions have online trip planners where you can input your starting and end points and the planner will give you the best routes including start and end times. For example, visit 511.org in the San Francisco Bay Area region or tfl.gov.uk for the Journey Planner in London.

- TRANSIT & TRAILS (transitandtrails.org) is a new site in the Bay Area that shows all the trail heads in the region as well as recommended trips. It will help you FIND, PLAN, and SHARE your outdoor adventures.

Check out this webisode featuring Transit and Trails and a great hike from Sausalito to Muir Woods.

Special thanks to Transitandtrails.org, and Bay Area Open Space Council.

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