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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    New question here. Trail Length of Spruce Creek & Graham Swamp

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone here have the lengths of these two trails as collected from GPS data that they would be willing to share?

    I got a GPS watch over the holidays and have been using it for pretty much any activity I do that involves distance and heart rate, etc... I have ridden these two trails and mapped them, but the trail length from the GPS is shorter than the stated length of both trails.

    Here what I have:
    Spruce Creek - 5.60 miles (ridden this week taking the newest "Compromise" trail section)
    Graham Swamp - 5.02 miles (ridden this week taking only the 'most difficult' route options)

    I've seen different lengths mentioned from each trail depending on the internet source, but both are always listed as being over 6 - 6.5 miles long.

    I'm just curious at this point. My watch is a Timex Ironman Global Trainer. I love it, so far. I especially love all the data and numbers I'm collecting from it. I did read one review from DCrainmaker stating the Global Trainer consistantly came up about 2.5% short in total distance measurements, but these readings are more than 2.5%. My road measurements and running measurements are also almost dead on as far as mileage/distance is concerned. Possibly the tree canopy of the trails skews the info?

    Anyway. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance to anyone willing to share their data-


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OscarW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Even though I can't answer your question about the trail length you're looking for, I can say that GPS distance measuring greatly depends on reception of the satellite signals.
    I use two bike computers, a CatEye and a Garmin Edge 800 and I get two different numbers for length of distance ridden on a twisty, largely tree covered trail system. However the numbers I get are not as far apart as yours, and I think that is because your watch has no input signal from a wheel-sensor like both my units have. Just try out your watch GPS over a known measured distance and see how it is calibrated and go from there.
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT and a Norco Threshold SL with Di2

  3. #3
    Reputation: GatorB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Martin’s Dairy: *Approximate Section Distances (rounded to the nearest 100th)
    The numbers are the distances at the end of each trail and each section's distance respectively.
    Left 2.95 (2.6 to Sunset Bluff) 2.95
    Face 4.00 1.06
    Bell 4.48 .47
    Kaye Paul 5.34 .86
    Powerline 6:00 .66
    7/10 6.72 .72
    *These were measured with a bike computer – a physical measurement.

    Not sure about the new compromise but someone said it was 9/10ths of a mile. I dont know if anyone has physically measured it.
    14' Vassago VerHauen

  4. #4
    Papa T
    Reputation: Numb Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Graham truly is 6.5 miles and may be longer since it has been tweaked since I made the official map a few years ago. It is so twisty and turny that you will never get an accurate distance measurement using only gps, only wheel sensors will get you close the true length. Using my phone gps I usually get about 5.6-5.7 miles at Graham but when I used to run a cyclometer, I got 6.5.
    Keep your head tube up!
    2012 Marin Mt. Vision XM Pro
    2009 Jamis Dragon ONE

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Hey, thanks for the responses guys!

    Yeah, the GPS was very accurate for my running routes which I know the distances of. I suppose the tree canopy, switchbacks, turns, etc... are too much for the signal and calculators to deal with, lol.

    The watch is a tool, not an absolute. I'm just out to have a good time

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    bust a move
    Reputation: 2ridealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    The last 2 times riding Spruce Creek my gps showed 19.48 and 19.52 miles doing 3 laps (using the compromise trail each lap) Averaging 6.50 miles per lap
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

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