Hiking Trails on Signal Mountain, Tennessee

Route files for GPS receivers

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If a trail is difficult to see on the ground, the easiest way to follow it is by using a GPSr (Global Positioning Satellite receiver), into which the details of the trail has been loaded.

GPS receivers use the signals from 24 orbiting satellites to determine their location on the earth's surface. They range from small hand-held devices, ideal for hiking, to more elaborate systems installed in cars, aircraft, etc. The latitude and longitude of individual locations may be loaded into a GPS receiver as "waypoints". A "route" can be defined, which goes from one waypoint to the next in sequence. Routes for the trails on Signal Mountain, suitable for loading into GPS receivers, are provided on this website.

There are many different makes and types of GPS receiver, most of which use different and incompatible formats! This website aims to overcome that problem by providing route information for the trails in a "universal" format known as GPX. A number of free programs, including GPSBabel, are able to convert routes from GPX into the appropriate format for different GPS receivers.

GPSBabel, written by Robert Lipe, is available as a "command line" version, on the author's website (www.gpsbabel.org), or as an easier-to-use and more flexible "packaging" of the program, GPSBabelWrapper, on the QuakeMap website. Both versions of the program will convert route files between different formats, and will also copy route files directly to a number of popular GPS receivers. The instructions which follow are written for GPSBabel Wrapper.

Magellan GPS receivers

Some Magellan receivers (such as the Meridian series) use SD memory cards. The "*.mrt" route files supplied on this website may be copied directly to a memory card, and activated on the GPS receiver using the "Card Utilities" menu.
Routes may also be loaded into Magellan receivers, including those without a memory card, using a serial connection and GPSBabelWrapper. In the "Output" window of GPSBabelWrapper, select "GPS" and "Magellan". Follow the instructions below ("Using GPSBabelWrapper").

Garmin GPS receivers

Routes may be loaded into Garmin recievers (depending on model) using GPSBabelWrapper with either a serial connection or a USB connection. In the "Output" window select "GPS"; select "Garmin serial" or "Garmin USB", as appropriate, and follow the instructions below.

Using GPSBabelWrapper

Routes for trails on Signal Mountain

Route Route # Length Waypoints GPX format Magellan SD card
Bee Branch trail Route 1 1.1 miles coj - boj BeeBrnch.gpx BeeBrnch.mrt
Signal Point to Rainbow Lake (Cumberland Trail south) Route 2 1.2 miles sgp - coj CumbS.gpx CumbS.mrt
Off Edwards Point Road (east) Route 3 1.2 miles epe - epe EdPtRdE.gpx EdPtRdE.mrt
Off Edwards Point Road (west) Route 4 1.2 miles epw - epn EdPtRdW.gpx EdPtRdW.mrt
Mushroom Rock to Rainbow Lake Route 5 4.1 miles mrk - coj MushRain.gpx MushRain.mrt
Ohio Avenue trailhead to Rainbow Lake Route 6 0.6 miles oho - coj OhioRain.gpx OhioRain.mrt
Suck Creek Road to Mushroom Rock Route 7 1.6 miles sct - mrk SuckMush.gpx SuckMush.mrt
Shackleford Ridge Park to Mushroom Rock Route 8 1.1 miles pav - mrk ShakMush.gpx ShakMush.mrt
Shackleford Ridge Park Pink trail Route 9 0.8 miles pbj - poj ShakPink.gpx ShakPink.mrt
Shackleford Ridge Park Blue trail (loop) Route 10 1.6 miles trc - trc ShakBlue.gpx ShakBlue.mrt
Yellow trail - northern section Route 11 1.8 miles trc - oys YellowN.gpx YellowN.mrt
Orange trail - northern section Route 12 0.8 miles trc - oys OrangeN.gpx OrangeN.mrt
Yellow trail - southern section Route 13 2.3 miles oys - edp YellowS.gpx YellowS.mrt
Orange trail - southern section Route 14 1.3 miles oys - mcb OrangeS.gpx OrangeS.mrt
Northern end: from Conner Creek Drive Route 15 1.5 miles ccd - ccj WintreeN.gpx WintreeN.mrt
Southern end: from Walking Stick Road Route 16 1.5 miles WSR - PJ1 WintreeS.gpx WintreeS.mrt
Mabbit spring (loop) Route 17 0.7 miles mst - mst Mabbit.gpx Mabbit.mrt
Mabbit spring to falling water Route 18 1.8 miles tfw - fwo MabbFall.gpx MabbFall.mrt
Falling water Route 19 0.2 miles fwt - fwf FallingW.gpx FallingW.mrt
Green Gorge Park Route 20 1.2 miles ggt - brs GrnGorge.gpx GrnGorge.mrt

Note 1: clicking on a "gpx" or "mrt" file should cause your computer to initiate a download. If it doesn't, or as an alternative, right-click on the filename, and select "Save Target", or words to that effect. If the file "opens", so that you can read its contents, click on "File" then "Save".

Note 2: in order to avoid clutter on the screen of mapping GPS units, the waypoint names have been kept very short - three lower case letters at the beginning and end of trails, and trail junctions; two lower case letters for the other waypoints. Duplicates have been avoided, so it is safe to load as many routes as you wish, up to your GPS receiver's limit.

Note 3: the distances quoted above are the actual distance from the first waypoint to the last. Except in the case of loop trails, additional distance is required to return to the starting point.

Note 4: this information is based on my experience with only two GPS receivers - one Magellan, one Garmin. I would welcome any additions or corrections!

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The accuracy of the maps and routes is not guaranteed, and the author cannot be held responsible for any problems arising from their use.