If you're thinking of hiking the Colorado Trail, a 500-mile hiking trail that stretches from Denver to Durango and covers almost every type of terrain our fair state has to offer, the first step you take should be online. Thanks to the efforts of Jerry Brown of Bear Creek Survey Service, who provided the route information, you can now fly along the entire epic length of the trail via Google Earth. A full fly-by of the trail can be done in less than seven minutes, or you can click on any point along the way to get detailed info such as elevation, terrain, directions to and from that point, nearby areas of interest and other fun stuff. It's a great way to start planning a hiking trip along the trail or even just to kill some of your employer's time at work -- not that you would ever do that.
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All you need to do is visit Google Earth and download the app (it's free, but a decent computer and broadband is required), then grab the trail data from the Colorado Trail website (or click here to get it). Moments later, you'll be enjoying the great outdoors from the convenience of your computer. Who knows? You may even find it so compelling you'll decide to actually go outside.