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(The Gear Loop) - Strava has expanded its offering with a new off-road interface that packs an enhanced suite of routing features to keep up with the burgeoning demand for trail sports.

According to Strava, the number of hikes uploaded to the popular running and cycling platform grew by over 100 per cent in the last two years. Overall, trail sports including mountain biking, hiking and trail running are growing twice as quickly as those on pavement, such as road cycling, which is facing a decline in popularity in the USA. 

StravaStrava Trail Sports and Trail Route recommendations photo 3

To keep up with demand, Strava is now offering all subscribers a new Trail Routes feature, which highlight popular trail networks and start points. These route recommendations for Strava’s new sports are activity-specific and adjustable based on preference for distance and elevation. 

Much like Strava’s road offering, these Trail Routes are recommended by the community, while users receive information, such as Route Difficulty, Community Completion Times, Historical Activity trends, as well as data visualisations of gradient and difficulty before they set out.

StravaStrava Trail Sports and Trail Route recommendations photo 2

Subscribers can easily navigate to recommended local routes by heading to the Map section in the app and browsing said routes. Strava has added Trail Run, Gravel Ride, Mountain Bike, and e-Mountain Bike to its long list of sports classification and route suggestions, which also includes Bike, Run, Hike, Workout, Yoga and many more.

On top of this, Strava is adding its 3D map style to activity uploads, which will appear in activity feeds. The ability to choose a 3D map for your activity is only available to subscribers, but all athletes on the platform will see the new map style in their feed when it's used by athletes they follow.

StravaStrava Trail Sports and Trail Route recommendations photo 4

Currently, Strava subscriptions are £4 per month when billed annually, while students in high school and college qualify for a 50 per cent annual subscription discount, which unlocks access to route planning, goal setting, training logs and more.

Writing by Leon Poultney.