Use Strava’s Heatmap to Discover New Places to Run, Bike, or Swim

Strava’s heatmap isn’t brand-new, but it wasn’t until just recently that I actually took a look at it. This interactive tool reveals where Strava users run, bike, swim, kayak, ski and snowshoe– and you can separate those activities as you browse the map. Wish to try to find secret swimming holes? Check which high schools have a track that’s open to the public? The heatmap will tell you.


You don’t need to utilize Strava yourself to browse the heatmap, however you will need a totally free Strava account to focus to street level.

A note about personal privacy

The data on the heatmap comes from Strava users’ tracked paths. So if you use Strava yourself, this is your suggestion that you’ll probably wish to utilize the personal privacy zone feature to exclude your house or any other areas you ‘d rather not have your run tracked.

Discover safe paths

I reside in a sloping location where much of the roads are congested and doing not have walkways. I primarily adhere to familiar neighborhoods and park paths due to the fact that I know they will be safe to run or bike on. However the heatmap gives me a way to find out which roadways I might want to attempt, and which ones are most likely not as safe.

For example, among the significant roads in my location appears dark on the heatmap– a great sign that it doesn’t have a shoulder you can bike or jog on. (Having driven this roadway, it holds true.) But searching for bright locations, I see several clusters of roadways and paths that are worth looking into. There’s a cemetery with a bunch of courses that are popular with runners, for example, and several little communities that appear to be little sanctuaries of easy jogging in- between busier roads.

Find brand-new tracks

Many parks, schools, and other areas have little-known routes on their residential or commercial property, which you might not understand if you haven’t existed. With the heatmap, though, I can quickly see that a number of popular park courses are surrounded by strong wiggly lines that avoid into the woods. In some cases, you’ll also see the indications of routes that you can run around a location, offering a way to tack on a few miles to your track workout by jogging on community roads.


Search around the map to find most likely options, then check out park sites or signs published in the location for more details on what the routes are like and how to follow them.

Look for ovals

High schools often have running tracks that are open to local residents; so do some middle schools, community centers, and other spots you might not have realized. Set the heatmap’s filters to the little shoe icon (which reveals running, walking, and hiking) and try to find ovals. W hen you find one, utilize the “Labels” layer to find out the name of the school or place. Switch the layer to cycling, and you might even find a couple of bike tracks.


As previously, have a look at the hours and rules on the location’s website or try to find indications posted in the area. The heatmap provides you hints, not consent.

Discover swimming pools and swimming holes

There’s a layer with a water icon too, which is handy for finding locations where individuals typically swim or engage in other water activities. One large public swimming pool reveals a number of horizontal tracks across the pool, representing the place of the lap lanes. (I’ve existed; that’s precisely where the lap lanes are.).


You can also use this feature to discover the beaches most popular for swimming, and if you’re inland, you can use it to discover small lakes or ponds where people like to swim.

Just be aware that the water icon is for swimming and other water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking. One local lake shone brilliant on the heatmap, however I understand that swimming is not allowed there and I’ve never seen anyone do it. It is hugely popular for kayaking, though, and there are two boat rental locations right on the lake. So it’s a good concept to cross-reference local business; if you were searching for an area to bring your kayak or paddleboard, their presence would be a good hint.


Find areas to ski or snowshoe

There’s also a snowflake layer, which shows tracks where individuals like to do winter sports like snowboarding and snowshoeing. Again, the heatmap does not distinguish between the two, so do your own research study to learn if you have actually truly discovered a secret cross-country skiing path. (I have actually also observed a couple of activities that must have been mis-categorized, like a route on the swimming/water layer that is certainly situated on roads.) However browsing around the map can provide you an idea of where to start looking as you plan your next experience.

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