The North York Moors National Park Authority has begun mapping the Cleveland Way using the Google Trekker, a special camera mounted on a backpack. The result will be an online virtual tour of the 109-mile footpath, seen through a huge series of 360° Street View images. Prospective trail walkers will be able to check it out from home before even setting foot outdoors.
The number of worldwide locations to get the Google treatment is steadily growing, from the Grand Canyon to parts of the Peak District (see UKH news here).
Mounted on a backpack, the odd-looking camera has been lent to the Park as part of the Google Trekker Loan Program.
Members of a team led by Jonathan Steele, creator of the Hardmoors Ultrarunning Series which is based on the Cleveland Way, will take it in turns to don the backpack and spend the next month walking the complete route, which stretches from Helmsley across the North York Moors to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, then down the coast through Runswick Bay, Whitby and Cloughton to Filey.
Malcolm Hodgson, National Trails Officer, said:
'There are numerous spectacular and beautiful locations along the Cleveland Way and the Trekker allows us to showcase them to the world in the same way that people use Google Street View.'
'It will mean that the Cleveland Way joins other landscape greats such as the Grand Canyon and the Yosemite National Park in the virtual world and will whet people’s appetite to come and visit, as well as try out sections of the trail.'