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Walk the Old Forest…from your computer!

While there’s obviously no substitute for a leisurely walk on the Old Forest Trail, one thing you definitely can’t do in the wintertime is enjoy a lush green trek through the woods…until today!

Thanks to the Google Street View Trekker Loan Program, the Old Forest Trail (and several other trails in the woods) has been mapped using the same technology that allows you to see your own street online. As Google branches out from mapping just streets, areas like the Old Forest, the Memphis Zoo, and Shelby Farms Park are getting the Street View treatment.

Take a walk through the woods here.

Google Trekker
Stephen starts on his journey through Overton Park.

Memphis’ Street View spotlight comes courtesy of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, which applied to participate in the loan program last year. This summer, Bob Hazlett of the CVB and intern Stephen Ferguson of the University of Memphis mapped locations throughout the city, from Graceland to the riverfront. They alternated wearing a backpack that contained a 15-lens camera, walking through the summer heat to capture on-the-ground images of the city’s biggest attractions.

On the late-August day that they visited Overton Park, Bob and Stephen came up to our office in the Parkview to show us how the technology worked. The residents were quite entertained when Stephen stepped off the elevator wearing the backpack, which resembles Marvin the Martian’s suit. Then Bob and Stephen walked through the park with our Operations Director Eric Bridges, making sure to map the major trails in the woods. On the tour, you can follow the twists and turns of the forest trail and look up into the canopy to get a true sense of being in the woods.

We’re so grateful to the CVB for asking us to be a part of this program and beam the Old Forest out all over the world! You can learn more about the program in today’s Memphis Daily News.