What is RootsRated?

RootsRated is a media platform that connects users with the best outdoor experiences, hand-picked by local outdoor retailers and their networks of local experts. We are NOT another website full of crowd-sourced trail reviews.

We harness the collective expertise of high-level local runners, skiers, riders, paddlers, and climbers. Then we share it through exclusive stories and destination reviews—curated city by city—about the best trails, runs, routes, crags, and more. RootsRated brings people who love the outdoors together, through insights from locals who are most in the know.

How We Got Started

Two years ago, we drove 16,000 miles around North America. Our goal was to interview over 1,000 college students about the barriers they face when searching for what to do and where to go outdoors. Our private goal was trail run the continent’s most beautiful and rugged terrains.

We’ll never forget some of our adventures. Climbing Acadia National Park’s Mount Cadillac, bombing through the gorges of upstate New York’s Finger Lakes, hammering 20 miles along Michigan’s Pictured Rocks, weathering brutal hail and lightning in the Badlands, and watching the sunset over the Columbia River Gorge all stand out.

Along the way, we discovered in ourselves a desire to help more people interact with the experiences that blew our minds and energized our daily routines. We also discovered a need. Finding the best outdoor experiences is not easy. The process of discovering a great local trail, or bouldering field, or whitewater hole remains a very word of mouth process. Information online is incredibly fragmented.

Unable to find quality information about outdoor experiences online through google searches, we sought out local expertise from specialty outdoor retailers and local bike and run shops in communities around the country. Everyday, people walk into these most authentic shops and ask the outdoor industry’s most important question: “Where can I get outside around here?”

We’ve asked that question again and again, and we’ve learned that great retailers answer that question consistently and authoritatively. Because our content is contributed by local experts writing about their favorite places to get outside, RootsRated is much more than another hub of crowdsourced reviews. It is an authentic inside scoop, a story shared over beers, a “wish you were here” that comes with directions about how to join in the fun.

We’re now working to connect more people to the most authentic local outdoor knowledge. We work with local experts across the country to curate the best outdoor experiences and bring to light the most interesting stories from their outdoor communities.