I like having a plan for my hiking and biking trips (Northern California), to have an idea about their length and aggregated climb, and also to have a track in my GPS to stop wondering if I am taking the right route.
Unfortunately, I could not do that with Garmin software, Basecamp. Proprietary $$$ Topo 24k map doesn’t have bike trails, free Opencycle map doesn’t have elevations.
I found a perfect solution in QMapShack, a free mapping application for Linux, Windows and Mac, which can also use free map and elevation data. This is an attempt on an end-to-end guide from setting it up to using it to plan trips.