I used to agree that regional forums would be good, but I've been convinced otherwise. I do think "Trip Reports" and "Hiking Partners/Trip Announcements" could be moved up into the higher-profile "General" category. Also encouraging people to always use those forums instead of the "General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion" for location-specific discussion would help. Finally, including the state (or country) in the title for all posts related to specific locations would be very useful. Do you know how many "Rock Creeks" there are?
I've quoted an answer to a similar suggestion on a RV travel forum:
"Here are my feelings about separating this forum into regions:
Yes, I believe that the search function of the forum could be improved to make it easier to find information about certain regions.
That being said, I believe that dividing this forum up into separate regions would be a huge mistake. One needs to remember that Open Roads is a forum and not simply a search engine. The success of the forum depends on the give and take of its members.
Let’s say you go to the Great Lakes Region and post a question. The only members who are likely to see your question are those who are also seeking information in that area. You may get a few replies but not nearly as many as you will in an open format.
Most RVers travel through multiple regions and monitor the board both for our own benefit and to help others who are looking for advice. If you notice the replies given to any post, the answers are not necessarily from persons who live in that area but they are from members from across the nation who have visited there at one time. For the moment in time that you post your question, many contributing members would have no reason to be in that area unless they also happen to be planning a trip there.
If members are looking at only a certain region for their own purposes, they won’t be seeing and answering questions about places they’ve already been. Not many people are likely to go from region to region just looking for questions to answer.
Also, members looking for information in a particular region will be missing out on a wealth of information that does not necessarily apply to only one area."