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June 2 is National Trails Day: Use These Tools to Help You Find New Paths

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Trail picture

June is the perfect time across the U.S. to get out and enjoy the last of mild spring weather before the summer heat kicks in. No matter where you live, you should take some time to get outside and find new trails this summer. Whether you’re scaling mountains or just want to map a new walk around your neighborhood, these apps can help. Download them for all of your outdoor adventures this spring.

Best for Planning a Hike or a Walk around the Neighborhood

  • Gaia GPS:  Gaia has thousands of journeys and routes that were previously saved by fellow hikers. The app and website also feature real-time maps, stats, directions, and pictures from each hike that you can download and take with you if you won’t have cell access on the trail.
  • Maps 3D Pro:  If you’d rather have a more 3D map experience than reading a topographical map, Maps 3D Pro is for you. Not only can you plan your next hike on the app, but you can also navigate on the trail and save your route so you can find it again in the future.
  • AllTrails:  AllTrails includes more than 50,000 trail maps across the world. You can also map past hikes and figure out how far you went and how your route differed from those of other hikers in the area.
  • ViewRanger:  ViewRanger allows you to see all of the trails in your area, along with reviews of each trail, photos, attributes, and waypoints. One of the best aspects of ViewRanger is the number of people who use it, including many search and rescue teams, making it a great source of information.
  • GeoCaching:  If you’re looking for something a little different and with more of a game-type atmosphere, try Geocaching. Other players leave something small to find and enter their GPS coordinates. You can then find and log your Geocache finds. Geocaching can be a fun (and addictive) way to explore new parts of your town, city, or neighborhood.

Best for Climbing Mountains

  • PeakVisor:  On PeakVisor, you can point your phone at a nearby mountain and identify its name and altitude. The app covers all major and minor mountain ranges in the world and is growing quickly to include more local peaks. The app can identify waterfalls and castles as well.
  • PeakFinder:  PeakFinder also uses augmented reality to label mountains and provide information about different summits and peaks. Once the app identifies the mountain range and vantage point, you can explore pictures of the surrounding areas.

Best for Tracking

  • Trails:  Trails can help you record a hike or a walk around the city using a pretty 3D aerial map of your route. Review and add pictures to your route to help you remember where you’ve been so you can get back again sometime soon!
  • LiveTrekker: LiveTrekker brings your hikes to life with aerial photos of your route, stats on distance, and the ability to add photos of what you saw along the way. You can also use LiveTrekker for city sightseeing and share your journeys with others.
  • Cairn:  If you are going to blaze your own trail, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Downloading Cairn ahead of time can help you make sure you will be safe on the trail. With the app, you can see where others on the trail have found cell coverage and be absolutely sure about the places where you can reach others if you need to make an emergency call. The information is crowdsourced, so it is constantly updated with new information.

No matter what type of journey you prefer, we hope you get out and find a new trail this year for National Trails Day. There are so many options that the hard part might be which way to go! With these apps, however, you’ll always have the opportunity to know where you’ve been and where you’re going.

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