Hey everyone! I wanted to share a resource that I recently discovered and has been really helpful to us as we seek out new places to explore. It’s an app called AllTrails and we have been using it to discover new destinations around us! The app has a built-in recording tool so you can tell it when you start your hike (walk, run, bike ride, whatever activity you are doing) and tell it when you stop and it will give you stats on your trip! I usually won’t recommend many cell phone or techie items because I know reception can be spotty and the whole point of getting outside is to disconnect, but I really do think this one is useful!
When you download the app, you can create a profile. You will then be able to use the explore feature to find trails in whatever area you are in! You can filter the results based on difficulty, length, elevation gain, AllTrails ratings, activity type, and more! It’s really a great, comprehensive app with a lot of information all in one place. Once you see a trial you like, you will be able to read a brief description, view a general map, and see other user’s reviews with comments/notes about the trail. Another feature I find very handy is the ability to export the destination to Google Maps and get driving directions to the trail head. This is how we discovered the Cypress Preserve Lizards Tail that we recently ventured out to. If you see a trail you like, you can click the little heart to add it to your personal list for easy access in the future.
I use the free version of the app. You can pay for a “Pro” version, which will include more features like map overlays, a Lifeline feature to keep your contacts in the loop of your whereabouts, and the ability to download maps for offline use. The basic version has been perfect for me so far. I just started using the trip recording today and it was so easy! Even if the trail you are walking on is not in their directory, you can still map your trip and it will record your distance, time, elevation change, etc. The Eagle Lake Park trails were not an option in the “Explore” section, but I was still able to map today’s walk/bike ride with the record feature. I added a title and recommended that they include this park in their directory.
Overall, it’s a super user-friendly app and it’s useful in finding new trails that you may not have otherwise known about! It can help you track you average pace, which will also come in handy for planning multi-day treks. I look forward to using it more in the future and getting more insights into my hiking habits! You can find all the details on their website here: https://www.alltrails.com/ or download the app!