Getting Techie Outdoors

There you are on the trail, you’ve been moving along for the last hour not really paying attention to several different intersections along the way. You’ve taken the path you felt was right in your heart. Now that you’ve stopped for some water and some nourishment you realize, you have no idea where you are. So you pull out your trusty phone only to see that the Google map says that you are in the woods. That’s helpful.

Thanks.

Thanks Google.

Luckily, for those of us in Arkansas (and those who have an iPhone), we have a very helpful resource. Arkansas Cycling and Fitness has a wonderful, free app for iPhone only that lists many of the trails in the state. So as long as you have a cell phone signal, you can get that phone out and take a look at where you are in relationship to the trail. Of course you don’t have to wait until you are lost to use the app.

Map of Boyle Park Trails in Little Rock.

Map of Boyle Park Trails in Little Rock.

Besides maps other features include a local news feed and a list of upcoming mountain bike rides and even trail runs.

The app has been out for a while and had over 2500 downloads but Arkansas Cycling and Fitness recently brought the project in house which means that if you have the older version you will no longer get updates to the trails, news or rides. Daniel Lysk with Arkansas Cycling and Fitness in Sherwood recommends deleting the old one off your phone and re-installing it. The easiest way to find it is to search for “Arkansas Cycling & Fitness” in the iTunes store. They do not have plans for an app for Android or other mobile operating systems.

Another great reason for upgrading to the new app is that you will then be notified of newer versions. Daniel told us, “We plan to have version 2.0 available in the next 6 months.” They plan to include more extensive news updates in 2.0 and a layering ability for trail systems like the Camp Robinson Trails, which can get a bit confusing for riders new to the area.

So go ahead and get the new version before you head out on the trail. If you are visiting from out-of-state it would be a good idea to download it before your visit. And if you GPS trails on a regular basis please contact Daniel (dan at arkansascycling.com) with updated .gpx files. We have a lot of trail in this state to get listed.

(BTW, if you are interested in another great outdoor app, check out the Arkansas State Parks app available for iPhone, iTouch and Android)

Comments

  1. Wow Joe, were you reading my mind? I had been wondering for the past few days if there was an app that showed the bike trails around here, specifically at Camp Robinson. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden out there and I’ve been wanting to do so but I still don’t know the trails out there very well. Thanks for the timely info!!

  2. Of course, if we all took advantage of the new google map feature to add trails then google maps would be a one-stop shop. Since I have an android phone the app mentioned above does me no good, but i do appreciate the efforts they have presented to make it. 🙂 Check out http://google.com/mapmaker and login with your google account to get started maping out trails in Arkansas, or bike routes in or between towns.

  3. Regarding Googles Mapmaker… I’ve been using it for a few months to input bike lanes and similar when I notice they aren’t there. I recently GPS’d the Fu Lin Dumpster Trail (1.5 miles long from Fu Lin’s to Kohls) and figured out that you can use your GPS file as an overlay and trace the track into Mapmaker. I had some troubles and stopped out of frustration but it seemed doable. Right now there aren’t any ways to directly import a GPS file into Google maps though.

    • Bryan – if you are logged into Google you can create a custom map and upload a .kmz file from your GPS phone or device to that map. This feature isn’t available if you do not have a Google login, so many people don’t realize it’s available.

  4. Great App! Anyone else having a problem getting the Camp Maps to display properly? Dan – is there a fix for this? Thanks guys

  5. Joe Jacobs says:

    Ahhhhh… Daniel reminded me that reading is FUNdamental. A note at the bottom of the description for the Camp Robinson Trails reads: “due to the design of these trails, we are unable to include a map of these trails. Please see the CARP Club web site or wait for the ACandF iPhone app version 2.”

    So there you have it. 🙂

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