Florida has joined the ranks of a growing number of states who are offering a free mobile device app with information about state operated parks through the Parks By Nature Network. At this time, the Pocket Ranger® app is available for 21 states including Florida. Smartphone users can download the free Florida State Park app for on-the-go information.
The Pocket Ranger® app puts valuable details about Florida's 171 state park and trail facilities at one's fingertips. Parks can be searched by region, GPS location, or activity such as hiking, biking, fishing, camping, birding or more. Park events, advisories, content and news are updated in real-time so searching for fun outdoor activities is accurate and easy.
Each of the state parks and trails in this interactive mobile guide provides users with detailed information, amenities, facility maps and directions. Some of the locations include birding lists, wildlife viewing tips and other site specific recommendations.
For example, the Wekiva Springs State Park front page provides the user with an address and telephone number for the park and icons representing all of the activities visitors can engage in at the park. Scroll down and users will find tabs to:
- General Info - overview, operational times, amenities, directions, rules and regulations
- Activities - (each activity gives details specific to the park) bicycling, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, interpretive exhibits, overnight stays, picnicking, playground, snorkeling, swimming and wildlife viewing
- Trails - (provides brief description and information about length, difficulty and mode of travel for each trail) boardwalk nature trail, Volksmarch trail, Tram Bed horse trail and Off-road trail
- Reservations - contact information and link to ReserveAmerica
- Maps - park map, detailed park map, trail map and Wekiva River paddling map
- Park History - brief background on park
- Additional info - information on concessions, volunteers, meeting facilities and nature center
- Weather - detailed weather stats and current radar for the area
GPS and GIS mapping technology allows users to track and record trails, mark waypoints and locate friends in the parks. GPS maps can be cached so they will be obtainable even when without mobile reception. Find an interesting plant or spot wildlife on a trail? Snap a photo and mark it with the GPS pin to share with others. Geo-cache or GeoQuest with the GPS feature in participating state parks. In an emergency, the GPS feature will help pinpoint a users location to send help.
Pocket Ranger® is a powerful app for mobile device users that is completely free for download. For more information about the app visit the Florida State Park website.