A free mobile phone application with comprehensive information about North Carolina’s state parks has been introduced by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation in partnership with Friends of State Parks and ParksByNature Network, a developer of mobile, interactive networks.
The downloadable Pocket Ranger Mobile Tour Guide for Apple iPod and iPhone and Adroid smartphones allows visitors to plan and explore state parks with details readily at hand about park locations, trails, facilities, reservations, events and special news alerts.
In addition, an upgraded “pro” version for iPod and iPhone offers GPS-aided, state-of-the-art navigation of state parks, storage of detailed topographic maps and enhanced interactive features. A similar upgraded version for Andrioid users is in development. A substantial portion of the annual subscription price for the upgraded versions will go to benefit the nonprofit Friends of State Parks.
Once downloaded, the quick-search information in the Park Ranger Mobile Tour Guide is accessible to smartphone users even when cell phone service is unavailable. This includes official park and campground maps plus details on natural features, activities, fees and regulations. A social networking tool allows users to share their state park experiences and photos in real time.
With the “pro” version and smartphone GPS technology, visitors can record hikes and mark waypoints, track plant and animal species, download maps and store them offline, keep track of friends and family members within a state park and send personal “alerts” to select contacts. A highlight is the ability to quickly share experiences with others on popular social media sites.
The Pocket Ranger Mobile Tour Guide can be downloaded from the iTunes Store and Android’s Market or directly from the official stateparkapps.com website.