With COVID-19 requiring social distancing activities, hiking trails are a popular choice when leaving the house. There are plenty of free hiking apps that can make the experience safer and more enjoyable. Read on for more information on five notable apps to download today.
The All Trails app provides curated trails based on preferred length, difficulty level, and type of activity. It also allows trail customization, connecting with friends, and identifying popular trails from community reviews. Reviews include trail details and photos.
Membership plans start at $30 per year and unlock features such as GPS location and map downloads for offline use.
Map My Tracks
A fitness-inspired app, Map My Tracks produces fitness reports and has an online community of over a million that provides challenges and the discovery of nearby routes. Data tracked on the app includes average pace, total distance, calories burned, heart rate, steps, and elevation gain.
Subscriptions are $2.99 per month or $28.99 per year. Paid features include a heat map of the area covered, setting goals for motivation, and live tracking so friends and family can follow progress.
Seek by iNaturalist
This app allows hiking to be an educational experience by providing information on plants and wildlife on trails. Using image-based recognition technology, it analyzes pictures to present information about the species. Seek is easy to use and free.
The Cairn app aims to get hikers home safe. It offers ETAs of routes based on personalized data and identifies areas with strong cell reception. The app allows hikers to share real-time locations with their safety circle. It also tracks GPS coordinates to notify emergency contacts when hikes occur longer than expected. The paid version of $26.99 per year will send automatic updates to selected contacts.
This navigation-based app offers easy-to-use features, including topographic (topo) maps, print maps, and a built-in compass. The free version of Gaia GPS allows hikers to discover trails, plot routes, find camping options, and enable grid overlays.
Topo maps are accessible in the free version while online. However, a membership of $20 per year unlocks this feature for offline use and enables offline GPS navigation.