PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced today the launch of a new Trails App which will give users information on trails available in the Allegheny County Parks System. Using their mobile devices, residents and visitors alike will be able to discover and navigate park trails both in advance of a hike, and while in the park too.
“We’re excited to launch the Trails App for our residents and visitors. Our nine county parks contain 12,000 acres and attract over two million visitors each year,” said Fitzgerald. “For hikers, being able to plan hikes, as well as utilize information while hiking will make their experience even better. We’re proud of the work that has been done on this effort to date and look forward to the continued offerings that this technology will provide to park users.”
The app focuses on navigation information for all users at each of the county’s nine parks. All trails – blazed, unmarked and paved – are shown in the map. Information on the blazed trails also includes length and difficulty (based on a hiker’s perspective). When the mobile device’s GPS is turned on, the app can also provide live elevation information when on a blazed trail. Additionally, users will have access to current weather conditions, alerts and upcoming forecasts from the National Weather Service.
“Our parks are a wonderful resource for so many different organizations and groups, many of which take full advantage of our many trails,” said Council Member John Palmiere, Chair of County Council’s Parks Committee. “Having a resource such as this app which makes the users’ experience better, safer and more enjoyable ensures that residents and visitors have a good, positive interaction with our parks system.”
The Division of Computer Services partnered with Esri, a geographic information systems (GIS) mapping software company, to create a product using the county’s GIS data. Working with Esri, the Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group, and the Allegheny County Park Rangers, the data and information collected was developed into an application that reflects current conditions for users. Work on future versions of the app will include information on trailheads, parking options, shelters and restroom facilities.
The map-based, GPS-enabled app is available and free to download in the Apple App Store. It will be available through the Android Play Store by the end of the week. The app can be found by searching “Allegheny County Parks Trails.”
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