Outdoor Briefs February 28, 2013

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM.

Free Florida state parks mobile app

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service has developed a new, free Smartphone app, available for download. This interactive guide gives users on-the-go access to Florida’s 171 state parks, trails and historic sites, complete with detailed information about campgrounds, amenities, facility maps, directions and so much more.

In honor of the new app, Florida’s state parks will offer free entry to state parks on Monday, Feb. 18 to visitors who show the app downloaded on their mobile device at the ranger station. Visitors are encouraged to download the app this week and plan a visit to their favorite state park or a state park they discovered by using the new app.

The app allows visitors to plan that perfect outdoor trip by searching for a park by GPS location or activity to find nearby locations to enjoy hiking, camping, boating, birding and more. Once there, advanced GPS and GIS mapping technology allows visitors to track and record trails, mark waypoints and locate friends within the park. There is even an option to cache GPS maps in advance to ensure that navigation remains possible in the event of lost mobile reception.

“This is an exciting new feature that will increase public access to DEP’s award-winning park system,” said DEP Secretary Vinyard. “Being able to plan your trip to one of our parks, trails or historic sites from your phone makes experiencing Florida’s natural, cultural and historical resources easier.”

The apps provide plenty of other features to maximize visitors’ outdoor adventure including educational information, amenities, maps and directions; a real-time calendar of events; advisories, and weather alerts and built-in compass.

New features such as GeoChallenge games and a photo share option will be added in the coming months. Follow FLStateParks on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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