Have you ever been on a road trip around the State of Washington and wondered when the next State Park is located? Maybe you are looking for a hike near a state park, or just planning your next weekend camping getaway. Before, you would have to read books, search Google or look at all of our wonderful State Park blogs to get detailed information. Now, you just need a smartphone and you can do it all.
Pocketranger.com now has created a State Park App for the State of Washington, and while it can be improved upon, it is a great tool to help you start to plan a vacation around The Evergreen State. The App itself is broken into 5 main sections which helps make the thing easier to navigate.
You start on the “Home” Screen, which gives you not only an option to look at a map, but also connect with friends and search the list of parks. The Home screen is broken up into 8 buttons which are:
– All Parks and Historic Sites (I hope you like scrolling)
– Activity (Needs more activities that are accurate)
– Region (A good place to search)
– Category (Needs better labels)
– GPS Map (Does not include all parks)
– Parks Near Me (Best Feature)
– News (Kinda Lame, but might someday be used for something important)
– Make A suggestion (Use this one often and make the App better!!)
To me, the best features are the “Parks Near Me” and “Activity” options. Far too often on trips, we have a hard time finding something local and/or a place to hike. This App nearly solves this problem, but still needs some updates. While I love the activities button, it doesn’t tell you about any local activities outside of the State Park. This is only an issue if you are looking for longer hikes in the area. Aside from that though, as an App, this does quite well.
Another screen you can go to is the Social Media screen, which allows you to connect with the Washington State Park on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and a blog. This is a great idea, but the State Parks need to be more active about their content.
The App also allows you to look at Events in State Parks and upload your pictures through Flickr to show the world your experience at a park. I am for both of these elements and hope that they are used both by visitors and the State Park employees alike. Finally, the App has a “More” section which gives weather forecasts, information on the Parks, Discover Pass and what permits you need.
The App is a great start, and I suggest you all download it, since it is free! Check it out, see if you like it, and if you notice anything that needs to be changed, let them know. If Apps like this can get popular, soon a trail App for the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park might exist. Give this App and chance and see if you end up learning something new about the great State of Washington.
To Download the App
For more information on State Parks, contact us!
Exotic Hikes: @Exotichikes on Twitter