July is the 30th annual National Park & Recreation Month, so it’s a great time to consider visiting a new park or trying a new activity. (And, if you’re, like, totally serious about the ‘1985’ theme, join the Instagram video challenge.) Here are a few apps to help you with your outdoorsy adventures:
These maps are global and very detailed, but most importantly for someone going off-road, they work even when you’re too far away to connect to a cell tower—just download the relevant areas while you still have a data connection, then hit the road.
Developed in partnership with OSU botanists, this app is for serious backwoods wanderers. It works without a data connection once installed, and provides a wealth of information about wildflowers, including an identification guide, photographs, and range maps.
The Outdoor Project
Although not an app, The Outdoor Project has local tech bona fides, having come out of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). It aims to consolidate resources and integrate them with an interactive community. You might find a useful guide, like 25 of the West’s Most Iconic + Common Trees, or a destination report, like the one for Hoyt Arboretum.
This app helps you learn more about Portland’s nearly 300 heritage trees (“recognized by City Council for their unique size, age, historical or horticultural significance”) by viewing their locations and details and linking to each species’ Wikipedia entry.
When you visit Washington Park, you can now use PassportParking to handle mobile payment for the park’s metered spots. The app lets you avoid lines at pay stations; add time from anywhere in the park with cell service; receive reminders; and view or print receipts.
As the official app of Portland’s tourism bureau, Travel Portland includes a whole lot of very useful but non-park-related information. Once you have the app installed, tap the search icon in the upper right corner, and type ‘park’ in the search box. Voila!
This app from the Washington Trails Association lets you search for trails and check for the latest trip reports from fellow hikers. It includes easy links to weather information and can help you navigate to your desired trailhead.
If you can’t make it to one of the Pacific Northwest’s outdoors attractions, never fear — you can check out these Columbia Rive Gorge trails from the comfort of your own home!
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