New app unveiled for state parks

Posted on Monday, April 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm

The Department of Environment and Conservation has partnered with the Parks by Nature Network to launch Tennessee State Parks Pocket Ranger®, a free iPhone and Android application for park visitors on the move. 

“With more than 31 million visits annually, Tennessee’s 54 state parks serve as popular destinations year round,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “This new mobile app will give those ‘on-the-go’ park goers and nature enthusiasts the ability to access valuable park information quickly and efficiently, while providing an additional level of outstanding customer service.”

In addition to Tennessee’s state parks, the free mobile app includes interactive information on Tennessee’s historic sites, state park golf courses and campgrounds. The Pocket Ranger app is designed to provide everything a visitor would need to become familiar with a property, including contacts, directions, available amenities, maps, events and links to important numbers and services. 

Information is updated regularly and users can search by GPS location or a desired activity to find nearby locations for hiking, camping, boating, birding, golfing and more.  GPS maps can be cached in advance to ensure that navigation remains possible in the event of lost mobile reception or limited access. 

Once a visitor arrives at a chosen destination, advanced GPS and GIS mapping technology allows them to track and record all trails, mark waypoints, locate friends inside the park, and even play games using the app’s GeoChallenge. Other features that will maximize your Tennessee State Parks adventure include a built-in compass, interpretative educational information, calendar of events, news and advisories and weather alerts. The app’s social media function and photo sharing allows users to post photos and share experiences with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter, inspiring others to get outdoors. 

“More and more individuals are utilizing smart phones to access information and Tennessee State Parks’ new Pocket Ranger app is a great use of technology, providing accurate and up-to-date information to explore what our great state parks have to offer,” added Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “We want to thank our partners at the Parks by Nature Network who developed this resource at no cost to the taxpayers and free to the public to download.”

The free mobile app can be found by visiting www.tnstateparks.com or www.pocketranger.com.  The app also is available through iTunes and Android Market. A tutorial on how to navigate the new app’s features can be found on the Pocket Ranger website. Plans are already under way to format the new app as a mobile website for Blackberry and feature phone users. 

Tennessee’s 54 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this past year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937. Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices.

For more information about Tennessee State Parks, please visit www.tnstateparks.com or connect via Facebook or Twitter. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call 1-888-867-2757.

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