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2013 Annual Guide to the Great Outdoors

There’s an App for That

Handy digital tools for your Adirondack adventure

Photograph from iStock

IT SEEMS COUNTERINTUITIVE to carry a smartphone or tablet into a place typically associated with rug­gedness and es­cape from the daily grind. But there are apps that help you plan, navigate and en­hance your time in the Adirondack Park. The following are a few of my favorites. Most are available for both Android and iOS Apple devices.

REGIONAL
The ADK App (Resorts Guides; free)
This well-designed app has a trip planner that allows you to add points of interest, see a detailed events calendar, maps and many other details.

Adirondacks (Adirondack Regional Tourism Council; free)
Along with comprehensive listings of restaurants, hotels, attractions, hikes and more, this guide has a cool “augmented reality” feature that can align a mountain silhouette on your phone to an actual mountain on the horizon, based on your location.

46 Tracker (GrapeKeeper; free; iOS only)
This tool for High Peak–baggers lists each of the big mountains and allows you to check off your progress and journal your notes for later reflection.

Lake George Boater’s Directory (James E. Mastrianni; $4.99; iOS only)
If you’re heading to one of the Adirondacks’ most popular lakes, think of this as your on-water Yellow Pages: beaches, bathrooms, ranger stations, even ledges for rock jumping are listed.

IDENTIFICATION
LeafsnapHD (Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution; free; iOS only, Android is under development)
What won me over was the ability to take a snapshot of a leaf, which is compared to your location to narrow down a possible species. Beautiful high-resolution photographs aid in identification.

MyNature Tree Guide (MyNature Inc.; $6.99; iOS only)
This Adirondack-made app uses the tried-and-true method of identifying trees by the structure of the leaves.

iTrack Wildlife Lite (NatureTracking.com; free; iOS only)
This app has photographs of the actual tracks, not the silhouettes that most books offer.

WEATHER
Weather HD (vimov; free, or $1.99 for full version)
A beautiful app, particularly on the desktop, that helps you stay ahead of the clouds.The excellent imagery makes you feel like you’re already on vacation.

LISTS
Wunderlist (6 Wunderkinder; free)
This app allows the perfect level of detail to ensure that everything makes it into your pack, and stores enough information to keep the address of your new favorite restaurant.

MAPS
MapsWithMe (Yury Melnicheck; free, or $4.99 for pro version)
Apps aren’t a smart option for critical navigation, but they’re helpful for trip planning. Get the lay of the land with topo maps, zoom in to see which roads look good for a bike trip using satellite imagery or find a perfect spot to drop anchor to swim. Maps­WithMe is a great tool for downloading maps without the need for cellular reception. Trace an out-and-back or loop ride, export the waypoints and import the data into a GPS device.

Dennis Perpetua is a senior technical staff member for IBM who travels frequently and is never without his iPhone and tablets. He lives in Jay, where he is a volunteer firefighter and EMS member.

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