Must-Have New York Nature Adirondack Travel Apps

From the isolated deep forests to the concrete jungles of New York City, YES, there’s an app for that. I routinely scour the Apple App Store for travel apps and here are some the best I’ve found. The Apple Store has the most abundant and diverse apps, to be sure, but many app creators are now producing Android-compatible versions, too. So if you see an iPhone app here that you like, check the Android Market. You may be pleasantly surprised.

In this article, I highlight the best apps for hiking, skiing, and enjoying the many outdoorsy destinations in Upstate New York, particularly the Adirondack region. I’ll be writing additional articles on apps for New York City travel and another on apps that help you traverse through the thousands of small towns and cities of New York State. So keep an eye out for those.

Must-Have New York Nature Adirondack Travel Apps

By far one of the coolest apps for Adirondack travel, ADK46erNow is a must-have app for any traveler who strays into the glorious High Peaks region of upper New York. If you are like us, you have probably climbed an Adirondack Mountain, breathlessly exulted the view, swirled around in awe… and wondered what the heck all those other mountains are.


Our photo taken from the peak of Blue Mountain. Not every mountain can have a big "Hollywood" sign on it, so there's the ADK46erNow app.

ADK46erNow solves the dilemma. It’s a great app for both the novice and 46-er. This app displays the peaks and their names and elevations within a five mile radius. If you have cell service, the app displays satellite images of the High Peaks region. The app displays a topographic map if there is no service. While breathing in the crispy ADK air, you can look up mountain elevation, ascent, and even log your journey as you clamber up each of the coveted 46 ADK High Peaks. The app currently costs $4.99 in the App Store. I am definitely using this app the next time we hike the Adirondacks.

Update: As of this writing, the app has not been updated and several people have left negative reviews at the app store. I can’t answer for the app developers or the reviews, so Buyer Beware.

I have this app. It’s like a Facebook or Twitter of travel apps. You log in and allow the app to track you while you
travel. Along the way, you can snap a photo or jot a note, and the app adds the data to the GPS coordinate location. It’s a terrific app for a travel blogger, enabling you to track your course and go back to see your journey. You can upload the trip to the EveryTrail site to share with others, or delete the trip. If you love armchair travel, peruse the journeys of other EveryTrail travelers. There is a free version and a paid version for $3.99. You can peruse the site and see a very good video demonstrating the features of the app.

This app covers hundreds of thousands trails in the United States, including a healthy amount in New York State. When you open the app, it detects your geographic location by nearest city and latitude/longitude, displays current weather conditions, elevation, wind speed, a compass, and sunrise and sunset times. Wow! Touch the “trails” icon to see a
listing of trails nearest you. You can choose a trail and the app displays basic information such as trail distance, skill level, elevation gain and (in some cases) estimated duration. You can see the trail on a map and zoom in for details. Save the trail to your favorites, or rate it. You can log in to Twitter or Facebook and more. I love this app!

Be aware that the app offers elaborate trail guides, to which you must subscribe and are very costly ($50). You do not need to subscribe to use use the app, however– only the trail guides cost money. I noticed that many reviewers complained loudly at the App Store about this cost, but you do NOT need to pay a dime for the app. I use it for free and I love it! To avoid the $50 subscription cost, simply avoid purchasing the trail guides feature.

WikiHow: How To and DIY Survival Kit
This app is the Swiss army knife of survival apps. From delivering a baby to administering first aid to controlling a spooked camel, the app blends resource with humor. Even if you never have need to use it, it’s always good to have a survival kit. It’s even better when you’ve got one that’s fun to read. What other handbook has such endearing tutorials on “How to escape from Handcuffs,” “Run Up and Over a Wall,” Survive a Kidnapping,” “Deal with Party Crashers,” and “Fight Off Multiple Opponents”? I love it!

WildLab Bird
I’m not an avid bird-watcher, but I am curious about the wildlife in New York. This app fits the bill, so to speak. The app shows a pretty good inventory of birds and their characteristics, including terrific sound recordings of birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology of birds. I like this– you can identify their calls as well as see their images. It has a built-in map and camera where you can snap a photo and report a sighting of the bird.

I do wish the inventory was larger, however. There’s a paid version that offers more features. The bird species are organized by ecosphere (wetlands, grasslands, coastal, etc). I’m not too fond of the organization, because sometimes I spot a bird and I have no idea if I it belongs under grassland or forest, or whatever. Still, it’s a worthy app and it’s TERRIFIC for freaking out your cats. 🙂

Audubon: A Field Guide to North American Trees
If trees are your passion, the App Store abounds with apps. The best one I have seen is the Audubon guide to trees in North America. It’s a bargain at $10. There’s a $30 Audubon guide that includes trees, birds, and mammals, too. Of course, you can always look up a tree on Wikipedia using the free Wikipedia app, or do a search in Safari browser.

I have saved one of the best for last. This app is nothing short of spectacular. It displays a 2D and 3D planetarium view of the sky, in real time at your geographic location. It shows current visibility conditions for the sun and planets. It has stunning, animated images of the sun and planets. Best of all, it tells you the location of the stars, constellations, galaxies and planets in a 360-degree view, in real time. It’s just stunning. I can’t express it in any other way.

These are the jewels I have found so far. I’ll soon be posting additional apps for all sorts of travel, so stay tuned! If you have discovered any terrific apps, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading.

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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