New iPhone Application Helps Navigate State Parks

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a new iPhone application available for Missourians who want to explore state parks and historic sites.  

"The Pocket Ranger" is set up so that you can find any park by location or activity.  You can see what activities each park has to offer, how long or strenuous trails are, the average time it takes to walk them and a map of the area.

There are two versions of the application, one is free and depends on data coverage in the area. The second version costs $3.99 and relies mainly on GPS coverage, which is normally more extensive. The paid version also allows hikers to track where there are within the park and how far they have walked. Users can also bookmark their favorite places on the trails they visit to make an easier return

Stephen Capron, a hiker at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, said he might use the free version of the application, but probably wouldn't pay for it.

Capron said he usually is out of range for internet services on his phone anyway when he's hiking, so the application probably wouldn't be of much use during his hikes, but he might use it before leaving on a hike.

"It's always good to look at the maps before you go out," he said. "It'd also be a good safety backup to have a map on your phone."

The application is currently only available for Apple iPhones. An Android version is in the works. The Department of Natural Resources has no plans to make a Blackberry version.

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