In the last year, we’ve all spent significant portions of our lives indoors thanks to COVID-19. At least in Australia, we seem to have a pretty good handle on the problem which is seeing restrictions wound back, opening the door to many more outdoor opportunities.
For those who love to explore, there’s a fantastic app called AllTrails that is helping Australians find great rail trails for those who love to go hiking, riding or running.
If you’re someone with a GoPro, or Drone, then you may be looking for amazing places to go shoot, and this app could absolutely help you find some of the most beautiful parts of our country.
The platform is home to the world’s largest collection of online maps, boasts nearly 200 thousand detailed, hand-curated trails worldwide, five thousand of which are located in Australia.
Not only can trail-goers find and navigate new trails, but users can browse up-to-date reviews and photos, crowdsourced from its like-minded and outdoor-loving community of over 25 million global and 460,000 Australian users.
“Spending time outside, moving and appreciating nature can have immediate effects on our mood and physical health.
When we’re outside, our brain produces mood boosting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. This is particularly important, because more and more evidence is proving that when we’re happy, our immune systems are happy too.”Dr. Suzanne Bartlett-Hackenmiller, medical advisor for AllTrails.
Some of the health benefits of spending time outdoors include:
- A recent study done by Berman et al. found that being outside for one hour a day can improve memory in adults by 20%.
- A study by White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J. et al. argue that we should spend at least 120 minutes a week in nature, as it is associated with good wellbeing.
- Studies also show that within just the first five minutes of being outside, we experience a better and more positive mood. For many people, these five minutes can mean a quick walk outside while taking a break from work and the computer.
- Getting outside for a quick walk around the block is a great way to soak in some extra Vitamin D from the sun (just make sure to always wear sunscreen!). This can help boost our naturally occurring melatonin and promote restful sleep by the time we’re ready for bed.
“At AllTrails, we believe that everyone has a right to the outdoors, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic standing.
Our public lands are for everyone to enjoy and to experience the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits that come from spending time outside. This level of growth confirms that we are on the right path in leveraging technology to democratize access to the outdoors for all.”Ron Schneidermann, CEO of AllTrails.
Whether it’s bushwalking and mountain biking, or cross-country skiing and horseback riding, the AllTrails platform offers a diverse range of trails to help connect trail-goers of all backgrounds and experience levels to the outdoors. Users can select trails by filtering for trail length, rating, and difficulty level. The application and website also provide options to easily find dog, child, pram, and/or wheelchair-friendly trails.
AllTrails is available for free, but trail-goers can access a full suite of features with the premium subscription, AllTrails Pro, for $29.99 per year.
AllTrails Pro includes the following added feature and benefits:
- Explore new trails with confidence – Download maps to your phone and see your exact GPS location on a fully detailed trail map, even when you’re offline.
- Never miss a turn with off-route notifications – Hit the trail knowing that if you wander off route, we’ll alert you to get you back on track.
- Use Lifeline to stay connected to your loved ones – Lifeline is a real-time tracker that helps you share trip details like planned start/finish time and a map of your planned route. Send status updates to your designated safety contacts, and if you’re overdue for your planned finish time, Lifeline will automatically send an alert to your safety contacts along with your last known location.
- Stay current with real-time map overlays – Know what to expect before you hit the trail with access to real-time overlays including air quality, satellite weather, pollen, light pollution, fire history, and user heatmaps.
- Print maps before you hit the trail – Always have a backup without thumbing through guide books, or print your own custom maps, choose your scale, orientation, gridlines, paper size, and even your map layer.