Have you ever laced up your boots on a sunny Saturday morning and headed to the trailhead for a day of hiking, only to find the parking lot completely full?

Or maybe the parking lot is empty…because the trail is closed for maintenance. Or you brought your dog along and discovered dogs are not allowed on this trail. Wouldn’t it have been nice to know all this before driving to the trailhead?

Brian Lackey of Outdoor Interactive saw the need for real-time trail updates, so he came to us with the idea to build an iOS app called TrailMate. The app shows all the trails within your 50 mile radius, but more importantly, it displays trail statuses like open/closed, handicap accessibility, dog/horse/bike restrictions, parking lot capacity, snow/mud conditions, and current maintenance. Not only does the TrailMate app show real-time trail statuses, it also lists useful stats like trail difficulty.

The TrailMate app is paired with a sister app used by park rangers; the rangers can update trail statuses during their daily park rounds. When the rangers update a trail, it shows on the TrailMate app, and they have the option to push the status change to the city or county twitter feed.

We always enjoy developing apps, but everyone in the Rocket Jones office is REALLY excited about this app, both as developers and as avid hikers and mountain bikers.

Here are a few screenshots of the app. (Click to enlarge)

Outdoor Interactive released the app in a soft launch in the App Store, so you can download it, although it’s not currently updating in real-time. Brian is still working with The City of Fort Collins and other local entities to get the rangers using the sister app. We’ll let you know when Outdoor Interactive fully launches and your full-parking-lot woes can end.