AllTrails Launches Curated National Park Guides


Modern hikers are crunching more data than trail mix.

The latest: AllTrails, an outdoor discovery platform, introduced National Park Guides, providing curated content, real-time information, and “insider tips” for planning and on-trail experiences.

Accessible to premium subscribers, Guides are available for over 200 National Parks across nine countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Between the lines: AllTrails leaned on its 50M+ users to inform much of the content, developing new tech and feedback loops to assure real-time accuracy.

Although reliant on user-generated content, CEO Ron Schneidermann knows ongoing curation is key for any feature on the platform, adding: “Trails are fluid; it’s not like roads in a city.”


Technology opens the door to greater accessibility and safety — presenting the opportunity for app makers to build a better trail companion.

  • In August, Strava enabled community photo sharing to its Route Building feature, allowing users to assess recent trail condition and pinpoint vistas.
  • Apple’s new WatchOS 10 adds topographic maps with marked trails, with searchable trailheads labeled with trail name, difficulty level, length, and elevation gain.
  • Voiijer, a social platform for amateur explorers and nature enthusiasts to share photos, notes, and collaborate on adventures, launches September 30.

Upstaging AllTrails, Google Maps launched its own National Park guides in April, highlighting “must-do” attractions and providing detailed maps and reviews for trails.

Off-trail. While outdoors tech makes planning and enjoying excursions easier, it may not be creating new lifestyles.

According to the OIA, fewer hobbyist hikers are frequenting the trail each year. As the number of first-timers grows, so does the category of one-and-done outdoor enthusiasts.

Takeaway: Awe apparently isn’t enough for today’s hiker. And while some argue tech and social media detract from the experience, new apps and adventure lodging will try to stoke the call of the wild by tackling the fear of the unknown.

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