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QR Coded Trails for Tech-Savvy Hikers

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The Connecticut Forest and Park Association is now using quick response codes on the state’s trails in order to help hikers in the middle of the forest.

The manner by which hikers receive information is evolving.  As such, the Forest and Park Association acknowledges the need for them to stay with the times and to move through various forms of digital media.

The Forest and Park Association’s Marty Gosselin notes that, right now, smart phones are people’s tools of choice.

The Forest and Park Association has therefore put up QR codes at four trail heads, which include the Shenipsit Trail at Risley Pond in Bolton and the Mattabessett Trail in Middlefield, Brooks Road, and Seven Falls State Park in Middletown.  When hikers scan these trail QR codes using a smart phone equipped with a QR code reader application, they will be able to access information about the trail as well as a trail map.

According to Eric Hammerling, the Forest and Park Association’s executive director, it is important to get maps and information about trails to hikers.  He says that even thought they do whatever is appropriate to keep trails well-blazed, there are others that cut across them and there are also areas that can get hikers disoriented.

The Forest and Park Association did a trial run of the QR codes at Higby Mountain in Middletown and the initial response was highly positive, Gosselin shares.  She enthuses that even without publicizing the QR code project before its test launch, they already got 150 scans within the first couple of weeks.

The Forest and Park Association actually maintains more than 820 miles of blue blazed hiking trails across Connecticut.  All of these hiking trails are accessible and open to the public.  Hikers are encouraged to bring a map or, better yet, a smart phone.

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