Outdoors

Want to enjoy the PNW's National Forests? Here's where you can get everything you need

The U.S. Forest Service launched a new app Monday, giving you all the information you need about the recreational opportunities in the region in one place.  The app is available to Apple users and soon will be available for Android.
The U.S. Forest Service launched a new app Monday, giving you all the information you need about the recreational opportunities in the region in one place. The app is available to Apple users and soon will be available for Android. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Well, you can scratch one more reason off that list of excuses you've been using to explain why you haven't stopped binge watching the latest Netflix series and gotten out to explore the great outdoors in this beautiful region we call home.

Thanks to a new app launched Monday by the U.S. Forest Service, you can now get all the information you need about the recreational opportunities in the region in one place. The Pacific Northwest National Forests app is now available for Apple iOS users, and an Android version is coming soon, according to a Forest Service press release

“This mobile app is one of many ways we are trying to do our part to be good neighbors and support both the communities we serve and the recreation users who visit,” Regional Forester Jim Peña said in the release. “We heard people want more mobile-friendly ways of getting their hiking, camping and other recreation information, and this app delivers just that.”

The app will be a one-stop source for users, helping outdoors lovers become more familiar with recreation opportunities near them by providing information about the 17 national forests and scenic areas in the Pacific Northwest, including the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.

Approximately 15 million people annually visit the national forests in Oregon and Washington state, which comprise 24.7 million acres in the two states. The app will serve as a complement to the Forest Service's traditional website, connecting people to the outdoors in those areas.

In addition to hiking, camping and other traditional recreation information, the release said, the app also provides information about current fires, current conditions of road and trail access and photo galleries to showcase beautiful areas in the region and give ideas for new places to visit.

“Many of our forests are adjacent to one another and our visitors shouldn’t have to download multiple apps to connect more easily with their public lands,” Chris Bentley, Digital Media Specialist for the Pacific Northwest Region, said in the release.

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