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New Google Maps features aim to make navigating National Park trails a bit easier

The new updates to Google Maps will make it easier for beginners and experts alike to better plan out trips.
Credit: Elizabeth Sims
Alum Cave Bluffs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

DENVER — Good news for National Park visitors this year – ahead of National Park Week, Google Maps is partnering with the National Park Service to roll out several new features that will make it easier for people visiting National Parks.

Previously, users would only find a pin marking trailheads, making it unreliable when navigating trails. Now, hikers of all skill levels can be better prepared prior to heading inside the park. 

Quickly see a park’s must-do attractions 

Unsure of where to go first? The app will provide the ability to quickly identify the most popular places within the park (attractions, campgrounds, visitor centers and trailheads) using crowdsourced input provided by the Google Maps community. 

Credit: Google

Visitors will be able to see detailed photos and reviews from people who've visited previously (similar to AllTrails) so that they can better plan out their national park trips. It also serves up specific information surrounding the difficulty of the trail, and other useful information such as parking, restrooms and the average time spent hiking the trail.

The trail from beginning to end

The new updates will better mark park entrances and trailheads. A lot of places like Rocky Mountain National Park have multiple entrances. Google Maps will provide more detailed instructions on how you can enter the park, not to mention that it can show you walking or cycling directions to a specific trailhead.

If cell service is out of reach, Google is making sure that people find the features offline. Users can tap the 'download' button on a park's Google Maps listing to download to use offline.  

Google said the following features will roll out across all 424 National Park Service sites throughout late April and to parks around the world in the coming months. 



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