Natural Atlas App: Unleash Your Inner Explorer

There are a lot of tracking apps out there that runners use. Whether you want to track your miles or find new routes, there’s something waiting for you. There’s a place for it all. We have been trying out the Natural Atlas app, a true companion for adventure seekers who perhaps want to know a little bit more about the environment around them.

It’s probably important to know off hand what the Natural Atlas provides that is unique. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of always evolving app, but we found this one to really sort of stand out. If you read me at Run Oregon, or follow our IG, you have seen us posting on my various “runcations”. I love exploring new areas by foot. Though, sometimes miles are just that – miles. I am in and out and I don’t really know much about the beautiful spots I am running in.

The Natural Atlas app truly delivers. It’s like having a nature encyclopedia at your fingertips. You want to know about about the, rivers, lakes, wildlife, and more on the trails you are running in? You got it. The app serves up a treasure trove of information, including elevation, geological data, and even weather patterns. It’s like having a personal tour guide. Chalk this up as a win for the geology geeks and those who want a little more out of knowing where they run.

The Natural Atlas app knows how to keep things simple and enjoyable on the surface, yet comes packed with a treasure trove of info you didn’t even know you wanted. Its interface is like a smooth, scenic drive through uncharted territory. With a few taps and swipes, you can effortlessly explore different regions, zoom in to examine the tiniest details, and navigate like a pro. The app’s intuitive design means you won’t need a degree in cartography to get the hang of it – and trust me I don’t.

So what info is there? I just completed a little test by simply clicking on a section of Forest Park,. Here is what pops up:

  • Nearby Trails (which then pop up on the map and can be downloaded for offline use, printing a map, and getting driving directions)
  • Waterbodies (which can be selected to find local fishing regulations)
  • Local Flora and Fauna
  • Insects, Birds, Fungi
  • Geology at the micro and macro level
  • Local Tides (you would think unnecessary for Forest Park, but it provided info on tides at the Morrison Street Bridge gauge)

I mean, its almost hard to not go down a vortex of awesome.  It’s waaaaaay better than getting stuck in a Wikipedia vortex. I mean, the biggest drawback of the app is that it can be a little hard to pull yourself away from your screen as you read about the awesomeness and wonder of the world around you.

While tracking run or hike miles isn’t the primary function of Natural Atlas, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a possibility. Adventures are best when shared, right? I know I live vicariously through some of our backcountry trail runners.  Natural Atless lets you contribute your own observations, photos, and experiences, adding a personal touch to the map. You can even update trail info or report environmental concerns, making the app a living, breathing testament to the power of collaboration. It’s sort of a naturalist diary for users to record what they saw and where they saw it.

The Natural Atlas app is the perfect companion for anyone itching to unleash their inner explorer. It’s not going to replace your mile-tracking or fitness app, but it’s a perfect accompaniment to those of us who like to be out and about.  Its user-friendly interface, detailed features, and commitment to conservation make it a standout among map apps.

So go ahead, download the Natural Atlas app, pack your gear, and get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through the beauty of nature. From mountaintops to river valleys, this app has your back, ensuring you never miss a moment of awe-inspiring wonder. Let the adventure begin!

Check out a free 7-day trial of Natural Atlas Plus, followed by $39.99 for the year (or $5/mo). There is also a free version with limited features as well.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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