Find a Park from your Smart Phone – Mobile App Puts the Great Outdoors at Your Fingertips

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CONTACT: Roy Stearns

June 15, 2010                                                                (916) 654-7538 rstea@parks.ca.gov


Here’s the family scenario.  The family wants to go camping. You put off making reservations for weeks. You need to find that weekend getaway fast, and the family wants bike trails too, or there will be a family rebellion.

We understand that pressure, and have worked to solve that problem. California State Parks has introduced a Mobile Application, a system created for the last minute camper or recreation seeker that is designed to run on a broad spectrum of mobile devices and smart phones.

For the last minute camper, the mobile app for State Parks will display the availability of campsites from 48 hours to 2 weeks out. For the last minute recreation seeker, it provides additional information on activities like biking, hiking, tours, fishing and more for all State parks. It helps visitors locate a park, make reservations, find bike trails or beach wheelchairs from the palm of their hand. In addition, visitors can check out seasonal parks, provide input to the park system on Facebook and learn about new stuff coming on Twitter.

“We want to give our visitors a user friendly mobile connection to their State Parks.   People lead busy lives and don’t have time to plan ahead; this lets them be spontaneous,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks. “

Ok, let’s check it out.  Just grab that mobile device or Smart Phone and go to http://m.parks.ca.gov.

Pick a topic, like “Find a State Park”, and then decide how you want to search — by region, activity, facility or county. Start punching those buttons and within a couple of clicks, you have a listing of all the parks in that part of the State.

If you’re looking for a campsite, click on “Find Reservation Availability”.   This feature will lead you to the ReserveAmerica site and you can view places and maps to see campsites available.

If you are looking for activities in parks, click on Parks by Activity and you will suddenly be provided with a listing of 20 categories of recreational options. This feature is designed for those that may already be out and about and they are looking for a place and an activity that turns the rest of the day or weekend into a fun time.

The State Parks application was developed in connection with the Office of the State Chief Information Officer and is part of the newly designed CA.gov portal. The State Parks Mobile App is found within the newly designed Web portal, CA.gov, launched earlier this month.  It is part of the Golden Gateway awareness campaign and blog site, dedicated to highlighting new features on California’s web portal, Ca.gov, with enhanced search capabilities to make services and information from many state government agencies easier than ever for the public to find.