CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Downloading a new made in Vermont app will help put you on the right path, or trail. Thanks to one Milton man's creation, everything you need to know about trail conditions can be found right on your phone.
While most people are insulted when they're told to take a hike, Shannon King looks at it as an opportunity. "So here we are heading down the trail and it's generally showing us the direction that we're going in," explained King.
King, who has a background in specialized application development and database design, developed the TrailHUB app from his home in Milton. "One of the important things with TrailHUB is it's all about the user experience," he said.
If you're Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain or fat biking, or even just running or walking, you can check out the latest the conditions, distance and difficulty of the trails on the app. "This is a nice reference tool. That's all we're trying to do," King said. "It's so important for me to echo the voice of the trail providers to the thousands of people looking to get outdoors... It's so important to hear what your customers have to say."
And it's turned out to be an important tool for the trail providers, including the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
"Back in the old days it was like, write the report, record it on the phone, go over here, make sure it is entered into the website," said the center's Sheldon Miller.
"It's made a better experience for our staff and for the people coming in here. That's the promise of what this app could do for people, and we're living proof that it does a really solid job," added the center's Ollie Burruss.
Craftsbury is one of over 400 outdoor centers, resorts & volunteer nonprofit trail providers around North America registered on the app.
There are over 13,000 registered app users from all over the world.
"It's amazing to see kids and families now, they have no idea there's a bunch of trails in certain areas, so that's exciting," King said.
The app is free to download. download. You may ask how is that possible. The trail providers, like the folks in Craftsbury pay a flat fee to the folks at TrailHUB. Those trail providers would much rather spend money on digital maps then say, paper maps.
"If they're growing or if a trail changes, they actually have to reprint all those paper maps, because they're innaccurate. And let's face it, as a consumer, did you use a paper map to get here today?" King said. "To give the power to the trail providers, and the fact that that tranlates out to many thousands of consumers from all over the world, it's incredibly humbling and it definitely keeps me going."
And as he keeps going, thanks to the TrailHUB app, King will know the conditions when he gets there.