The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is promoting a free app for mobile explorers. The app comes with a challenge: Visit all 40 North Carolina state parks (or as many as possible) in one year for the chance to win prizes.
Here's more on the competition and the app:
The online competition by ParksbyNature Network LLC is an alternative to geocaching and makes use of the mobile application's enhanced GPS-enabled features. The geochallenge entices people to explore up to 40 state park units from the mountains to the coast with the opportunity to earn gift card and outdoor gear rewards.
Participants earn points by visiting state parks and recreation areas, with easy-to-reach parks yielding five points and more challenging, out-of-the-way locales returning 20 points. The first 10 visitors to visit 10 different parks will receive prizes. Along the way, visitors will find breathtaking mountains, dune-strewn beaches, interesting geological features, and more of North Carolina's most unique destinations.
North Carolina's Pocket Ranger mobile app, released in 2011 for iPhone and Android, was the first full-featured one of its type in the nation and a prototype for the one now favored by most state parks systems. The app offers all information from the state parks system's website as well as campground maps, event schedules and GPS-based park maps that can be downloaded and carried into the field. An "alert" feature provides emergency notices, and visitor groups can share locations through the app while exploring state parks.
The free Pocket Ranger mobile app can be downloaded at www.pocketranger.com, a site that includes detailed information about the geochallenge.
Poking around on the company's website, I also found another challenge for North Carolina residents, this one sponsored by Post Grape Nuts' Fit Cereal. Same deal on the points and prizes, only this challenge is called "What's Your Mountain?" It ends September 29.
Check out one of them here:
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