Walking is an easy way to exercise and stimulate the senses. Whether you prefer parks or city tours, you can easily plan your routes and explore new places with apps. Here are the most trusted mobile apps for planning and tracking your trips. Get to know each of their toolkits and decide what suits you best.
Footpath Route Planner allows you to choose the type of journey, whether you walk, run or cycle. You can use the search tool for known places or move the map around to find obscure places. You can then draw your route on the map, edit as you wish and save it. If the line is near a recognized trail or road, the app will even pin your route in place for a more accurate representation, unless you disable the feature.
All saved tour maps are inside My routes, where you can see their shape, distance and more. You can also track yourself with the app’s GPS tool. It uses a customizable voice assistant and displays useful information such as miles per hour, altitude and sunset time. Combine it with a dedicated training app like TainingPeaks for more effective workouts.
There are many useful tools on Footpath Route Planner that can make your trips easier to plan, and even more so with an Elite upgrade. The subscription unlocks benefits such as turn-by-turn navigation, offline map downloads, premium maps and hill slope analysis.
Download: Footpath Route Planner for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
2. Walk with Map My Walk
If you prefer to actively track and save your walking routes instead of drawing them in advance, try MapMyWalk’s mobile platform. You get a powerful training app that keeps a log of your journeys, including distance, duration, average pace and calories burned. You can also customize the app’s features during rides, from its basic voice feedback to form coaching audio if you have Under Armor smart shoes. Even better, Walk with Map My Walk is full of tutorials and challenges to take your walks to the next level, giving you goals to aim for and exercises to add. A few downsides to keep in mind are that you need to create an account and allow data access to use the app. It also needs to work in the background for maximum efficiency, so it’s not the best option if you want to save battery life.
Download: Walk with Map My Walk for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
Strava is similar to Map My Walk’s app in that it tries to motivate you with challenges and social features, while also giving you access to a ton of route tracking and training tools. However, there aren’t that many free options in Strava. For example, you can use Map tab to plan trips by finding and plotting routes, but most of the content is only available to subscribers.
On the other hand Record the tool is mostly free, including GPS tracker, basic map styles, audio signals and location beacon. This last feature is a big plus, as using your phone as a GPS tracking device can be a lifesaver if you get lost or feel threatened. Some challenges and clubs are also free to join.
If you like to connect with others and feel like part of a team when you train, Strava is a good platform for you. A premium account even allows you to create your own groups.
Download: Strava for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
AllTrails is one of the best apps for navigating bike trails and scenic routes for hikers, especially for those who like to share their experiences. As well as being able to track and log your journeys, you get a friendly community to interact with. You can see your progress as you go, add photos and waypoints, and even leave a review when you’re done so other users know what to expect.
A big advantage of using AllTrails is that it provides local route suggestions, including the best views, waterfalls and weekend-worthy hikes. Each option is also rated by degree of difficulty. The community allows you to connect with friends, post your trips and explore other people’s adventures and photos.
Download: AllTrails for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
5. OS map
A simpler app than the ones above is OS Maps. The layout is less attractive than some other options, but it offers all the tools you need to track and plan routes. Specify what kind of trails you want and for what activity, and OS Maps will find them, whether they’re nearby or in a completely different location.
You can also draw a route and the app will estimate the distance, total elevation and time you need to reach your destination. You’ll even find a GPS tool to record activities on the go, show your progress, give you a route to follow, and more. The premium version gives you access to other features such as topographical, 3D aerial and offline maps.
Download: OS Maps for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
PlanMyRoute is versatile and easy to use. To begin with, you can add details about yourself, such as age, height and weight, so the app can calculate your calorie burn. However, this personalization requires a subscription. In addition to plotting your routes by hand and saving up to four routes, you can use AB modewhere you choose the start and end point and let the app show you the most direct journey.
You can also add waypoints and adjust the order in which you want to visit them. PlayMyRoute will change the direction accordingly. In addition to a calorie burn calculator, premium features include unlimited routes, multiple map styles, cloud storage, and the draw mode tool that attaches your lines to familiar roads and trails.
Download: PlanMyRoute for Android (free, subscription available)
Get to know the E-walk app when you’re looking for useful trip planning services. It has a slight learning curve, but its capabilities are valuable and simple enough that you still don’t need to rely on fitness apps to maintain an active lifestyle. It basically allows you to combine base and overlay maps depending on what details you need for a particular trip. You can then download any of these maps and use them offline.
E-walk also has a route recorder that plots your course in real time and allows you to add markers with images, descriptions and distinctive icons. There are two premium packages that unlock more tools, from map scale views and SD card storage to full offline map access.
Download: E-walk for Android | iOS (free, subscription available)
Choose the best mobile apps for tours
When it comes to planning hiking routes, there are many free and paid services on Google Play and the App Store. You can plot trails, get suggestions, boost your workouts and meet like-minded people. To get the most out of your activities, choose your apps carefully so they complement your lifestyle. For example, think about things you forget to do when you exercise, such as warming up or drinking water, and turn your smartphone into the perfect trainer.