By Jenn Rowan
Greetings fellow adventurers,
Becoming an adventure local family means time spent outdoors trying new activities. It’s natural to think mucking about in nature means ridding yourself of technology. In my family, we have found that coupling technology with nature can enhance our local adventures. The trails and parks we walk regularly, take on new life with a cool app. Remember summer of 2016 when the Mispillion Riverwalk was full of people catching Pokemon? Technology, via the Pokemon Go app, was bringing people out into natural areas in pursuit of new discoveries and fun. The unique features of our Riverwalk, are still there, awaiting discovery. Pairing technology with nature levels up the Riverwalk adventure.
Our last adventure local quest involved The Augusta Art Scavenger Hunt, which featured the Augusta art boats along the Riverwalk. To access that hunt, view the August 8, 2017 edition of The Weekly Review on milfordlive.com or pick up copies of the hunt at Novel Tea Nook and Lifecycle in downtown Milford. The Art Hunt is a great activity for a slow stroll or bicycle cruise. If you want to increase the discoveries, cardio, and competition there are two apps that will bring all that to our downtown Riverwalk. Download onto your smart phone one or both of these apps: Geocaching and Map My Ride. Follow the prompts, make a profile, and get ready for a Mispillion Riverwalk competition.
For this adventure, a 2.8 mile Mispillion Riverwalk fitness route has been created in Map My Ride beginning at the trail head at God’s Way to Recovery. The Map My Ride fitness app allows you to choose your activity, whether walking, running, or bicycling, and compete against yourself and other users to win various awards. The best way to access the route is to log onto Map My Ride on a computer, search for Mispillion Riverwalk, and routes under 3 miles and you will see the Mispillion Riverwalk route. Click bookmark to save it as one of your routes. Once in the app, tapping on the route will bring up a map that you must follow in order to be logged on the competitive leaderboard. Choose your fitness activity, tap the screen to start your activity, follow the map, and you’re off! When choosing to bicycle the Riverwalk remember the rules of the trail, and yield to pedestrians. Also bring a lock for your bicycle as the Goat Island portion of the route prohibits bicycles. The competition becomes a duathlon when you lock your bike to the rack at the Goat Island bridge and take off around the island on foot. One of the unique awards given to Map My Ride users is “Guru” to the person that completes a route most often. Join me in revving up a nice Milford area virtual fitness competition on our Riverwalk.
A hidden world of discoveries await you in the fun of Geocaching. Geocachers hide and maintain geocaches everywhere. The caches have no common identifier and vary in level of difficulty to find. Geocachers maintain such a level of pride and secrecy in creating a hidden world, that non-geocachers are called “Muggles”. Great beginner level geocaches can be found on the Riverwalk. Download the Geocaching app and make a profile. Choose a cool name as it will be the moniker you use to enscribe the scrolls that are hidden in geocaches. The app uses GPS technology to direct you as you walk and search for hidden caches. Higher level thinking skills are engaged in a Geocache adventure, as it involves dissecting clues, navigation, and creative thinking. Geocaching is especially fun with family or friends. In our family we learned who was a better seeker, navigator, and clue dissector and discovered a unlikely pair that made a strong Geocaching team.
Adventures outdoors don’t need to be just you and your outdoor gear. Technology provides opportunity for use of safety skills as well as energetic fun. Teaching children that a smart phone can be a useful tool in the outdoors, provides them preparedness skills for adulthood. Creative use of technology can bring fresh vision and new adventures to our natural areas such as the Mispillion Riverwalk. Come outside and play on the Riverwalk! It’s going to be fun seeing each other going for a spot on the leaderboards while discovering that hard to find geocache. See you outside.
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