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March 26, 2016

RJMetrics designer creates Philly Day Hiker app for local sightseeing

Interactive site offers essential info for regional excursions

Lifestyle Hiking
032616_JohnHeinzTinicum Source/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.

Warm weather is finally returning to the Philadelphia area, even if March's exit has felt more like a surly ram than the lamb we've come to expect from an old maxim. The arrival of spring means plenty of outdoor activities to plan, and while it's fun to contemplate your options, the sheer abundance of them can be tough to sort through.

That's where Lauren Hallden, a designer from local analytics firm RJMetrics, has you covered for the spring, summer and beyond. To help locals and visitors create an itinerary, Hallden created Philly Day Hiker, an interactive map of regional attractions that provides descriptions and photos for hikers who want to get outside and see the best the area has to offer.

"Cities are great, but if you’re like me, sometimes you want to see a little wildlife (pigeons don’t count)," Hallden writes at the new site. "You probably know about Fairmount Park and Pennypack, but there are lots of wild places to explore within a 90-minute drive of Center City. Philly Day Hiker is my attempt at cataloging them."

In addition to pinned locations, Philly Day Hiker offers a brief review of each location and a picture of the official trail map that can be saved to your phone for navigation.

If you need a change from all the usual spots, Hallden points out the lesser traveled trails where citydwellers can find the escape they need. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, for example, offers ten miles of trails and access to more than 300 recorded bird species, including bald eagles that can be observed from a marked vantage point.

More than anything else, Philly Day Hiker is an excellent one-stop resource for essential information that will give you the nudge you need to get out, get moving and get some warm sunlight in your life.