A smartphone application that uses GPS technology and Google Maps to guide tourists and outdoor enthusiasts around the trails of Lough Derg went live for the first time this week.
The mobile app was launched by the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group (LDMG) and will feature over 20 types of trails from walking, cycling and water-based activities to heritage tours and driving routes, making it the most comprehensive mobile application for leisure trails ever launched in Ireland.
Among the trails featured in the new app are looped walks like Portumna Forest Park Woodland Trails, Ballycroum Loop in East Clare and the Graves of the Leinstermen Loop in North Tipperary; the Lough Derg Way, the Keeper Hill Trek and Slí Eala near Dromineer.
Also included are driving routes and heritage trails such as the Lough Derg Drive, the Killaloe Historic Town Trail, the Nenagh Medieval Food Tour, the North Tipperary Cycling Network, Lough Derg Cycleway, Lough Derg Cruising Trail and a Lough Derg Canoe Trail.
The launch of the app is the result of a partnership between Shannon Development and EveryTrail, a US company that has developed technology that allows the plotting, upload and sharing of routes of varying types all over the world.
The EveryTrail application uses Google Maps and the GPS system in iPhones and other smartphones to allow users to find trails near their current location. They can then download maps, route descriptions, images and other content and ask the app to direct them to the starting point and then navigate along the route.
Ruairí Deane, tourism product development executive with Shannon Development said the app complements the Shannon Region International Trails Programme, an initiative to develop and promote the Shannon Region as a world-class trails destination.
“The programme has concentrated to date on physical trails infrastructure and we are now looking at new ways to market the trails and showcase the variety of activities in the region.
“We see Lough Derg as the first of a series of trails-based destination apps for the region,” he said.
To download the free app, search for Lough Derg Trails in the iPhone AppStore or the android market.