Best apps for hiking and connecting with nature (2023)

Best apps for hiking and connecting with nature (2023)

Whether it comes from the sky, trees, hiking, birds, plants, or the sun, just a few breaths outside and a moment or two in the great outdoors can bring us back to our center and give us the energy and inner peace we need to move on with our day. Read on to discover top apps to connect with nature.

Reconnecting with nature and spending time outside can be done in many ways depending on our own personal taste and why not? This can be made easier with the help of some technology. Whether you’re a nature lover or an indoors one, follow this article and you’ll find a list of apps for different natural worlds and adventures that can help you go out and explore nature in an alternative and fun way. Leave us a comment with your favorite one, and don’t be shy to let us know how your adventure turns out!

Hipcamp: Camping, RVs & Cabins

Find and book campgrounds, tented camps, RV parks and quirky glamping spots like treehouses or tents to view the night sky in the US, Canada and Australia - all easily done with the Hipcamp: Camping, RVs & Cabins app. Availability information is provided in real time and booking takes just a couple of minutes. You can search for accommodations and sites using a variety of filters by price, location, pet friendly, group size, bathrooms, showers, and more. Get it for free for iOS and for Android.

© Hipcamp, Inc


Trailforks, a worldwide offline trail map is an application with more than 150,000 routes set for different kinds of sports, either if you enjoy mountain biking, trail run, hiking or more, map a route and get ready to explore the great outdoors. The app offers everything an adventurer needs. Set up your personal trail so you can analyze the elevation charts, get reports, photos and videos uploaded by other users. The app is updated regularly to indicate their trials status and conditions, including weather, affluence, timing based on speed and sometimes even how clean and touristic the route may be. Add your favorite routes to your wishlist, join outdoor events, subscribe to contests, and stay safe with their featured GPS localization Emergency Button. Get it for free both for Android and iOS.

trailforks app
© Trailforks

onX Backcountry Snow/Trail GPS

This travel mapping app is very useful if you are going on a hike in remote places where there may not be cell coverage. This free app provides offline navigation on satellite, topographic and hybrid maps, as well as weather forecasts. If you purchase a Premium subscription, you will receive additional tools such as points of interest with photos, information about private and public lands, possibility of exporting routes to other devices, and much more. The Premium version costs $2.50 per month and is billed annually at $29.99. onX Backcountry Snow/Trail GPS is available for Android and iOS.

© onXmaps

Seek by iNaturalist

What is this beautiful tree? What kind of bird is this? You've probably encountered many stunning plants and animals on your travels and hiking adventures, and you'd like to know the names and details of the species and genera. You can easily identify the flora and fauna around you with the free Seek from iNaturalist app. By taking a photo using the app's camera, you will receive information about the plant or animal you are curious about. You can also look for fungi and insects and other organisms. This is a great app for traveling with your children and instilling a love of nature in them. it is free for download both for Android and iOS.

© iNaturalist

Star Walk I

If you want to take a look and admire a starry night sky while learning and enjoying the wonders of the universe with Star Walk I. The app has been around since 2001, with its advanced technology that uses your smartphone’s camera to reflect the constellations and stars in real time while giving an educational overview of the fascination of the universe. Learn the names, positions, stories and all while following the sky in real time 3D. Every star, satellite, constellation and planet can be located through the app. The software is used both by amateurs and professionals. Set up push up notifications so you can keep up with meteor showers, eclipses and more! You can also subscribe to their newsletter to get news on everything that happens around the world regarding news on work made and progress done on space. Get it for free for iOS and at the Google Store.

© Vito Technology Inc.


PlanNet is a plant encyclopedia based on photographic identification. The app is a citizen science project recently acquired by Google. Everyday, it is updated by citizens from all over the world. The purpose of the app is to upload pictures from any kind of plant, it varies from trees, flowers, plants and more. To date it has over 27,909 registered and validated species with more than 1,794,096 validated pictures. Every time a user uploads an image, the whole community gets together to validate the plant and it’s needs. Among users you can also find scientists and biologists. The wonder of this app is that it not only serves as an identifier, but as a research proposal to see endangered species, it helps people care for their plants in case of need and control donations for ecological programs set all over the world. The app is free and it’s available both for Android and IOS directly on their Website PlantNet.

plantnet app
© PlantNet app

iBird Pro

If you’re interested in bird watching, iBird Pro is the number one app for its many useful and easy to use features. The software is designed to record birds of North America and Europe by identifying species though their extent library where you can discover birds basic information, location, conservation status and migration seasons. The app is constantly updated and has over 35 categories to learn from each species. You can plan your bird watching hikings and identify the birds using sounds, pictures and general guides for example, using food attractors and peaceful guided approaches. The app offers a free trial of seven days and then a full pro yearly subscription of $14.99, it is available for iOS.

© Mitch Waite Group

Windfinder: Wind & Weather Ma‪p‬

This simple application is a handy app that uses your live location or allows you to search for any specific location in order to describe the wind characteristics of the wind movements and forecast. The categories are set in wind direction, temperature, pressure, all in forecast and future movements. Although it is a simple application it can turn to be really useful for those who need to know the wind conditions when doing outdoor activities, for example surfers, sailing, parachuting, paragliding even cycling, tennis or baseball where wind can play an important role in the performance of the game. One of the most important features of the app is how easy it is to use and of course, it is free for download both for Android and iOS. If you desire, they have a premium version for $9.99 to receive alerts and push notifications for when the wind forecast is the desired one for your personal activities.

© Windfinder

WWF Together

The World Wide Fund for Nature has been present since 1961 maintaining their work into preserving flora and fauna. Their application not only offers amazing development and design, but it is a simple way to learn about the most important facts regarding endangered species, for example, their most emblematic animal, the panda bear. You can subscribe to their newsletter and get information on how to help the organization and make donations. If you're more of an indoors person, you can still enjoy nature with this app that can take you on a trip around the world by teaching you interesting facts about their protected animals, locations and all the actions taken for their preservation. Fun fact, learn how to make origami figures of each animal and take pictures of them to create awareness when sharing them on social media. Find the application for free exclusively for iOS directly on their website.

WWF together app
© WWF app
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