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Iowa by Trail app receives $40K Wellmark challenge grant

Iowa by Trails app

Iowa by TrailDES MOINES—The leaves are just starting to change across Iowa, but that doesn’t mean you’re almost out of time to explore Iowa’s more than 1,800 miles of trails.

In fact, your next exploration just got a little bit easier.

On Wednesday the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) announced a $40,000 challenge grant from the Wellmark Foundation for the Iowa by Trail app, which launched for iOS devices earlier this summer.

Once INHF has matched the $40,000 of Wellmark funding, the Iowa By Trail app will be available on Android devices. INHF says an extensive second version also is in the works with expansion of trails to water, mountain bike and hiking trails across the state.

In May, INHF launched the iOS version of the app for trails specifically located in central Iowa. During RAGBRAI in July, the app rolled out statewide as thousands of cyclists—including the INHF team—peddled across Iowa.

Users will be able to use the app to geolocate themselves to find the nearest trail head and track their progress along the trail. The app also will include points of interest, restaurants and environmental markers along Iowa’s trails, which INHF believes will continue adding value to the app for years to come.

The Wellmark grant is one of 15 the Foundation awards “to create pilot efforts or expand health initiatives throughout Iowa and South Dakota focused on childhood obesity prevention and community-based wellness projects,” according to the Wellmark Foundation’s Stephanie Perry. INHF has until Dec. 15 to reach the fundraising goal. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website.

Learn more about the Iowa by Trail app through our previous coverage: “Find your way around 1,800+ miles of Iowa trails with new app.”

In case you weren’t convinced that there’s lots to see on Iowa’s trails, let INHF’s staff sway you with a song: 

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