If you have a smartphone and are a member of the Bedford Riding Lanes Association, there will now be no excuse for getting lost on any of the 100 miles of BRLA trails.
This week, BRLA debuted their new mobile map application. It brings the historic, 100- year-old trail system into the 21st century. Hikers and riders can use the interactive GPS-based map tool when they are out on the trails.
“Available only to current BRLA members, the mobile map app is easy to download and offers enhanced exploration of our vast system of trails,” explained BRLA Executive Director Phebe Wahl.
“I know these trails pretty well and I can still get lost when I go out for a hike or a ride,” said Wendy Belzberg, BRLA co-president. “We have over 100 miles of trails and only a fraction of them get used. I hope that having a map on your phone will encourage people to explore without being afraid of getting lost.”
The app is now available on the BRLA website, bedfordridinglanes.org, in conjunction with the Gaia GPS app.
Ms. Belzberg noted that the app can help members notify BRLA when a tree is down from a storm, when trails are blocked, or any other trail issues that need attention. “It is impossible for us to locate every downed tree blocking the trails,” said Ms. Belzberg. “With this app our members can drop a map pin at the exact location of a downed tree and we can send someone out to clear it.” As a result, “we can be much more efficient,” she added.
BRLA member Olivia Farr was one of the members who helped test the app. “The new trail app has opened areas that I’d never thought to explore,” she said. “It’s a wonderful tool to map out a hike without fear of getting lost and enjoy our fabulous Bedford landscape.”
The launch of the BRLA map app is one part of the organization’s newly-enhanced programming and community engagement efforts. Despite the pandemic, the local nonprofit has seen a spike in membership as many area residents seek solace in nature out on the trails, according to BRLA officials.
Upcoming member events this winter include a family-friendly treasure hunt on the trails this Sunday, Nov. 22, a holiday lantern walk, a trail run, a snowman building contest and a wine tasting.
Officially founded in 1920, the BRLA maintains one of the largest remaining networks of private trails, which connect and extend throughout Bedford, Mount Kisco, Katonah, Bedford Hills, Bedford Corners and Pound Ridge. BRLA maintains and clears the trails year-round.