If you hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, you should get yourself a copy of Guthook’s New England Hiker App (iPhone and Android) which has maps for most of the trails listed in the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide. It’s fully GPS-enabled so you can see where you are on a trail, how close you are to the nearest water source or campsite, track your progress, and draw new routes.
I’ve been using it this past year to follow obscure White Mountain trails and it’s saved my bacon more than once. While it doesn’t make the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Waterproof Map Set obsolete (batteries do die), it also includes lots of information that’s not on their maps. I always bring carry the New England Hiker App on my phone when I hike in the Whites, it’s really that useful.
It’s called the New England Hiker App, because Guthook sells different maps sets that can be used with the app, including different regions of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts, with new map sets being added all the time.
If you’ve ever tried to upload GPS tracks of the White Mountain Trail System from the very antiquated AMC’s White Mountain Guide Online to a dedicated GPS device or a different phone-based mapping app, it’s a pain in the ass and a real hassle to do anytime you want to go hiking. Having all the trails on your phone all the time is so much more convenient and there’s no prep work involved. Plus, since they’re on your phone, you have instant access to trailhead driving directions, something noticeably absent in the AMC’s White Mountain Guide, which was assembled before car GPS units became mainstream.
When hiking, finding your current location is equally easy. Just hit the GPS button on the screen and a blue triangle will show your position. The tip of the arrow points in the direction you’re facing. For example, here’s a hike I took last weekend. The blue arrow shows my current location on the red trail. The other symbols along the red line indicate a water source and a second seasonal/unreliable water source indicated by the 1/2 filled-in drip. All of the trails in each map set are annotated with all kinds of useful waypoint information not shown on most paper maps, all represented using the standard icon set shown below.
Where did all this information come from? Guthook and a few of his friends mapped the entire White Mountain Trail System by hiking it and recording all these details. The maps in the New England Hiker App are even more current than those published by the AMC in their White Mountain Guide Online. Let that sink in. The Appalachian Mountain Club has a lot of strengths, but online application development and maintenance isn’t one of them.
What about tracking your hike and planning new routes? That’s in the New England Hiker App as well. You can track your route even when you’re not connected to a cellphone network. Drawing new routes is easy too and the route editor automatically calculates the route length, total ascent and total descent. It will even draw a profile diagram of the route so you can see what you have in store for yourself!
What’s it Cost?
- Base app
- Mt Abraham (ME)
- Camel’s Hump (VT)
- Gulf Hagas (ME)
- Killington & Pico (VT)
- Mt Mansfield (VT)
- Moat & Attitash (NH)
- Monadnock (NH)
- Pillsbury State Park (NH)
- Stratton Mountain & Pond (VT)
- Mt Sunapee (NH)
- Tumbledown (ME)
The following White Mountain National Forest region maps sets are FREE until Memorial Day 2017. After that they’ll cost $6.99-8.99 each. This is a one time fee and includes all future map data updates. All map set purchases are made within the base app.
- WMNF: Presidential Range
- WMNF: Wild River Region
- WMNF: Sandwich Range Region
- WMNF: Pemigewasset Region
- WMNF: Moosilauke-Kinsman Region
The following additional maps sets are also available now (2017 prices):
- Acadia National Park ($7.99)
- Bigelow Preserve, ME ($4.99)
- Camden Hills State Park, ME ($2.99)
- Cutler Coast, ME ($3.99)
- Donnell Pond Public Reserve Land, ME ($3.99)
- Glastenbury Mountain & Bald Mountain, VT ($3.99)
- Grafton Loop Trail, ME ($4.99)
- Katahdin ($3.99)
- Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, NH ($4.99)
- Tully Trail, MA ($3.99)
- Worcester Range, VT ($2.99)
About Guthook’s Guides
Who is Guthook and why is that name familiar? Guthook Guides has published the most popular long distance hiking GPS apps available today for the Appalachian Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail, The Continental Divide Trail, The Colorado Trail and many others. But Guthook is from New England, Maine to be exact, which is why he’s so smitten with New England hiking.
I can remember sitting in my kitchen talking to Guthook when he was learning how to program his first GPS mapping iPhone app for the Appalachian Trail. He’s built an astonishing business since then, but is still a down-to-earth humble guy. I’m honored to be his friend.
Disclosure: The author was given a free app for testing and review and has been providing expert feedback back to Guthook’s Guides on app functionality for several years.
Written 2017.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.