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Published on December 20th, 2013 | by GrowWNY Intern

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“Nature at Your Fingertips” RTPI’s new mobile tour

BY SCOTT KRUITBOSCH, CONSERVATION & OUTREACH COORDINATOR AT THE ROGER TORY PETERSON INSTITUTE OF NATURAL HISTORY 

One of our tour signs at Chautauqua Lake in MayvilleWTCPT_sign_erection_5

 

It has been a very snowy past couple of weeks and more is on the way to Chautauqua County. At the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History we could not be more thrilled since it means snowmobile trails will soon be open for RTPI’s “Nature at Your Fingertips” winter trails cell phone tour. We have created an interactive, self-guided mobile tour that can be accessed on any smartphone or other capable mobile device with ten tour “stops”, indicated by signs like this one, on approximately 100 miles of Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club trails in the westernmost part of Chautauqua County.

 

You do not have to hop off a sled to enjoy it! Anyone hiking, walking, skiing, or running on the winter trails can enjoy this tour regardless of snowmobiler status. Each stop will feature fascinating information related to the natural history of the area or to a historical happening. The tour will also feature local businesses that are near each individual stop, allowing those on the trails access to business hours and other helpful information. You’ll be able to access the audio recording for each location with any type of cell phone. Smartphone users will have access to mobile web information containing pictures and video related to every stop.

Snow-covered Bear Lake trail via Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile ClubBearLake_Trail-CLSC

How you access the tour depends on your phone and its apps. On any cell phone, you can dial the number provided on the sign and enter the stop number when prompted. Smartphone users can scan the QR code on the sign and your mobile web browser will bring you to the tour webpage. Smartphone users intending to scan the QR code must have a QR code reader app. If your phone is not already equipped with one there are free scanners available to download on nearly any applicable device. See our video for further instructions on downloading and using a QR code reader app.

If you do not have time to ride the whole tour or can’t access the stops in order, don’t worry! The tour can be started from any stop number and you can visit as many as you like. The tour is free for all cell phone users (standard minute usage may apply). Please see our website for further information and view all of the sponsors who helped to make this project possible – our thanks to them! This is only the beginning of RTPI mobile tours and you can expect to find more across the region soon. We are thrilled to be broadening our demographics and reaching many more thousands of people who visit the area to get them tuned into the natural world and all of the rich resources that Western New York has to offer.

Rodney Sandberg, the safety coordinator of the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, and Elyse Henshaw, RTPI’s
WTCPT_sign_erection_1Conservation Technician, erecting our signage at Stockton State Forest

 


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