Walking apps make walking fun.
Walking doesn’t just have to be nothing more than a way to get from point A to point B. It can be immersive, comforting, meditative and even joyous!
Consistent daily steps also help regulate mood, manage depression and increase your weekly physical activity.
So to make your daily steps even better, here’s all the best walking apps — from gamified fitness to maps and everything in between.
iNaturalist is a nature observation app that connects you with naturalists across the world.
Document and identify the nature all around you including plants, animals and insects. Upload your observations and get help with identifying the flora and fauna you’re seeing from other naturalists on the app.
Discuss your findings, keep a life list (a list of all your observations) and help others identify their own findings. It’s like a living, breathing earth journal for walkers everywhere.
Favorite feature: Take a photo and iNaturalist will show you the 10 most visually similar species matches. Tap through the results to get more info on each.
Merlin is a free bird identification app developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Merlin uses the microphone on your phone to identify bird songs all around you on your walk. Or you can take a photo of any birds you see and Merlin will help you identify them.
Birding is a great way to stay present while you get your daily steps and reconnect to the environment around you as you walk. Merlin will save all your observations and give you info on each bird you ID.
It’s like a little bird index of all your adventures right inside one app. Before you know it, your walks will change forever with the knowledge that birds of every feather are all around you.
Favorite feature: Merlin automatically saves all your observations. Go back any time and listen to the birdsongs and IDs you captured any time, anywhere.
One of the best ways to make walking more fun is to get out of your regular walking routine. If you’re able, finding hiking trails with the help of AllTrails will refresh your walking routine fast.
Find vistas, creeks, waterfalls, cliffs, forests and hills with AllTrails’ huge list of trails across the globe.
AllTrails also crowdsources specific information about trails. Want to see a mountain goat? Just search mountain goats on and AllTrails will tell you where the closest trail where you’re likely to see mountain goats is.
Read trail reviews to get helpful tips on parking, peak hours, and interesting landmarks to check out along the way.
Favorite feature: AllTrails trail search allows you to filter for all types of walking areas. Filter for anything, like dog-friendly walks, bird migration sites, or even waterfalls.
Evernote is a note-taking app that helps you keep track of everything from to-do lists to random thoughts.
You’re probably thinking “what does that have to do with walking?” Well, keeping a walking journal makes walking more fun… and useful!
A reflective walk at any time of day is a great way to decompress and find some space to be with your thoughts. Embracing the meditative elements of walking can unlock creativity, help you work through issues, or find a bit of calm during a busy day.
Use Evernote to capture your walking thoughts. The more you document, the easier it is to find the positive thoughts the next time you walk. Take a minute at the start of your walk to review your past discoveries, and take a minute at the end to record your newest ideas.
Favorite feature: Evernote isn’t just for typing text. Fill your walking journal with photos and audio recordings too as you become more connected with your walking environment.
Gaia is a GPS app that allows you to map and track hikes without cell phone service or draining your battery.
Find trails for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and more. Discover how far the next intersection is, mark your trail with photos and stay oriented on hikes and walks no matter where you are. Gaia even has a play and stop button to record your hikes and reference them later.
Favorite feature: Once you’ve picked a path, Gaia provides you with up-to-date weather forecasts for your route, so you can dodge that nasty little thunderstorm, or put on an extra layer of sunscreen just in case.
Pl@ntnet is a plant ID app that helps you identify plants around you using photos. IDing plants helps you learn about the biodiversity you see on your walks.
Connecting and learning about nature not only helps you keep your exercise interesting, it helps you be more present while you get your steps and enjoy the meditative side of exercise. Plus, your findings help create a global database of plant-life people everywhere can reference every day. So try Pl@ntnet and make some new plant friends next time you’re out for a walk.
Favorite feature: Pl@ntnet isn’t just a plant ID app, it’s a teacher too. Learn what plants are invasive, helpful, or native to your area as you map the plant world you live in.
PlayFitt is a movement app that makes physical activity more accessible than traditional fitness apps.
By using gaming elements and embracing bite-sized exercise, PlayFitt makes it simple to add more movement to your day.
Track your daily steps with PlayFitt's built-in step counter. Spend them however you want when you hit your goals. You can even challenge friends and family or climb the leader board with other movers around the world.
Favorite feature: Challenging yourself is cool, but challenging friends is the best. Get friends and family moving with some playful competition. Climb the leader board and see who wins!
Pokemon Go is still one of the most innovative ways to add some excitement and adventure to your daily steps. Using augmented reality, Pokemon Go turns your surroundings into a complete Pokeworld.
A new or rare Pokemon could be around every corner! Collect them all while exploring new routes and fun adventures on your walks.
Favorite feature: Pokemon Go’s constant updates keeps this walking game fresh and exciting with new Pokemon to catch and fun new community features all the time.
Walk on and on
Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to move more during your day.
So keep it interesting and your walks will be more than just walks in no time. Only boring walks are boring!
Add these walking apps to your daily steps today and make your walks work.