Tourism, trails and technology come together in Bayfield County

Trey Dalton of Arizona is being guided by Up North Guided staffer Jerry Wright during a December tour.

The Bayfield County tourism office is tapping into technology to help keep riders safe on the trails and showcase what the area has to offer.

The county recently launched several new features including adding themselves to the popular trail APP Avena. Avena allows users to download a Bayfield County map to their mobile device and then locate themselves on the map using GPS when they’re out on the trail.

“We were approached by one of our local clubs to start utilizing this mobile application,“ saif Mary Motiff, director of tourism for Bayfield County. “After working with our land record department, we were able to create both our snowmobile and ATV map for the site.”

The application is particularly helpful given the lack of cell signals in certain parts of the county. Since you pre-download the product, it allows you to locate yourself on the map, even when you don’t have service.

“The amount of public land we have available for people to use can be intimidating to some,” Motiff said. “Offering this type of service allows them to figure out where they are if they don’t have access to a paper map or are not at a major crossroad on the trail”

Motiff added that the application can also help people provide their exact location to EMS, should they ever get into an accident. The mobile application is free for both the person uploading maps and the end user.

“This has the potential of being an actual life saver. There are multiple benefits to using this feature, and it is free for riders.”

Also new for the county are some interactive tourism maps that use ArcGIS Online. The mapping system allowed the county to create an interactive tourism map that allows you to locate yourself on a map and see what businesses and experiences surround you. Each location has a photo and additional information.

“This is an easy way to share information in a way people want to learn about a place. It showcases the possibilities and allows people to get a better idea of what they might experience when they visit the area,” Motiff said.

This type of technology is becoming more and more common as users rely more heavily on digital to plan their tourism experiences and get them from point A to point B.

Beth Probst is a freelance writer based in Iron River.