By Mike Norton

Suppose you want to take a hike in the woods, but you’ve only got an hour of free time and you’re traveling with your elderly mom. Or maybe you’re looking for a beach where you can take your dog, but you don’t want to drive too far to get there.

If you’re visiting Traverse City, help is just a click away. Thanks to a free smart phone app called “Experience 231,” visitors to this Michigan resort community can instantly access information about 300 year-round outdoor experiences – hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, skiing, swimming, paddling and birding — with a user interface that allows them to instantly select one that fits their particular needs and interests.

“You simply tell the app what you want to do and how much time you want to spend, and it takes care of the rest,” says Treenen Sturman of the Grand Traverse Conservation District, one of seven environmental organizations that banded together to produce the application. “There are even accommodations for pet owners and people with disabilities.”

The app will be available in online app stores by May 1 and is scheduled to go active on May 19.

A coastal resort area on the northwest coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the Traverse City region has a population of 160,000 people and welcomes an estimated 2.5 million visitors each year – mostly to enjoy the region’s scenic beauty and its many opportunities for outdoor recreation.

For more information on Traverse City travel, go to

— Sponsored content from the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.