If you’re missing guided hikes with knowledgeable naturalists who can help identify what you’re seeing, your phone can help 

Smart phone apps offer handy pocket field guides and can help you find the right trail and can even help inform science. At Midpen, our natural resources experts monitor crowdsourced data collected by community members to inform how we manage the public lands in our care.

Preserve visitors using the iNaturalist app have recorded 16,886 observations of 1,875 species for the Midpen Biodiversity Index Project. This data gives us a more complete picture of the diverse plants and animals that make our region a global biodiversity hotspot.

These apps can help deepen your nature knowledge, build observational skills, find your way and discover new trails. Your contributions can provide valuable information to scientists working  to protect sensitive species and habitats in our preserves.


Share, identify and discuss your nature observations on the iNaturalist app and contribute to community science data. You can help Midpen biologists by adding your observations to the Midpen Biodiversity Index Project in iNaturalist. Other users can help you identify your observations. inaturalist.org

Seek by iNaturalist

Use Seek to identify and learn about the plants and critters you find, and earn badges along the way. Based on data from iNaturalist, this app offers an introductory approach for exploring nature. inaturalist.org/seek


Learn about birds, keep bird sighting checklists and share data on this easy-to-use birding app, which offers valuable information on bird sightings from around the world and contributes to science and conservation efforts. ebird.org


From the world-renowned Cornell Ornithology Labs, this app asks three easy questions about a bird you’re wondering about, then it generates a list of likely matches for your region. It works offline, without cell service. merlin.allaboutbirds.org


This app uses offline mapping and navigation, so it still functions when cell service is not available. Maps for Midpen preserves and many other local parks are downloadable, letting you discover new outdoor places and navigate on the trail. openspace.org/maps


This app also allows you to navigate without the internet or network connections. PDFs of Midpen maps can be downloaded for free and you can interact with the maps by marking points of interest or adding additional information, like photos, as well as tracking and recording your route. openspace.org/maps