A New Way To Not Get Lost

January 2022 Update:  A new version of the Newton Trails Map, which includes the intersection markers and color-coded trails in Webster Woods and Hammond Pond Reservation, has been uploaded to Avenza.  The instructions below still apply.

Smartphone and tablet users now have an easy way to navigate on every trail in parks and conservation areas in Newton and some surrounding areas.

The system uses a free smartphone app called Avenza.  Avenza lets users download a wide variety of maps, some free and some for a fee, onto their phone or tablet.  When you open a map in Avenza, your phone’s GPS feature displays a small blue circle at your location.

Doug Greenfield, who manages the City of Newton’s Geographic Information System, has uploaded a new map called Newton Trails Map into Avenza.  There’s no charge for users to download this map.  Here’s a screen shot of the map on a trail in Cold Spring Park:

Click to see a larger image

The map has up-to-date information on trails in Newton, as well as in adjacent areas such as Cutler Park, Millennium Park, and the Blue Heron Trail from Watertown to Needham.  The map is still in draft status, and will be enhanced in future months.

With a great deal of help from Doug, we’ll be using the city GIS system to produce the next generation of maps of Newton parks and conservation areas.  These maps will appear on this website, and also in a new edition of our Walking Trails guidebook.

Other Smartphone Maps

Many other apps and web pages allow you to view trail maps on your smartphone.  This list of Smartphone Trail Maps compares some of them.

How to Use Avenza

One-Time Setup

The first step is to download the app to your device:

Avenza for Android devices from Google Play

Avenza for Apple devices from the App Store

The following screenshots and instructions are from an Android phone.  For help with any kind of device, go to the Avenza help page.

Next, open the Avenza app and press the Store icon at the lower right corner of the screen. A screen like this should appear:

Press the search bar at the top.  On the next screen, type Newton Trails in the Keywords box:

Then press the SEARCH button.  Find the Newton Trails Map on the next screen, and press the DOWNLOAD button.

Using Avenza

From now on, when you open the App and press the My Maps button at the lower left corner of any screen, you should see the Newton Trails Map.  Press on it to open the map.

Your location should be marked as a blue dot on the map.  Use your fingers to zoom in or out.