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Smartphone friendly signs send trails in new direction

PHOENIX — Hiking trails in Phoenix will soon be a little more high tech.

The city’s parks and recreation department has started posting QR stickers on trail posts that can be scanned with a smartphone.

“It’s a way to use mobile technology to get more information to people all along the trail,” said David Urbinato with the City of Phoenix.

“It will tell you exactly where you are, what the elevation is at that point and what other trail junctions are nearby.”

It’s a cheap, relatively easy way to disseminate information without having to replace entire hiking posts, Urbinato said.

The stickers are being tested at the Sonoran Preserve, the newest addition to city trails near Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road. From there, city workers will move south to cover thousands of posts along some 200 miles of trail.

The project does not have a definite timeline, Urbinato said.

“It really should help keep people informed, and an informed hiker is going to have a much better time staying safe and enjoying themselves,” Urbinato said.