There are more than 1 300 kilometers of hiking trails in the Cape Peninsula. The hiking community of Cape Town loves exploring the natural beauty of the city. If you are part of the outdoor fanatics club, calling Table Mountain and Lion’s Head your playground, the new hiking mobile app Forge, is perfect for you!
Where Nature and Technology Collide
The Forge team is passionate about the outdoors and decided to create extensive easy-to-use digital maps of the whole Cape Peninsula. Each trail in the area’s contour map has been captured digitally, showing the peaks and valleys with crisp clarity.
As you zoom in on the map, the available routes are highlighted with the names of familiar beacons such as Lion’s Head, Pipe Track, and Constantia Nek to guide your exploration. Once you select a specific route, more information appear including the features and a gallery. It also includes handy notes about the route to give you a better idea of the hike.
The route features offer you more information about the status, terrain, and difficulty. You can also check whether the specific route is mountain bike, trail running and dog friendly. The base map can be changed to imagery with or without labels, topographic, OpenStreetMap, light gray canvas, streets, National Geographic, oceans, or terrain with labels.
Your One-Stop Hiking Information App
The Forge app has created an extensive list of all the hiking routes in and around Cape Town. Before selecting a hike, you can read a short description of each route. The routes list also offers you information about the hike duration, distance, elevation, and hike difficulty level. With all this information at your disposal, you can make a calculated and educated decision about your route choice.
Although the app works best with your location services switched on, you can use it offline as well to give you an indication of the route while you are hiking. The app is a great way to discover new hiking trails to explore. And you can become better acquainted with the popular ones such as Skeleton Gorge, India Venster, Devil’s Peak, and Lion’s Head.
The Faces behind the Concept
Forge was created by Capetonians and is a 100% local start-up. The concept for the app emerged after realising a need for high quality and reliable data about the mountains surrounding Cape Town. The Forge team wanted to provide hiking enthusiasts with a user-friendly and practical interface to navigate their way across the Peninsula. They aim to create an aesthetically pleasing application that will appeal to both experienced mountaineers and first-time hikers.
The Forge team combined their wide range of backgrounds to tackle the app concept from different angles. Each team member has a different set of outdoor hobbies which helped them to diversify the application, reaching a wider variety of outdoor enthusiasts.
They also want to contribute to the Cape Town outdoor community, creating a space to share information and experiences, inspiring all nature lovers. The Forge toolkit offers access to expansive route information, as well as emergency contacts to ensure a safe hiking experience. There is also a live chat function on the app and their website.
Meet the Team
Michael Halley is in charge of the GIS and App Development. He is a big lover of technology and the outdoors. With a GIS Business Analyst background, he is the brainchild behind the Forge app. You will often find him meandering around the mountains with his dog, mapping trails. Jozi, a cute little rescued Jack Russel is the official mascot of Forge. Follow Jozi’s adventures on Instagram.
Joshua Weiss heads up Research and Operations, making good use of his Conservation biologist background. His outdoor office is full of trig beacons, and beautiful nature spaces. He collects and verifies data, ensuring that the Forge app remains accurate at all times and scouting out new territory to expand into.
Alex Weiss runs the Media and Design side of the Forge app. He completed an honours in Environmental Studies at UCT (University of Cape Town). His keen photography eye comes in handy to create highly aesthetic content for the app.