Wyalusing State Park Embraces QR Codes

Wyalusing State Park, in southwest Wisconsin, has over 21 miles of trails. Located along the bluffs of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, the trails offer a variety of sights as well as very different levels of terrain.

For the first time visitor, choosing which trail offers scenic views or which trail has steep grades or steps, can be a daunting task. A paper map shows the trail layout. Most trails have a brief description. Asking a park ranger or the park staff at the visitor station is always an option, but sometimes a visitor may forget to ask.

Wyalusing State Park began to utilize QR codes in 2011. These square-shaped black-and-white codes are found in the Park Visitor Guide and the concession stand. The Wyalusing QR codes are used to show users the latest trail information, topographical maps, nature information, and short videos of trail and natural features. Each trail has a specific topographical map. The six mile canoe trail has several sections of maps.

A QR code is a picture that a web enabled cell phone can translate into a web address. There are a number of different ways to read QR codes. The easiest is to take a web enabled cell phone, sometimes called a smartphone, and use a QR code reader app, which can scan any code and immediately launch the content in a web browser. Most smartphones have a QR Code reader App. You just need to find it. Users just point a smartphone's camera at the QR code, and in a moment (if there's cellphone coverage) the phone will access current trail information or anything relevant to using that particular trail. Web enabled tablets can also scan QR codes.

imagesWhen smartphones scan the QR code for Wyalusing State Park, the wireless device will go to a special website formatted for the smartphone or a tablet. Once the information is on the wireless device, the web address is stored on the device. The QR code does not have to be scanned again for that device.

Get a QR Code Reader
If your wireless device doesn’t have one already, the first thing you’ll need to do is download a FREE QR code reader to your mobile device.
If you have an Apple device visit the app store and download my favorite reader, QR Reader for iPhone.

If you have an Android device, visit the Android market and download QR Droid.

If you have a Blackberry device, you’re in luck! Many BB’s already come with QR code readers. Located the MENU key on your device and select SCAN A BARCODE. If your Blackberry doesn’t have a scanner, visit the app store and download QR Code Scanner Pro.

Still confused about QR codes? Here’s a video that will take you step by step in choosing a QR code reader and and scanning your first code.

QR Code Factoids:

  • QR code uptake has increased 4589% from early 2010 to early 2011
  • 56% of QR codes appear on product packaging
  • The majority of users expect to receive a coupon or deal from scanning a QR code
  • 11 out of 50 Fortune companies are incorporating QR codes into their marketing strategy
  • 68% of QR codes are scanned via an iPhone