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How to Navigate the Smoky Mountain Relay using OsmAnd

The Smoky Mountain Relay runs through some scenic, but also mountainous, terrain. Finding cell phone service can be a challenge!  This makes common things like using navigation on your cell-phone pretty dang difficult!  But thanks to an awesome navigation app called OsmAnd, you’ll be able to have great offline maps and navigation on your phone the whole time and instead be able to enjoy the scenery!

Unlike Google or Apple Maps which do offline maps as a secondary feature (that doesn’t work well), OsmAnd is designed to show routes and natively works with maps saved to your phone. You can use it while driving or running! And, it works perfectly in airplane mode which is important for saving battery during a long trail leg (if using it for running) like our epic leg 10!

Start by Downloading ALL the SMR GXP Maps

Leg 1 ~ Leg 1 GPXfile   VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232068

Leg 2 ~ Leg 2 GPXfile   VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232429

Leg 3 ~ Leg 3 GPXfile   VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232443

Leg 4 ~ Leg 4 GPXfile   VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 5 ~ Leg 5 GPXfile   VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 6 ~ Leg 6 GPXfile  VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 7 ~ Leg 7 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 8 ~ Leg 8 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 9 ~ Leg 9 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 10 ~ Leg 10 GPXfile VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232461

Leg 11 ~ Leg 11 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 12 ~ Leg 12 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 13 ~ Leg 13 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 14 ~ Leg 14 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 15 ~ Leg 15 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 16 ~ Leg 16 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 17 ~ Leg 17 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 18 ~ Leg 18 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 19 ~ Leg 19 GPXfile VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232492

Leg 20 ~ Leg 20 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 21 ~ Leg 21 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 22 ~ Leg 22 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 23 ~ Leg 23 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 24 ~ Leg 24 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 25 ~ Leg 25 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 26 ~ Leg 26 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 27 ~ Leg 27 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 28 ~ Leg 28 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 29 ~ Leg 29 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 30 ~ Leg 30 GPXfile Van and runner’s route split at Bryson City Rd (4.5 mi)

  • No support for runners while on Bryson City Road. When the van turns right on to Bryson City Road (4.5 mi), immediately continue to the next exchange, because the runners travel a different route.
  • If pulling over to give runners water, make sure you are well to the side of the road and not blocking local traffic.
  • Exchange Parking – At Cowee School, under the direction of staff, park in the West Village parking area and along the road.

Leg 31 ~ Leg 31 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 32 ~ Leg 32 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 33 ~ Leg 33 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 34 ~ Leg 34 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 35 ~ Leg 35 GPXfile VAN ROUTE follow runners route

Leg 36 ~ Leg 36 GPXfile VAN ROUTE (download GPX here): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38232735

Download and Configure the OsmAnd App:

  1. Download OsmAnd to your phone from Google Play or the Apple App Storeand launch the app.
  2. If prompted to download offline maps when first launching the app, install the maps for North Carolina. Click Show Map when done.
  3. If you weren’t prompted to download the offline maps when you first installed the app do this:
    1. If you have an Android device, in the OsmAnd app, tap the three line (hamburger) button in the lower left. This is the Menu button. Then do: Menu → Download Maps → North America → United States of America → North Carolina (~380 MB)
    2. If you have an iOS device, in the OsmAnd app, tap the three line (hamburger) button in the lower left. This is the Menu button. Then do: Menu → Maps & Resources → North America → United States of America→ North Carolina (~600 MB)
    3. Touch the download icon for the Standard Map.
  4. Configure units to Miles
    1. Android: OsmAnd Menu → Settings → Browse Map/OsmAnd Profile → General Settings → Units of Length
    2. iOS: OsmAnd Menu → Settings → Browse Map/Base Profile → General Settings → Units of Length
  5. Download and load the GPX files for each leg into OsmAnd (see below for Android and iOS)

Downloading Smoky Mountain Relay Maps to an Android device:

  1. In OsmAnd, touch Menu → Configure Map → Tracks… → ADD MORE…then pick the file you downloaded to your device or saved from email. Information about the GPX file will be displayed. Then select Add More (and I would add them all while you have internet) or OK to stop adding. Click the back arrow a few times to get back to the main map and pan/zoom to the race area and you’ll see the route.
  2. If you’ve added all of the routes (or at least more than one) you’ll see them all on the map.  To only show one route at a time (the leg you are currently on, for example), go to Menu → Configure Map → Tracks… → and the DESELECT the TRACKS you don’t want to see. Then click OK.
  3. Test the offline maps by putting your device in Airplane Mode and confirming the map still works. This shows you can use the map outside of cell phone range. If it doesn’t work, be sure you’ve downloaded the North Carolina map.
  4. VERY IMPORTANT: You need to make sure you allow the app to use GPS and Network/SD card access if it asks you to. Chose ALWAYS ALLOW.  An easy way to do this (if it doesn’t ask you the first time you open it) is to try to use it to navigate to the grocery store: MenuNavigation → Select your position in the From: field and you favorite grocery store as the destination and click Start. The App should ask for your permission.

Downloading Smoky Mountain Relay Maps to an iOS device:

  1. For each leg, download the the correct GPX file to your device OR to your computer and then email it to yourself (providing you can read email on your phone).
    1. To download the files, navigate to each individual leg page (Leg 01, for example) and click the GPX icon in the upper right of the map (see image with red arrow at bottom of page). File names may start with 2020, 2022 or something else. DOWNLOADING FROM THE MAP PAGES WILL GIVE YOU THE MOST RECENT GPX FILE FOR ANY LEG.
  2. As you download, you’ll be given the option to open the file in an app, just select OsmAnd as an app to open it. That’s it: you’ll view the file normally in the application.
    1. If you miss opening it as you download, you can navigate to Files on your device, find the downloaded file and click to open it. When viewing the file (it’s a bunch of XML / text), select the OPEN icon to open it and then select OsmAnd.
  3. If you’ve added all of the routes (or at least more than one) you’ll see them all on the map.  To only show one route at a time (the leg you are currently on, for example), go to Menu → Configure Map → Tracks… → and the DESELECT the TRACKS you don’t want to see. Then click OK.
  4. Test the offline maps by putting your device in Airplane Mode and confirming the map still works. This shows you can use the map outside of cell phone range. If it doesn’t work, be sure you’ve downloaded the North Carolina map.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT: You need to make sure you allow the app to use GPS and Network/SD card access if it asks you to. Chose ALWAYS ALLOW.  An easy way to do this (if it doesn’t ask you the first time you open it) is to try to use it to navigate to the grocery store: MenuNavigation → Select your position in the From: field and you favorite grocery store as the destination and click Start. The App should ask for your permission.

To Navigate a Leg:

  1. Configure the map to display only the Leg that you want to navigate: Menu → Configure Map → Tracks… → and the DESELECT the TRACKS you don’t want to see and SELECT the one you want to navigate. Then click OK.
  2. Configure and start navigation: Menu → Navigation → in the Displayed Tracks section, click on the track you want to navigate. The route will default to YOUR (GPS) POSITION as the From: and Follow Track as the route, listing the track you selected.
  3. Click the START button and navigation will begin
Screenshot of PsmAnd
Shows download GPX file button