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Maps by Others PDF Print E-mail


As SEO formats our custom maps, we suggest that everyone check out some sources on the web that have preformatted maps. Some of these preformatted maps are good, some, well, not so much - BUT - they are readily available!


US Forest Service (USFS) Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)

MVUMs are maps for each USFS District that show which roads and trails are open to motorized vehicle traffic. Please note that some of the routes are seasonal - that is they might be closed during a particular season, usually the winter/wet season in the southeast. For more information on MVUMs, and the Travel Management Rule that guides development of MVUMs, please check out the USFS's website here. Be careful using these maps. I consider these maps to be very poor from a cartographic perspective. It can be very difficult to distinguish where you are due to the lack of reference points, well labeled and symbolized roads, contours, water features, etc. See 'USFS Forest Visitor Maps' below.


Many MVUMs are available here.


The MVUMs typically are large (file size and dimension) pdf files. I plot mine in-house at 24x36 inches. An alternative approach is to crop out your area of interest and then print on an 8.5x11 inch printer.


USFS Forest Visitor Maps

These maps are available at some of the MVUM links mentioned above, and here. These maps are typically much easier for a reader to interpret and include reference points including hydrology, cities, forest boundaries and gate locations. I like these maps much more than the MVUMs - BUT - I have not compared the roads and trails on each to make sure they match, and I also don't know the legality of the roads and trails shown on the Forest Visitor Maps but I have to assume they are correct.


USGS Topo Maps

USGS Topo Maps display many 'back roads' but do not provide any legit information as to the legality of these roads, i.e.: are they private, public but closed, etc. USGS topo maps do work well as a backdrop for trail and other data because they show place names, streets, contours, and several other relevant reference layers.


You can purchase these maps several places on the internet including www.trails.com and http://store.usgs.gov (some parts are free), but a few websites offer downloadable versions for free such as www.digital-topo-maps.com.

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