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BenK
09-08-2019, 08:26
Can someone suggest where or how to obtain topo maps for local/unpopular hiking areas? I am specifically looking for Ma and RI. I would like to practice navigation/orienteering, but most of the trail maps for conservation areas / public trails are little more than a line drawn on a napkin.

Tuxhiker
09-08-2019, 09:27
When I need a lot of detail for local area hiking in Mississippi, I use quadrant maps published by the government. I have a collection of these covering the Tuxachanie Trail. It is 13 miles long and requires 3 quadrant maps. There is a local engineering supply place where I purchased them. I use these maps when I go off-trail or exploring old trail locations. Maybe you can find an engineering supply place in your area that can get them for you. Hope that helps!

Slo-go'en
09-08-2019, 09:57
There are many options.

The National Geological survey maps can be ordered direct from the government. There are various options for how much area/detail you want. At one time I had most of Eastern MA and parts of NH pinned to my wall. You need a big wall for the 7.5' quadrant maps.

The DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer for the state in question is also a good resource, in a bit more convenient form and a lot less expensive then the quadrant maps for a large area. You might identify an area of interest with the Atlas and then get the U.S.G.S quadrant map for that area.

Or you can get a good digital map for the area. There are plenty of options for free and paid maps for GPS.

Feral Bill
09-08-2019, 10:51
Mytopo.com Custom maps of anywhere in USA and, I think, Canada. <$20 and waterproof, too. Or you can print yourself for the cost of using your printer.

Venchka
09-08-2019, 11:33
USGS topo maps online.
CalTopo online is a mapping software source for creating your own maps. CalTopo online tutorials abound.
Do It Yourself is the way!
Also: REIís free app Hiking Project and the AllTrails pay app offer trail information on your phone.
Wayne

Analog_Kidd
09-08-2019, 18:13
Caltopo is awesome. One of the best features is to be able to draw your map then save it to a .pdf file. This file is geo-referenced, so you can import it into an app like Avenza, or Gaia, and when you view it in the app, you see your location.

peakbagger
09-08-2019, 19:56
IMO, I have software that has all the USGS maps for my region, great for planning but I have tried printing maps with several printers and to date have not found any printer that matches the durability of real USGS topos. THe USGS used to sell large batches of maps for a big discount. The USGS maps are not waterproof but the print and paper is custom and hold up to folding and dampness.

LazyLightning
09-09-2019, 00:06
would any of these kinds of maps show dirt roads/forest roads/logging roads/watershed area roads ect. that are open to walk on but usually not shown on trail maps?

Feral Bill
09-09-2019, 01:37
would any of these kinds of maps show dirt roads/forest roads/logging roads/watershed area roads ect. that are open to walk on but usually not shown on trail maps? If they are up to date, yes, but that is a big if.

peakbagger
09-09-2019, 06:53
Maps are only as good as the database they had when the map was made. Many of the rural USGS maps were last updated in the late 1980s. Occasionally individual USGS maps are updated but usually in urban areas or areas where there is major changes being made. The Delorme Gazetteers for each state used to be updated frequently and usually were the best resource for rural logging and seasonal roads but not sure if that is still true since they were bought by Garmin.

Logging and seasonal roads are the toughest. Logging roads are usually privately built and only kept open as long as they need to be to access the logs. Bridges wash out and new rules for culverts means that frequently the culverts get pulled after the job. New England has had a lot more heavy rain events in the last few years and they tend to wash out roads. If the road is private the owner may elect not repair them until they need them. Google and other companies monitor locations of cell phones continuously by default and use that to update their databases but once they are out of cell tower range all bets are off.

Google Earth is a nice tool as its updated frequently and by using the history button you can look back at earlier shots and pick up the new roads.

atraildreamer
09-11-2019, 12:57
Can someone suggest where or how to obtain topo maps for local/unpopular hiking areas? I am specifically looking for Ma and RI. I would like to practice navigation/orienteering, but most of the trail maps for conservation areas / public trails are little more than a line drawn on a napkin.

As a former resident of Cumberland, I used the "Pawtucket" topo quadrangle from the USGS. Cost about $2 back then.

It covered most of the NE corner of RI, and included the Diamond Hill area, (good hike up the hill and great views from the top), and some of the parks in MA adjacent to the RI border.

I recommend that you check out the Cumberland Monastery Land Preservation Site, (the area surrounding the town library). Lots of good hiking in the area, (watch out for the cliffs overlooking the quarry to the west!).

The library reference sections has maps going back to colonial times, if you want to see how the area has developed over the decades.

You can hike in Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, RI. Not much of a challenge, but nice for the kids, etc. Also good for fishing and swimming. The NW section of the park has a lot of glacier-created, rock outcrops that are sometimes used to practice mountaineering, but no mountains.

The Pawtucket topo section also covers a good part of the Blackstone River Bikeway which offers hiking, as well as biking.

https://blackstoneheritagecorridor.org/exploring-the-blackstone-river-valley/maps-tours-guides/blackstone-river-bikeway/

For western RI, look for maps that cover Pulaski Park & the Walkabout Trail.

RI's North-South Trail, runs up the western border of the state.

http://outdoors.htmlplanet.com/nst/nst_map00.htm

The trail runs from the beach to the Massachusetts line where it connects with the Midstate Trail, which then goes up to the New Hampshire line and connects with the Wapack trail. Probably about a 150 mile walk, in total.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/rhode-island/walkabout-trail-loop

For southern RI, look for maps that cover the Burlingame State Park & Yawgoo areas. Loads of trails in the area.

As previous posters have said, you can print free maps from the site cited. If you get a roll of clear Contact paper, (sold with shelf paper), you can do a reasonable job of laminating your maps and save some $$$.

Odd Man Out
09-11-2019, 13:55
There are also the Open Cycle Map layer of Open Street Map. They have topo lines and are likely to show most every lane, trail, two track, etc... Even individual buildings are shown.

https://www.opencyclemap.org/

Feral Bill
09-11-2019, 15:47
There are also the Open Cycle Map layer of Open Street Map. They have topo lines and are likely to show most every lane, trail, two track, etc... Even individual buildings are shown.

https://www.opencyclemap.org/

In my area (inland northwest), hiking trails are mostly absent from these maps.

nsherry61
09-12-2019, 10:15
In my area (inland northwest), hiking trails are mostly absent from these maps.
Well Bill, it sounds like you have a job to do then. :-? ;)

Feral Bill
09-12-2019, 12:52
Well Bill, it sounds like you have a job to do then. :-? ;)
I fear I lack the skills. Also the ambition.

atraildreamer
09-16-2019, 16:12
As a former resident of Cumberland, I used the "Pawtucket" topo quadrangle from the USGS. Cost about $2 back then.

It covered most of the NE corner of RI, and included the Diamond Hill area, (good hike up the hill and great views from the top), and some of the parks in MA adjacent to the RI border.

I recommend that you check out the Cumberland Monastery Land Preservation Site, (the area surrounding the town library). Lots of good hiking in the area, (watch out for the cliffs overlooking the quarry to the west!).

You can hike in Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, RI. Not much of a challenge, but nice for the kids, etc. Also good for fishing and swimming. The NW section of the park has a lot of glacier-created, rock outcrops that are sometimes used to practice mountaineering, but no mountains.

The Pawtucket topo section also covers a good part of the Blackstone River Bikeway which offers hiking, as well as biking.

https://blackstoneheritagecorridor.org/exploring-the-blackstone-river-valley/maps-tours-guides/blackstone-river-bikeway/

For western RI, look for maps that cover Pulaski Park & the Walkabout Trail.

RI's North-South Trail, runs up the western border of the state.

http://outdoors.htmlplanet.com/nst/nst_map00.htm

The trail runs from the beach to the Massachusetts line where it connects with the Midstate Trail, which then goes up to the New Hampshire line and connects with the Wapack trail. Probably about a 150 mile walk, in total.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/rhode-island/walkabout-trail-loop

For southern RI, look for maps that cover the Burlingame State Park & Yawgoo areas. Loads of trails in the area.

As previous posters have said, you can print free maps from the site cited. If you get a roll of clear Contact paper, (sold with shelf paper), you can do a reasonable job of laminating your maps and save some $$$.

I downloaded the North-South Trail maps and converted them to PDF format for anyone that is interested.45654

Leapfrog^
09-16-2019, 18:00
This link will help. http://docs.unh.edu/nhtopos/nhtopos.htm

LazyLightning
09-16-2019, 18:51
I actually picked up the (out of print) North-South Trail guide book a few months ago, there were only 3-4 copies anywhere online that I searched and all well over $100 each. I took a shot in the dark, e-mailed one offering $50 (still a lot) and they jumped on it, next day the price went up on the remaining copies online...

If interested you could send $1 and a self addressed, stamped envelope (to cover 2 ounces) to the address below for some paper copies of the maps (as listed in the Midstate Trail guide book)
NST Map
27 Post Road
Warwick, RI 02888

but they are black and white and these PDF ones are probably better. The ones I mentioned are based on a 'trek' that a group of people does every year for several weekends and has a little guide/trail description along with it.

Leapfrog^
09-16-2019, 19:42
This link has topo maps that are current http://mapper.acme.com/ . You might also try GIS online maps for your town or city which often show major trails , topo, etc.

BenK
09-16-2019, 19:54
Thanks! I currently live in Cumberland and have walked these places that you speak of. these maps are cool, but I was specifically looking for topo maps for compass and orienteering purposes...

atraildreamer
09-18-2019, 09:53
... these PDF ones are probably better... The PDF maps that are online are just sections of the RI State highway map that have been highlighted.

Years ago, Ken Weber, (now deceased), an outdoor writer for "The Providence Journal" wrote "50 Walks in RI" which covered the whole state. I haven't been able to find it on line, but the Providence Journal newspaper used to sell it, and Ken's other books, via mail order.

CalebJ
09-18-2019, 10:07
Another vote for CalTopo. It's an absolutely incredible DIY resource if you're willing to put a little time into going through the tutorials.

atraildreamer
09-18-2019, 16:05
Thanks! I currently live in Cumberland and have walked these places that you speak of. these maps are cool, but I was specifically looking for topo maps for compass and orienteering purposes...

I got my topos from these people many years ago: https://mapcenter.com/
The Map Center Inc.
545 Pawtucket Ave MS208
Suite A114
Pawtucket Rhode Island, 02860 USA
Telephone (401) 421-2184
Toll Free (888) 568-6277
(888) 568-MAPS

email: [email protected]


Retail showroom open weekdays 10AM to 5PM.

Take a ride and check them out.

(I am not affiliated with them.)

I think that you can still order topos from the USGS website, but why spend the $$$ when you download & print them for free?

LazyLightning
09-18-2019, 18:41
The PDF maps that are online are just sections of the RI State highway map that have been highlighted.

Years ago, Ken Weber, (now deceased), an outdoor writer for "The Providence Journal" wrote "50 Walks in RI" which covered the whole state. I haven't been able to find it on line, but the Providence Journal newspaper used to sell it, and Ken's other books, via mail order.

I actually own 2 RI books by Ken Weber
"Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island" and "More Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island"

are either of these the one your referring to or does he have another one titled "50 Walks in Rhode Island"

"The North South Trail" by Cliff Vanover is definitely the cats meow of guides/maps for that trail. I can't open the pages enough to copy anything without damaging the book though, or I'd offer to help out with some maps. Too bad it's so rare and not reprinted, must just not be popular enough...

atraildreamer
09-20-2019, 20:50
I actually own 2 RI books by Ken Weber
"Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island" and "More Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island".

are either of these the one your referring to or does he have another one titled "50 Walks in Rhode Island"

"The North South Trail" by Cliff Vanover is definitely the cats meow of guides/maps for that trail. I can't open the pages enough to copy anything without damaging the book though, or I'd offer to help out with some maps. Too bad it's so rare and not reprinted, must just not be popular enough...

No, the title was " 50 Walks in RI". It contained line drawing trail maps that I highlighted on USGS topo maps.

I once had a book of topo maps that covered the entire state. It consisted of topo quads divided into 4 sections and reproduced as a 8 1/2 x 11 inch book with a plastic spiral binding that allowed you to remove pages, as needed.

atraildreamer
09-20-2019, 20:56
I actually own 2 RI books by Ken Weber
"Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island" and "More Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island"

are either of these the one your referring to or does he have another one titled "50 Walks in Rhode Island"

"The North South Trail" by Cliff Vanover is definitely the cats meow of guides/maps for that trail. I can't open the pages enough to copy anything without damaging the book though, or I'd offer to help out with some maps. Too bad it's so rare and not reprinted, must just not be popular enough...

You could use one of the free phone apps that allow you to take a picture of a document and convert it to PDF format. You might get a usable image of the trail maps without damaging the book.

LazyLightning
09-21-2019, 11:46
I'm not to good with smart phones or technology but if anyone is interested in maps out of the North South Trail guide let me know on here or message me... Maybe I could take the best pics I can and send them to someone to convert to PDF. Or if someone wants to give me a quick run through I could try myself.

atraildreamer
09-23-2019, 16:24
I'm not to good with smart phones or technology but if anyone is interested in maps out of the North South Trail guide let me know on here or message me... Maybe I could take the best pics I can and send them to someone to convert to PDF. Or if someone wants to give me a quick run through I could try myself.

There are several free phone apps available on the Google Playstore, and probably the MS Store, that do all the work for you. You can also save the images and paste them into a word file and save the document in .pdf format using Open Office, or Libre Office, (Both are free office suites comparable to the MS Office suite).

If you take the pics, PM me for an email address and I will convert them over for you.

Mags
09-23-2019, 19:12
A GPX track of the North-South Trail can be found here:
http://www.rigis.org/datasets/north-south-trail

Updated in 2017.

Print out your maps via CalTopo using the USGS layer or the OpenStreet Map later (less detail; more updated).

Outside of the NST, on CalTopo, I'd print out USGS maps for Arcadia Management Area as it is relatively large by RI standards. You can can practice map and compass fundamentals there efficiently. I took an AMC class back in 1996 there and those fundamentals I learned helped me on all my future hikes.