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  1. #1
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    Default Topo maps for unpopular areas?

    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.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tuxhiker's Avatar
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    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!

  3. #3

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    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.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4

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    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.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    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
    Last edited by Venchka; 09-08-2019 at 11:38.

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    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.

  7. #7
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    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.

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    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?
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyLightning View Post
    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.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenK View Post
    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.o...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/r...out-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 $$$.
    Last edited by atraildreamer; 09-13-2019 at 16:15.
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  12. #12
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    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/

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    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.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    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.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Well Bill, it sounds like you have a job to do then.
    I fear I lack the skills. Also the ambition.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by atraildreamer View Post
    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.o...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/r...out-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.RI North-South Trail 09162019 (1).pdf
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  17. #17
    Registered User Leapfrog^'s Avatar
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  18. #18
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    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.
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  19. #19
    Registered User Leapfrog^'s Avatar
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    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.

  20. #20
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    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...

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