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Forest Service Trail Maps

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62 comments

  • Nathan

    I do want to emphasize, as I said above, that MyTopo maps do embed some of this information.

    Based on what people are saying, I think they still see value in this plugin, especially since you can store a much larger area than you will probably have downloaded. I just don't want anyone coming back saying "Hey, that stuff I paid for was already in the map". 

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  • ken benson

    I was parked on Indian land with a state section adjacent.   Backcountry allowed me to enter the State land with 100% accuracy.  I would just like it to track up in the direction I am traveling.

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  • OldFrenchy
    Hi Nathan- I have been using this plugin for hunting in San Diego County for over a month now. We sometimes get confused over the meaning of 'unclassified' and how it might pertain to the legal access of our hunt, but the plugin has been a godsend for us in the accuracy on the convoluted borders of the map. Thanks!
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  • Nathan

    The California BLM states that private and nongovernment lands are listed as unclassified, so I wouldn't assume access unless you have other information. 

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  • Seth Heller
    Consider me in, would like more coverage of the Devil's Lake, Kettle Moraine area and Ice Age trails here in WI. Thanks!
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  • Clifford Dill

    I would certainly buy it.

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  • Scattertrans
    I would certainly buy it. Just an overlay of the standard forest service maps would be great, But each forest has what they call transportation maps. These are controlled by the engineering department and show many more roads and trails then are on the forest maps. Getting overlays of these would be outstanding.
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  • Carol
    One thing to consider in developing this layer is that all the Federal land agencies (BLM, USFS, etc) are trying to finalize the Travel Management plans that they have been working on for 2+ years. The time period for public comment and input is drawing to a close. Depending on which access alternative is chosen for a particular area, there is the potential for many roads and trails that were previously open to be closed. It might be better to see the final decisions before Nathan invests a lot of work and time.
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  • Scattertrans

    Very true Carol, but there will be many years of court hassles before any thing definite is decided. Federal agencies have been opening and closing roads for decades and this will continue to go on as long as budgets and land managers change. Plus, very few of the roads are actually "put to bed" as the cost of doing so is enormous. They will be out there for other than motorized use for a long time. Might even be opened up again due to a court decision? I'd like to see the maps as soon as possible with all the roads on them and then the user will have the option of doing what he/she wants with the info. Can't have too much info.... As I mentioned, the F.S. visitor map info would be great, but there are MANY roads on the forests that are not on those maps. The transportation maps for each Forest have everything on them. Pretty much the same deal with the BLM. I know it's a lot of work, but I'd like to see it done ASAP and I'm willing to pay for it.

    Just my 2 cents....

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  • Carol
    I agree there will be legal issues, especially after attending several public meetings with the land managers. And you're right that it is good to see ALL the road info available regardless of its present status. I would buy such an overlay too.
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  • Casey Puyleart

    Sign me up - just getting back into spending more time in the woods and having that information (especially for areas I'm not already familiar with) would be incredible.

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  • Brian Dunham

    One major problem is that current maps for Forest Service property is not complete or accurate with respect to open roads and motorized trails.  The forest service has historically used hard copy "visitor maps".  These are the nice, color printed ones that you can get at most FS offices.  Only thing is, many show roads and trails that are currently closed, or do not show ones that are open.  The good thing is that these maps show all properties within the area of the map, regard, regardless of ownership.  So if an area has both FS, BLM, State, forest products and private land, it's all shown.

    USGS and other topo maps are also often out of date and do not show what roads/trails are legal and when.

    The FS is working on the travel management plan, and publishing "Motor Vehicle Use Maps" (MVUMs) which are the legal document defining what roads and trails are legally open and when (many are seasonal).  They are nice, and are available as PDFs.  However, they do not show any terrain features, and only show FS property.  So if you have a mix of FS and other land owners, you're out of luck.

    I purchased the existing ATV trail maps add-on/overlay.  It is no where near complete, unfortunately.  Nor does it show dates when seasonal trails are open.

    I'm in if you offer FS data, either or both MVUMs or "visitor maps".

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  • Rockcreek

    I've worked under contract with the BLM and Forest Service doing wildlife surveys and I've used the Ranger District/transportation  maps used by the forest service or the district resource maps used by the BLM.  These maps do show topography and fairly updated roads (but not always) and I've found this useful but they don't show trails. I've also received custom maps from the BLM or forest service for the project I was working on and these were the best. USGS topo maps were never meant to be road or trail maps but simply show topography which rarely changes and thus the reason why they're seldom updated. It would be great to have something that shows updated trail and road information for BCN. Having something that would also be occasionally  automatically updated would be an even better advantage  but okay, one step at a time. I would definitely pay extra, as I did for Accu Terra. I've seen some ads for map downloads for garmin, etc from companies such as Above the Timber so it is possible I would think.

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  • Tom Tate

    YEA!! No Brainer, I would buy in a heart beat.....

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  • Nathan

    I would encourage people to check out the "Forest Service 2013" map that is in version 4.8.9.

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  • Carol
    The new USFS 2013 maps are beautiful on-screen! Great addition, thank you.
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  • Patrick Caple

    Bring it...

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  • Andrew Lakey
    That would be an outstanding feature. I am an avid mountain biker and would also be interested in Mountain Bike trails overlaid....what format do you need data in to make this happen?
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  • Tom Tate

    AWESOME.... I would definatley buy this for hiking trails...oohhh yea!

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  • Luke Wyse

    I'd be very interested in that.  My family spends a lot of time in national forests and parks.

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  • John Thomson

    The new layer: US Forest Service (2013) has almost every trail I have hiked on in National Forests in the last few years (Mt Shasta Area and Vail Area)  Unfortunately it stops for National Parks (i.e. Yosemite, but then the USGS maps are pretty good in the Parks)  It does not have regularly used  trails that have developed unofficially.  I plan to compare to the printed forest service maps (I understand that they should match)   It also does not have trails developed by others on other agencies' land such as the Lake Siskiyou Trail (even though the area of other agencies'  trail is shown on the forest service maps.)

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  • Carol

    I love the U.S. Forest Service 2013 layer! Great detail, I use it almost exclusively when on Nat'l Forest land in place of CalTopo. Very rarely I've found where they've left out an old historic cemetery, perhaps to discourage vandalism, whereas CalTopo might show it. But I've not seen this often. Maybe at some point the Nat'l Parks will offer something similar we can load as a layer on BCNav. LIke the very detailed "Jeep road" map visitors can get from the rangers at Death Valley Nat'l Park. It has off-road trail details that are not on the regular park map at all. They don't keep them on the front desk, you have to ask for it.

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  • Andy Dungan

    I use the paper form of the Forest Service maps probably more than any other map (although computers are replacing the paper) and have for almost 50 years. To make these available using your software I would gladly pay. Thanks to Doug Johnson for the link to the FS maps available digitally. These will work really well with my desktop software (which again brings us to the need for a desktop version of BCN, wouldn't that be cool).

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  • M Elwess
    Trail map does not cover Capitol Forest in WA State. Was surprised after purchase that one of the Nations largest trail systems and camp grounds are missing.
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  • Ian Wickson
    So far, I have used BC Nav Pro version with no premium add ons... but I would definately pay a fee for this feature!! One concern: who would generate the trail database, and which sources would be used?? Many NFS Ranger Districts don't offer an official map of their system trails. For example, here in Sedona AZ, they recommend purchasing "Sedona Core Trails" by Beartooth Publishing. This company works closely with FS to determine appropriate trails to include, and which ones (such as social trails or ones that were constructed by individuals with no FS authorization) are not part of the official system and should be excluded. In other words, this is a case where the best database resides in private hands, not the land management agency.
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  • Yeti

    I use Backcountry Navigator all the time. It has saved me on several occasions when my Garmin maps did not have the trails I was looking for but BCN maps did. I would use it as my primary GPS if it weren't for battery issues. I tracked a new hike we are calling the Idaho Boundary Trail around the border of Idaho (2400+ miles) & I tracked every foot of it so the GPS had to be on all the time. Can't do that yet with smartphones even though I carry 2 extended batteries. However, BCN is way better at scrolling & finding an alternate route when the road/trail is no longer there even though maps say it is. So having current Forest Service trail info would be VERY nice & I would happily pay for it! Sign me up! I also would be happy to supply all trail data that I have as I track every trail I hike. I have the Pacific Northwest Trail, CDT, PCT, & lots of Montana hikes where I live. I know you already supply Half Miles tracks for the PCT. I've hiked that twice as well as the aforementioned hikes.

    Yeti

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  • Bill Lloyd

    By adding the Forest Service 2013 Maps you are 99% there . All that remains is enabling the Forest Service Maps to be a LAYER with the color white set as transparent, and viola, you have Trail Map Overlays. 

    I did this (overlayed the Forest Service Maps on aerials) for my own trips via Photoshop and it worked fantastic, but the app could do the overlay for you so you don't have to use a custom map like I did.

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  • Carol

    This summer as I travel the forest I notice more and more forest roads of long standing are being marked as "closed". Other signs say we should be going by the USFS "official" travel map to be sure the roads we're using are open. I see they offer later maps than the 2013 (which I use all the time) on their website. One must download and install a separate app to use them, and as I recall I tried that and it wasn't nearly as good as BCNav. But my question is--if the map data is available from USFS, is there a way to offer these more current forest maps as a map option in BCNav? For now my excuse if I'm on the "wrong" road is that I can show them I'm going by their own 2013 USFS map, on which all these roads are numbered and shown as available for use.

    Carol

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  • Bill Lloyd

    You are 99% there on this feature working already.  Just Make the Forest Service 2013 maps available as a LAYER with the color white set to transparent, and they trails could be overlayed on any existing map!

    I did this manually on my backpacking maps and loaded them in as prebuilt maps, and it is perfect!  

    Specifically on my prebuilt maps, I like overlaying the Forest Service Trails on scale 18 Google Maps Satellite aerial the best.  Also, The Bing maps hybrid already has a forest service trail overlay on top of aerials which is nice, but the aerials are not as good as Google Maps.  

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  • Carol

    My thought is that a later USFS map would accurately show which roads are "closed", as it seems to be a constantly changing situation.

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