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Forest Service Trail Maps

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62 comments

  • Ian Wickson
    I think Carol and Bill are looking at two different issues - map layering and land access. First, the access...

    The National Forest Service 2013 map, as I understand, is not meant to be the definitive travel guide for all FS lands. It is simply the agency's latest inventory of known roads and some trails that existed in the past, are in current use, or could be used in the future for some purpose, which may or may not include vehicle use. Just because a road is numbered and drawn on the map does not automatically imply that it is open or that it actually exists on the ground. I've tried to find some older numbered roads (wagon routes, perhaps?) and found not a trace. I also frequently travel "roads" that have been gated and repurposed for foot, bicycle or narrow ATV travel.

    In the southwest (presumably elsewhere as well) the FS has a mandate to create "roadless areas" that, historically, have been used by motor vehicles. To accomplish this, they have done two things; 1) implement a policy of no cross country travel for any motorized vehicle, and 2) close or repurpose roads that access these new "roadless" areas. Perhaps they should be called "vehicle-less" areas. Most of these roads are included in the FS inventory and show up on the 2013 map, even though you can't legally drive on them.

    It is the land user's responsibility to know the particular agency's travel policies. To keep us informed, FS publishes and frequently updates "Motor Vehicle Use Maps" (MVUM) which are usually avialable on-line, such as here....http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprdb5356224

    Now to the map layers.... These MVUM are available in .pdf format, or as a Windows download for Garmin devices. I'm not tech savy enough to know how to adapt either of these formats for use as a layer in BC Nav, or it it's even possible. But it would be great! I would love to be able to overlay a topo with the legal roads that really exist on the ground now. Perhaps Bill knows a way? Nathan??
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  • Lonerock44

    Our national forest is divided into districts and each district produces a map that is far more detailed than the map for the entire national forest. The district maps show contours and are more detailed and often more current than the national forest maps, especially when it comes to the roads.. These too require downloading through Avenza maps app  and I 'm not sure if there's a way to use these with bc navigator. It would be nice to find a way but I  don't have the expertise. Not all national forests produce these district maps so you would need to check with your national forest or district office.

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