So many of us are already quite familiar with the Vermont AOT Town Highway maps, and perhaps even the county maps (scroll down to "County-Town Map Series") that they've been publishing in the past couple of years. To make matters more interesting, the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) publishes a lot of Vermont-related GIS data, including the shapefile containing all the road centerline data that AOT uses to create the Town Highway Maps. What does this mean? Two things, primarily: It's not terribly difficult to create a Garmin-formatted vector map that clearly shows all of the less-than-class-three roads. This is helpful if you're looking for fun places to play; it's also helpful to glance at a GPS and realize that no, you probably don't want to take your K bike up that road (then again, you might). It's also possible to include the private roads and discontinued roads from the AOT data, which helps clarify the status of some roads so you can more readily identify class-four roads and legal trails versus private roads (and/or know when to be very polite and apologetic if caught, if your'e one of those types). To save you the trouble, I've created such a map file; you can download the Garmin map file here (drop that in the \GARMIN folder on either your mini-SD card or directly on your device); you can also grab the GMAP-formatted map if you want to install it into Basecamp.
Note: the 2014 data is down a few posts. Two caveats: this is not a routable map. Creating a routable map is significantly trickier, while creating a vector overlay like this is relatively easy (see below for full details). Also, the data is what it is—there are definitely errors. If someone claims that you're on their private property despite the GPS file indicating a public right-of-way, they may actually be right, and the AOT data may be wrong. If you're willing to geek out on the mapping stuff a bit, you can use QGIS to do some of your route planning. You could use ArcGIS, too, if you happen to have that handy, but then you probably know more about this stuff than I do. Why QGIS? It's free, there is reasonable documentation for it...and you can import all sorts of data layers to help in your planning. If you want to get started and figure out the details later, get QGIS installed, create a new project, set the project CRS to WGS84 (EPSG 3857), then grab the TransRoad_RDS layer from VCGI and add it as a vector layer. You'll now have a bunch of monocolor lines for all Vermont roads, which isn't really all that helpful. Grab this exported style and apply it to the Trans_Roads_RDS layer; you should get a relatively reasonable map, with paved and gravel roadways identified in grey (double lines for paved, single for gravel), class four gravel roads in solid, forest green, and various qualities of class four roads in various pink dots and dashes (the more gaps in the line, the lower the quality of roadway according to the AOT data). Install the OpenLayers plugin from the Plugins -> Manage plugins menu, then go back to the plugins layer and add a Google Satellite layer. Make sure the roads are drawn on top of the satellite layer, and you should be able to do a bit more research about what might go. For a visual of what the map looks like in QGIS with my style file applied, check out these (large) PDFs: Northern Vermont Mid-Vermont Southern Vermont