Forest Road maps for pretty much anywhere

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by MisterE, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. MisterE

    MisterE Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I do apologize if this is redundant or has been posted elsewhere. I did look but my search-fu isn't strong. A while back, a friend and I rode around the Harmon's den area of North Carolina for a couple days. We traveled as many fire roads and dirt/gravel as we could. The rougher and more remote - the better. Afterwards, we started looking for a good resource to dig up more roads and more importantly - RELIABLE information. It's crazy how inaccurate most of the generally available maps are, and GPS also. A comprehensive map of fire and forest service roads and trails seems to not exist, and checking the gps available to me shows a lot of gaps in mapping also. So eventually I landed on this site below, the "interactive visitor map."

    https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/

    Which (seems to for now) be the best map I've found for finding those roads, which ones are actually closed at the moment, and so forth. Hopefully soon, I'll get back out there and hit some more of those roads since they are only a couple hours from home. And taking along a gps track app to record where I'm going, and then figure out how to convert that for gravelmap.com and some of the other route sites. A lot of the places we rode to that had gates up were unmarked as to what they even are, let alone road or trail numbers. But the map on the link is layed out really well. When prompted, i selected "highway vehicle" as the filter type.

    Hope this helps yall, I'd love to get some hard copies printed for the next ride.

    EDIT - And one more thing, lots of these roads get found and abused by some real assholes. Not going all trash nazi, but where we camped, we managed to fill half a trash bag with other people's laziness. It'd be great to take a small bag on roads like these, and just pick up wherever you stop. nothing major, just the minor things go a long ways
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  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Dec 18, 2007
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    Minnesota
    Thanks for the link. It looks pretty useful. At first glance the map I looked at seemed to be a fancier version of the MVUM. But still nice to have one that is scrollable online.

    It would really be nice if all the information that used to be (still is?) in the paper user maps for sale could be incorporated into this one.

    Edit.

    After playing around with this site some more I discovered a really useful feature. I found that if I selected motorcycle as my mode of travel and then looked at the maps, the maps contain a icon for each road that tells you the surface of the road and general level of difficulty of the road. Hope I remember to consult this for my future trips.
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  3. MisterE

    MisterE Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I like the Topographic overlays too. Thats useful to me from backpacking days, and seeing how the terrain is in the areas. Generally speaking, the steeper the better, and the better views at the top.
    #3
  4. climberevan

    climberevan planning the next journey

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    Location:
    Carson Valley, NV
    I checked it out. It appears to have potential, but is definitely incomplete. For example, zooming in on the Downieville, CA area results in zero trails being visible, and I know 100% of many legal moto trails there. If they can get it working well & include comprehensive data, it will be an amazing resource!
    #4
  5. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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    Jun 6, 2008
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    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Thanks I didn't know about this......

    I checked a couple of the local rds and the info looks good
    #5
  6. MisterE

    MisterE Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I know the Harmon's Den area of NC right on the TN line was the area I was last at, and this map shows way more there than any of the other maps I had at the time. I'm eager to check out brown mountain and see how well it correlates to that region next. Gravelmap.com is the other site I like to browse but it's woefully incomplete too, and ppl map routes that are outright wrong on there.
    #6