Newly released US Topo maps for Maine now feature segments of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.). Several of the 715 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the A.T. along with other improved data layers.
“Located within a day’s drive of 2/3rds of the U.S. population and open year-around to all visitors, the Appalachian Trail is America’s most readily accessible long-distance footpath,” said Matt Robinson, National Park Service GIS Specialist for the A.T. “Having its route accurately depicted on these new US Topo maps just makes it even more accessible to all who wish to explore this great resource.”
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath that traverses more than 2,100 miles of the Appalachian mountains and valleys between Katahdin, Maine (northern terminus), and Springer Mountain, Georgia (southern terminus). It winds through scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands along this ancient mountain range. With more than 99% of the A.T.’s corridor on Federal or State land, it is the longest continuously marked, maintained, and publicly protected trail in the United States.
The USGS partnered with the National Park Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to incorporate the trail data onto the Maine US Topo maps. This NST joins the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as being featured on the new US Topo quads. The USGS hopes to eventually include all National Scenic Trails in The National Map products.
To compare change over time, scans of legacy USGS topo maps, some dating back to the late 1800s, can be downloaded from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection
To download US Topo maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/
The National Trails System was established by Act of Congress in 1968. The Act grants the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture authority over the National Trails System. The Act defines four types of trails. Two of these types, the National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails, can only be designated by Act of Congress. National scenic trails are extended trails located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, and cultural qualities of the area through which such trails may pass.
There are 11 National Scenic Trails:
§ Appalachian National Scenic Trail
§ Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
§ Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
§ North Country National Scenic Trail
§ Ice Age National Scenic Trail
§ Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
§ Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
§ Florida National Scenic Trail
§ Arizona National Scenic Trail
§ New England National Scenic Trail
§ Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail