Our friends at the United States Geological Survey have released new US Topographical maps for New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island that include the Appalachian Trail, the New England National Scenic Trail and other substantial updates.
The USGS distributed a press release on July 30, 2015 with details.
Several of the new US Topo quadrangles for New Hampshire and Vermont now display parts of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) and other selected public trails. Also, parts of the new maps for Connecticut and Massachusetts feature segments of the New England National Scenic Trail as well as sections of the A.T.
If Google could translate "government speak" this would be easier to understand. "Further, all of these revised New England maps, to include new US Topo maps for Rhode Island, highlight significant additions to the new quads such as map symbol redesign, enhanced railroad information and new road source data."
"US Topo maps are the 'gold standard' for mapped information," said Fred Dieffenbach, who coordinates environmental monitoring along the A.T. for the National Park Service, "And the inclusion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in this latest update illustrates the significance of this prized resource to the American public."
Visitors will find the new trail features on the US Topo maps useful for biking, hiking, horseback or wandering about national scenic trails (NST).
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). The Trail 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 National Park Service has committed significant resources to understanding the environmental health of the lands and resources that characterize the Appalachian Trail along its entire length," Dieffenbach continued. "It is extremely gratifying to know that its inclusion in the most recent update was a high priority, and clearly validates the efforts of all the people involved with the management of the A.T."
The New England NST covers 215 miles from Long Island Sound across long ridges to scenic mountain summits in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The trail offers panoramic vistas and close-ups of New England's natural and cultural landscape: trap rock ridges, historic village centers, farmlands, unfragmented forests, quiet streams, steep river valleys and waterfalls
The USGS partnered with the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and other organizations to incorporate the trail data onto the updated New England US Topo maps. These two NST's join the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail the North Country National Scenic Trail, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, and the Arizona 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.
These new maps replace the first edition US Topo maps for these eastern states and are available for free download from The National Map, the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website , or several other USGS applications.
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.
The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.
Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Conservation, usgs national scenic trail maps, and usgs appalachian trail maps
The A.T. Guide by David "Awol" Miller is all you you'll need to hike the Appalachian Trail from one end to the other -- with stops anywhere in between.
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