How to use Masstrails.com
Want to find a map for a place? Use the first search box on any page, and if there's a map for it, it'll show up in the search results, along with the town(s) where it is. But, be aware that:
- There are lots of repeat place names (Mill Pond, Rocky Woods) in different towns
- You'll also want the source links (see why below) for the place
The better way to find maps is to search for all trail maps in a town:
- Enter a town's name in the second search box on any page, or on the Every Town page.
- Look through the results; all will be at least partially in that town, although your closest/best access to a given area may be a town or two over.
- Results are in alphabetical order; maps for the same place will be next to each other in the listings.
- Note the closest 7 towns at the top of the search results. The closest places to you may be one town over; click a town name to search on that town.
- Source links usually tell you more about a place. Take a few minutes to learn about what you can/can't do there: For example, some places don't allow some activities, and will generally make it clear on their sites; finding out beforehand can save you some time.
- If there's more than one map for a given place, look at both/all of them; one map may be better for what you like to do than another.
How to use the maps
Ideally, print them out and take them with you. Yes, you can use the site in the field on your phone, but:
- Many of the maps are large PDFs, which can be hard to download and may not display all that well
- Many have detail that can be hard to read unless you zoom in quite a bit, in which case you can lose perspective on relative distances.
- While these maps can be viewed on a phone, in nearly all cases your phone won't place you on the map (unlike with a GPS system).
- Cell phones lose their signal even a short way into the woods, and the battery can and will die.
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- Orientation: Nearly all of the maps here have "North" pointing up; some don't.
- Accuracy: While most maps are fairly accurate and current, some are not.
- Completeness: Maps won't necessarily show you that a trail continues off the edge of an area's boundaries; don't assume that if you're still on a trail that you're still on the map.
Contact us if you know of a map that we should include, encounter a broken link (or any other technical issue), have a question, would like to sponsor the site, etc. etc.
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