Release of the Great Smoky Mountains Trail Atlas

On July 4th we released a trail lover’s and backpacker’s atlas for a wild & historic national treasure, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our trail atlas was designed for the modern trail user equipped with a GPS, but we focus our cartography on showing the rugged, historical, and ecological character of the park. These maps are beautiful, easy to read, and provide a pleasure as you wander over the pages and discover a new Smokies.

MapWe believe if hikers have detailed information quickly accessible in the backcountry, they are less likely to make mistakes, get lost, and otherwise have a miserable trip. These maps offer features not found in other publications to help the trail user make good decisions. First, we’ve put detailed lat-long and military location grids on the maps. These grids offer the quickest way to locate a position from the gazetteer or from reading your GPS unit. Users of GPS will appreciate our page design so that readings can be transposed to the map without having to constantly refold it. Simple is best. Another important feature we added are spot elevations for trail intersections and other landmarks. Instead of having to count contour lines, now each important feature has its own elevation reading. For true GPS enthusiasts, the companion waypoint and trail data pack has all features found on map as GPX uploads.

With these features we are confident that our atlas is the most comprehensive navigation aid you can take into the backcountry. Before you trek into the backcountry or while you sip your morning camp coffee before your big day hike, our 3D and historic maps give a deeper understanding of the park’s geography. Our gazetteer will locate any trail, trailhead, and campsite in the park. The expanded gazetteer found in the data pack download, locates all place names in the park with their elevations.

Not only did we design the atlas, we published it on our own press. We print in full color, but we treat CMYK inks as spot colors too, and our goal is to maximize the map’s clarity and readability. Our elevation hillshades are designed with minimal amounts of black ink; that helps separate background and foreground. All of maps are custom created from raw GIS & GPS data and we spend many caring hours designing the best maps for trail lovers.

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