(raw) 3D map of Eastern Kentucky

As we gear up for the Sheltowee Trace topographic map, I thought it would be interesting to see if a complete 3d map of the ST could be printed. Unfortunately, it would have to be a huge sheet of paper to get the detail necessary for a good map. But as an online viewer, I see potential. This sample is a raw render output and you can see well the basic physiography. Now we just need to add trails, transportation, labels, etc….nothing too much, just about 6,000 sq. mi. for the Daniel Boone NF.

3D map
Explore this map through a zoomable flash map

New Red River Gorge Map

5th Edition Red River Gorge5th Edition Red River Gorge Backpacking Map

It’s almost ready for release!
A complete remake of our popular backpacking guide with the green maps. This new set keeps all of the great features of the old maps, but in full-color and updated trails and data.

Visit our Gorge webpage to learn more: http://www.outrageGIS.com/gorge

In January we looked at the previous editions, all 2-color with an travel elevation profile booklet, and thought how we could improve it. We had used aerial photography to show landcover type, which did a good job indicating density of canopy, open areas, sunlight, and offered a rustic green background for our GPS trails.

However, most people are confused when they look at aerial photographs…they think hills are valleys and vice versa. This terrain inversion is a significant cartographic problem, but we were confident then when most people *used them in the field* they made sense.

While unique advantages exist using photographs, for the new edition we used a custom created, full-color hillshade that shows forest canopy cover type and open areas. We artificially lit the landscape from the west and eliminated terrain inversion. We added a distinct stream symbol to clearly mark drainage. With 50-foot contours and spot elevations, this new edition offers a handsome way to stay located.Gray's Arch rockshelter

Since most GPS applications are now by default in the latitude/longitude (decimal degrees) coordinate system, we added this graticule to the map. A UTM grid is also labeled. With scales on the corners of maps that can be seen while folded, a hiker can quickly determine distance and locate themselves with a GPS in either dd.dddd or UTM coordinate systems.

We still have all of the trail profiles, side trails, backcountry campsites that were in the previous edition. The new edition actually covers more area and trails.

Red River Gorge Backpacking Map: $14

3D map of Natural Bridge State Park

If you have used our Red River Gorge hiking map, you’ve noticed that trail intersections are labeled. This is to help read the elevation profiles. Another way to represent relative changes in elevation is with a 3D map. Below is a simple render of the core, historic trails in Natural Bridge State Resort Park. There’s about 7 miles of trail shown on this map, and they’re probably the most used trails in the Red River Gorge.

[Read more…]

Trail Conditions after the Ice Storm

The Red River Gorge was impacted by the January ice storm. The gravel FS roads were closed for about a week, but they are now open. All of the trails in the Red River Gorge proper have been cleared of debris, except Courthouse Rock Trail, Rough Trail over Parched Corn Creek, and the Sheltowee Trace north of Bison Way. Trails in the Clifty Wilderness has not been cleared, and since no chainsaws are allowed there, it might take time to clear.

The debris is problematic, but not a deal breaker in my opinion. Though if you are backpacking and/or have leashed dogs, a down tree on the trail is problem. I went out Swift Camp Creek east of 715 for about a mile and the trail was not that bad. As with any backcountry adventure, you’ll expect an element of danger so please use an extra measure of caution on trails in the Clifty Wilderness…and tell us how they are!


Red River Gorge Trail Conditions

Dogs in CreekRed River Gorge trails are fantastic right now. This late September season has given us clear, warm days and dry, cool nights. The waning moon is glowing through high cirrostratus that are hinting rain, but none is in the forecast.

The high pressure that has cleared our skies and dried out our humidity, is an extensive mass of subsiding air that is evaporating any encroaching low level moisture. In the late afternoon, you’ll see some isolated cumulus clouds develop, but are stunted from any vertical growth. No rain to parch your throat.

Drought is a serious concern in the following weeks. Martin’s Fork at the head of D Boone hut is following about a gallon/minute. This groundwater will eventually drain out leaving vacant streams beds in the mid and upper reaches of hollows.The advice is get on the trail now or pray for rain in October. For more info and maps on the current drought, look at our post on this topic.

Red River Gorge Climbing Areas

Rock & DogHiker Red River Gorge Sports Map
Distance: Varied mileage for approaches to climbing areas
Difficulty: ++++
Scenic Views: ++++
Elevation Relief: 800ft
Ownership: Daniel Boone National Forest, USFS, Red River Gorge Climber’s Coalition, The Muir Valley, and private lands
Google to trailhead

Red River Gorge Sports map: $7

The Red River Gorge is internationally known for rock climbing. With the expansive development of climbing areas in the Gorge, numerous guidebooks have been published to help climbers find new routes. The current definitive publication and website is RedRiverClimbing.com. An interactive map locating climbing areas pulls from redriverclimbing.com’s online guidebook and shows the myriad of publications currently available. While the basic GPS-gridded map with 50 crags, the Muir Valley, and the Southern Gorge can be purchased here.


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