Thursday, May 9, 2013

Interpretive Hiking Map of the NC Bartram Trail

The Interpretive Hiking Map of the NC Bartram Trail has been an excellent resource over the past year on numerous section hikes of the NC Bartram Trail.  It's got a beautiful design, and I highly encourage anyone interested in the Bartram Trail to get this map.
It contains essentials for the backpacker (i.e. elevation profile, campsites, water sources) and also has information to inspire and inform those interested in natural history.

Several features make this map really great:
-Easy to read and use and shows the right amount of detail.   Campsites, water sources, side trail, and roads are all clearly marked and have been accurate.

-It's easy to switch back and forth between the elevation profile and the topo map because the mileages (in both directions) are shown directly on the map. 
The map indicates campsites, water sources, trailheads, and mileages as well as interpretive information.
Elevation profiles with mileages both from N to S (bottom) and S to N (top).
-Written driving directions to all the trailheads are given, which facilitates section hiking.

-Natural history information is tagged on the map, and side bars have blurbs about the flora and fauna and excepts from Bartram's Travels.  This provides a deeper appreciation for the history and wonderful areas this trail passes though. 
Numbered tags let you find and read about the plants that Bartram discovered on his travels.
Historical excepts allow " the hiker moving forward in space to simultaneously journey back in time"
My only criticism is that the paper is not waterproof or durable.  I keep it in a plastic ziplock, but mine is already torn along the folds and has a few holes.  My friend JJ suggested scanning it, printing it, and waterproofing the paper.  But I figure for $12 I can easily replace it when it gets much worse. 

Another caveat is that the some of the campsites indicated on the maps are not always suitable for hammock hangers, so a few times I had to hike additional miles to find trees.  This probably would have been less of an issue during winter, and of course isn't really a problem with the map, just something to be aware of for fellow hangers.

Overall: this is a lovely map and only wish more trails had maps this informative and well-designed.

Disclosure: I purchased this map with my own funds.  The opinions in this review are my own.


  1. I agree with your assessment of the map and it’s downfall of not being waterproof.

  2. Thanks, JJ. Sure wish they'd made it waterproof-- I've read somewhere that this area around the Bartram Trail is the wettest part of the east coast.