One of the things you should not be without on your hike is a good map. Maps let you orient yourself to the terrain before heading out, and can help you stay on the path once you hit the trails. HikeWNC.info provides a variety of maps that can be viewed, downloaded, printed, or purchased before your hike. Choose a type of map below to get started.
Start with a Western North Carolina Area Overview Map, showing the locations of major trailheads in the region.
This is the index of interactive, GPS maps available on this site. Each map is based on Google Maps, providing its familiar interface and features, and has downloads for GPS data so you can put it on your device and take it wit you on your next trip. Provides roads, shaded relief, high-resolution aerial, and topo map layers.
Third Party Maps
Pisgah Map Company has released an exciting new series of maps under the title "Western North Carolina Trail Guide". Right now, there are two maps in the series: South Pisgah Ranger District and DuPont State Forest. The award-winning South Pisgah Ranger District map is a worthy competitor to the more established Trails Illustrated maps (such as #780 for the Pisgah Ranger District). It won first place in the Single Map Product - Large Format - Press Copy category at ESRI's International User Conference - a testament to the greatness of this map. (ESRI is the international leader of digital mapping and GIS software).
Compared to the Trails Illustrated maps, Pisgah Map Company's maps have more detail, more accuracy, are more up-to-date, and have some great extra guide information as well.
Read our review of the Pisgah map on the blog, and be sure to pick up a copy before your next hike in Pisgah or DuPont State Recreational Forest. These are highly recommended!
National Geographic's "Trails Illustrated" series of maps, covering much of Western North Carolina's best hiking areas, represents one of the best options hikers have for a printed recreational map. Find information on these waterproof, detailed topographic maps as well as links to purchase them online.
This page contains information on the topographic maps published by the US Government, how they are used on this site, and how you can obtain them online for free and in paper form as well. The USGS is publishing a new, digital quadrangle map format called US Topo as well - and these are downloadable PDF files.
Friends of DuPont Forest publishes a good Recreation Guide map of all of Dupont State Recreational Forest. Profits from map sales are used to support conservation, education, and recreational activities in DuPont State Recreational Forest. The large, folded 17" x 22" maps are printed on waterproof PolyArt synthetic stock. They feature shaded relief, marked major water crossings, a trail rating system with distances, driving directions from regional cities, and a summary and directions to major attractions.
Map of the Panthertown Valley
Slickrock Expeditions publishes an excellent, large-scale trail map of the Panthertown Valley area. You can purchase a map from their web site for $12.
Most of these printed maps can be picked up on your way to the trails by stopping by one of WNC's fine outdoor outfitters!