What are some good online road maps for showing natural areas? I usually use Google Maps, but when trying to find natural areas I can visit it drives me crazy! Doesn’t show them, doesn’t label them, etc. I would like to find a Google Maps equivalent that does show me if the large green area is a wildlife management area or someone’s private property, etc. Any ideas?
Openstreetmap is generally pretty good for stuff like that, and you can always contribute to it in case you find something that’s missing.
Have you looked at the USGS data? Here’s the NYC area with closed, open, and restricted access places.
Wow, that is very useful, thanks!
Not a road map but a trail map–I recently learned about a website (and apps) called AllTrails that had a better map of trails in a local park than any other source I’d found.
Free membership is required to save and print maps (I am considering it) and there’s a paid “Pro” version beyond that. But it looks like it might help you find natural areas with public trails.
PS: If anyone else here is using AllTrails, I would love to know what you think of it.
My go-to for public lands is caltopo.com. They have a public land overlay with lots of base layers (street, USGS topo, USFS, satellite). It doesn’t have every naturally area labeled, but it makes it really easy to find public land. They also have tools to draw lines, set markers, save and print maps. I keep a hit list of places I want to visit, and places I suspect access but need to verify.
By getting out of curated tools, you don’t get an easy list of places, but you will probably find most of the popular ones, and certainly a bunch of places people have never heard of.
Also, I keep hearing a lot of good things about onX. They design for hunting access, but the same principles apply to any public access problem. They are also big access advocates, and helped produce an amazing report of the states with the most public land locked from public access. Worth exploring.
These all look great - thank you!! (And my blood pressure thanks you - won’t be going through the roof when I’m on google maps.)
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