Here's some exciting news for Arizona's hikers and mountain bikers: The newest topographic maps released by the U.S. Geological Survey include mountain-bike trails and segments of the 817-mile Arizona Trail.
The maps, which are available to download for free, also now include data from the Public Land Survey System, a way of subdividing and describing land in the U.S.
The maps use mountain-bike data from a partnership with the International Mountain Biking Association and the MTB Project. The U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Trail Association helped incorporate the Arizona Trail into the maps.
“For more than 20 years the Arizona Trail Association’s members have been creating, maintaining, and mapping the Arizona National Scenic Trail,” said Aaron Seifert, GIS Director for the Arizona Trail Association. “Since the trail was designated as a National Scenic Trail in 2009 and completed in 2011, it is very exciting to display the entire trail on the new set of US Topo maps for many more to discover the diverse landscape of Arizona from this amazing trail.”
Arizona state cartographer Curtis Pulford said in a USGS statement that the maps "are one of the best ways I know to visualize the terrain one is planning to examine."
USGS maps are an invaluable resource if you're heading out into the wilderness for a hike or mountain-bike ride. To download maps, visit the USGS' download site.
(Photo: A section of one of the new maps. | Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)