If you have a source for good trail maps I wish you would share please. Leave a comment with what maps you use, and where you find them.
My most trustworthy map is the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #786 – Mount Rogers NRA, Jefferson Nat’l Forest, Virginia:
Coverage includes Jefferson National Forest. Towns: Wytheville, Galax, Marion, Damascus, Abingdon. Wilderness Areas: Lewis Fork, Little Dry Run, Little Wildon Creek. Major Trails: Appalachian National Scenic Trail, VA Creeper Trail, VA Highlands and Iron Mountain Horse Trails. Other Highlights: Grayson Highlands, Hungry Mother, and New River Trail State Parks. Includes UTM tick marks for use with your GPS unit and a trail mileage matrix.
Available here at National Geographic Maps.
Mine is several years old, but still great. I wouldn’t want a new one; I’d have to draw in all my notes and stuff! I got mine at a tack shop at a CTR probably about 10 years ago.
If you plan to ride in the Mount Rogers area, are not already familiar with the trails, and you like to know what to expect, I highly recommend Johnny Molloy’s book:
Available here: Mount Rogers Outdoor Recreation Handbook: A Complete Guide for Hikers, Campers, Equestrians and Other Outdoor Enthusiast
It’s a paragraph-form guide of lots of the trails. It has good estimates of times and distances, as well as trail conditions and difficulty.
I like to record my rides, when I can, with a GPS device. I use my phone. I still like to ‘draw’ them on my real paper map, and make any important notes. The best is being able to download the GPS recording of the ride and then ‘apply’ it to an online map. Google Earth is awesome for that, and it’s FREE.