Trail Conference Maps on Apple and Android Devices!!

**Click to see list of More Than 40 Maps Now Available on the PDF Maps app!**

Enhanced trail maps from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference are now available on Apple and Android mobile devices.  Using the PDF Maps app from Avenza, you can pinpoint your location on a map, track your route, mark waypoints and geotag photos, measure distances, and much more!  Use the links below to navigate this page for more info!

Trail Conference Maps on an iPad and iPhone

 

Use the following links to navigate to the different sections within this informational guide:

  1. Introduction: What is the PDF Maps app? 
  2. How do I get maps on my Apple device?
  3. How do I get maps on my Android device?
  4. What features are included with the PDF Maps app?
  5. What are some specific ways I might use these maps?
  6. Other Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Where can I find additional information?
  8. Which Trail Conference maps are available through the PDF Maps app?

 

Introduction: What is the PDF Maps app?

PDF Maps is an award-winning, free map app from Avenza Systems Inc., a company recognized worldwide as a leader in map development software.  The app is currently available on Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android devices.  It is a powerful geospatial PDF reader that allows you to easily download and interact with maps in new and exciting ways.  A map store within the app gives you access to thousands of maps from around the world, from outdoor recreation maps to city transit maps.  This "iTunes for maps" includes free maps as well as maps available for purchase.  The Trail Conference has become a vendor in this map store and has made most of its published trail maps available through the PDF Maps app.

Click to download the PDF Maps app from the Apple App Store!

Click to download the PDF Maps app from the Google Play Store!

How do I get maps on my Apple device?

Follow these 5 easy steps to get maps on your Apple device:

  1. Download and install the free PDF Maps app from the App Store or iTunes.
    • Click here to go to the App Store directly or search for "Avenza PDF Maps" in the Apple App Store on your mobile device.
    • PDF Maps requires iOS 4.0 or later running on an iPhone 3GS or better, 3rd generation iPod Touch or better, or any iPad.
  2. Once installed, navigate to the Map Store and search for "nynjtc" to find our selection of both free maps and maps available for purchase (the Search function is accessed by tapping the Magnifiying Glass button).
  3. Tap on a map to view a preview and description.
    • Free maps can be downloaded directly by tapping 'Free' and then 'Install Now'.
    • Maps available for purchase can be downloaded through an in-app purchase using your Apple iTunes account.  Tap the price, and then 'Buy Now' (you may be prompted for your iTunes account password).
    • Your device must be connected to the internet (wi-fi or cell signal) to download maps.
  4. The app will switch to the Maps library, and once the map is downloaded and extracted, it will appear in your Map Library.
  5. Tap on the map to open it and start using the map!

PDF Maps - Map Store  PDF Maps - Map Store     

How do I get maps on my Android device?

Follow these 5 easy steps to get trail maps on your device:

  1. Download and install the free PDF Maps app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Once installed, navigate to the Map Store and search for "nynjtc" to find our selection of both free maps and maps available for purchase (the Search function appears after tapping the Magnifying Glass labeled 'Find Maps Around Me'; clear the coordinates in the search field and enter 'nynjtc').
  3. Tap on a map to view a preview and description.
    • Free maps can be downloaded directly by tapping 'Install'.
    • Maps available for purchase can be downloaded through an in-app purchase using your Google Play account.  Tap the price, and then 'Buy Now' (you may be prompted for your Google Play account password).
    • Your device must be connected to the internet (wi-fi or cell signal) to download maps.
  4. The app will switch to the Maps library, and once the map is downloaded and extracted, it will appear in your Map Library.
  5. Tap on the map to open it and start using the map!

PDF Maps - Map Store


       

What features are included with the PDF Maps app?

The PDF Maps app includes a number of interactive features that allow you to use our Trail Conference trail maps like never before.  Each map is a geospatial PDF, or a PDF that contains geospatial information such as real world location.  This geospatial information makes it possible to locate specific points and measure distances right on the map.  Here are some of the major features of the app (note that some features require a GPS-enabled device and/or an internet connection):

  • Use simple multi-touch gestures to pan around maps, zoom in/out, add waypoints and more.
  • Use your device's built-in GPS (iPhone, certain iPad models, and many Android devices) to see your real-time location on the map.

PDF Maps Tools - PlacemarksAdd waypoints at your current location and even import or export waypoints.


  • Track your movements in real time, check speed and elevation statistics, and even export and import tracks as KML files (currently Apple iOS only).
  • Find locations by entering coordinates in a variety of popular coordinate systems.
  • Attach photos to a waypoint.

PDF Maps Tools - MeasureMeasure distances and areas easily and accurately.


  • Navigate with a built-in compass that orients the map based on direction.
  • Access thousands of maps, including USGS topo maps and a growing catalog of Trail Conference maps, directly within the app using the Map Store.
  • Use your maps off-line in areas without any mobile coverage, since the maps download to your device's memory.

PDF Maps Tools - Imagery ComparisonPDF Maps Tools - Imagery Comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View the current map area in the Maps app (streets and satellite imagery) on your device.


  • Search for points of interest on a map, based on search engine results.

PDF Maps Tools - Enlarged MapEnlarge maps using high-resolution mobile device displays.


  • Carry all your maps on one small device.

 

What are some specific ways I might use these maps?

Out on the trails, there are many ways you can use the PDF Maps app to enhance your experience.  One hiker noted that he found these maps "to be a fun addition to my hiking arsenal, and one that adds no extra weight, for once!" (read his in-depth review of these maps by clicking here).  Many have told us how they referred to the maps to get them back on course after missing a turn.  Here are just a few examples of how to use this app:

  • Plan your route with the 'Measure' tool to make sure you know how long your route will be.
  • Use the 'Compass' tool to orient the map in the right direction so that you can safely proceed on your intended route.
  • Track your trip using the new 'Record GPS Tracks' tool (currently Apple iOS only).  At the end of your trip, you can view information about speed, distance, and elevation, and you can even export your track as a KML file to view in a different program or share with friends.
  • View satellite imagery of your location by using the 'Open in Maps' tool (internet connection required).  This brings up the Google Maps imagery found in the Maps app, and this additional imagery may help you navigate to a certain feature.
  • If you aren't quite sure where a parking area is located, use the map with GPS to guide you to the parking area (Caution: do not use the app while driving!  Have a passenger help navigate, or pull off the road to consult the map).  When you arrive at the parking, the GPS location symbol should match up with the parking symbol on the map.Trail Conference Maps on an iPhone
  • If you know the coordinates of a feature you want to find, you can enter the coordinates as a Placemark and see the location on the map.
  • You can view the coordinates of your current position, which can be helpful information to provide to someone that may be looking for you (especially search-and-rescue efforts).
  • Use the 'Find Places' tool to locate nearby points of interest right on the map (internet connection required).  This acts like a Google search right on the map.  Find a nearby campground or hotel accommodations, or find a great nearby restaurant after a long day's hike.
  • You can use the 'Add Placemarks' tool to record locations of features along your route.  You can record a Placemark at a regular interval to keep track of the exact route you have taken.  You can also record a Placemark at features such as a fantastic viewpoint or a waterfall so that, perhaps on a future trip, you can see where those features are located on the map.
  • You can also add photos to a Placemark so that you might later recall where a particular photo was taken.
  • If you use Google Earth or other mapping program on your computer, you can import KML files and export KML/GPX files that include Placemarks.  This allows you to import Placemarks to place on the map, or export Placemarks you recorded on your trip.  The Export function makes sharing of Placemarks easy to accomplish (internet connection required).
  • If you are out on the trail and notice a Trail Problem that the Trail Conference should be aware of, or even a problem with the map itself that should be corrected, record a Placemark and even take a picture and send the information along to us with a report of the problem.  This can be especially helpful for fallen trees so that our volunteer chainsawyers know the location and approximate size of any trees that need to be cleared.
  • If you discover other useful ways to use these maps out on the trail, please let us know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page!

 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm a TC member.  Do I get a discount on the digital maps like I do on our print maps?
    • No, we currently do not offer discounts to members on these digital maps.
  • I already bought the published print maps.  Do I get a digital copy for free or at a discount?
    • No, we currently do not offer discounts for combining print and digital maps.  These digital maps, while containing the same trails as the print maps, provide an entirely new and enhanced functionality.  Unlike the print maps, these digital maps take full advantage of tying in with GPS-enabled devices, allow distances to be measured and coordinates and locations to be pinpointed, provide an opportunity to view satellite imagery of an area, use a built-in compass to orient the map, and they can also be enlarged on high-resolution mobile device displays to scales much better than the print map.
  • Is the map an actual PDF that I can view on my computer like any other PDF?
    • No, the digital map is not a PDF that can be viewed on your computer.  The digital map is designed to work solely within the PDF Maps app.
  • Can I print out a copy of this digital map?
    • No, the app does not allow you to print the digital map.  The digital map is designed to work solely within the PDF Maps app.
  • Do I need a GPS-enabled mobile device to use this app?
    • No, you do not need a GPS-enabled mobile device to use this app (currently, both the iPod Touch and iPad Wi-Fi-only model do not have GPS; check your Android device for GPS capabilities).  However, you are not able to access much of the functionality of the app, including pinpointing your location or recording Placemarks at places you have been.  You are still able to view maps, measure distances, and find coordinates, but overall, the app is designed to work best with GPS-enabled devices.
  • Do I need an internet connection (Wi-Fi or cellular connection) to use this app?
    • Yes and no.  An internet connection is required to download the app and download maps from the Map Store.  Once a map is downloaded, however, it is stored on the device.  Therefore, the map and much of the functionality of the app is available without an internet connection (including using GPS, recording Tracks, recording Placemarks, measuring distances, and finding coordinates).  Certain tools do require an internet connection (using Google Maps satellite imagery, using search engine functions, and exporting Tracks and Placemarks), so be aware that these functions are not available without a connection.
  • Will you be offering all of your print maps as digital maps?
    • Yes, and in fact, we finished making all of our published trail maps available through the app earlier in 2013 (see list below).  We will be continuing to add more maps, including additional free maps.
  • Should I still have a printed map with me?
    • Yes!  These digital maps are not a replacement for printed maps that every trail user should have on hand.  Batteries can die, software can have issues, and weather can become problematic, so we certainly suggest you carry printed maps just in case.
  • Should I be worried about the battery of my device while using this app?
    • The battery life of your device depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of time it is actively doing something, the screen brightness, how many apps are active, etc.  For longer trips, or for trips where you have the app constantly open, you should monitor your battery life to make sure it is not depleted before the end of your trip.  You can also enhance the battery life by doing things like adjusting to a lower screen brightness, closing other background apps, and turning off extraneous things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, notifications and e-mail syncing.
  • Are you planning to provide maps in other digital formats (for instance, as PDFs that can be viewed and printed on a computer or as maps useable on dedicated GPS receivers)?
    • At the moment, we feel the PDF Maps app provides us with the best opportunity to provide our high-quality maps in an enhanced digital format.  We have spent several years investigating how to provide maps electronically, and we will continue to explore any future possibilities.
  • Is the Trail Conference going to have their own App sometime in the future?
    • We have not fully explored the creation of a Trail Conference App, but cannot say whether we may pursue such an App in the future.
  • When will this App be available on other non-iOS (Apple) platforms?
    • Avenza just released an Android version at the end of September, 2013!  Versions for other operating systems may follow depending on the resources of the developer.
  • Can I use my own maps in this App?
    • Yes, you can import your own geospatial PDF or geoTIFF maps for use in this app.  Visit Avenza's support site for more details.
  • Who should I contact if I have issues with this App?
    • You can direct any inquires about App issues to Avenza (www.avenza.com/support).  See below for specific support links.

 

Where can I find additional information?

 

Which Trail Conference maps are available through the PDF Maps app?

The Trail Conference has added more than 40 great maps to the PDF Maps map store, with more to come soon.  The selection includes both free maps as well as maps available for purchase.  Member discounts are not available on Trail Conference maps sold through the Avenza PDF Maps map store.  Also note that these are individual maps and not sets of maps like our printed maps.

You can find the maps by searching for "nynjtc" (tap the magnifying glass in the map store to search) or by looking in the Tourist, Parks, or Recreation categories.

The following map titles can be found in the PDF Maps map store (if using your mobile device with the PDF Maps app already installed, just click on the title to open the map in the app; if you do not have the app installed, the link will not work):

 

  • Appalachian Trail - Dutchess & Putnam Counties, NY
  • Appalachian Trail - Pochuck Boardwalk, NJ
  • Bear Mountain Day Hikes, NY
  • Campgaw Mountain County Reservation, NJ
  • Catskill Day Hikes - Hunter Mountain Fire Tower, NY
  • Jenny Jump State Forest, NJ
  • Rockleigh Woods Sanctuary & Lamont Reserve, NJ
  • Shawangunk Ridge Trail, NY
  • Silas Condict County Park, NJ
  • Teatown-Kitchawan Trail, NY
  • Wonder Lake State Park, NY

 

...We're continuing to add maps, so check back often for new additions!


 

Remember: Batteries die. Our printed maps are light-weight backups AND they are printed on waterproof, tear-resistant Tyvek, so be sure to visit our online store for all your print map needs!

 

Trail Conference Printed Maps

Comments

New version of pdf maps for android

I am really glad the tracking feature was added in the latest android version. I can't wait to try it. Now this is complete....

Android version tracking

We are very excited as well!  The ability to capture/upload/download tracks is great to see.  In addition, the newest Android version also allows for the geotagging of photos so that photo locations can be captured with placemarks/waypoints.

Enjoy the maps out on the trails!

 

~Jeremy, TC cartographer

Costs of electronic Trail maps

What's the cost of an electronic trail map?  Are there any proposed opportunities for bundling electronic maps, thereby offering a discount (e.g. buy four maps and get the fifth one free)?

Re: Costs of electronic Trail maps

The trail maps we currently offer through the free app range in price from Free to $5.99 per map.  Our free map offerings generally include either small parks or areas not covered by our regular Tyvek maps.  The for-sale map offerings are basically digital versions of our published Tyvek maps, and they go from $0.99 up to $5.99 based primarily on their coverage area and the amount of trails contained on the map (for instance, maps with more than 100 miles of trails are either $4.99 or $5.99).

 

We have not yet looked into creating bundles as you suggest, but that may certainly be a great incentive to offer along with other discounts such as receiving a discount on a digital version if you purchase the Tyvek version, etc.  I appreciate your inquiry and suggestion.

 

~Jeremy, TC Cartographer

Nat Geographic Maps

 

(probably not the right place for this post, please move to appropriate section.)

 

I notice that in the past couple of years, National Geographic has come out with trail maps for both the Catskills and Harriman/Sterling Forest. I was wondering what is the driving force behind this?  I would think National Geographic must have bigger fish to fry than Bear Mountain ...?

It also appears that the ADK club now packages the Nat Geo maps with their books (although they still offer their own maps for separate sale).  Is the Trail Conference considering a similar partnership with Nat Geo?

National Geographic maps

National Geographic has, indeed, in recent years, come out with maps for the Catskills, Harriman-Bear Mountain, Sterlng Forest, and Delaware Water Gap (Kittatinnies), all of which cover areas that are already covered by Trail Conference maps.  I think that the motivating force behind these maps is that they are popular hiking areas, and National Geographic wants to have maps that cover all important hiking areas in the United States.  These maps do, of course, compete with our Trail Conference maps, but we believe that our maps are vastly superior to the National Geographic maps for a number of reasons, including the size of the maps, their readability and their accuracy.  Our customers seem to agree, as sales of our maps have not been impacted in any significant way by the appearance of the National Geographic maps.

By the way, the National Geographic maps generally cover a broader area than the Trail Conference maps, as they include much adjacent private land that does not have any trails.  They make excellent road maps, and I highly recommend them for this purpose.  But if you're interested in a trail map, our Trail Conference maps are far superior.

Since we produce our own trail maps, which we believe to be superior to those produced by National Geographic, we see no reason to partner with National Geographic to package their maps with our books.

tc maps for android

i also love this app, using it on galaxy s3 but hope it gets the routing, tracking and measuring capability on android that it has on IOS. meanwhile i had bought the NJ maps 115 and 116 and they just upgraded to 2014. i tried to update but they charged me again for the same map! is this going to be true for all the maps as they upgrade we need to repurchase them? i bought them within the last 6 months...thanks susan

RE: tc maps for android

Hi Susan!

I'm glad you're getting great use of these app maps on your S3.  We are also hoping the tracking capabilities are made available on Android soon, as it is a great feature for use on the trails!

For our paid maps in the app, whenever a new edition is made available, it is treated as a new map item to be purchased.  This is the same as our printed Tyvek maps, as we charge for new editions.  With the paid map apps, it should be noted that you don't lose access to an old edition when a new edition becomes available.  For example, if you paid for the 2012 North Jersey maps and did not want to pay for the new 2014 versions, you can continue to use the 2012 maps (and do things such as download the maps on multiple devices).

I think I will add this question and response to our Frequently Asked Questions section above to provide clarification for others.  And I thank you for your support of the Trail Conference's work through your map purchases.

~Jeremy, TC Cartographer

Clarity

I am using this app with a Galaxy S3.  What I like most about this new app is the clarity of the screen image.  I have been using Backcountry Navigator Pro with GPX tracks up loaded, but these tracks were overlayed onto a USGS map and are difficult to read, except at a very large magnification, as the map is too busy.  I also like the fact that the image on the screen is an exact duplicate of the map I am carrying, so that I can quickly transition to a paper map.  I also carry a high end Garmin, which is much more accurate for track recording and Geocaching, but this is a function of the limitations of the phone GPS, not the app. On my most recent hike I used the PDF app exclusively, never even pulling the paper map out, even when showing another hiker where we were while he looked over my shoulder.  I also like the fact that when I buy these maps, I am supporting the Trail Conference.  I highly recommend this app.

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you very much for the great feedback and recommendation!  We're glad to hear people using the map app on their explorations.  The exact replica of the paper map, which can also be enlarged greatly on the screen if necessary, is one of the most helpful features users have mentioned.  I have found myself showing other hikers the map on the app rather than the paper map as well!  And we of course appreciate the support with your purchase, as these sales help the organization perform its trail work.

~Jeremy
TC cartographer

Waiting for features on Android

The idea is really a great one. I purchased 8 maps to use on my galaxy s4 for Android device. The Android software is of limited use at this point because you cannot record your track or save your points  to plan a trip. I think the release was a little premature and should have waited for basic features that would make this a good tool. You Can however see where you are at all times, measure distances in the field, as well as more easily find the trailhead.


 

Many great features in the app

The Android version of this app just came out at the end of September, and it includes a number of great features that work to enhance our trail maps.  The ability to record/import/export tracks is not yet available; this feature just became available on the 2.0 iOS version of the app, so this feature will likely come to Android as well.  You can use the app to record/import/export placemarks, so this is a useful way to plan a trip or keep track of particular points.

We realize that this app may not satisfy the desires of everyone, and we will continue to ask the app developer to work on bringing track recording to the Android app.  But even without that, the many tools and features that are currently available make this a great solution for many out on the trail.  We have heard firsthand from a number of users that one feature in particular, being able to pinpoint your location directly on the trail map, has helped them either keep from getting lost or get back onto their intended route after going slightly astray.

Thank you for your comments, and I hope you are able to use the maps on your adventures.

~Jeremy, TC cartographer

Waiting for features on Android

Hi  jeremy your cartography and paper maps are stunning and I enjoy them immensly. yes you can import and export place marks but you cannot navigate to them like you do with a gps track point. a tracking function would allow a user to follow their way back from a geocache or side trip etc. it would essentially put a backup gps in the hands of every hiker and result in alot less people being lost.  I would pay a premium for the track feature.  perhaps ultimately one day the app will be able to follow the curvature  of the trail lines to give you accurate trail distances or have nav abilities. track however is the most important thing missing.

 

 

 

 

These Maps

I'm slowly adding these to my Iphone.  I bring the paper maps with me as well.  Iphones can be a distraction on the trails, but what the hay. Love all three sets of maps I have for all the trails: the electronic version, the maps I bring with me, and the maps I hang in my house with the highlighted trails I've completed.

These are great gifts for your city-living friends.