Canoeing Maps

There are several companies that produce maps for the areas covered by Paddle Planner. The choice of which to use is generally up to personal preference. The maps have different scales, colors, materials, and coverage areas.

Fisher Maps

Company Website
Areas Covered: Boundary Waters, Quetico, Voyageurs National Park, and a few other northern Minnesota lakes

Fisher has a few map "series" - the F-Series maps are the ones that are used to paddle in the BWCA and Quetico. They are characteristically yellow and blue. The scale of the maps is 1.5 inches to the mile (1:42,240).

 

Voyageur Maps

Company Website
Areas Covered: Boundary Waters

The scale of the Voyageur maps is the same as the Fisher maps (1.5 inches to the mile), but the maps are much larger, so the entire Boundary Waters fits on 10 maps. Voyageur maps are popular with anglers because the maps contain fishing information. Voyageur maps have lake depth contours for pretty much all lakes that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has surveyed. Voyageur also prints on each map a listing of the relative abundance and size of fish species found in the lakes on the map covered. In addition, the maps also have historical, geological, and other information about the area, which makes for some interesting reading in camp.

You can browse the entire set of Voyageur maps on their website, a feature that is very useful.

 

True North Maps

Company Website
Areas Covered: Boundary Waters

The scale of the True North maps is the same as the Fisher and Voyageur maps (1.5 inches to the mile). What really sets True North maps apart from others is what it is printed on - cloth! As they say, the maps can be "worn, stuffed, washed, written on and used over and over again." In addition, 10% of all proceeds are donated to the "Save the Boundary Waters" organization.

 

McKenzie Maps

Company Website
Areas Covered: Boundary Waters, Quetico, Voyageurs National Park, Isle Royale, Apostle Islands, Superior National Forest/North Shore

The scale of the map is 2 inches to the mile (1:31,680), which is a larger scale (more "zoomed in") than the Fisher or Voyageur maps. Because of this, McKenzie maps generally have more detail than the other maps. However, this also means that each map covers less area, so you would need to buy more maps to cover the same area.

 

National Geographic Trails Illustrated

Company Website | Order from Amazon
Areas Covered: Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, Apostle Islands, Everglades, Yellowstone (and many, many other areas)

Trails Illustrated has maps for many areas in the United States, including the U.S. areas covered by Paddle Planner. The maps are printed on both sides, thereby saving room (for example, the entire Boundary Waters fits on two double-sided maps). The scale of the maps is generally too small to navigate with. The Boundary Waters is about .9 inches to the mile (approximately 1:70,000). Because the scale is smaller, it shows less detail than any of the other maps, and it is recommended to bring other maps to navigate. However, they are good for getting the big picture of a trip or as a backup map. They are also great to hang on a wall.

 

Chrismar Adventure Map

Company Website
Areas Covered: Algonquin, Quetico, Woodland Caribou, and many other Canadian parks and canoeing locales

The Chrismar Adventure Map is the official map of Quetico Provincial Park. It is sold at all entry stations. However, it is a much smaller scale than the other maps - approximately one half inch to the mile (1:125,000). Many people opt to carry this map and a map with a larger scale for the greater detail.

 

Jeff's Map

Company Website
Areas Covered: Algonquin and a few other Canadian parks and canoeing locales

Jeff's Maps cover many eastern Ontario parks, including Algonquin, Killarney, and Temagami. The Algonquin maps have a scale of 1:116,500. This is a much smaller scale than most other canoeing maps. However, this is generally sufficient in Algonquin because campsites and portages are signed, so they are easier to find than in other wilderness areas. The maps have not only lakes, campsites, and portages, but they also include historical and geographical tidbits. The maps also have directly printed on them distances from lake to lake and estimated paddling times.

 
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