I started using the Garmin Trailhead Series Appalachian Trail map soon after it came out last year, so it’s high time I posted a review. It includes a routable, 1:24,000 scale topo map of the entire AT, complete with a searchable points of interest (POI) database.
POIs include shelters (as seen above) and helpful geographic features such as springs and mountains. Since it is routable, you’ll get actual trail distance in the distance to next and distance to destination fields, rather than “as the crow flies” mileage to a destination.
The Trailhead series is available on a microSD card or as a download. In the case of the latter, it is locked to a single device. If you connect a device with a Trailhead Series map to your computer, the map is available in Garmin’s free BaseCamp program for trip planning.
The map coverage extends 10 miles to each side of the trail, and uses a digital elevation model (DEM) for shaded relief and 3-D views.
Trail placement was very accurate in tests along several sections of the AT; I never saw an error of more than 60 feet.
The screenshots above and at left were taken using a Garmin GPSMAP 62s. The ones below are from a Garmin Oregon 450. The image sizes reflect resolution differences more than they do screen size. Oh, and my take on the maps? Highly recommended. I doubt that many thru-hikers carry a GPS, but these maps are great for day hikers and section hikers.