Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Rails to Trails maps

Garmin-Rails-to-TrailsGarmin has partnered with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) to offer six regional mapping packages at $9.99 a pop. You can preview coverage at RTC’s TrailLink site (which offers free .gpx downloads, BTW!). Here are links to the Garmin maps:


Via  Jake’s Journal

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. I downloaded the NE Rail to Trail maps. The download went fine but when I tried to have a look at them on my 62s, the GPS balked at loading maps… and stayed there till I turned it off. It was not bricked, but would not pass that stage even in subsequent restart. It would not go into Mass Storage either. I ended up by taking the batteries out and taking the uSD card out as well. Now my 62s started working again. I have not tried to reproduce the glitch, why mess with something that works fine now, but be aware it can happen and my fix above is quite faster than a call to Garmin’s customer service.

  2. Downloaded Rails to Trails NE on Friday. The download occured, but the result appears to be the DEATH of my Plug & play City Nav street map SD card in my Vista HCx. Now, all I have is my $9.99 download and a really crappy basemap.

    Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad…..

    Have a one week hunting trip scheduled for Thursday, and my unit is on the fritz.

    Not happy at all. Tried calling Garmin on Friday, but they were closed. Left them an e-mail, and ordered a new Oregon 450 through GPS city. Maybe I should have picked up the 62S or Delorme PN-60? Dunno.. Just need a working replacement FAST!!!


  3. Oregon 450 the right call? Hard to complain about the price $229, but over time, considering the quality of maps via Garmin vs. Delorme, was this the right call? Can get PN-60 for $279. Don’t want to spend an eternity figuring out the software, but high resolution and high quality (current) maps is paramount.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t be in this spot if Rails to Trails worked as advertised.

    • I think so. I wouldn’t switch brands with a trip coming up. Custom maps and advanced track navigation are very nice features not found on the DeLorme. Now if you were willing to go $370 for the PN-60w + SPOT, it might be different. Think you probably made the right call though.

  4. Nope, I did not download it to the City Nav card. I “hope” to hear from Garmin tomorrow.

    I would be willing to fork the bling for the PN-60W + Spot. From the reviews, however, I wasn’t sure if it was worth the extra cash.

    What are your thoughts on this? Need high resolution in wilderness areas in lieu of old google earth maps.

    If the PN-60w is that much better of a unit, yes, I would pull the trigger. The PN-60w was the only Delorme I was considering. Thought about Lowrance as well.

    This being said, I would not be using the unit to geocache with my buddies, but purely from a utility standpoint.

    Thoughts? Is it worth the extra cash (irrespective of the Spot capability)? If yes, I will make the purchase. Was only able to fire up (and that was a minimal fire up) the PN-40 at Bass Pro. Did not have access to view maps / features, etc.

    • Any idea how the card got corrupted then?

      Without SPOT, and without considering software, interface, screen size, etc., here is what I think re: imagery…

      – Aerial imagery – they use the same provider; neither has a leg up
      – USGS (raster image) topos – easier to add these with the DeLorme
      – Custom maps – Delorme has an option for this, but its pricey. Free on Garmin.

      If it were me, I’d go with Garmin for the bigger screen and the track navigation functions ( That is, unless I wanted / needed the SPOT capabilities.

  5. Almost related to rail trails–I want to download Wisconsin cross country ski trails to my eTrex Legend C but have no clue how to do this. The GPS has the topos but they don’t show trails. has maps but I don’t know how to get them onto the GPS. Sure will appreciate any help. Thanks Camille

  6. Hey, Rich (or anyone else):

    I downloaded this Rails-to-Trails product from Garmin. Luckily, I didn’t have any of the problems noted by others on my Oregon 450. However, it seems that this map set is only available on the device itself. I can’t seem to pull it up to MapSource or BaseCamp. For advance planning of routes, this is an essential feature, as far as I’m concerned. The screen on the Oregon 450 (or any device, for that matter) is way too small to work out the details of a route (in my opinion). Thoughts? Help?

  7. Mark Watkins says:

    Also downloaded the Rails Trails maps to my data card, but after that my Oregon 500 wouldn’t boot up. Took off all maps except the Rails Trails map and it tried to start up, but came back with a Couldnt Validate Maps error. Not happy at all.

    • Saw your Groundspeak post (assume it was you anyway). Have you tried re-downloading? Maybe it was corrupted. So far I’m not impressed with the Rails to Trails maps. Garmin won’t let you use them with BaseCamp and pulled down their GPX files after striking this deal with Garmin. Pretty much a lose – lose deal.

      I’m planning a review for later this summer but I already expect it won’t be kind!

      • Rich, I’ve used this product now for over a month (see my comment above), and I’m in total agreement. The product is useless, because it can’t be used on BaseCamp or other desktop application.

        But it’s much worse than that. Having this product installed on my Oregon 450 has, at times, interfered with the navigation function on City Navigator. I have to go into the map settings and disable the rails to trails map to allow City Navigator work properly.

        If I could figure out how to simply delete the rails to trails product from my GPS, I would do it. (I haven’t found time to sit down and figure out how to do so!)

        And, as you said, this is really a shame, because the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s website ( used to be an excellent repository for gpx files. Now that the Conservancy has pulled the gpx files, we’re left with a product that has no functionality. (And I won’t even mention the fact that the Conservancy compiled its database from volunteers that donated time and gpx files!)

        I’d gladly pay the price Garmin has set for this product if it worked as well as a gpx file. But since it doesn’t, in my opinion it’s a complete waste of money.

        Looking forward to your review!

  8. Langston Goree says:

    I also bought and downloaded Rails to Trails map from Garmin, thinking it would behave like other maps.. would be transferred to my Edge 800 and also show up in Mapsource on my desktop. My plan was to create cycling routes using Mapsource and incorporate the Rails to Trails into the route creation. I too lament that the new product is not as good as an old fashioned GPX file that I could actually use.

    Any idea how to get the Rails to Trails map to install in Mapsource?

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