So, I posted over on DevilsLakeWisconsin.com that the new Devil’s Lake State Park map has arrived. Cool. It’s a much better map than the ones we’ve seen the past, still, all the new information may be even more confusing for the would-be “backcountry” hiker.
The new map makes a great first stab and showing us how state park, state natural area and state recreation area land come together to form the publicly accessible land around Devil’s Lake. You can clearly see the borders of the park, along with highlighted private and public areas. It will probably be a bit more tempting for weekend visitors to use this map to go “off trail” and explore. (Adding to that false sense of security that having a cellphone can bring.) Thing is, this map certainly isn’t “navigation” accurate. On the most basic level, even the land borders are approximate. Not to mention that you get no idea as to the terrain out there. This isn’t the map you want when going out on your own.
Backcountry hikers all have their own navigation magic mix of paper maps, compasses and electronics but however they do their thing, they always start with an overview & detailed topographical map. I can talk to you more about these on our tours. The main point though, is the park has a great map but when it comes to wandering the woods, don’t depend on it to get you there and back again. 🙂