Trail Map Printing: A Quick Overview of Custom-Printed Trail Maps

Trail Maps provide a visual representation of the geographical features within a specific area to help users successfully navigate trails, paths and other off-road routes.

Most trail maps are created for recreational purposes. As such, trail maps are often provided by park departments, visitor centers, tour operators, nature preserves, resorts, lodges, and other venues that have trails to explore.

Depending on its purpose, a trail map can be created with a very simple design or it can be incredibly detailed. In addition, almost all trail maps benefit from being printed in full color. Full-color printing not only adds visual appeal, it also helps to clearly differentiate the various features on the map.

Trail Maps are printed for a wide variety of outdoor activities, including…

  • Hiking and Backpacking
  • Walking, Jogging, Running
  • Horseback Riding
  • Cycling, In-line Skating
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Cross-Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling
  • Off Road 4×4, ATV, Dirt Biking
  • Water Trails for Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting
  • Nature Strolls, Bird Watching
  • Exploring Parks, Campgrounds, Recreational Complexes
  • Touring Wildlife Sanctuaries, Botanical Gardens, Arboretums

Choosing a Paper Stock…

When selecting a paper stock for your trail map project, there are two practical choices…traditional paper or synthetic paper. Traditional paper is more economical and will be suitable for the majority of trail map projects…but it does not hold up as well under extremely rugged or damp conditions. On the other hand, synthetic paper (such as Yupo) is tear resistant and completely waterproof…but it is more expensive. Which paper to choose will largely depend on your budget and the environmental conditions in which the map will be used.

Choosing a Size…

Maps are usually created as oversized documents. However, your best value will be attained by not going too large. For example, producing a trail map on a sheet-fed offset press will be much more economical than producing a map on a wide-format press. Before finalizing the size of your artwork, you can often save money by checking with your printer to see which map sizes they can print (and fold) in the most cost-effective manner.

PRINTING TIP: Looking to optimize your cost savings? Your best overall value will be attained on maps 20” x 27” or smaller. Your second best value will be attained on maps ranging in size from 20” x 27”+ to 27” x 36”.

Formax can print your one-sided or two-sided trail maps on traditional paper or synthetic paper (250 piece minimum). We can also fold your map down to a compact and easy-to-handle size. Give us a call at 866-367-6221 to discuss the various options available for your specific map project. Or, if you already know your specs and would like a quote, click here to access our easy quote form. We look forward to assisting you!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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