Alan’s POTA Mapping Tip!

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shares the following tip:


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to locate maps for the national and state parks. Some of the parks have good maps on their websites, some do not. Others have maps, but they aren’t detailed enough sometimes to definitively determine if you’re within the boundary or not.

I’ve found that one of the best sources for the national, state and local park boundaries is This is a free mapping site. One missing piece is that it does not map National or State Trails very often. But, for park boundaries, it is great.

For example, this map clearly shows that most of Barnegat Light State Park (K-1609) is also within the boundaries of the NJ Pinelands Reserve (K-6609). From experience, I know that this also falls within the NJ Heritage Coastal Trail (K-6544) – thus making it a 3-fer.

At my early activations from this park, I did not know that it was part of Pinelands and thought it was only a 2-fer.

I have also used an app called “onX road” on my phone which can show owners of properties, but in order to see that, it isn’t free.

Just another tool for your toolbox.

Thank you for the tip, Alan! I have not used as a POTA tool, but I certainly will moving forward. 

I have been using the free app, Parceled, on my iPhone to discover the owners of land parcels–it works brilliantly and is free (so far).

Thanks again, Alan!

If you have a mapping tip you’d like to share, please comment!

6 thoughts on “Alan’s POTA Mapping Tip!”

  1. Open Street Maps has a great app for your phone/tablet as well. It allows you to download maps such as states, countries, etc. for offline use when out of cell range.

    OsmAnd Maps is the name of the app.

  2. Thanks for posting my tip, and for the heads up on parceled. I’ll check that out. Also note on open street maps that there are additional layers on the right, at least one of which has elevation contours to help you find the high spots in a given park/area.

  3. Thanks for the tip. There was some controversy among local POTA activators/fun operators about park boundaries. The state park maps were not exceptionally clear. OpenStreetMap cleared it up quite well.
    Thanks for the info.

  4. I use a free app called Guru Maps which can load OSM as an offline map, as well as having overlays, etc. You can then also load a gpx with SOTA/POTA points, and leave it active.

    I need to look into it more with regards to the park boundaries. I have been using it for SOTA stuff, but struggled with park boundaries. That said it may just be the parks I am looking at that are hard to define.

    Free version of Guru limits the number of gpx and map regions you can load at once. There is a permanent license which is cheap enough to be worth while (£40ukp).

  5. If you manage to come to Italy the Mountain QRP Club has a free app in the Play Store (Android only right now) were you have a map with all Italian POTA reference and their precise boundaries (and not only POTA, but also SOTA reference and lot more).

    It’s called “MQC App”:

    Ok, It won’t be really useful in the States, but who knows, maybe someone is planning a trip on this side of the pond…

    1. Simone,
      That looks interesting. I installed the app. My parents live in Assisi (where I grew up), so I am there usually once a year.

      Maybe I will find a friend who knows how to make an app for other territories.


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