Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Then and Now: Maps and Shifting Borders

Then and Now: Maps and Shifting Borders

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Mar 31, 2016 04:40 PM |
Filed under:

Despite remaining fairly static, park borders and trails do sometimes change, impacting the effectiveness of your maps.

If you carry the 10 essentials, then you probably have a compass and map in your backpack. They're important tools for navigating both in the front and backcountry, and can be used to find your location as well as keep you from getting lost.

What you may not think about every time you unfold your map is that the borders and trails you see on it can change over time. As new trails are built (or lost), maps are updated to reflect their addition, and park borders are sometimes expanded to accommodate the new paths. If a land agency adjusts its borders, that too is reflected on updated maps.

For example, Squak Mountain saw an addition to its west side in 2014 when King County purchased additional land with the intention of creating a forest preserve. With that land purchase, the Squak Mountain borders were changed and a new trail, Margaret's Way, was constructed.

Then: Before the buy

Prior to the King County land purchase, the Squak Mountain borders were smaller, and didn't reflect the new facilities and trailhead access on the west side of the mountain.

Map Gif
Base map by National Geographic. Map showing Margaret's Way Trail by King County Parks.

Now: Margaret's Way is born

After the land purchase, Margaret's Way, a 5.5 mile roundtrip trail was built by WTA volunteers, linking in to existing trails on Squak Mountain. The addition of the land and new trail are reflected on current maps for the area.

The addition of a new trail is something to celebrate, but also note. Borders shift, trails are built, and the land evolves. As more hikers in Washington work to protect trails and public lands, borders will continue to change. Who knows what a map of the same area will look like in 50 years?


Read more about our history and anniversary at