Summer is here and America’s national parks are brimming with visitors. If you’re currently one of them or plan to be soon, you’ll want to be aware of this awesome new resource.
Matt Holly is a lifelong national park enthusiast and current NPS employee who resides in Colorado. During the 2013 government shutdown he found himself temporarily unemployed and decided to put his unexpected free time to good use by cataloging a bunch of NPS maps online.
Despite his initial lack of knowledge about website development Holly managed to pull off the feat, and the end result is amazing.
If you’ve ever been to a national park you probably know the drill. You arrive at the entrance booth, hand the ranger your money, and receive a brochure-like map that highlights hikes and other must-visit sites along the park’s main thoroughfares.
Now, thanks to Holly, you no longer have to wait for the entrance gate experience to start mapping out your next NPS adventure.
His site also helps those who may have misplaced a map during a previous national park experience and want to reclaim the souvenir.
“Receiving that map means I am now in a crown jewel; I am experiencing the best of what America has to offer and what this nation most values,” Holly told National Parks Traveler. “There’s a sense of pride and ownership that goes with the map the ranger hands over.”Holly, who discovered his affinity for maps and national parks during childhood trips to Yellowstone, has currently digitized NPS maps of all 59 national parks—and several other NPS units—along with Google-based interactive maps of each.
Check out his site here.