Maine Guide Tip

Every week, I'll offer some wood wisdom gleaned from Registered Maine Guides I've known.

How To Read a Topo Map

Topographical maps — whether downloaded from the Web or the old-style ones printed by the United States Geological Survey — work on the principle of color coding:

Brown — Indicates contour lines, signifying changes in elevation.

Blue — Indicates water, including lakes, rivers, and streams.

Green — Signifies vegetated areas over six feet in elevation.

White — Signifies areas with vegetation under six feet in elevation, such as swamps and bogs.

Black — Is used for man-made features such as buildings and roads.

Red — Marks major highways, although it can also signify the boundaries of public lands.