The United States Geological Survey has been creating maps since 1884, and they're all available online for free.
Follow this link to an online library of historic maps of the Northeast. Find your state, click “Town Index,” then select your town name to view available maps.
This 12-minute video explains how to read contour lines and identify features like hills, cliffs, depressions, and drainages on a topo map. Jump to 9:20 for a summary.
This 3-page PDF shows all the symbols used in topo maps and what they mean, from the common (like streams) to the unusual (like cave entrances).
Animals have better senses than we do, and they can be skittish when they know a human is nearby. A well-placed trail camera can take pictures of elusive wildlife without you needing to be there.
If you have a lot of trails, you might not know where all of them are or how they connect to one another. Make a map of your trails to learn what you have and make your hikes easier.
Free aerial photos and topographic maps can reveal a lot about your property, and a simple hike can turn into a natural history lesson when you can read the woods.
Hiking is likely the most common way you’ll experience your woodlot. Learn about essential items to bring to make your hike a safe, enjoyable time.