Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails is a mapset of trails designed for upload to any map-enabled Garmin GPS receiver. In addition to being a mapset, it is also a community effort initiated to record and collect GPS data for the snowmobile trails in the Priest Lake area and provide that data for general public use.
My GPS usage started out in 1995 as a means to map mountain bike trails in my area. Over time I collected a large quantity of track data recording various paths and routes.
Tracks are very helpful when it comes to navigating a route, but the biggest problem with with them is that no GPS can accommodate more than a few at a time. If you are using them for snowmobiling you need to know beforehand what route you want to take and, if you are talking about even a modestly sized network of trails, you have to decide which trails to cull in order for things to fit into your receiver. That's when I started thinking about custom maps for my receiver.
With custom maps like Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails, there is no longer a need to limit the number of trails loaded on the GPS (the maps use only a portion of map memory rather than a limited number of dedicated slots like tracks do). I set out making these maps for my own use and before too long realized that a lot of other people could probably use them, too. That's why I started this web page.
Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails is made to be "transparent", which means that when loaded with other Mapsource products (or the GPSr base map) the trails appear as data laid over the top of the other maps. Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails can also be loaded directly to the GPSr on its own. Custom type definitions (colors) are used to help distinguish individual routes and make them easy to see on the GPS screen when bouncing along on a snowmobile.
The mapset currently covers all of the trails within the Priest Lake Ranger District along with the connector trails between Priest Lake and Schweitzer.