New DEC webpage makes it easier to find boat launches, campsites
Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 6:33 am

If you've ever had trouble finding a DEC boat ramp or campsite, the Department of Environmental Conservation has a new web page with an interface with Google Earth that can make it a little easier.

DEC's Mapping Gateway has been expanded with information that enables the public to use Google Earth and other mapping tools to find facilities and learn more about the state lands that surround them.

DEC's Mapping Gateway combines existing web mapping applications and map collections with new offerings, such as a full-featured, interactive data inventory and map viewer. DEC continues to expand the availability of "Virtual Globe" data at to provide a variety of interactive aerial map representations using virtual globe software such as Google Earth. In addition, some data has been incorporated into Google Maps -- which does not require any software downloads -- to provide an easier way for people to obtain DEC's information.

The Mapping Gateway now includes information on 2,446 miles of recreational trails that DEC manages, including hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, horse trails, trails open to motor vehicle use by people with "Motorized Access Program for People With Disabilities" (MAPPWD) permits, mountain bike trails, and snowmobile trails.

In addition to the trail information, visitors can click on the trail and find out the location, features and regional contact information for the forest, wildlife management area, or other state land on which the trail is located.

Instructions are available on the DEC website for those needing information about how to download and use the Google Earth software.