Re: digital topo maps?
Whitesock – The NFCT section maps are not available digitally. The NFCT website does contain a map tool [URL=”http://http://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/tripplanner%5D” that gives a basic overview of the trail, including links to services near the trail. Some paddlers with blogs have included screen shots from google earth showing their routes (look for Peter MacFarlane’s blog detailing his heroic cold weather solo through-paddle from 2013). Before trips I have sometimes downloaded topo sections and GIS imagery to my GPS unit.
Having said that, the waterproof paper section maps of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail really are indispensable. Bring a compass, too. Information about NFCT-specific campsites and portages are generally not available elsewhere. The maps don’t require re-charging, don’t break when you drop them, contain a wealth of background information about the history and natural history of the Northern Forest, and work even on the long sections with no cell signal. I would encourage you to go ahead and buy the maps for the sections you plan to paddle. Consider joining the NFCT as a member, too. Membership contributions and volunteer time (along with friendly landowners) are what make the Trail possible. See you on the water! – K