Hiking Trail Map Illustration for High Country Retreat
January 23, 2018
I created this watercolor style hiking map for an 80 acre property in North Carolina that has a handful of rental houses connected by a series of scenic trails.
To start, I was given their attempts at a map. I love it when clients come prepared with something like this, no matter the quality. It helps immensely to have some sort of visual guide!
I then took a screenshot of the satellite view of the area, and tried to match up the features as best I could with their map rendering:
I'd gotten a few things wrong, but it was pretty close! Once this was corrected, I used it to draw the illustrated map. It was important to me that the map be based on the actual satellite view because maps should, first and foremost, be accurate. Things like relative size and distance are critical to a good map.
Once the terrain and buildings were drawn, I drew the hiking trails in colors corresponding to their difficulty level. The shape of these trails I had to guess a bit. Which nagged at my desire for map accuracy, but sometime you have to learn how to "love and let go," I guess. Is that how the saying goes? I don't know. It's not one of my strong suits. :)
This version was made for their vacation rental website:
And just because I like designing things and creating things of utility, I also put together an 8.5 x 11" version they could print out and leave in the rental houses for their guests. :)