Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Maps for Old Roads

RT66 and Lincoln Highway road maps

Dear Jamie --

I have some questions that are linked, or the same but on different roads.

How can I follow:

a) Route 66;

b) Lincoln Highway?

Are there maps etc.? Which are the most accurate?


John W


Dear John W --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA.

You asked about maps for two great historic US highways -- Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway. The first is much easier to follow -- on the ground, Route 66 has been signposted all the way from Chicago to LA as "Historic Route 66" (though to be honest there are many different alignments and eras of Route 66, and the signs tend to present the easiest route for today's drivers to follow. There are quite a lot of RT66 maps and guides (including my own attempt...), but the best cartographic efforts I've found are the "Here It IS" series, designed by Jim Ross and organized state by state along the whole route.

The Lincoln Highway is less popular, and so the documentation is harder to come by -- but to my mind it is a more interesting route (all the way from NYC to San Francisco!). There are some good-to-great Lincoln Highway books (most of them by Brian Butko), but I have not come across a map that covers it as well as it should be covered. There are also some fascimile editions of "original" 1920s / 1950s maps and guidebooks out there, too, which have a lot of useful info.

The best single source of maps online for Route 66 is at:

While the best maps I've found for the Lincoln Highway are at:

I'm sure someday someone will superimpose an olde highway map onto a modern GPS database, but until then following these grand old roads is a bit still cumbersome -- but very worthwhile!

Hope this helps you, and Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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