GoTrekker: Maps of the Canadian Backcountry

With the launch of the Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route, US BDR coverage continues to grow…but there is still no Canadian BDR. We’d love to see this change in the future, but let’s take a look at another option that’s currently available.

Martin Shutt, a runner from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, sent us a note last week telling us about his GoTrekker maps:

I did them before the term “Discovery Route” became fashionable“said Shutt.”For 10 years I owned GoTrekkers Ltd (, making and selling mainly hiking and canoeing maps, but really all kinds of maps. I ride gravel roads a lot, so in my spare time about 10 years ago I started doing roads that did the best I could to distinguish between gravel and asphalt.

The first GoTrekkers gravel hiking maps were for the Calgary area. Since then, Shutt has made about half a dozen more maps covering southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. He thinks the cards would cover three to four weeks of travel. Maps are mostly 85k or 100k scale, with three different colored lines below the roads showing potential routes, alternate routes and other alternative routes. In addition to topographical details and roads, the maps also include attractions, cafes, hotels, and other points of interest where Shutt has found it possible to include this information.

At this point, Shutt has sold GoTrekkers, but he’s still working on the gravel roadmap series for new owners. Currently, he is collecting maps for southeastern British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

The printed version of Shutt’s Canadian Gravel Road Maps measures 42 inches by 80 inches, which is good for overall planning, but not the kind of thing you want to manage on a windy, rainy trail. For this reason, Shutt’s maps are now uploaded to Avenza Maps, where you can download and view them on your tablet or mobile phone. The cards can only be used on the Avenza application.

He says “There are so many maps on Avenza, the best way is to filter search by GoTrekkers Ltd.… This company offers its own app for all available maps; maps are an encrypted geopdf for android/apple for phones and tablets.“The price is a very affordable US$4.99—use this link to find an example.

Shutt says he’s also just finished a set of maps for Andalusia, Spain, in case you’ve been planning a trip there now that the world seems to be opening up again.

Earnest L. Veasey