Meet Purple Lizard

Elevate your outdoor experience with Lizard Maps. Beautifully designed and highly detailed outdoor recreation maps Discover trails, scenic vistas, and beautiful natural landscapes in some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Carefully crafted with a deep love and respect for nature, landscapes and place, featuring up-to-date trail information, topographic details, and info you need to find your next fantastic outdoor adventure.

Creating extraordinary outdoor recreation maps is our passion, our mission and our reason for being.

Our intensive process blends all the best elements of old world map making - artistry, on the ground research, and attention to detail, with all the benefits of leading edge digital cartographic design. Lizard Maps unlock broad landscapes for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.


We immerse ourselves in the real world landscapes and communities, gathering local knowledge, learning about the best spots and getting lost when necessary - so you don't have to.


After well over a thousand hours of careful research, design and selection, each Purple Lizard map is especially curated for outdoor recreation.

To make the best map available of every area we map, we gather information from all sources and then do the hard work, carefully sort out what's true and what's not, and highlighting the kinds of information that outdoor recreation enthusiasts are seeking. 

cartographer at work

Purple Lizard is one the few map publishers that actually goes out into the real world to make thier maps, by hand, driving the roads, finding the trailheads and curating what is real so you can have the best experience.

Our maps feature information on all types of outdoor recreation, not just one, showing all the options in an area that are open for public access - by foot, bike, horse, motor, air or water.


Purple Lizard Maps are defined by their award winning industry leading quality. They include all the fancy topographic and hydrographic info to help you plan successful adventures, but are also exceptionally easy to read and understand. We make maps that are built for adventure, printed on durable waterproof paper and designed to last. 
More About What Makes Lizard Maps Special on the Adventure Blog:
Karma the Adventure Dog and his Lizard Map taking a rest by a stream
Purple Lizard Maps: Built for Adventure 

Why Real World Maps?

Beginners in the outdoor recreation community often ask us why we make paper maps? Real maps are the key to outstanding outdoor experience.The reasons are too many to count, but here are just a few:

The Big Picture

Planning outstanding outdoor recreation means understanding the whole picture of an area and seeing all your options - this requires a real map beyond the scope of a screen carefully curated for the outdoor user.  


Online sources and maps not focused on the outdoor user often include loads of information that you don't need or want at the expense of omitting information you do need.  


Each Lizard Map is designed to give you the big picture of all the outdoor recreation opportunities in the area. Our 2ft by 3ft maps include hydrography (stream, river and other water data), and detailed topography (including elevation models), so you can sit down, spread out, and make a real world plan that works. You can easily keep your map in your back pocket, and you have everything you need if you need to make a plan B or plan C. No batteries needed!

Unplugged Experience

A paper map gives you the increasingly rare opportunity to unplug and be fully present in the experience when exploring outdoors.We are proud to map lots of places where cell coverage (and battery recharging) isn't available which of course makes a paper map absolutely essential part of your outdoor adventure gear, but as any outdoor adventurer knows, even if online or digital resources are available over-reliance on screen based maps ties us to the world of devices and distraction that many of us are trying to escape. Like many things in life, showing up fully makes the experience all that more beautiful. 

Connection and Respect for Place

Because we make real maps and need all the ground-truthing and the unique level of detail and local knowledge that an exceptional map requires, our customers get an opportunity to really explore the forest and communities we map in a way that creates the opportunity to form a deeper connection to the place. 


Overlook: Real World Mapping

We care about the communities and the landscapes and and that care comes through in the maps and how we do our work, the details we provide, what is included, and the people involved in the process.

The Planet

Purple Lizard also strongly believes in protecting and preserving public lands and beautiful natural environments.1% For the Planet: Purple Lizard MapsWe are a member of 1% for the Planet, and we work with environmental non-profits within the communities we map to support their preservation efforts, trail building, river clean-up efforts, trailhead access improvement, interpretive media projects and other needs on a very local level.Learn more about One Percent for the Planet here.

We are a partner with Tread Lightly! - a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through stewardship programs and ethics education. Tread Lightly!’s educational message, along with its unique training and restoration initiatives are strategically designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them. The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain a healthy environment. Tread Lightly!’s award-winning materials, programs and services are solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing recreation issues. Individuals and businesses can commit to Tread Lightly! and protect outdoor access by becoming a member at

Tried Lightly outdoor ethics

Where We Map

Purple Lizard was born in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania, but we are now a Mid-Atlantic Regional mapping company - focused primarily on the exceptional outdoor recreation available in the Appalachian & Allegheny Mountain ranges.  We currently publish maps of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Puerto Rico (check out our Rincon map for the backstory on that!) and are adding new states and titles every year. Keep up with our latest map publications by joining our mailing list, or check back regularly on the "Where We Map"section of this website. 

Who We Are: Behind the Maps

We are trail users, nature lovers, designers, artists, outdoor enthusiasts, wanderers, adventurers, meanderers and mountain bikers, history buffs, environmentalists, tree lovers, stream watchers, mountain lovers, and of course - map makers.

Michael Hermann Founder Purple Lizard Maps

Michael Hermann: Lead Cartographer and Founder 

Purple Lizard Maps was founded in 1997 by award-winning cartographer, Michael Hermann, with a mission to become a leader in recreational map design. Michael received his B.A. in Geography from Penn State with a focus on digital cartography and launched his career as a Digital Cartographic Specialist with Trails Illustrated/National Geographic Maps in Colorado. Today, Michael is among the leading cartographers in the industry. Many Purple Lizard Maps have received design awards from the leading international network of developers, researchers and educators in the field of Cartography, Geography and GIScience.

In addition to his work with Purple Lizard, Michael served as the lead cartographer with the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine where he led the development of the award winning Historic Atlas of Maine. That atlas received the Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography and Best Atlas of 2016 from CaGIS. Michael is a past president of NACIS (North American Cartography and Information Society) and past president of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine.

Purple Lizard gets their hands in a few other custom cartographic design projects as well - they mapped out the first IMBA Epic Mountain Bike course in Pennsylvania in the 1990s; they designed the Maine Appalachian Trail Maps in 2000s, and the Leadville 100 Race Series in Colorado in 2015.

Justine Andronici: Director of Very Important Things & Karma the Adventure Dog!

Purple Lizard's Adventure Dog and Director of Very Important Things

Justine joined Purple Lizard in 2013 as the Director of Very Important Things.  With a background in project development, marketing and law, Justine navigates the legal side of the Lizard business, helps spread the word about Purple Lizard to the world, and generally helps to keep new Purple Lizard Maps coming your way.

Karma the Adventure Dog (2012-2023)

Karma the Adventure Dog - by Meron EnyeartPhoto by Meron Enyeart

Karma the Adventure Dog goes everywhere Purple Lizard goes, is responsible for investigating anything worth investigating, making friends with anyone and everyone he meets, and most importantly maintaining a fun and peaceful atmosphere. Note: Karma left us suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer in the summer of 2023, and we will miss his company and pure and total joy being outdoors - he is a part of every map we make. May you always run in peace Mr. K!

Lizard Contributors 

Purple Lizard Cartographic Contributors include a small group of some of the best cartographers, designers, and adventurers anywhere - all share our passion for exploring the outdoors.  Lizard Contributors do lots of cool things in the world, and also work with us with us on special assignments to help bring Purple Lizard's Maps to life. Below are a few of our key contributors.

Erin Greb of Erin Greb Cartography has always had a close connection to the outdoors and exploring. Growing up with acres of woods in her backyard in western Maryland and driving cross-country every year with her family on vacations, maps always played an important part in her life.

Erin Greb Cartographer

As a second year art major who loved to hike in the mountains near Penn State, the lightbulb went off one day that she should transfer into Geography (’99) and learn to make maps like the ones she used in the woods (including the original Rothrock Purple Lizard map!). Erin then earned her MA in Geography at CU Boulder (’02) where she continued to hike and mountain bike in the foothills and Rocky Mountains. Now she continues to explore and design maps and enjoys traveling around the country for trail races. 



Wiggus came to this planet to save mankind, but after living here for 20 years he decided to play guitar, ride motorcycles, and pursue his lifelong dreams of mastering the art of digital design and eventually working with Purple Lizard Maps. 

Community Partners

Purple Lizard could not do what we do without the help and support of so many of you: the folks on the ground in the communities we map who help us make sure we have up to date and accurate information. We work closely with members of each community, land managers and recreational user groups, and small businesses in the communities we map.

These relationships are a big part of what makes each Purple Lizard Map so special.The Lizard Maps community is always exploring new places and sharing adventures. You can stay connected with us via email (sign up below for Lizard e-news) Instagram, Facebook.

More about Purple Lizard

Expedition Portal about Purple Lizard Expedition Portal

Backyard and Beyond: Purple Lizard Maps from Dirt Rag Magazine

Have a question? Need customer service? Contact us via email at and we will respond as soon as possible.