Meet Purple Lizard

Elevate your outdoor recreation experience

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 (and Puerto Rico!). 
    Carefully crafted with a deep love and respect for nature, landscapes and place, featuring up-to-date trail information, topographic details, and all the 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.

      What Makes Lizard Maps Special

      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.


      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 and field tested for outdoor recreation.

      cartographer at work

      Purple Lizard is one the few map publishers that actually goes out into the real world, driving the roads, finding the trailheads and consulting with local communities and land managers - all so you can have the best experience.

      Our maps feature information on all types of outdoor recreation, 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. 
      This process produces outstanding maps that serve as gateways to outdoor recreation experience.  Read More about what makes Lizard Maps special here.

      History of Purple Lizard

      Adventure Cartography Lecture at Garrett College
      by Purple Lizard Founder Michael Hermann 

      Read More About Our Work

      Karma the Adventure Dog and his Lizard Map taking a rest by a stream
      Purple Lizard Maps: Built for Adventure 


      What's So Special About 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

      We are true believers in the value of a paper map. 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.

      We do also offer most of our maps digitally on our Purple Lizard store on Avenza Map publisher for those who are interested in adding a digital map to their adventure kit. Read more here about Lizard Digital

      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 that care comes through in the maps and is reflected how we do our work, the details we provide, what is included, and the people involved in the process and the values we hold.

      Standing for 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 also a partner with Tread Lightly! - a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through stewardship programs and ethics education. 

      Learn more about Tread Lightly here.

      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 outdoor recreation mapping company - focused primarily on the exceptional outdoor recreation available in the Appalachian & Allegheny Mountain ranges.  Check out our latest locator map (a map of where we map) here.