GPS Map Software...

I just bought a GPS. It’s a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx. I need to buy some mapping software to load into it. I want use it while kayaking along the coast and on inland rivers and lakes.

Any suggestions as to the best map software to download into this device?

Thanks in advance, folks!

Florida Fred

Can Mapquest be ldown loaded to Garmin?
If Mapquest is available free off the internet, wonder if that could be loaded onto your Garmin? Just a thought. R/ Mark

You need
Blue Chart America V8.0

For inland waters I use Garmins
"united states topo" mapsource software, it covers the whole USA. (appx $100)

They also sell “national park” topo software (1 for east, 1 for central, 1 for west) which is more detailed than the standard topo product. These are $100 ea.

Garmin likes to take you to the cleaners on their software products. But they work flawlessly.

Not sure but you may be able to find some of this software cheaper on ebay.

Good luck,


I have a map76 and use BlueChart which I am happy with. This is basically a copy of the NOAA chart and provides lots of detail. It is much more accurate than the base map that comes with the unit. Sitting next to a known point, like a bouy, the bluechart has me within a hundred feet or less, the base map is 300 yards off at times. Bluechart is software protected and keyed to you individual unit so there is not a possibility of buying used. Also, bluechart coverage is based on regions which you select during set up. There is no coverage for inland lakes or rivers.

Using a PC to establish, name, and coordinate waypoints is worth the price from my perspective. Making and storing a route is very easy and straight forward using the PC and difficult and time consuming using the gps unit.

Happy Paddling,


GPS MappingSoftware
Take look at Great site for GPS/software/mapping info and reviews.

“Any day on the water is a great day”


have used
the 76csx with topo software on several trips now and worked great. Provided sufficient detail for navigation, plus gave me what I needed for using it on backwoods day hikes as well.


I use the mapsource topo software, and it is more than accurate enough for me. even paddling on small (as in 6’ wide) streams, it shows me that I’m in a stream and all the bends in the stream. really pretty amazing.

Using the eTrex legend.

Garmin US Topo
I have the Garmin Map 76 and use the US Topo software. Gives better land and shoreline detail, but you lose some of the buoys and navaids from the basemap in the unit.


I have Americas Bluechart Version
4.0 Email me trlee at

Roads and Recreation
I have had Blue Charts. Roads and Recreation shows all the coast lines, rivers, creeks, tributaries, islands, boat launches, roads to get there,etc. It’s great. This product is the best I have found to date from Garmin. It was reasonably priced and could be down loaded to multiple units and computers. It is stored on your computer. Try and look into this Garmin product.

Good luck!


I am not sure “Road and Recreation Map” is compatible with 76CSX. Check and double check before you buy.

Garmin Roads & Recreation discontinued

I suspect that City Select or one of the other products here does the same thing…

But it’s a good question if the launch sites etc. are included.


Topo, Inland Lakes, etc…
Mapsource Topo shows most streams and lakes fairly accurately.

Mapsource Inland Lakes, Bluechart and Mapsource Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hotspots might also do the job.

The best thing to do is to go to website ( ) and use the Mapsource viewer to see how some of the areas you like to paddle look on the various mapping products.

Not City Select or City Navigator
Later versions of City Select, as well as the current offering, city navigator are great software packages for road navigation. These are a must have if you owne a 76CSX. The autorouting alone is awesome.

That said, do not get these for paddling. They only show major rivers and lakes. Smaller streams and lakes do not show on the maps.

Best case is to get City Navigator AND something like Topo, Inland Lakes or Bluechart. You can run them concurrently on your unit and switch to the one you need.

I have both City Navigator and Blue Chart. I can only load one or the other, not both at the same time. Is that what you mean?