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Public Land Survey Marks
Waymark all Public Land Survey System (PLSS) marks used to define property and public land divisions throughout the world.
Expanded Description:
Waymark all Public Land Survey System (PLSS) marks used to define property and public land divisions throughout the world.

There is a new tool for Google Earth for mapping out the PLSS here is the link

PLSS in Google Earth

These are comprised of private survey marks, local government survey marks, boundary poles, private property lines, cairns, rock paint marks, notched boulders, and many more. They can commonly be found defining townships, subdivisions of townships, park boundaries, federal property boundaries, etc.

This category can also include boundary marks and survey marks accomplished by private survey companies used in redefining property lines and construction projects.

If you find a USGS benchmark, then please file it in the US Benchmarks category or other appropriate benchmark category.

More information of survey marks can be found at: PLSS in Wikipedia

Here are pictures and diagrams of what some of these marks look like:

The above plaque is for townshipping. This metal map is divided into 6x6, 1 mile squares; thus the 36 sections of a township. The nail or remaining hole shows you where you are in the township. There is almost always a stone monument near this:

Above is one of the PLSS monuments. In some cases benchmarks have been or are being placed at these stone monuments.

The smallest the plaques will be divided is a 1/16 corner; that is 1/16 of a 1 mile section; or 40 acre corners which equals .250 miles. Private surveyors usually make the smaller ones.

Next to this monument is usually a bearing tree and witness tree (or two witness trees), or even a sign. Scars on the trees will indicate bearing. Here is a witness post:

Here are diagrams of scared trees:


There are also several different ways corner marks are represented. These can be chiseled rocks, painted marks, ribbons, wooden posts, cairns, and more:


Instructions for Posting a Public Land Survey Marks Waymark:
Post a close up picture of the survey mark. Also post at least one picture of the area giving reference to where the mark is in the immediate area. No GPS photos in the waymark description/photos. Please provide detailed information regarding its location and any specifics of the land it is defining.
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit. If you have additional information about the survey mark which is not listed in the waymark description, please notify the waymark owner to have it added, and please post the information in your visit log.
Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
  • Category is visible in the directory
  • Type of survey mark
  • What indicators are near the mark to help people identify where it is located?
  • What property is this mark defining?
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Image for USDA/FS Cadastral: T33N R10E, R11E, Indian Boundary Lineview gallery

SESE151.4 km

Log it!

Public Land Survey MarksUSDA/FS Cadastral: T33N R10E, R11E, Indian Boundary Line

in Public Land Survey Marks

Bearing tree sign (no bearing tree), and a USDA/USFS survey mark denoting a township range division, section division, and Indian Boundary Line.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member CoyoteTrust

location: Illinois

date approved: 11/10/2008

last visited: never

Premium Member Downloads: download.GPX Lite File       download.LOC File       download .KML File (Google Earth)