Historical Markers Using Garmin Nuvi GPS

Spanish Entrada MarkerI like to stop at roadside markers, and read about the history of the area I am driving through.  One problem is knowing in advance where the markers are located.  Often I’ll be cruising at the speed limit (… OK, 5 mph over the limit) when the marker appears in my line of sight.  I don’t like to slam on the brakes and swerve to the side of the road, so by the time my brain has figured out what to do, the marker is behind me and it would be even more of a hassle to turn around, so the marker goes unread.

I recently found a combination of technologies that works very well for me.  Here’s a summary of the process:

  • Waymarking.com contains a category of Historical Markers.  From this site you can download a .GPX file containing the locations of historical markers of interest.
  • Waymark locations are then uploaded to the Garmin Nuvi as custom Points of Interest (POI).  I set the Proximity Alarm option to 1 mile for each POI and the Proximity Alarm on the Nuvi to Continuous.
  • When driving, the Nuvi will sound an alarm one mile prior to reaching the marker.  This allows enough time to locate the marker on the Nuvi map and prepare to pull over if desired.