thanks for all the replies....
I appreciate the feedback. This is a "hand made map" for the players, so some of the issues are intentional.
I don't like the mountains much so I'm going to look into some of the suggestions there.
The texture and background was some of the easiest parts actually, and it is made to look like animal hide (being more durable than paper for adventuring).
The river and lakes are somewhat intentional, and the meander is to imply a slow moving river which is in the process of forming oxbow lakes (this all relates somewhat to the immediate history of the area).
The lower lakes have not been explored much so they are not filled (again this was made by "hand" for the players and the cartographer wasn't so concerned with some details).
I played a little with shading the mountains instead of the ridgelines I ended up with but wasn't happy with the results so I went back with the lines. I'm going to have to experiment a bit more with them to get something I like I suppose.
I thought about the bridge/ford thing but then decided that was a detail the cartographer didn't care about. But, again, in retrospect, the road layer should have been above the river layer and was clearly my fault. Dammit.
Having written all this and THEN looked again at the map, I hate the lakes, and will have to redo them at some point. Until then I will just blame the poor cartographer.
Again thank you for all the feedback and once I get things fixed up a bit I might repost this map or just post the next one.