ridecamp@endurance.net: 10 Rules of Trail Marking and Unmarking (a beginning)

10 Rules of Trail Marking and Unmarking (a beginning)

Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:17:17 -0400 (EDT)

I managed rides for ten years and I hardly ever "lost" anybody. My rule of
thumb is as follows:

1. Count 50 trot steps and put up a ribbon...no further apart than that.

2. Look ahead and plan next ribbon BEFORE you get there. This way, you
insure that the next ribbon will be visible to riders. Don't change your
mind when you get up to the spot, it may not be as visible.

3. Mark turns in the direction riders will be turning, the rest all on the

4. Mark "wrong way" on ALL other trails.

5. Don't assume because there is no place else to go that you don't have to
mark as thoroughly. The rider does not know if he has missed a trail or the
trail is just sparsely marked.

6. Use a color that will stand out no matter what season or weather. Pink
has always wokred best for us. White if all else fails or you need something
else. Stripes and dots are not all that discernable to riders, but they do
distinguish from any other marker out there that someone else has put up for
another reason. Don't use green, yellow or blue. Orange is okay if you
can't get pink, but PLEASE don't use orange AND pink or red o distinguish
different trails...they look too much alike.

7. Don't tie to sticker bushes unless you arm your unmarking perople with
bandaids and plan to be "out of town" until they heal.

8. PLEASE learn to tie a slip knot so it is easier for people to unmark (else
they leave behind "stubs" which can be confused for the left-overs of vandals
the next year. Clothespins are great if you want to take the time.

9. Use pie plates with big black arrows in critical spots. Tie or fasten or
mark in such a way (such as a sequential numbering system) so that if they
are vandalized, riders can still figure out which is the right way to go.

10. Where possible, tie HIGH so vandals have a hard time.

Happy Trail marking


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