Proper Trail Blaze – Artist's Bluff Path, New Hampshire
Trail Blazing, Trail Stewardship – Painted trail blazing (paint marks on trees that mark the path of a trail) along the White Mountains trail system is an endless complaint among outdoor enthusiasts. Either the trail is excessively blazed or not blazed enough. I don’t mind the trails that have little trail blazing, but I'm not a fan of the excessive trail blazing.
Proper trail blazing protocol seems to vary among the trail maintenance organizations, but the ending result is the same. Most of these organizations agree that a standard trail blaze is a two inch by six inch rectangle placed about head height on trees. No painting of arrows, only a single vertical blaze, should be painted on a tree. For more information on blazing see the Randolph Mountain Club’s trail blazing protocol page.
Davis Path Reconstruction – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Davis Path, AMC Trail Work – In July of 2012, I had the opportunity to hike into the Dry River Wilderness in the New Hampshire White Mountains to photograph stonework that is being built along the Davis Path. A professional AMC Trail crew, with the help of volunteers, is working on a trail project repairing heavy erosion damage along a section of Davis Path.
With the use of low impact practices and adhering to trail maintenance guidelines, this trail crew is doing an outstanding job repairing the trail. The stonework looks excellent, blends in well with its surroundings, and should last for years. The care being taken to conserve Davis Path is awesome. Kudos to the trail crew!
September 2011 – Improper Trail Blazing, Mt Tecumseh Trail
Repaired Trail Blazing, Trail Maintenance – Some of the issues along the Mt Tecumseh Trail in Waterville Valley New Hampshire have been addressed and corrected by Forest Service. I commend Forest Service for correcting issues along this trail. And it is satisfying to know they are taking the needed steps to improve the White Mountains trail system.
In 2011, while hiking the Mt Tecumseh Trail, I noted a trail blazing issue, so I reported it to Forest Service. The trail blazing was not per trail maintenance guidelines and ruined the overall beauty of the trail. The Ranger who looked into it and responded, via email, stated a bad can of paint was the cause. Included in this blog article are before & after photos of the trail blazing that was removed.