New map and signage for developed trail system
I'm writing a long-term master plan for a 276 acre property owned by my college. Right now the trail system consists several trails named only by color. This is a remnant of when there were only three trails on the property: Red, Blue, and Yellow.
My goal is to redo a lot of the signage and maps as we move forward with the master plan for the property. I want to have numbered trail intersections, and give the trails all real names. The Red Trail should remain the Red Trail, since it has been there for over 100 years in some form or another and has had its name for over 50. The others I am trying to convince the landowners to use names that have some significance to the experience one has on that trail or something about the history of it (not cheesy college-history related names like the managers want).
Links to the existing map are below. Yes, it is in two separate pieces. No, I have no idea why.
I'm compiling examples of trail maps that use named and/or color-coded trails and numbered intersections to show the land managers. Any examples or wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
Go here Soaring Eagle and open the pdf, and you'll see a map where they numbered the intersections and named the trails. Only problem is their signage: they sign the intersection numbers but you can't tell which trail is which from the signs (users have been embellishing them with sharpies to help navigate). This is Soaring Eagle Park in King County near Seattle. Park staff like the numbered intersections to ease of reporting problems like big wet spots, blocking deadfall, etc.
Bend, Oregon has one of the best mapping systems I have ever personally enjoyed. They number their intersections and name all their trails. Here is the link (Bend, Central Oregon Mountain Biking & Hiking Trail Map- Phils Trail, Peterson Ridge) to the website that produced the map and their plans for the future with smart phone navigation.
Attached is a picture of the map in a smaller format than the original picture that I could email to you if you like.
I agree with TF about the actual signs that point to the trails leaving the numbered intersection. Many landmanagers do a poor job of showing the actual direction of the name of the trail leaving or entering the intersection. This often happens when the intersection is not 90 degrees to the sign post that might be a squared post.
In Sedona I asked the FS to use round sign posts to be able to adjust the sign to the angle the trail intersected the sign post. They finally came around to my suggestion, but it was a difficult process.
I also posted a picture of one of the signs that makes Bend a great place to ride.
Last edited by traildoc; 09-05-2012 at 02:33 PM.
numbered intersections and named trails work great, IME. I have also ridden trails where letters or numbers are spaced out at some set distance along the trail to aid in emergency response. EMT's seem to like that, but it tends to require some emergency access points to more remote spots along the trail to be considered.
Here's a map I developed for West Branch SP in northeast OH. They've marked each intersection with a carsonite post with the intersection number, and then put the name of the trail on the posts at each end. It seems to work very well with new riders.
Originally Posted by swampboy62
If you get a chance can you post some pictures of an intersection marker where a trail crosses another trail and the individual (four?) trail markers that are placed to show users which trail they are now riding on.
In Sedona one of the big problems with trail markers is the rocky nature of the soil that the marker post is placed in. Many times the surrounding area is SOLID rock, so the landmanger builds a large rock structure around the marker post to hold it in place. I wish there was a good inexpensive way to add trail markers in rocky soil that the landmanger would not have a problem with.
This often happens when the intersection is not 90 degrees to the sign post that might be a squared post.
I've seen a few examples of this in Bend.
I like the idea of a number post at the intersection and a name at the trail entry. It costs more but it doesn't leave people sitting there scratching their heads.
Here's what I came up with at the request of the park manager. He and the local EMS get the map with the GPS coordinates. The simplified map with the letter-number code goes up on a post on the trail. There's a new letter at each trail intersection. The user guides are posted at the kiosk at the trail head.
What I've attempted to do is:
-Provide way to locate an injured trail user for rescue by the park rangers or local EMS crews. This was the main request by the park manager.
-Show trail users where to head for the nearest bail out.
-Give trail distances to and from the trail head
-Give a simplified set of trail loops to choose from for first-time trail users. Having a simplified map for the trail users was a vital part of the project because there are dozens of trail intersections and new users get overwhelmed with too many possibilities.
In addition to these signs, there are full maps showing all roads and trails in the park at most major intersections. I'm also putting in color coded (matching the loop color) arrows showing which way to turn at intersections where that isn't obvious.
Obviously, phone contact information is of limited usefulness if the trail user doesn't have reception, or a phone.
Setting posts in this property is work. In the good spots, it takes 30-60 minutes with a rock bar and post hole digger. I've made as many as 5 attempts to get a decent hole depth (> 24") before getting lucky. It's a combination of lots of rock, and hard clay under silt soil that make it special. I guess that's why the last glacier went around instead of over.
Amen Brother! What is interesting about Bend is that a lot of the signage is way up in the trees for the cross country skiers.
Originally Posted by warmonkey
Thanks for the responses. This should be quite helpful. Another question came up in a meeting today regarding some old fitness stations that used to be on the trails. Anyone have experiences with these?
I'm talking stations for pull-ups, push-ups, abs workouts, balance, etc.
Here's some new signage here in the PHX area.....
I forgot to post the final revision, so here it is:
It's a dumb version of the map using a lot of what was created almost 10 years ago. A couple students with the Geography Department are doing an internship with some serious GIS work on the college and on College Camp, and they will compile a database with cleaner-looking maps. For now, this is at least good enough for people to figure out where they're going.
I'm getting out with the property caretaker next week to start remarking everything. I've already gotten loads of compliments from student groups and professors who use the trails for their activities and classes, so I guess it makes sense.
Also just got word of permission to include this map in a comprehensive trail map of the 30+ miles of trail in this town; that's another internship I'm working on for Otsego County Tourism this semester. Super stoked that everything is falling together, especially since there used to be huge opposition between the property managers (OAS) and anyone any way associated with bicycles. It's great what a bit of patience and cooperation can accomplish.