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  1. #1
    Loser
    Reputation: Jisch's Avatar
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    Trail Blazing rant

    While I'd love to hear a solution to this, I am convinced that there is nothing that can be done, so consider this what it is - a RANT.

    At a local riding place (one of the most popular in CT) there is a smallish network of "social" trails through some pretty technically challenging terrain. The trails have been there for at least 10 years or so without any blazes. The land is landlocked, however the ownership of this specific parcel of land is somewhat in question, though no one has ever complained about us riding there or the trails as they stood. I will admit that there has been a bit of an issue due to all the trail braids - it has become harder and harder to figure out where the real trail is and it has made it more difficult for newer riders to figure this area out.

    About a year ago someone started blazing the trails. They've done a REALLY good job of it ensuring that EVERY tree that's within 3' of the trail is marked, somewhere I have a picture of a set of them - it really is amazing. Perhaps the worst part of this whole thing is that about 30% of the time the blazes follow a trail braid and not the original trail!

    The marks are basically shots from a rattle can, so they are inconsistent in where they are in the tree and how big they are, not to mention the flourescent colors used - bright green, orange, pink, purple - yep, we got 'em! Pure ghetto in the woods - perfect.

    We went ghetto on our own (in retrospect a very bad idea) and covered up the ugly blazes with gray and brown paint - while the paint did a good job of covering up the ugly stuff - you really couldn't see the brown or gray paint at all - the mystery markers were back at with vengence within a month or two.

    We can't seem to locate the person who is doing this after repeated postings to multiple bulletin boards, given the location and nature of the trails I'm 99% certain that its mountain bikers who are doing the tagging.

    Really I think if we could figure out who was doing it, we could talk about a solution and maybe doing this in a bit more controlled manner (preferably with landowner permission).

    Any ideas welcomed.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  2. #2
    The Voice of Reason
    Reputation: Megashnauzer's Avatar
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    don't just cover them up, do a better job tagging. make a stencil and get some good paint and go to town. or put up a sign on the trail explaining what you're going to do. people are sometimes only a-holes until you get to know them.

    we had two guys trying to cut the same trail unbeknownst to each other. one would cut a section and the other guy would get pissed, block it off and cut a different path. when they finally figured out what was going on, they beat the hell out of each other but at least we got a nice trail out of it.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  3. #3
    Loser
    Reputation: Jisch's Avatar
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    too funny

    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer
    don't just cover them up, do a better job tagging. make a stencil and get some good paint and go to town.
    I was just talking to someone about this - exactly what we thought of and will do in the spring!

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  4. #4
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    Are you certain they are intended to be blazes? Forestry here marks timber sales with blue spray paint often several years before cutting begins (sale is marked, goes out for bid, bid is awarded, things drag on...) which lead to some fun a couple of years ago.
    Again, Forestry uses blue spray paint. Well, in this one particular area that is quite popular with mouth breathers, the trails are also blazed with blue paint. Regulation 2"x5" blazes mind you, but blue none the less. So an idiot managed to get column space in the local paper to write about how they went hiking with their kid and got confused by all the paint and couldn't figure out where the trail was. Mind you, this is a 3rd growth eastern hardwood stand, so the underbrush is thick, there is no way you can get off trail. But the hew and cry about it got this particular trail shut down since Forestry was concerned about people getting lost. In short, stupid people should breed.
    There, you wanted to rant and I gave you another one.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Ditto on the remark and reblaze with signs. Maybe do the braids in different but consistant colors.
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE NOT RIDING (or building)!

  6. #6
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    I feel your pain.

    After you cover the blazes, you need to put up a sign explaining why, then add a contact number or email address.

    We had a similar problem and it stopped after we put up a sign, then we got threatening e-mails but at least we started a dialog, which eventually had a happy ending.
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

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