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Thread: Trail signage

  1. #1
    Ms. Monster
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    Trail signage

    So, The HCA got some nice money from the Trillium Foundation to (among other things) pay for signage of the trails at Christie. Having a nice central map is a no-brainer and there's lots of info about what to include. However, signing the trail system itself is a little trickier.

    The singletrack (so far) has a green, blue and black loop (there will be a second blue loop and a fairly complex black trail eventually). The trick is, the singletrack crosses the doubletrack many times. We also have an intersection between blue and green, while the black loop is separate. We don't intend the trails to be directional (though of course if traffic becomes huge, that could change). Horses also frequent the conservation area, and have been seen on our trails.

    So - how much info should be on each trail marker? What would help you (and neophyte cyclists) not to get lost?

    I was thinking:
    - trail marker at each crossing (one? or one on each side of the doubletrack?)
    - arrows in a "preferred direction"
    - colour-coded trail names
    - either a no-horse symbol and/or a mountain bike symbol
    - mileage? mileage along route? numbered markers?

    Any pics of trail markers that seemed particularly helpful to you?

  2. #2
    No. Just No.
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    Consider a few of the posts to have prominent text similar to "Return to trail head" or "Return to X Street" if there any other popular access points expected, on posts that are out toward the boundaries of the plot. Not right at the edges, 'cause they are already out in that case.

    Related directional arrow also, of course.

  3. #3
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    My 2c is that the Hydrocut is signed just about perfectly (trail names, length, difficulty etc) - especially the pines section which has trails that cross the multi-use trail often - so if you copy that system you're just about set.

  4. #4
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    -I would be inclined to avoid indicating directions, given that the trails generally flow well in both directions and riding in both directions is kind of a given right now with the total length of single track. If the amount of traffic volume becomes a problem with bi-directional trials, I have seen in other places odd day and even day direction rules which seemed to work really well.
    -I agree the signage at Hydrocut is pretty good.
    -Consider vandalism... It sucks, and I have no idea what best the answers are, but something to think about. I would guess not a big issue at Christie, but you have to figure at some point somebody is going to try to rip down a sign or two.
    -I always enjoy trails where they post the elevation on the signs, but alas that is likely not necessary at Christie either!
    -Maps are handy.

  5. #5
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    Maby mark it in the same way the Bruce trail does but with different colours for different trails.
    Simple , tamper proof , can be read in both directions & paint is cheaper than signs.

  6. #6
    humber river advocate
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    we had some place marker signs made for the humber out of bronze, then enameled and affixed to large glacial boulders... all depends how much you want to spend. other than that a good trail head sign/map with relevant info (emerg/maintenance numbers, trail etiquette, etc) and a bulletin board is a must. a number/letter system is the best for long term maintenance and use if laid out in a logical manner.
    broadcasting from
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    build trail!

  7. #7
    snowbound
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    I like what was done at the Ganaraska forest. Singletrack crosses (and goes along) the double track many times. Directional arrows make it easy to follow.
    I pretty sure that the 30, 15 and 100k are variations on the same marker (with the distance marked at the bottom).

  8. #8
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    Where single track crosses at 90 degrees or so, it can be obvious with no sign required - lots of these at Puslinch. If you want direction signs, I think the direction blazes at Puslinch are a great idea.
    The trail signs at Turkey Point are great and would be worth emulating but many of the single track crossings are almost parallel or curved and could use direction arrows.

    One thing I noticed at the Hydro Cut the first time I was out in the back section, it needs a few signs pointing the direction back to the parking area. Probably not a problem at Christie.

  9. #9
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    I would suggest coloured markers inline with the ability colour coding of the trail, and the trail name underneath the coloured marker. One just a foot or so past the intersection, and a secondary marker about 10 to 15 feet further in for reduncancy, or if people aren't paying attention and miss the first one.

    This will help you should anyone get into the trails above their ability level and get hurt on the trail. There could be no excuses about getting hurt because they didn't realize they were on a more difficult trail. (unless a moron goes out an removes the signs - but then you have some recourse).

  10. #10
    ups and downs
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    The trails at St.Felicien mark main trail intersections with unique identifiers (main trail # - cross trail #) and that is terrific if there are lots of trail intersections, with a map you can tell exactly where you are.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  11. #11
    Team NFI
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    Small sign at the entrance to the trail of it's name.Use 4x4 or 6x6 posts at various points with arrows pointing direction using either plastic or metal with info on it.

  12. #12
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Small sign at the entrance to the trail of it's name.Use 4x4 or 6x6 posts at various points with arrows pointing direction using either plastic or metal with info on it.
    Too minimalist.

    I recommend that each trail post be equipped with a scanner to track your trail use from RFID chips assigned to each rider, then use learning algorithms to suggest routes based on your preferences, highlighting those with dynamic LED directional arrows as you near each junction/option. The entire system is networked back to a solar powered server contained in a trail head kiosk that will recognize voice commands connecting to your account, so that you can request a length or duration of ride for the day (it can calculate expected duration for a distance of trail based on your historical riding pace), and any preferred alterations to your normal mix of trail styles.

    Or we could just have a couple of simple posts, go out, and ride around a bit.

  13. #13
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Or we could just have a couple of simple posts, go out, and ride around a bit.
    That's what I keep saying. I'm fairly useless at helping plan out the signage at Christie since I know every tree there by name at this point. I couldn't get lost there if you paid me.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  14. #14
    Team NFI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Too minimalist.

    I recommend that each trail post be equipped with a scanner to track your trail use from RFID chips assigned to each rider, then use learning algorithms to suggest routes based on your preferences, highlighting those with dynamic LED directional arrows as you near each junction/option. The entire system is networked back to a solar powered server contained in a trail head kiosk that will recognize voice commands connecting to your account, so that you can request a length or duration of ride for the day (it can calculate expected duration for a distance of trail based on your historical riding pace), and any preferred alterations to your normal mix of trail styles.

    Or we could just have a couple of simple posts, go out, and ride around a bit.
    Sorry.. I don't abla Nanny State.

    Reality is you could do all that and you will still have GSAR searching for people in there.

  15. #15
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    That's what I keep saying. I'm fairly useless at helping plan out the signage at Christie since I know every tree there by name at this point. I couldn't get lost there if you paid me.
    Having you decide on signage would be like having software developers write user manuals. I've seen it done. The end result usually leaves something to be desired.

  16. #16
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Sorry.. I don't abla Nanny State.
    I don't abla Nanny State either.

    Canada should be reorganized into two separate federal governments. One to manage you, the other to serve the rest of the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Reality is you could do all that and you will still have GSAR searching for people in there.
    Nah... it's not as if technology and systems ever break down or anything like that. That's as silly as suggesting that blindly following a GPS unit's directions could ever get a person into trouble.

  17. #17
    Team NFI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post

    Nah... it's not as if technology and systems ever break down or anything like that. That's as silly as suggesting that blindly following a GPS unit's directions could ever get a person into trouble.
    I have in laws who are shocked how I can pin point on a map where the trails I rode that day where. And without a GPS to help.

  18. #18
    trail gnome
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    The South March Highland signage was modelled after the 7 Stanes signage in the UK:

    7stanes signposts:: OS grid NT2840 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!

    The nice thing about the design is it's vandalism-resistant. Maybe not as vandalism-resistant as metal signs bolted to glacial rocks, but pretty good nonetheless. There is no horizontal sign affixed to a vertical post which vandals can easily grab and rip off. Instead, small signage plaques slips into a bracket on the post and are secured with a torx bolt. Random vandals are unlikely to carry torx wrench sets with them. If vandals tag or deface the plaques, you can replace them with spares. If the trail network changes, you swap the old plaques with new ones.

    Something to keep in mind: if you get a lot of snow and the trails are intended to be used for XC ski or snowshoe in winter, you'll want to keep the signage high so it's not at knee level come February. Also, no-horse signs should be mounted at a height & location where equestrian riders can't ignore them or claim not to have seen them.

    Cheers!

  19. #19
    Evil Jr.
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    Those might be the nicest ones I've seen yet!

    Good point about mounting the horse signs high too!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  20. #20
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    When I was first learning my way around glen major and walker woods, I really appreciated the sign system they use (although it's obviously a lot better or rather more plentiful in the glen major section).

    For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the main map has numbers at various intersections. Out on the trails, there are short posts which numbers on them. at the top of the post is a small map of the immediate area. All of the posts orient north, so when you stand at them, look at the map, you can immediately orient yourself. It's a simple and brilliant idea in my view. If you want certain trails to be direction specific, you could indicate same on the maps with chevrons.

    Learning the Durham forest side which takes a minimalist (albeit beautifully hand crafted) approach to signage was a lot more trial and error and asking people for directions.

  21. #21
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewake View Post
    ...the main map has numbers at various intersections. Out on the trails, there are short posts which numbers on them. at the top of the post is a small map of the immediate area. All of the posts orient north, so when you stand at them, look at the map, you can immediately orient yourself.
    This is the best idea yet, in my opinion. We'd have a lot of numbers, but that's maybe not the end of the world...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    This is the best idea yet, in my opinion. We'd have a lot of numbers, but that's maybe not the end of the world...
    It is a pretty good system, only lacking an indication of trail type/difficulty. FYI, here's a link to a map of Glen Major that includes all the sign post numbers (numbers highlighted in yellow indicate a signpost). They're at enough intersections to be useful.

    Map

  23. #23
    Ms. Monster
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    Thanks. The trails at Christie have been designed for different difficulty levels, so I'd say it's a given that we'd colour code the trails. We also need to add little no-horse icons, as some horses have already discovered the trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Face Visor View Post
    It is a pretty good system, only lacking an indication of trail type/difficulty. FYI, here's a link to a map of Glen Major that includes all the sign post numbers (numbers highlighted in yellow indicate a signpost). They're at enough intersections to be useful.

    Map

  24. #24
    ups and downs
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    The other advantage of unique ID's for trail intersections is that it does provide a quick reference point for EMS if they ever have to attend to an injury in the trail network. Just make sure you give the local EMS and 911 people a copy of the trail map.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  25. #25
    snowbound
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face Visor View Post
    It is a pretty good system, only lacking an indication of trail type/difficulty. FYI, here's a link to a map of Glen Major that includes all the sign post numbers (numbers highlighted in yellow indicate a signpost). They're at enough intersections to be useful.

    Map

    Link to TRCA's Glen Major overall map
    http://www.trca.on.ca/dotAsset/47411.pdf

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