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  1. #1
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    Signs for trails.

    Why the lack of signs in say, metro Boston and beyond. Fells has a confusing amount that lacks clarity. LLF has some arrows and a kiosk, not great. HP and Willowdale? Nada. How hard would it be to say put up some different colored arrows for a few loops? Boggles the mind. DCR or land managers not interested?

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    Iíve always said that. I just got back from AZ. Not only do they have signs with the names of the trails and distance to the next one, they donít charge to park at a beautiful trailhead with full facilities. Some even have a hose and rinse station. DCR is now charging to park in a dirt lot.


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  3. #3
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    Signs for trails.

    The only place I know of that has trail markings is Trail of Tears. Every intersection has a sign with an identifying code that references the official map. Example is NW 5. Meaning NorthWest section at intersection 5. Canít get lost is you carry a map.


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    I have 5-6 different areas within 20 minutes of my house. Most have a little swatch of paint on a tree here and there but many have nothing. I kinda like it that way...keeps the mind sharp and forces me to ride based on memory. Sometimes I find new and different loops that way.

    There is a place 45 minutes from me that has a more formal trail network with signs. At the end of the ride, it's just as good with or without signs for me.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    The only place I know of that has trail markings is Trail of Tears. Every intersection has a sign with an identifying code that references the official map. Example is NW 5. Meaning NW at intersection 5. Canít get lost is you carry a map.


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    Freetown has a bunch of those same intersection markers, but they don't really correspond to the main trails cyclists are using.
    I think much of it is related to the fact that many of these mtb trails (at least down in SE mass) aren't dcr sanctioned. They're leftover dirtybike trails from days of yore, or cut (unsanctioned) years later.

  6. #6
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    NO and NO. No signs! There's plenty of those at KT or on every paved road. I recommend checking those places if you want signs. While in the woods, I want to see trees and rocks. Taking a wrong turn and getting a bit lost can be fun. Besides, all the trails are probably on the Strava anyway...

  7. #7
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    I prefer no signs. I enjoy getting lost and navigating my way out of places. I miss the olden days before GPS and before you could find a map of most places you ride. Nothing like being in the middle of Big River or Free Town (20 years ago) as the sun is starting to go down and you're not sure how to get back to your car. I was Naked and Afraid, Survivorman, Man vs Wild years before those guys got their own shows. As a matter of fact, I may start Monkey Wrench Ganging signs and maps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    I prefer no signs. I enjoy getting lost and navigating my way out of places. I miss the olden days before GPS and before you could find a map of most places you ride. Nothing like being in the middle of Big River or Free Town (20 years ago) as the sun is starting to go down and you're not sure how to get back to your car. I was Naked and Afraid, Survivorman, Man vs Wild years before those guys got their own shows. As a matter of fact, I may start Monkey Wrench Ganging signs and maps.
    I like yer style, dude.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Why the lack of signs in say, metro Boston and beyond. Fells has a confusing amount that lacks clarity. LLF has some arrows and a kiosk, not great. HP and Willowdale? Nada. How hard would it be to say put up some different colored arrows for a few loops? Boggles the mind. DCR or land managers not interested?
    Wait is this the leeboh I know?!

    Iíll get real and honest here. I can agree with Pulse and Scott to some degree. I use to be all about that.

    But my attitudes and views have changed, especially in regards to public lands.

    Signage is often one of the most forgotten pieces of trail development. And a true signage plan takes a lot of thought (and therefore $$$).

    I never recommend trails without recommending a signage plan be done. Signage is the LMs best way to mitigate liability.

    Signage also is one of the best defenses against most riders (especially stubborn New Englanders) worst nightmares; namely B lines, go-arounds, braiding, dumbing down of trails, etc. If a novice doesnít know where to go or that the trail they are about to get on is hard and supposed to be hard, they may make bad decisions.

    Iím a true New England rider at heart. I question if I make the right decisions a lot. I miss rake and ride and I miss getting lost. But frankly those options will always be there. And I get very frustrated when I ride and canít find the good stuff, especially because I travel a ton and may not have the time to explore and get lost.

    In reference to the OPs situation, public lands in metro Boston are the exact place I think adequate signage is appropriate for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    I like yer style, dude.
    I like both your styles, guys. Phuck signs. Plenty of places choc full of em.

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    This is the first thread on here or my new addiction- FB, where I've agreed with all 360 degrees of opinion at once. People who want signs, signs, everywhere signs should buy some and help the local economy instead of the other ones, and go to the meetings with their NEMBA rep., or whoever does that work for us to allow the access and the further intrusion of signs, and extra work for the land managers. And the people who hate signs can go to the meetings, too, and whoever shows up gets to decide, until we have voting by computer, and then we can text it in from the trail. Oh, and the meetings are in bars, by the way. That's a good rule to follow, IMHO. The real curmudgeon Scrooges can steal the signs and burn them or put them up in their man-caves like trophies. I have probably spent enough panic-sweat-soaked, high-speed, late for sunset or bedtime rides to add or take a year from my life, not sure which. I think I'd rather spend my time with the chainsaw and router these days, so pm me if you're serious, I might have some free time soon. I'd only do state-of the art natural wood methods for maximum longevity and appropriate styling to the area as agreed in advance over beers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dudeist View Post
    This is the first thread on here or my new addiction- FB, where I've agreed with all 360 degrees of opinion at once. People who want signs, signs, everywhere signs should buy some and help the local economy instead of the other ones, and go to the meetings with their NEMBA rep., or whoever does that work for us to allow the access and the further intrusion of signs, and extra work for the land managers. And the people who hate signs can go to the meetings, too, and whoever shows up gets to decide, until we have voting by computer, and then we can text it in from the trail. Oh, and the meetings are in bars, by the way. That's a good rule to follow, IMHO. The real curmudgeon Scrooges can steal the signs and burn them or put them up in their man-caves like trophies. I have probably spent enough panic-sweat-soaked, high-speed, late for sunset or bedtime rides to add or take a year from my life, not sure which. I think I'd rather spend my time with the chainsaw and router these days, so pm me if you're serious, I might have some free time soon. I'd only do state-of the art natural wood methods for maximum longevity and appropriate styling to the area as agreed in advance over beers.
    Huh? When I see signs in the woods, they quickly disappear. Doesnít all the Strava shit solve this ďproblem ď for the Pro-sign people?

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    Meetings lol.

  14. #14
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    I would take some small colored markers maybe, but excessive signs is not necessary in a small place like the fells. fellsbiker.com has a nice map that is still mostly accurate. just wait till we have AR and there will be no need for physical signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    NO and NO. No signs! There's plenty of those at KT or on every paved road. I recommend checking those places if you want signs. While in the woods, I want to see trees and rocks. Taking a wrong turn and getting a bit lost can be fun. Besides, all the trails are probably on the Strava anyway...
    Hmmm, tough crowd here. Most of the builds we do are on dcr, state or conservation land. And multi use. So you and you family go visit some park, no signs, no maps, you just wander around to get lost? I get that lots of places have an intro kiosk map, I'm talking about say a 4 way intersection out in the woods. Same goes for dog walkers, birders and just the occasional visitors. Not everyone does strava. I'm not talking a sign on every tree, maybe a few marked loops with some wooden arrows or such.

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    Yikes, some pretty insular comments. What about out of town visitors? Folks looking to navigate without looking at their phones every 5 minutes? I usually stuff my phone in my camelbak for my rides. Is it just a New England thing? Did some camping at Little River in VT this fall, hiked a loop that ran next to the mt bike loop, a few signs, distances and helpful info. Did not detract from my outing. At all. Is the lack of signs some kind of selfish" If you don't know the trails keep off" kind of thing? Seems other areas all over the country and beyond can do it with no problems. I get KT is a mostly private land thing, the signs really offend folks who pedal there? I find them helpful. Hiking trails and ski areas all over seem to have signs as well. Really not following the reasoning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    I would take some small colored markers maybe, but excessive signs is not necessary in a small place like the fells. fellsbiker.com has a nice map that is still mostly accurate. just wait till we have AR and there will be no need for physical signs.
    The fells is small? I think the signs there are TOO much and very confusing. I do try to stay on the mt bike loop and the reservoir loop( bike legal) but it has so many intersections that are not clear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    I prefer no signs. I enjoy getting lost and navigating my way out of places. I miss the olden days before GPS and before you could find a map of most places you ride. Nothing like being in the middle of Big River or Free Town (20 years ago) as the sun is starting to go down and you're not sure how to get back to your car. I was Naked and Afraid, Survivorman, Man vs Wild years before those guys got their own shows. As a matter of fact, I may start Monkey Wrench Ganging signs and maps.
    Monkey wrenching? Destructing of property put up by others? Just wow.

  19. #19
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    LLF is completely marked and numbered and has been for a while now

    http://www.landlockedforest.com/trailmap_7-11.pdf


    I vote no signs,
    use openstreetmap and find out the trails and go from there
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  20. #20
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    Or, make friends with a local and get to know the area.
    That doesn't feel right to type in 2018 for some reason, and that kind of makes me sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    LLF is completely marked and numbered and has been for a while now

    http://www.landlockedforest.com/trailmap_7-11.pdf


    I vote no signs,
    use openstreetmap and find out the trails and go from there
    LLF is not bad, not great either. 2 loops, one blue and one yellow. Could be better. Not that big of a place. The current dcr thing of an intersection # 24, or NA 17? Helpful?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Or, make friends with a local and get to know the area.
    That doesn't feel right to type in 2018 for some reason, and that kind of makes me sad.
    So how does that work for an out of town visitor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    I think much of it is related to the fact that many of these mtb trails (at least down in SE mass) aren't dcr sanctioned. They're leftover dirtybike trails from days of yore, or cut (unsanctioned) years later.
    This is consistent with the reasoning I've heard for why there isn't more signage at many places around...if the DCR admitted to knowledge of some of these trails, they'd have to shut them down instead of signing them. Pandora's Box...
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    So how does that work for an out of town visitor?
    Thatís why we have forums like this, and although I donít partake, social media groups, no?
    How did we find and learn new trail 10-15 (and more) years ago?

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    Most of our riding spots here in New England are on public lands; mostly managed by either MassDCR or the City or Town. To compare these areas to private, for profit and/or pay-to-play riding destinations (KT or ski areas) isn't appropriate. Apples and oranges. Further, these public lands are almost always multi-use (not built or maintained JUST FOR MTBs). I understand that other user groups, may like or dislike signs. While I'm solidly in the "no signs" camp, if some MTBers wanted signs at their local spot, they'd absolutely need to bring the proposal before the DCR or the local conservation commission for their approval. What I'm saying is that it's not all about us mountain bikers. Perhaps the hiking birdwatchers don't want to see signs in the woods?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    So how does that work for an out of town visitor?
    If they don't do their homework or are irresponsible, they may make a wrong turn or even get a little lost. Isn't that the risk everyone everywhere takes when they decide to go explore in the woods? I think people need to be a little more responsible for their actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    Most of our riding spots here in New England are on public lands; mostly managed by either MassDCR or the City or Town. To compare these areas to private, for profit and/or pay-to-play riding destinations (KT or ski areas) isn't appropriate. Apples and oranges. Further, these public lands are almost always multi-use (not built or maintained JUST FOR MTBs). I understand that other user groups, may like or dislike signs. While I'm solidly in the "no signs" camp, if some MTBers wanted signs at their local spot, they'd absolutely need to bring the proposal before the DCR or the local conservation commission for their approval. What I'm saying is that it's not all about us mountain bikers. Perhaps the hiking birdwatchers don't want to see signs in the woods?
    Yes, big differences between DCR stuff and KT type places. You're kind of making my point here. All I'm saying, at other trail systems, hiking in VT and NH, signs are better and trails well marked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Yikes, some pretty insular comments. What about out of town visitors? Folks looking to navigate without looking at their phones every 5 minutes? I usually stuff my phone in my camelbak for my rides. Is it just a New England thing? Did some camping at Little River in VT this fall, hiked a loop that ran next to the mt bike loop, a few signs, distances and helpful info. Did not detract from my outing. At all. Is the lack of signs some kind of selfish" If you don't know the trails keep off" kind of thing? Seems other areas all over the country and beyond can do it with no problems. I get KT is a mostly private land thing, the signs really offend folks who pedal there? I find them helpful. Hiking trails and ski areas all over seem to have signs as well. Really not following the reasoning.
    People from out of town should pick a trailhead and go explore. Like you know, take lefts, rights, dead ends till they figure it out. Or even better call a local bike shop and find out if any group rides are available or even offer a shop guy beer and maybe dinner for a personal tour.

    Signs, arrows, gps, STRAVA, etc etc are not adventure in the least. Leave the phone off unless you have an emergency. Set yourself free!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Or, make friends with a local and get to know the area.
    That doesn't feel right to type in 2018 for some reason, and that kind of makes me sad.
    Ha just reading your comment after I just posted! Looks like we're right on the same page👍

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    People from out of town should pick a trailhead and go explore. Like you know, take lefts, rights, dead ends till they figure it out. Or even better call a local bike shop and find out if any group rides are available or even offer a shop guy beer and maybe dinner for a personal tour.

    Signs, arrows, gps, STRAVA, etc etc are not adventure in the least. Leave the phone off unless you have an emergency. Set yourself free!!!!
    OK, that stuff will work. For some. What about the general public at a new park? The casual dog walker and such. Not everyone wants to work that hard, nor should they have to. Just saying.

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    casual dog walkers can do whatever, as long as they clear poops from the trail.
    that's all I have on that front.

    For those not wanting to work, I know it's possible to go on strava, download somebody's ride and follow the breadcrumbs on a Garmin. I don't know exactly how to do that as I don't technology well, but I know it can be done.

  32. #32
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    Are signs like these that offensive?


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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    If they don't do their homework or are irresponsible, they may make a wrong turn or even get a little lost. Isn't that the risk everyone everywhere takes when they decide to go explore in the woods? I think people need to be a little more responsible for their actions.
    Totally. Outdoor recreation is dangerous. Mountain biking is dangerous.

    But, and yes it is unfortunate to some of us more self sufficient types, thatís not the way the legal world views it. Try arguing this in court. Much easier for LMs to do due diligence and supply hold harmless language and minimal signage.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Yikes, some pretty insular comments. What about out of town visitors? Folks looking to navigate without looking at their phones every 5 minutes? I usually stuff my phone in my camelbak for my rides. Is it just a New England thing? Did some camping at Little River in VT this fall, hiked a loop that ran next to the mt bike loop, a few signs, distances and helpful info. Did not detract from my outing. At all. Is the lack of signs some kind of selfish" If you don't know the trails keep off" kind of thing? Seems other areas all over the country and beyond can do it with no problems. I get KT is a mostly private land thing, the signs really offend folks who pedal there? I find them helpful. Hiking trails and ski areas all over seem to have signs as well. Really not following the reasoning.
    Seriously. Are you the same dude I was arguing with last summer?!

    Iím sure we will still agree to disagree on a lot. But seriously, this is why New England pisses me off. I get it, I love getting lost in the woods. But when we discuss public land the attitudes folks have on here just perplex me.

    The reason it happens all over the country has a lot to do with culture and attitude. Itís a different world outside the northeast.

    These selfish attitudes are why I have so many issues with the riding scene in New England. We are quickly falling behind what many others are doing, and it appears most folks are happy with that. If thatís the case, sure I have no place to offer new ideas and change. But it does make me sad.

  35. #35
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    I found a school teacher once on a hybrid bike, lost on a black diamond trail in late October at night with no light, with temperatures in the low 30s. The trail network had no signs. She took some of the poster's advice above, printed off an out-of-date map she found online, and decided to "explore" after work, many hours earlier.

    Screw her, right? Let her freeze to death.

    Also screw the police officers that were sent to find her. They don't have anything better to do, right?

    Also screw the city that owned the land, because they can always afford another lawsuit. Also screw the taxpayer that ultimately pays for those lawsuits.

    /sarcasm

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    I found a school teacher once on a hybrid bike, lost on a black diamond trail in late October at night with no light, with temperatures in the low 30s. The trail network had no signs. She took some of the poster's advice above, printed off an out-of-date map she found online, and decided to "explore" after work, many hours earlier.

    Screw her, right? Let her freeze to death.

    Also screw the police officers that were sent to find her. They don't have anything better to do, right?

    Also screw the city that owned the land, because they can always afford another lawsuit. Also screw the taxpayer that ultimately pays for those lawsuits.

    /sarcasm

    Signage serves a purpose. If you don't like the look of it, don't look at it.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Never underestimate the stupidity of humans.
    What she did was perfectly reasonable. She started out on an easier route in daylight, with a map, a cell phone, and time to spare. How was she to know the map she had was inaccurate? Or that the cell phone coverage was spotty?

    The police officer I spoke to that night said they received a call at least once a week on average to rescue someone from those woods.

    People are stupid, but would you rather have your law enforcement doing search and rescue, or fighting crime? Would you rather have your tax dollars paying to settle lawsuits, or building new trails?

    Good signage mitigates stupidity. It's stupid not to use it.
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  38. #38
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    would an updated map also not solve that problem? <devil's advocate

    I'm not particularly offended (or not) by signage. Previously, I was simply pointing out that it's totally possible to get around without signs, and safely, in 2018.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    What she did was perfectly reasonable. She started out on an easier route in daylight, with a map, a cell phone, and time to spare. How was she to know the map she had was inaccurate? Or that the cell phone coverage was spotty?

    The police officer I spoke to that night said they received a call at least once a week on average to rescue someone from those woods.

    People are stupid, but would you rather have your law enforcement doing search and rescue, or fighting crime? Would you rather have your tax dollars paying to settle lawsuits, or building new trails?

    Good signage mitigates stupidity. It's stupid not to use it.
    What you fail to realize is the average New England mountain biker doesnít give a shit about anyone but themselves. They donít want better riding communities. They want their secret stash the way theyíve had it for decades.

    Not only do all my trail plans and designs stress signage (if a client doesnít want a signage plan) but they also stress doing trainings with local EMS, police, and rescuers.

    I always find law enforcement coming on to trail projects during a build. Why? They know it means more work for them. Not if, but when someone gets hurt or needs help.

    I always make a point to reach out and try to educate them prior to dropping trails in their laps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    would an updated map also not solve that problem? <devil's advocate

    I'm not particularly offended (or not) by signage. Previously, I was simply pointing out that it's totally possible to get around without signs, and safely, in 2018.
    Signage is much more than wayfinding. There is a lot to it. Wayfinding and planning are more complex than some care to realize.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    would an updated map also not solve that problem?
    It would, but how is the map user suppose to know the map they have is inaccurate? Not everyone has a cell phone with GPS.

    Previously, I was simply pointing out that it's totally possible to get around without signs, and safely, in 2018.
    Agreed, but it's also totally possible to still get lost or in a bad situation in 2018, even if you know what you are doing.

    I'm all for personal responsibility and exploring, but I also don't want people getting lost or hurt simply because I personally don't like the aesthetics of signs.
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  41. #41
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    It is OK to not have signs, as people who don't want them have good reasons.

    It is OK to have signs, as people who want them have good reasons.


    Personally, I much rather NO signs. If you think about what one is trying to accomplish by getting out in the woods, the NO signs rationale makes sense.

    A compass and a sheet of paper (a map - remember those things) is the most I'd take on a big system where getting dangerously lost was likely.


    People most likely to complain about there not being signs are the ones not out there doing trail work. If they did they'd know the trails.

    GPS, Strava, Trailforks... No way. Nothing electronic on a ride (unless I really need to take a pic of something). Getting out in the woods is what I do to get away from sh!t like that. Bring it along? You've got to be kidding. Signs, to me, are just one step away from stuff like that.

    Getting a bit lost in the woods is something most people would benefit from.


    Think Jeremiah Johnson needed signs, huh?

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    You: "I went over my handlebars, hit my head, and I can't feel my legs."

    911: "What is your location?"

    You: "I dunno. I started from the trailhead on Water Road about an hour ago and took 2 lefts."

    911: "Which trailhead?"

    You: "There's more than one? F*ck me, I am going to die out here! But at least I'll die happy because my ride wasn't spoiled by some ugly signs."
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

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    Hell, sometimes the conversation goes:

    911: Wait where are you? There are trails out there?

    But I think what we can take away from this is the stubborn ďme firstĒ, ďchange is badĒ, and ďwe are better than you because of itĒ New England attitude is very alive and well in the mountain biking ďcommunityĒ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    You: "I went over my handlebars, hit my head, and I can't feel my legs."

    911: "What is your location?"

    You: "I dunno. I started from the trailhead on Water Road about an hour ago and took 2 lefts."

    911: "Which trailhead?"

    You: "There's more than one? F*ck me, I am going to die out here! But at least I'll die happy because my ride wasn't spoiled by some ugly signs."

    if you're calling 911 on a cell phone your position can be triangulated. Your coordinates, in fact, show up on the screen when the call rings in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    if you're calling 911 on a cell phone your position can be triangulated. Your coordinates, in fact, show up on the screen when the call rings in.
    So the SAR team just waltzes into the woods and pulls you out. Damn Iíd didnít realize how easy it was.

    I thought maybe there was dense woods, or water crossings, or steep slopes, or cliff bands, or swamps, or any other number of natural obstacles to a simple in and out extraction.

    Or did you assume they would take the trails to the victim? We established there isnít a reliable map. And in many cases rescuers are not familiar with the trails. So how exactly do they skip in and pull someone out?

    Especially if the issue is time sensitive?

    Sorry but all of your guys arguments against signs on public lands comes down to your self righteous attitude and the wish to keep your secret playground just the way you like it.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

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    I said previously that I'm pretty indifferent about the signage.

    It is also part of one's duty to know your area, if you work in public safety. So while you're right, there are always challenges to any rescue, most of the time, the easiest way in is the best approach.


    edit: also, its sashay, not waltz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Seriously. Are you the same dude I was arguing with last summer?!

    Iím sure we will still agree to disagree on a lot. But seriously, this is why New England pisses me off. I get it, I love getting lost in the woods. But when we discuss public land the attitudes folks have on here just perplex me.

    The reason it happens all over the country has a lot to do with culture and attitude. Itís a different world outside the northeast.

    These selfish attitudes are why I have so many issues with the riding scene in New England. We are quickly falling behind what many others are doing, and it appears most folks are happy with that. If thatís the case, sure I have no place to offer new ideas and change. But it does make me sad.
    Dood please go away. You are a friggin disgrace to New Englanders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    I found a school teacher once on a hybrid bike, lost on a black diamond trail in late October at night with no light, with temperatures in the low 30s. The trail network had no signs. She took some of the poster's advice above, printed off an out-of-date map she found online, and decided to "explore" after work, many hours earlier.

    Screw her, right? Let her freeze to death.

    Also screw the police officers that were sent to find her. They don't have anything better to do, right?

    Also screw the city that owned the land, because they can always afford another lawsuit. Also screw the taxpayer that ultimately pays for those lawsuits.

    /sarcasm

    Signage serves a purpose. If you don't like the look of it, don't look at it.
    She was obviously lacking a clue. Book smart maybe, but.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    It is OK to not have signs, as people who don't want them have good reasons.

    It is OK to have signs, as people who want them have good reasons.


    Personally, I much rather NO signs. If you think about what one is trying to accomplish by getting out in the woods, the NO signs rationale makes sense.

    A compass and a sheet of paper (a map - remember those things) is the most I'd take on a big system where getting dangerously lost was likely.


    People most likely to complain about there not being signs are the ones not out there doing trail work. If they did they'd know the trails.

    GPS, Strava, Trailforks... No way. Nothing electronic on a ride (unless I really need to take a pic of something). Getting out in the woods is what I do to get away from sh!t like that. Bring it along? You've got to be kidding. Signs, to me, are just one step away from stuff like that.

    Getting a bit lost in the woods is something most people would benefit from.


    Think Jeremiah Johnson needed signs, huh?
    Thank you!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    Dood please go away. You are a friggin disgrace to New Englanders.
    enough of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    enough of that.
    Why? The kid shouldn't even be taking up residence in New England with his hatred towards New Englanders. I would LOVE to cross paths with this kid in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    if you're calling 911 on a cell phone your position can be triangulated. Your coordinates, in fact, show up on the screen when the call rings in.
    If only it were that easy.

    https://searchengineland.com/cell-ph...-the-map-14790

    I'm totally with everyone on personal responsibility, being prepared and having a sense of adventure, but sh*t happens, people make mistakes, and signs serve an important function, even if we don't need them personally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    If only it were that easy.

    https://searchengineland.com/cell-ph...-the-map-14790

    I'm totally with everyone on personal responsibility, being prepared and having a sense of adventure, but sh*t happens, people make mistakes, and signs serve an important function, even if we don't need them personally.

    sweet article from 2008. infrastructure has been upgraded since then, fyi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    You: "I went over my handlebars, hit my head, and I can't feel my legs."

    911: "What is your location?"

    You: "I dunno. I started from the trailhead on Water Road about an hour ago and took 2 lefts."

    911: "Which trailhead?"

    You: "There's more than one? F*ck me, I am going to die out here! But at least I'll die happy because my ride wasn't spoiled by some ugly signs."

    Wouldn't be me. I don't carry a phone when in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    sweet article from 2008. infrastructure has been upgraded since then, fyi.
    How's January 20, 2018 for you:

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...te-911-callers

    "...You'd be surprised how often people don't know where they're at,...(It's) not nearly as precise as people are led to believe from movies..."
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Wouldn't be me. I don't carry a phone when in the woods.
    911: what's the emergency?

    Some Hiker: I found a dead & decomposed mountain biker on the trail.

    911: Oh, that must be Miker J. He never rides with a cell phone. What's your location?

    Some Hiker: I dunno, I started from the trailhead on Water Road...

    just kidding.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Friend, THIS article is from Nebraska.
    In Massachusetts, when you call 911 from a cell phone, that position pops up on the display on the phone with the MSP, and in each municipality (to my best recollection). the mass.gov site claims to be new and lacking the exact information I want to post to substantiate my assertion.

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    We're getting dangerously close to personal threats here. This is a good topic. Let's not derail it and get it locked. PM sent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Friend, THIS article is from Nebraska.
    In Massachusetts, when you call 911 from a cell phone, that position pops up on the display on the phone with the MSP, and in each municipality (to my best recollection). the mass.gov site claims to be new and lacking the exact information I want to post to substantiate my assertion.
    You're correct. I found this article about Massachusettes 911 system upgrade scheduled for 2017. I can't tell from the article if it will work for flip phones, or what radius accuracy it will give.

    Ok, so no signage required for Massachusetts.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

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    hah. I've switched to a watch that makes calls and has built in gps. Dick Tracy type stuff.
    I left out the part where I sometimes bing my phone to listen to music or a podcast, GASP!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    It is OK to not have signs, as people who don't want them have good reasons.

    It is OK to have signs, as people who want them have good reasons.


    Personally, I much rather NO signs. If you think about what one is trying to accomplish by getting out in the woods, the NO signs rationale makes sense.

    A compass and a sheet of paper (a map - remember those things) is the most I'd take on a big system where getting dangerously lost was likely.


    People most likely to complain about there not being signs are the ones not out there doing trail work. If they did they'd know the trails.

    GPS, Strava, Trailforks... No way. Nothing electronic on a ride (unless I really need to take a pic of something). Getting out in the woods is what I do to get away from sh!t like that. Bring it along? You've got to be kidding. Signs, to me, are just one step away from stuff like that.

    Getting a bit lost in the woods is something most people would benefit from.


    Think Jeremiah Johnson needed signs, huh?
    Yup, thank you. Agreed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    911: what's the emergency?

    Some Hiker: I found a dead & decomposed mountain biker on the trail.

    911: Oh, that must be Miker J. He never rides with a cell phone. What's your location?

    Some Hiker: I dunno, I started from the trailhead on Water Road...

    just kidding.

    Ha! I am laughing right now. And my very wise wife has told me the same thing too many times. I remind her I have a very good insurance policy, the kids are sturdy enough to survive without me, and quite frankly I'm probably more hassle than I'm worth (except for my salary, and the insurance would cover that).

    Humans have a shelf life, and its much shorter than we think. Since I work in a hospital, and see people dying there everyday, dying in the woods is not such a bad thing.

    I've had at least one sever event, which was a darn close call, and didn't have a phone. Aside from feeling bad for my wife and kids I was ready to accept my fate.


    My carcass wouldn't be found - too many coyotes.


    Getting carried away with posting so much, but I've got down time. Injury and bad weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Monkey wrenching? Destructing of property put up by others? Just wow.
    No, no, no! I'm not some teen vandal with a can of spray paint and a crow bar! I'm talking about shotguns, dynamite, and flamethrowers. Stuff like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    The reason it happens all over the country has a lot to do with culture and attitude. Itís a different world outside the northeast.

    These selfish attitudes are why I have so many issues with the riding scene in New England. We are quickly falling behind what many others are doing, and it appears most folks are happy with that. If thatís the case, sure I have no place to offer new ideas and change. But it does make me sad.
    I'm not sure if I understand 'what' exactly happens in other places but not here?
    We've got a ton of people riding and building all over New England. What are we 'quickly falling behind' on?

    This area has had strong advocacy and tons of enthusiastic riders for decades. There are XC trails EVERYWHERE, not to mention what's likely the highest concentration of lift served venues on the planet. I can think of a number of places I ride regularly that have reasonable to good signage along with easily accessible and correspondable on-line maps, etc. I've got nothing at all against signage, just some places have it, some places don't. That hasn't seemed to put much of a damper on the New England MTBing scene in general as far as I've seen.

    You keep insulting a lot of regional riders and builders by calling us 'selfish'. I can't seem to get my head around how you come to that judgement. I've ridden countless nice public trails and systems around here that random volunteers have poured crazy amounts of time, thought and effort into. Unlike a lot of other places, there is usually zero dollars or labor involved aside from what the MTB community puts in ourselves. Yeah, there are always gonna be certain places that are tougher to get around then others. BFD. Sure it would be a 'nice' thing if anyone could show up to any trail anywhere and roll off into the woods and barely have to think about navigation, but it's not realistic. Has nothing to do with being 'selfish'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm not sure if I understand 'what' exactly happens in other places but not here?
    We've got a ton of people riding and building all over New England. What are we 'quickly falling behind' on?

    This area has had strong advocacy and tons of enthusiastic riders for decades. There are XC trails EVERYWHERE, not to mention what's likely the highest concentration of lift served venues on the planet. I can think of a number of places I ride regularly that have reasonable to good signage along with easily accessible and correspondable on-line maps, etc. I've got nothing at all against signage, just some places have it, some places don't. That hasn't seemed to put much of a damper on the New England MTBing scene in general as far as I've seen.

    You keep insulting a lot of regional riders and builders by calling us 'selfish'. I can't seem to get my head around how you come to that judgement. I've ridden countless nice public trails and systems around here that random volunteers have poured crazy amounts of time, thought and effort into. Unlike a lot of other places, there is usually zero dollars or labor involved aside from what the MTB community puts in ourselves. Yeah, there are always gonna be certain places that are tougher to get around then others. BFD. Sure it would be a 'nice' thing if anyone could show up to any trail anywhere and roll off into the woods and barely have to think about navigation, but it's not realistic. Has nothing to do with being 'selfish'.
    Slap, well said. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm not sure if I understand 'what' exactly happens in other places but not here?
    We've got a ton of people riding and building all over New England. What are we 'quickly falling behind' on?

    This area has had strong advocacy and tons of enthusiastic riders for decades. There are XC trails EVERYWHERE, not to mention what's likely the highest concentration of lift served venues on the planet. I can think of a number of places I ride regularly that have reasonable to good signage along with easily accessible and correspondable on-line maps, etc. I've got nothing at all against signage, just some places have it, some places don't. That hasn't seemed to put much of a damper on the New England MTBing scene in general as far as I've seen.

    You keep insulting a lot of regional riders and builders by calling us 'selfish'. I can't seem to get my head around how you come to that judgement. I've ridden countless nice public trails and systems around here that random volunteers have poured crazy amounts of time, thought and effort into. Unlike a lot of other places, there is usually zero dollars or labor involved aside from what the MTB community puts in ourselves. Yeah, there are always gonna be certain places that are tougher to get around then others. BFD. Sure it would be a 'nice' thing if anyone could show up to any trail anywhere and roll off into the woods and barely have to think about navigation, but it's not realistic. Has nothing to do with being 'selfish'.
    Not sure why I should bother responding as folks have clearly shown their disdain for others opinions and ideas. So yes the ugly comments tend to show the selfish and exclusive nature of the ďcommunityĒ.

    Also if you read the whole thread I think youíll see peopleís sense of self righteousness when it comes to public land and trails on them. When you donít care about someone elseís experience, that is selfish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Not sure why I should bother responding as folks have clearly shown their disdain for others opinions and ideas. So yes the ugly comments tend to show the selfish and exclusive nature of the ďcommunityĒ.

    Also if you read the whole thread I think youíll see peopleís sense of self righteousness when it comes to public land and trails on them. When you donít care about someone elseís experience, that is selfish.
    So a couple people on a forum speak for the entire New England MTB community in you estimation?

    It sounds to me like you don't actually know many builders/riders in real life. You picture most of us out building trails with the express intent of trying to keep the everyone off of them? That's nothing short of ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    So a couple people on a forum speak for the entire New England MTB community in you estimation?

    It sounds to me like you don't actually know many builders/riders in real life. You picture most of us out building trails with the express intent of trying to keep the everyone off of them? That's nothing short of ridiculous.
    Sure. That is a valid point. Unfortunately this is a thread about signage on MA trails so we should stick to that. Iím happy to have this discussion over beers sometime, if folks can be mature and decent. I voiced my opinions, others theirs, letís take it back to signs.

    Again, unfortunately through this site, but even more so my personal dealings with folks like NEMBA chapters, other riders (ďbuildersĒ), regional MTB Facebook groups, and in-person meetings (on trails, in shops, etc.); I doubt many folks can do that (decent human conversation and actually considering anotherís view).
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    And just like that, we were written off without even a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    And just like that, we were written off without even a chance.
    Standard MO it seems - throw out wide-ranging off-topic insult, complain that anyone responding to it is off-topic.

    Hey Steve, if you don't want to talk about something, how about you stop bringing it up all the time. Say you like signs, and then pipe down before you go off on some sort of social commentary. Don't bring something up, then whine when others respond to your accusations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Standard MO it seems - throw out wide-ranging off-topic insult, complain that anyone responding to it is off-topic.

    Hey Steve, if you don't want to talk about something, how about you stop bringing it up all the time. Say you like signs, and then pipe down before you go off on some sort of social commentary. Don't bring something up, then whine when others respond to your accusations.
    I do want to talk about it. But my point was yíall donít want signs because yíall donít care about anyone but yourselves. Itís an opinion. Backed by my personal experience with lots of New England riders. And further backed by a lot of responses here.

    Iím happy to continue the big discussion. But here isnít the place. I offered beers.

    You make a great point, Iíll try to stick to the tread more without injecting my overall opinion.

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    I never said I didn't want signs. So keep your "ya'll" to yourself.

    You seem like the kind of guy that really likes to critique and tell others how they should be doing their thing; can you share any examples of trail systems you've done the mapping/signage for?
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    it's the friggin woods.

    put your big boy pants on before going into them.

    do your homework before leaving the house.

    don't expect everything to be done for you.

    if you want signs then go build your own signs and install them yourself.

    gawd almighty this is the stupidest thread

    PS: if you do not have a rescue whistle in your pack
    then you are not doing the woods correctly


    https://www.rei.com/product/669627/c...nction-whistle

    any clown knows how to beep out SOS with a whistle. if you cannot blow a whistle then you must really be mangled, so die doing what you love.


    ----------
    how about a thread like this ?

    hey guys/gals I found a trail system with weak signage, so I took action and contacted the land managers/owners and got some materials together and elbow grease and now the trials are marked and we have a trail map too.

    yeah, how about it ? rather bitch on internet instead... take the easy way out ?

    for me, I plan on zero signs and zero chance of rescue...every time I ride my bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    how about a thread like this ?

    hey guys/gals I found a trail system with good signage, but I personally don't like the look of signs on trails, so I simply ignored them and enjoyed my ride anyway.

    yeah, how about it ? rather bitch on internet instead... take the easy way out ?
    ^ There is some of this going on too. Some are complaining about lack of signs, and others are complaining because they don't like signs.

    If you don't like or don't need the signs, don't look at them. Problem solved.

    for me, I plan on zero signs and zero chance of rescue...every time I ride my bike
    Agree, same here. But I still appreciate useful signage when it's present on a trail I'm not familiar with. And I don't let it ruin my ride if it's missing.
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    Typically if you are working with a group like the DCR or the Army Corp of Engineers they want all trails on their property mapped and "usually" signage hung as well. The reason ( as stated above) is in case of an emergency they will know how to locate someone injured etc. Remember mountain bikers are NOT the only people using these trails, so if a family goes out for a hike and someone gets injured it can result is a major problem if they cannot get out of the woods quickly.

    illegal trails are a whole different animal and it would be moronic to sign trails that are not legit.

    Just my .02...


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    Quote Originally Posted by mdc View Post
    illegal trails are a whole different animal and it would be moronic to sign trails that are not legit.
    I think that's fueling some of the resistance against signage.

    No one here is asking rogue builders to erect signage on their illegal trails. That's stupid.

    On a sanctioned, legal trail network, it's stupid not to have good signage. Good signage helps first responders, and mitigates risk of lawsuit.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    I would LOVE to cross paths with this kid in the woods.
    Are you making threats against other users on this site?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    mitigates risk of lawsuit.
    Really? Someone wanders into the woods and gets lost, they can sue? Hikers get lost in the woods all the time, I don't recall any of them successfully suing the USFS for not having GPS coordinates carved into every tree.

    Do you have any examples of actual signage lawsuits you can share, as the whole premise just sounds incredibly far-fetched.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I never said I didn't want signs. So keep your "ya'll" to yourself.

    You seem like the kind of guy that really likes to critique and tell others how they should be doing their thing; can you share any examples of trail systems you've done the mapping/signage for?
    Fair enough to the first. As for the second, happy to discuss over beers. Unfortunately Iíve felt a bit threatened on this forum and therefore choose not to discuss personal information.

    But seriously, shoot me a PM. Iíll buy beers if Iím close by. A lot of my angst (and subsequent ďcritiquingĒ on MTBR) is because when I do reach out to NEMBA and others Iím either ignored or given some BS to make me go away.

    So yes Slap, if you want to chat Iíd 100% love to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Really? Someone wanders into the woods and gets lost, they can sue? Hikers get lost in the woods all the time, I don't recall any of them successfully suing the USFS for not having GPS coordinates carved into every tree.

    Do you have any examples of actual signage lawsuits you can share, as the whole premise just sounds incredibly far-fetched.
    I was referring more to people getting hurt on a trail and then suing the landowner and/or trail builder.

    Good signage is a part of good risk management strategy. It allows the landowner's and trail builder's legal council to stand up in court and say something like:

    "Your honour, there was a sign at the trailhead that clearly indicated that mountain biking is a dangerous sport, that the trails were ride at your own risk, and that he should ride within his skill, ride prepared, and not ride alone. The plaintiff admitted under oath to seeing that sign, admitted under oath that he has limited skill, admitted under oath that he rode alone without bringing a cell phone or letting anyone know of his plans, and admitted under oath to riding a trail that is clearly signed indicating that it is for advanced expert riders only. The plaintiff made an informed choice to ride an advanced trail when there were other, easier, trails more suited to his skill level, and deliberately rode the signed jump when there was an alternate, easier line available and clearly indicated. Your honour, on these grounds, we ask you to find that the defendant is not liable.
    ... or something like that. IANAL.

    I know what some of you are thinking. It sucks that people aren't more personally responsible for their own safety. I agree. People that ride trails and hurt themselves and then sue the landowner suck donkey balls. It sucks that society is so litigious. I agree. It sucks.

    But ask yourself this: would you rather have your tax dollars pay for these people that suck, or pay for signage? Take a guess which one is cheaper.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    it's the friggin woods.

    put your big boy pants on before going into them.

    do your homework before leaving the house.

    don't expect everything to be done for you.

    if you want signs then go build your own signs and install them yourself.

    gawd almighty this is the stupidest thread

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    then you are not doing the woods correctly


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    ----------
    how about a thread like this ?

    hey guys/gals I found a trail system with weak signage, so I took action and contacted the land managers/owners and got some materials together and elbow grease and now the trials are marked and we have a trail map too.

    yeah, how about it ? rather bitch on internet instead... take the easy way out ?

    for me, I plan on zero signs and zero chance of rescue...every time I ride my bike
    I get the personal responsibility thing. OP here. The problem I'm finding is the general opposition to signs in lots of areas where I pedal in MA. Tough making headway with some of the dcr/state policies on signs and paperwork needed. Hence my post.

  83. #83
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    I'd go with 'Your honor, please see MA General Law c. 21 sec. 17C, more commonly known as the óRecreational Use Statute, which affords any owner who allows the public to use their land for recreation at no charge relief from liability, so long as the owner has not been willful, wanton or reckless."

    You simply can't be sued for not putting up signs.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I get the personal responsibility thing. OP here. The problem I'm finding is the general opposition to signs in lots of areas where I pedal in MA. Tough making headway with some of the dcr/state policies on signs and paperwork needed. Hence my post.
    Which venues in particular have you experienced actual "opposition" from?
    Knowing more specifics might help explain it.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    You simply can't be sued for not putting up signs.
    I remember as a small kid a famous lawsuit involving a major fast food company and not telling someone the coffee was hot.

    Again I side with ray, who explained it very well. Thanks ray!

    Also the statue you quoted was for private landowners was it not? If DCR charges to park (I believe some places do), is this still covered? Actual question not being an ass.

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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'd go with 'Your honor, please see MA General Law c. 21 sec. 17C, more commonly known as the óRecreational Use Statute, which affords any owner who allows the public to use their land for recreation at no charge relief from liability, so long as the owner has not been willful, wanton or reckless."

    You simply can't be sued for not putting up signs.
    "...wilful, wanton, or reckless...". A difficult technical trail feature with no warning sign? A judge may find that reckless. Why take a chance in court?

    Even if the court rules the landowner is not liable, they can still come after the trail builders or maintainers. Do you like getting sued? I help build trails and I know I don't.

    And that's Massachusetts law. Other jurisdictions have similar laws. Ontario probably has a law like that, and a municipality was still successfully sued when a biker broke his neck in a bike skills park. Failure to post proper warning signs was sited in the ruling.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    "...wilful, wanton, or reckless...". A difficult technical trail feature with no warning sign? A judge may find that reckless. Why take a chance in court?

    Even if the court rules the landowner is not liable, they can still come after the trail builders or maintainers. Do you like getting sued? I help build trails and I know I don't.

    And that's Massachusetts law. Other jurisdictions have similar laws. Ontario probably has a law like that, and a municipality was still successfully sued when a biker broke his neck in a bike skills park. Failure to post proper warning signs was sited in the ruling.
    Thanks for posting some useful information and providing good insight to the debate.

    Hopefully others can follow suit. And consider an opposing view.

    Like a true New Englander Iím a big asshole sometimes, so likely my points never get across.

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    I'm just really proud that our generally quiet Mass forum has suddenly been buzzing with activity and spirited discussion. Nice job everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    "...wilful, wanton, or reckless...". A difficult technical trail feature with no warning sign? A judge may find that reckless. Why take a chance in court?

    Even if the court rules the landowner is not liable, they can still come after the trail builder. Do you like getting sued? I help build trails and I know I don't.

    And that's Massachusetts law. Other jurisdictions have similar laws. Ontario probably has a law like that, and a municipality was still successfully sued when a biker broke his neck in a bike skills park. Failure to post proper warning signs was sited in the ruling.
    If you read the article, it details what the law says there; it actually imposes 'affirmative duty' on the landowner to keep visitors safe. We have no such law here, and since this is where I live and build, I don't really care much about what the laws are in Ontario. Or Australia or Zimbabwe for that matter.

    As far as coming after trail builders, we've actually sadly had 2 deaths fairly recently on trails built by a local NEMBA chapter; no lawsuits.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Also the statue you quoted was for private landowners was it not? If DCR charges to park (I believe some places do), is this still covered? Actual question not being an ass.
    Some better info on RUS in general...lot of is VA-centric, but basic premises hold.

    https://www.nrpa.org/parks-recreatio...l-use-statute/
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Which venues in particular have you experienced actual "opposition" from?
    Knowing more specifics might help explain it.
    Will discuss after our next spring meeting and report back if we can make some headway. Thanks.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    As far as coming after trail builders, we've actually sadly had 2 deaths fairly recently on trails built by a local NEMBA chapter; no lawsuits.
    The Mass. law you referred to protects the landowner, not the trail builder. No history of lawsuits is not a guarantee against future lawsuits.

    The plaintiff's case doesn't have to be strong, or even have to make it to court for it to be a disaster for you financially.

    But feel free to continue building trails without signage if you find signs aesthetically displeasing. It won't be me footing the legal bill.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I can support putting similar signs at every trailhead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    I can support putting similar signs at every trailhead.
    People are that stupid. They really are. They need to be protected from themselves.

    It would be great to let them Darwin themselves out of the gene pool, but the consequences of that affect all of us, including trail closures and lawsuits (*except in Mass.)

    - and with that note, let me depart from here, because I really don't belong in this sub. Sorry for the intrusion and thanks for the discussion.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    The Mass. law you referred to protects the landowner, not the trail builder. No history of lawsuits is not a guarantee against future lawsuits.

    The plaintiff's case doesn't have to be strong, or even have to make it to court for it to be a disaster for you financially.

    But feel free to continue building trails without signage if you find signs aesthetically displeasing. It won't be me footing the legal bill.
    Again, I never said I have any problem with signs at all. Don't know why you guys keep going back to that.

    Putting a sign on something you built that calls attention to how dangerous it is is likely a better way to get sued than leave it unsigned. It shows that you admit that it's a hazard.
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  98. #98
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    Being a 70 y/o intermediate rider, I found this sign very helpful while on a trip to AZ.


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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    100%!!!! This is hold harmless language. Iím on mobile and canít attach a pic, but when I get to a real machine I will. Basically ďmountain biking is dangerousĒ. Now youíve told the would be rider.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Putting a sign on something you built that calls attention to how dangerous it is is likely a better way to get sued than leave it unsigned. It shows that you admit that it's a hazard.
    Totally! Had a client want to put a fence up because of exposure. I explained if you put a fence up in this one spot but not at this other, and someone fell off at the second, then a court of law may see that you protected trail visitors from one hazard but not another. Basically admitting the exposure is dangerous. So we went with no fences.

    Not to mention fences on trail exposure?! Bleh.

    Also thanks for links man. Iíll look into when not operating from the mobile.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    This might leave the landowner open to a lawsuit from blind riders.

  101. #101
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    This one works too....

    Name:  511vI5K5Y6L._SY450_.jpg
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  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    100%!!!! This is hold harmless language. Iím on mobile and canít attach a pic, but when I get to a real machine I will. Basically ďmountain biking is dangerousĒ. Now youíve told the would be rider.



    Totally! Had a client want to put a fence up because of exposure. I explained if you put a fence up in this one spot but not at this other, and someone fell off at the second, then a court of law may see that you protected trail visitors from one hazard but not another. Basically admitting the exposure is dangerous. So we went with no fences.

    Not to mention fences on trail exposure?! Bleh.

    Also thanks for links man. Iíll look into when not operating from the mobile.
    Yeah man.
    And when digging season comes along, if you ever find yourself in the north-central part of MA, let's get those beers taken care of! Maybe I'll install a bunch of signs on our trails counting down distance to brewery tasting room!
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  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Yeah man.
    And when digging season comes along, if you ever find yourself in the north-central part of MA, let's get those beers taken care of! Maybe I'll install a bunch of signs on our trails counting down distance to brewery tasting room!
    Buddy getting married mid-August in Concord. I try to get a week + "off" when my friends do that. Beers, bikes; you name it. I will reach out before then.
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  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Buddy getting married mid-August in Concord. I try to get a week + "off" when my friends do that. Beers, bikes; you name it. I will reach out before then.
    Concord? Must try the Russell Mill ( Chelmsford) to Billerica loop, can get a 3-4 hr loop. Sweet new ( dare I say flow) stuff in the Billerica section. It has a few signs for way finding and 3 arrowed loops to mark the trails, nicely done. Really well done stuff, some alt line with rollers and rocks galore.

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Concord? Must try the Russell Mill ( Chelmsford) to Billerica loop, can get a 3-4 hr loop. Sweet new ( dare I say flow) stuff in the Billerica section. It has a few signs for way finding and 3 arrowed loops to mark the trails, nicely done. Really well done stuff, some alt line with rollers and rocks galore.
    That's it, Lee's in too.
    It's a party now!

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  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Concord? Must try the Russell Mill ( Chelmsford) to Billerica loop, can get a 3-4 hr loop. Sweet new ( dare I say flow) stuff in the Billerica section. It has a few signs for way finding and 3 arrowed loops to mark the trails, nicely done. Really well done stuff, some alt line with rollers and rocks galore.
    :ears:

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    Those trails are great. I think the signage over in Billerica works really well too. Minimal, but with the thought put into the layout, you don't need much. I found it really easy to find my way around even having never looked at a map or e-tracks.
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    ^^^^ Agreed.

  109. #109
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    You can pedal all the way from Concord up to Russell Mill on 90% trails vs road. Bad news is there's barely any signs. (Or is that good news?)

  110. #110
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    sort of seems like those who live near trails in truly rural areas or have privately built/owned trails probably don't care about this argument because it doesn't affect them. so mostly those that are adamantly opposed to signs are likely living within a hour's drive of a sub/urban area. ie, the fells.

    in these places it seems a little artificial to think that an unsigned area promotes a true "wilderness" or self-sufficient experience. where can you get dangerously lost on your mountain bike in massachusetts and need a compass to survive?

    likewise, if they are public trails, it seems privileged to think that anyone should have to "earn" the right to know or access them. if knowing/exploring sign-less trails or thinking they keep "riff-raff" away enhances your mountain bike lifestyle, so be it. perhaps you should consider, however, that it likely discourages people from entering and enjoying the sport, which is ultimately what creates the leverage to support more trail building.

    it also makes it a PITA for first time users, even for experienced mountain bikers and seasoned wilderness "explorers." if my goal is to go mountain biking, i prefer to spend my time ripping trail and not navigating it. if my goal is to navigate trail, i prefer to visit areas that might actually offer some level of exploration (Southwest, Rockies, maybe Maine).

  111. #111
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    Interesting topic. I hate TOO MUCH signage in the woods, but don't mind a well thought out mapping & trail blazing system. It's the least intrusive to trail experience IMO.

    In our town I've designed a trail mapping & blazing standard, whereby maps are made (and available on town website and at some locations at a trail kiosk at trailhead), and trails are color blazed, using a trail blaze standard. The map shows the trails in the same color as the blazes on the trees. All open space parcels use the same standard IE: loop trails are yellow blaze, smaller loops within the large loop are blue blaze, and any entry/exit trail to the system is a red blaze. Since larger trails like the Bay Circuit Trail go through a few of our properties, we avoided the white blaze standard that they use.

    Attachments of the map & example trail blaze at one of our town owned properties.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Signs for trails.-master-map-clifford-g.-grant-management-area.jpg  

    Signs for trails.-trail-blaze.jpg  


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    ^^^^ Seems simple, easy and unobtrusive. Nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C.P. View Post
    Interesting topic. I hate TOO MUCH signage in the woods, but don't mind a well thought out mapping & trail blazing system. It's the least intrusive to trail experience IMO.

    In our town I've designed a trail mapping & blazing standard, whereby maps are made (and available on town website and at some locations at a trail kiosk at trailhead), and trails are color blazed, using a trail blaze standard. The map shows the trails in the same color as the blazes on the trees. All open space parcels use the same standard IE: loop trails are yellow blaze, smaller loops within the large loop are blue blaze, and any entry/exit trail to the system is a red blaze. Since larger trails like the Bay Circuit Trail go through a few of our properties, we avoided the white blaze standard that they use.

    Attachments of the map & example trail blaze at one of our town owned properties.
    Love seeing the same "standards" used between systems in an area (town, etc.). I think it ties it all together nicely.

    Blazing is certainly an east coast thing I'd say. I'm not a huge fan. I think trails should be pretty clear, so blazing is redundant.

    Rather, I prefer simple kiosk/map at a TH and intersection markers. FS style carsonite is simple and pretty minimal in my opinion. I like minimal signage too, so just markers denoting which way a trail goes (wayfinding), the allowed uses, and difficulty level at intersections is what I like to see.

    Quick example from a project I was involved in. Hard to tell what is going on here from this one pic, but there is a split where a blue trail takes off from the green.

    The city is still deciding on a park logo and trail names, so space was left at the top.

    Signs for trails.-img_3864.jpg
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    IMO, that would be total overkill if used at every intersection, and is also way obtrusive.
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  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    IMO, that would be total overkill if used at every intersection, and is also way obtrusive.
    Is that because there is a large number of intersections?

    In my opinion, this goes back to my points about trail planning and design. I have found that a lot of the riding I've done in New England is on a "spider-web" of trails where I run into 4-way (and more) intersections very often. One time in CT there were 4 4-ways all within a couple hundred feet of one another.

    To me this is poor planning, trying to pack way too much trail in. It goes back to my opinions that a lot of trails in the northeast were created "just to pack as many miles as one could" in an area. Versus looking at the property as a whole and planning, then designing, a trail system that works well together and has intention (beyond mileage).

    The intersections are minimal in this system.

    As far as obtrusive, I suppose that is opinion. As in it looks out of place? Or literally obstructs the trail? I can see valid points for the former, the latter not.
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    Well, poor planning maybe. So many legacy trails, dirt roads, fall line hiking trails and such. Very seldom in MA do we get to work with a clean slate. Sometimes we do get to work on a new section, more often we are closing down washed out fall line trails and fixing bad stuff. Don't get me started on braids and dumbing down trails. That's for another thread, grrrr.

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Well, poor planning maybe. So many legacy trails, dirt roads, fall line hiking trails and such. Very seldom in MA do we get to work with a clean slate. Sometimes we do get to work on a new section, more often we are closing down washed out fall line trails and fixing bad stuff. Don't get me started on braids and dumbing down trails. That's for another thread, grrrr.
    Very much another thread. But rest assured it is one issue we can likely agree on.

    And your point about legacy is highly relevant and correct. I was not trying to call anyone out or be my typical asshole self. I was trying to figure out, and I'll let him respond, why slap believes intersection marking would be overkill.

    My opinion is that I've seen a ton of needless intersections, so yeah I'd agree with slap if you have intersections all over it gets a bit messy. But then again I would advocate to clean some of that up..anyway. Thanks for some good discussion.
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    Yeah, lots of places where we inherited systems full of half-baked layouts to start with, as Lee mentioned. Ever try to ride 'Nam? Frigging intersections every 50'; I hate intersections myself and try to minimize them if building fresh, but around here, it's just the way it is. Very rare that you run into trails where you can just ride for miles at a time without having to make some sort of decision as far as which way to go.
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  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Yeah, lots of places where we inherited systems full of half-baked layouts to start with, as Lee mentioned. Ever try to ride 'Nam? Frigging intersections every 50'; I hate intersections myself and try to minimize them if building fresh, but around here, it's just the way it is. Very rare that you run into trails where you can just ride for miles at a time without having to make some sort of decision as far as which way to go.
    Only a few times.

    This is me trying not to be an ass and being a bit more diplomatic and paying homage to those before me.

    So, the question I have but this isn't the thread necessarily for it, is: how do we (if we want to) update some of these systems to have less intersections/more planned trail and less "legacy" trail? Or do we enjoy them as is?

    Oh and slap, I didn't see an explicit response but I assume you did mean the example I gave would be overkill due to many intersections? Or even at a system with minimal intersections would you stray from the FS typical fiberglass approach?
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    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of that look; used sparingly it's not a big deal, but definitely not something I want to see every couple minutes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Only a few times.

    This is me trying not to be an ass and being a bit more diplomatic and paying homage to those before me.

    So, the question I have but this isn't the thread necessarily for it, is: how do we (if we want to) update some of these systems to have less intersections/more planned trail and less "legacy" trail? Or do we enjoy them as is?

    Oh and slap, I didn't see an explicit response but I assume you did mean the example I gave would be overkill due to many intersections? Or even at a system with minimal intersections would you stray from the FS typical fiberglass approach?
    I look it as a circular task. Like laundry, always some to do, never done. Just tweaks and improvements as what you have to work with. I don't see how you get less intersections without closing trails? never perfect, always improving. Going to push for some signs this year. Or try to anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I don't see how you get less intersections without closing trails?
    Bingo! Which is why I was wondering if it is the way it is. Closing trails is never fun. But sometimes the ones left can get longer, improved, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Going to push for some signs this year. Or try to anyway.
    Good luck! I think, as I've said, signs are an LMs best form of risk management.
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