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  1. #1
    Registered User XCskiNYC's Avatar
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    Default Who's in Charge of Painting the BlaZes?

    If I were to have a suggestion about a place that lacks blazes but where it would be very helpful to hikers to HAVE a blaze..... Which entity would I contact about that?

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    Rain Man's Avatar
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    If it's the AT, then the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

    Or, in the alternative, the local trail club that maintains that section of the AT. Which info you can get from the ATC.

    RainMan

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    Registered User XCskiNYC's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll shoot off an e-mail to them at the CT AMC.

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    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCskiNYC View Post
    If I were to have a suggestion about a place that lacks blazes but where it would be very helpful to hikers to HAVE a blaze..... Which entity would I contact about that?
    The local trail maintaining club. Look'em up and shoot'em an e-mail.
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    just curious, where do you think the trail needs some extra blazing?
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    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Some of the wilderness areas lack blazes purposely. Check to make sure it's not one of those areas.







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    There's no wrong way to eat a Rhesus! Monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Doesn't make much sense that the remote locations are poorly marked, but the high traffic areas are marked like crazy.

    God forbid someone get lost in a high traffic area..........
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    Musta notta gotta lotta sleep last night. Heater's Avatar
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    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austexs View Post
    ----------
    I'm seeing this "post" more and more. What information or thought do you think you are communicating. I don't have a clue.

    Weary

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    Musta notta gotta lotta sleep last night. Heater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    I'm seeing this "post" more and more. What information or thought do you think you are communicating. I don't have a clue.

    Weary
    I don't remember what it was. It must have been bad since it was modded out. (--------)
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  11. #11
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeyboy View Post
    Doesn't make much sense that the remote locations are poorly marked, but the high traffic areas are marked like crazy.

    God forbid someone get lost in a high traffic area..........
    Well, it might seem counter-intuitive to you, but it does make sense. Read the ATC trail design, building, and maintenance book.

    You'll learn that fewer blazes in remote locations help with the sense of remoteness. And more blazes in high traffic areas don't intrude on the sense of remoteness (because it's not remote, by definition, if it's high traffic), but keep that high traffic on the trail and from getting loss and creating new "trail."

    Hot Springs is probably what you'd call a high traffic area. Yet, there was no double blaze at the end of the bridge telling hikers to jump the guard rail and descend below the bridge. I and my wife missed that turn in '06 and told the local maintenance club. When my own daughter thru'd in '04, she and her hiking buddies went right past that spot and hiked on up the highway quite a distance, then had to hike back. Something she shared with me when I told her about missing the turn.

    So, to me (and the ATC) it makes sense to thoroughly blaze high traffic areas and under blaze remote locations.

    RainMan

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  12. #12
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    .....to me (and the ATC) it makes sense to thoroughly blaze high traffic areas and under blaze remote locations.

    RainMan

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    Me to!!!!!

  13. #13
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    So, to me (and the ATC) it makes sense to thoroughly blaze high traffic areas and under blaze remote locations.

    RainMan

    .
    I also agree. The trail is usually very obvious in the woods, and few blazes are needed. The trail is far less obvious in town, near shelters, road crossings, etc., where there's either a lot of compacted ground, or pavement.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    I also agree. The trail is usually very obvious in the woods, and few blazes are needed. .....
    Unless you're the first one hiking in more than a foot of freshly-fallen snow with no underbrush or other indications of where the trail goes...like I did in SW Virginia. But it was beautiful. I only got lost 2 times the first day!

  15. #15

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    I have found blazes to particular necessary during seasons like right now when the trail is covered by leaves. Sure, the careful observer can see the leaves matted down, but it could be very easy to wander off trail.

    NOT speaking from experience. Knock on wood, I have not gone backwards or gotten off trail yet.
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    I completed a hike of CT two weeks ago and sent the maintaining club an email about the lack of blazes coming down Sharon Mountain, off of the area marked Hang Glider View, heading to CT 7/112. Which area did you have issues with?

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCskiNYC View Post
    If I were to have a suggestion about a place that lacks blazes but where it would be very helpful to hikers to HAVE a blaze..... Which entity would I contact about that?
    Contact this guy he's been painting blazes for years.....

    Paul Benedict
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    Woo

  18. #18

    Default A.T. policies

    Information about the A.T.'s trail maintenance and management guidelines (and ATC policies) can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org/policies. The Local Management Planning Guide is the principal document guiding A.T. management trailwide. Each of the 30 clubs develops their own Local Management Plan in partnership with ATC, NPS, and the additional land-managing agencies in their areas.

    Laurie P.
    ATC

  19. #19
    Registered User XCskiNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fussymary View Post
    I completed a hike of CT two weeks ago and sent the maintaining club an email about the lack of blazes coming down Sharon Mountain, off of the area marked Hang Glider View, heading to CT 7/112. Which area did you have issues with?
    That's probably one of the three worst I've dealt with. The trail mostly goes over solid rock so there's no easy treadway to follow

    But that Hang Glider area, besides having the solid rock treadway which isn't easy to follow and twisting around a lot, had very old and faded blazes. Sometimes it gets where you're confusing the blazes with lighter-colored lichen that happens to be growing in a more or less rectangular shape.

    Probably the next most difficult blaze hunt was around the top of Schagitcoke Mtn. south of Kent, CT. The last blaze is just before the trail comes in from the west and descends down into a mostly solid-rock gully. There's something that looks a lot like a treadway (especially since a large log lying across it has the center chainsawed out) that heads straight north out of the gully. But this isn't the treadway. The actual treadway follows around first SE, then making a sharp left and heading North, then heading NE and crossing over a brook. I actually found the trail by following the flase treadway to a brook, looking on my GPS to see it was saying the trail was somewhere to the east, then following eastward along the brook until there was a brookside tree with a white blaze. Visibility also made this whole search tough. It was late on an overcast day, late in October.

    The top award goes to an area about a mile or so north of the US7 road crossing near Great Barrington, MA. This is an area where, even though it's not solid rock, the ground is kind of hardish and there's no easy to see treadway. There were actually two or three spots before the really tough one where it was necessary to back up to the last-seen blaze in order to regain the trail.

    But the last blaze before the really tough area was on an odd tree, a tree that grew about five feet out of the ground, then grew parallel to the ground, then grew straight up toward the sun again in a conventional fashion. This was on a nice, bright, sunny April day (temp in the 70's). One of the first in that long string of clear, warm days we had throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2010. Anyway, I kept looping back to this odd tree and then trying to go forward again, carefully trying to suss out what could be the treadway. For a long time, it did me no good. The next blaze was just not to be found. I knew that, in general, as shown on my map (I wised up and went with maps instead of the GPS) it was in an NE direction. But this general knowledge wasn't helping. I finally had to apply an improvised grid-search and about 20 minutes later I stumbled upon the next blaze. The Berkshire AMC did get an e-mail on that one.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    Information about the A.T.'s trail maintenance and management guidelines (and ATC policies) can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org/policies. The Local Management Planning Guide is the principal document guiding A.T. management trailwide. Each of the 30 clubs develops their own Local Management Plan in partnership with ATC, NPS, and the additional land-managing agencies in their areas.

    Laurie P.
    ATC

    Thanks Laurie. It happens that I was recently reading the Sixteenth Edition of the Appalachian Trail Guide to NY-NJ. The Questions and Answers section in the back of the book had very interesting reading on trail design. Apparently the AT was neither designed to torture nor to delight hikers. In fact, the enjoyment, or lack thereof, is secondary to factors like minimizing impact on the terrain (in current design that is). This may explain why Mt. Everett in southern MA uses the draw-a-straight-line-from-the-bottom-to-the-top design rather than the zig-zags often used for ascending trail sections in more recent layouts. Then again, that Everett ascent from the south is pretty much solid rock so the impact-minimizing zig-zag style course would not have really been needed so much here.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Well, it might seem counter-intuitive to you, but it does make sense. Read the ATC trail design, building, and maintenance book.

    You'll learn that fewer blazes in remote locations help with the sense of remoteness. And more blazes in high traffic areas don't intrude on the sense of remoteness (because it's not remote, by definition, if it's high traffic), but keep that high traffic on the trail and from getting loss and creating new "trail."

    RainMan.

    Ah, there's a madness to their method. The problem is that the treadway isn't always obvious, especially to people who don't know the trail by heart (it's likely that many of the local club maintenance crew people already know the trail well enough to not need blazes anyway).

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