[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - trailblazed=poles;cairns

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Mon Mar 15 13:06:51 UTC 2021

I haven't found any photos in my personal collection, but for "What is a
trail marked with?", we should also consider hatchet blazes. These consist
just of scarring a tree with a couple of axe cuts to make a marker.
They're not in regular use around here, because the public authorities
stopped using them decades ago, but occasionally you'll still see an
unofficial hunting or fishing trail, particularly on non-Government-owned
land, marked in this fashion.

Often on the old trails, a marking hatchet would be used; a patch of bark
would be cut away with the axe end, and the hammerhead bore a distinct mark
that could be struck into the wood. The purpose of a marking hatchet would
be to mark the ownership of felled logs at the sawmill, but since a
forester often had one about, they'd also use them on standing trees to
mark their trails. Wikipedia has an old photo of a forester blazing a trail
in this fashion
Surveyors also mark their lines with axe cuts, although they're falling out
of favor and paint is more often used.

The cuts look like
when they're fresh and grow in over time -
Neither of the last two is my picture, so don't copy them to the Wiki.

Where I hike, the various types of markers are interspersed according to
conditions, rather than only one type being used throughout a trail. The
plate markers are most preferred, with paint blazes a close second. (USFS
forbids use of plate markers on wilderness trails. NYS DEC has no such
rule.)  Where there are no suitable trees, posts may be used in marshy
ground or to mark a path alongside a farmer's field. Cairns will be used
above the timber line, and will often be piled high - standing taller than
a man - because of deep snowpacks in winter.  Where there's too little
loose rock or too steep a surface to hold a cairn well, a maintainer might
resort to paint blazes on the rock and simply concede that the markings
won't be workable in winter. Surveyors' tape is used to mark temporary
routings. On the older trails, you'll still see hatchet blazes from the
1930s, today augmented with the other markers.

Markers with arrows are uncommon around here. Turns are indicated with the
Garvey system as in
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trail_blaze-symbols.svg. As the page
remarks in passing, a non-directional turn indication (simply two markers
in a vertical line, simply warning of a turn or other unusual condition) is
still sometimes seen.

On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 11:37 PM Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com>

> On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 10:04 AM Jaromír Mikeš <mira.mikes at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hello Andrew,
>> I am thinking of extending my proposal by ribbons and markers.
>> Can you point me somewhere where I can find some pictures of ribbons and
>> markers ...
>> Ideally these pictures should be licensed under Creative Commons licence
>> to be used on the proposal page.
> You're welcome to any of these; either my daughter or I is the
> photographer in all of them and willing to relicense as needed:
> Plate markers:
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/17076109167
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14018066876
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14318057029 - snowmobile trail markers,
> indicating a state snowmobile route and a local trail
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/10282365273 - incorporating a direction
> indication
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/10600273563 - a double marker indicating
> a turn to the left
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/50318721447 - on the tree at right
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/9764675293 - an unusual placement,
> screwed into the rock
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14966947604 - unfortunately, the beavers
> didn't respect the markers
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/15540287525 - an older tin marker, that
> the tree has mostly grown around
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/6077237638/ - markers for both a footway
> and a bridleway
> https://kbk.is-a-geek.net/attachments/20210307/20210307_152356.jpg -
> markers are placed above eye level, but high snowpacks can nearly bury them
> Paint blazes:
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/28837391964 - either side of the rock
> chimney
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14018094576
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/7881583380 - a paint blaze, a direction
> arrow, and a crudely painted logo of the Appalachian Trail
> Redundant marking with a paint blaze and a marker plate:
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/28554220940
> Plate markers attached to signs (to give an indication of what trail it is
> by showing its characteristic mark):
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/20178836184
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14276154341 - shows two trails meeting
> with sample markers on the guidepost
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14092717700 - the guidepost is a tree,
> with markers for two trails (Long Path - aqua; Warner Creek Trail - blue)
> running concurrently
> Marker post with a plate marker attached:
> https://flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/19595395641/
> I'm afraid that I don't have any of my own photos showing flagging tape.
> It's usually used only temporarily when a trail is undergoing construction
> or maintenance. Wikimedia has
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tape_flag.JPG which at least
> shows what the stuff looks like. Around here they usually use either pink
> ribbon (none of our local trails is blazed in pink) or else ribbon color
> that matches the color of the marker or paint blaze.
>> thank you
>> mira
>> po 8. 3. 2021 v 5:16 odesílatel Andrew Harvey <andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com>
>> napsal:
>>> Sounds great.
>>> I'd suggest adding
>>> trailblazed=ribbons (usually coloured tape/ribbons tied to a tree branch)
>>> trailblazed=markers (usually just a spot/dot fixed to a tree or the
>>> ground (eg rock on the ground)
>>> We should also add a description of what exactly is =poles (man made
>>> post extruding from the surface) and =cains (stacked rocks).
>>> On Mon, 8 Mar 2021 at 05:07, Jaromír Mikeš <mira.mikes at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Hello,
>>>> I am proposing trailblazed=poles and trailblazed=cairns to get
>>>> possibility tag trails which are marked by poles or by cairns ... I didn't
>>>> find any appropriate way to do so.
>>>> I am asking for your comments to this proposal
>>>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/trailblazed%3Dpoles;cairns
>>>> best regards
>>>> mira
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> --
> 73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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