Trail markers are used to designate Champlain Area Trails (CATS).
Trail marking takes place throughout the year, as will scouting for possible new trails.
Trail markers serve two important purposes:
- Happy Hiking: locate and follow chosen route without getting lost
- Leave No Trace: restrict traffic to designated trails, minimizing environmental impact and preventing trespass on private lands
Our goal is to ensure that hikers do not stray from the trail, while not detracting any more than necessary from their natural experience. Markers should be visible, but unobtrusive. Plastic trail markers are affixed to trees with nails, leaving space between the nail head and the bark to allow for tree growth without swallowing the nails and causing the marker to fall off.
Responsible hikers will report trails in need of remarking, as well as any new ecological problems, such as invasive species, poachers, or timber theft. The frequency of trail markers varies according to route visibility (e.g., well-worn trail vs. dim path), volunteer/maintenance availability, financial resources, etc.
Note: In addition to seeking out trail markers, hikers are encouraged to navigate their intended route with the trail map and a compass to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.