So, do the colors in the trail blazes mean anything?


El Guac-Oh
I saw this here

"What do all the colors mean?" – A Short Guide to Trail Blazes.
Written by Frank Maguire
Friday, 29 September 2006

Blue, orange, red and the funky blazes of Shingletown, brief explanations and only a little whining.
Have you ever wondered what rhyme or reason goes into the trail blazes in Rothrock? Well, chances are they mean very little beyond you indeed are on the trail. There are some simple rules for blazes but, unfortunately, these rules are often not followed by the people marking the trails.

* Orange blazes – This is the one trail blaze you are likely to encounter that holds much weight. Orange blazes are supposed to denote a State Hiking Trail (yes, this is an official designation, thus the capital letters), and in the case of Rothrock, that means either the Mid-State Trail or the Link Trail. Both of these are off limits to bikes (with the exception of roads and where they use parallel, previously existing trails, such as Little Shingletown.) Unfortunately, orange blazes are not universally reserved for State Hiking Trails as you may encounter some orange blazed trails in Greenwood Furnace. The reason there is an exception there is that Greenwood is a State Park, and you can’t expect State Parks and State Forests to share, can you?
* Blue Blazes – Blue blazes originally were supposed to indicate a connector trail to a State Hiking Trail, but the blazing slowly began to appear on just about every trail that wasn’t orange. This is a problem of one person thinking something makes sense without running their idea past anyone. At this point, blue blazing is fairly meaningless in Rothrock.
* Red Blazes - about 5 years ago, DCNR began to mark “Multi-Use” trails with red blazes. The problem with this is that, with the exception of the Mid-state, the Link Trail and the Natural areas, all trails should be Multi-use. But not all the remaining trails are blazed red. Thus, red blazes mean about the same as blue blazes; rest assured, you are indeed on a trail. This of course supposes that you can actually distinguish the red blaze from a leaf in fall.
* Blue w/white, White w/red, … - The special blazes in Shingletown - ever wonder what blue with 2 white slashes means? Or white with one red slash? Wouldn’t we all like to know? Being the closest access point to PSU campus, Shingletown has a long history of well intentioned trail modification. I asked Mike Hermann about all the blazes a few years ago. He told me that Tom Smythe, one of the original outdoor pioneers in State College, is responsible for the patterns. Apparently Tom started out with a basic scheme, a blue one here and a white one there sort of thing, and then started to connect the trails. When one trail met another; he tried to combine the respective blazes into a new one so you could see the connection. As Shingletown became more and more a spider web, this sense of connectedness became lost.

Does NJ follows a similar standard or is it just random?


Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
It appares to be just random, Six Mile is a State Park and the red trail is not "multi-use", at least not for bikes anyways. I think it is marked as hiking only.


NYCMTB: President
There is no universal meaning to blaze colors, other than the single white blaze signifying the Appalachian Trail...


Well-Known Member
I've never seen any color coordination between parks. Each one does their own thing. There is some meaning to the patterns you see.



There is no universal meaning to blaze colors, other than the single white blaze signifying the Appalachian Trail...

You mean the white blaze signifying "mountain bikers stay the fuck off!"


NYCMTB: President
You mean the white blaze signifying "mountain bikers stay the fuck off!"

Yes. And please do.

I've hiked the Appalachian Trail from the Delaware Water Gap through Harriman State Park, NY, and do believe that mountain bikers should respect the no bikes restrictions on that trail. It's a gem of a hiking trail. A national treasure...
Top Bottom