New Maps, trail markings, and wayfinding

With the expansion of the singletrack network and the increased usage, there is a real need for new maps and new trail marking.

Over the next few weeks, MRWA will be:

  1. installing new maps at major trailheads;
  2. installing 12″ wayfinding maps at key trail intersections; and
  3. refreshing paint markings on granite trails,and adding markings to new trails that are not yet marked (this has started)

Each trail is colour-coded on the new maps and trail markings will match the map colour. For example, ‘Time Flies’ is orange on the map, and the markings are orange. ‘Time Out’ is red, and so on.

It is important to note that a trail’s colour does not indicate difficulty. The difficulty level of each trail is visible on the map, and on every trail sign. Check out trail difficulty and conditions on the McIntosh Run Trailforks.

Paint Markings: Our experience is that paint markings are essential on bedrock-rich trails. We have received a lot of positive feedback on past markings, and requests for more, and more frequent, marking. We heard you!

Markings help people stay on trail. Markings also help users navigate and minimize damage to sensitive vegetation. You can use the markings to apply the principle of leave no trace, by helping to make it obvious when you are ‘on trail’.

Paint markings will also show you the direction of the trail, so you can look ahead and see where you should be headed even if you don’t know the trail yet.

We place paint marks on the ‘easiest’ and/or safest line on blind drops, step-ups etc. A painted line might still be very difficult or surprising, however, especially on black diamond trails. Those on bikes should not assume they can just ‘send it’ without inspection because of a paint dot!

Our markings use a water soluble concrete paint, which we roll into brick-size patches This simple method, and our overall strategy, is based on our Board’s extensive personal experience in other bedrock-rich areas (Utah, Arizona), and from consulting with other trail associations who have been doing this for decades on multi-use nonmotorized trails in sensitive ecosystems.

Keep your eyes open for our new maps,and more paint marking on the trails!

Marking can be subjective, and different people have different needs. Please send us feedback. If you are an experienced trail user in the area, remember that the markings aren’t for you, but for newer users.

Also, over the coming months we will be actively closing some informal trampled paths so these areas can revegetate, and also formalizing and properly building a few of the informal paths which make sense (especially for hikers looking for direct routes) and which we have permitted in consultation with HRM Parks. More information about this will be forthcoming.

Many thanks to Darren Talbot for the new maps! Darren and his wife Pam live in Spryfield, and regularly hike the trails from Clark Kent to the Attic area.

And, always, thanks to Bromoc Print for printing!

Darren Talbot, after installing the new map at Osprey trailhead.
Darren’s partner Pam. Both live in Spryfield and regularly hike the trails, from Clark Kent to the granite trails.