Trail Marking Tutorial

Here's how we keep you from running extra miles!

"ON-TRAIL" Marking

(a.k.a. established/often-used trails)
These trails are single-track or wider and are very obviously trails.

Confidence Flags

“Confidence” flags are placed every tenth of a mile on well-used trails. (“Yes, you’re still on the course.”)

If you've been running for a half-mile (about ~5 minutes or so) without seeing any flags, you've gone the wrong way! Go back to where you got off-course!

Turns

Multiple flags before a turn on the side in which you turn.


Multiple flags after the turn; these will be visible as you approach the turn.


“Confidence” flags just past the turn. (“Yes, you did go the right way.”)

LeftTurnWithSigns

Signage

Please pay attention to the signs; they are necessary to keep you on-course. These are  examples of what you might see in the woods.

DirectionalSign   WrongWaySign

Going Straight past a turn/intersection


Flags will be visible on the trail that you're to follow.

StraightThruIntersection

Turns in an open or confusing area

OpenAreaWithTurn

2-way Traffic

Sometimes we need to use a bit of trail in both directions. This is sometimes tricky, so you'll have to pay attention.

There'll be flags on both sides of the trail!!! Yikes!

In this example:

"Westbound" runners" are headed away from you, making a left turn as they head west; they'll have flags on their left as they approach the turn then flags on their right after the turn.
"Eastbound" runners are headed towards you, making a right turn as they head east; they'll have flags on their right as they approach the turn then flags on their left after the turn.

2WayTraffic
"OFF-TRAIL" Marking

OFF TRAIL portions are marked with ribbon (and stick flags in open areas.)

Turns are indicated with double ribbons; ribbons will be tied on the side you’re to turn.

You’ll be able to see the next ribbon from the last one.

 As you approach an off-trail section...  EstablishedTrailToOffTrail
As you enter an off-trail section... LookingFromGoodTrailIntoOff
While you're in an off-trail section... FollowingOffTrail
A couple of guys in the woods...
Head Goat marking some off-trail through “cypress knees” at 2009 Dances with Dirt – Florida. We held it that year in February; it was cold in the morning.  The race is now in March and it’s been warm… GreenSwamp randy
Swamp Dog (front) and Head Goat exiting This Sucks leg at 2013 Dances with Dirt – Hell. Occasionally clowns remove our markings but we check known trouble areas before the runners arrive and fix any problems. Sucks Ted n Randy
John Wherley pickin' flags after 2014 DWD Florida. It takes 4 days (Randy, Ted, Rich, Gary) to mark the Florida course and about 1 day (lots of people) to take it down... JohnWherley2014GreenSwamp450