The trail dogs are always playin' around with this info. Study hard, but don't forget to check back before race day....and as always JUST FOLLOW THE FLAGS!

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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!


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.”)



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.


Turns in an open or confusing area


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.

"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. (DWD - Florida no longer held...)
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 took 4 days (Randy, Ted, Rich, Gary) to mark the Florida course and about 1 day (lots of people) to take it down... JohnWherley2014GreenSwamp450