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  1. #1
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    Default Orange Blaze Near Bear's Den in VA

    I did a day hike from Bear's Den heading south and shortly after getting on the trail, the blazes changed to orange. I know I was still on the AT because there was a metal tube sticking out of the ground indicating it was the AT with the logo on it.

    There were also signs on one side indicating that side was private property.

    It was just a little confusing because there were white blazes when I first got on the trail. Just curious why these were orange.

  2. #2

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    Property boundaries are often marked with orange or red paint. If these were on trees along the private properly side of the trail, that would explain it.
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  3. #3

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    An orange blazed Trail is different than property markings. I believe you’re talking about someone’s boundary marking and not a blaze

  4. #4
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    There were orange blazes on trees, just the same as the white blazes. I guess it was the property owner who did it to keep people on trail.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by convbcuda View Post
    There were orange blazes on trees, just the same as the white blazes. I guess it was the property owner who did it to keep people on trail.
    It has been 5 years since I did that section. Could it be they were for the side trail to the hostel?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Default

    Was it orange markings circling the tree or a vertical mark?

    Flagging tape is usually maintenance issues or surveys.

    Red paint circling a tree is usually property boundaries.

    Probably a recent Private Property survey.

    I have seen various colors used in timber thinning. Or utility easement.
    Last edited by Tennessee Viking; 06-02-2020 at 17:50.
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  7. #7
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Orange blazes on trees can denote property lines. I have blazed my boundaries with yellow blazes. My one neighbor is a paper company and they blaze their lands with orange paint. When you sign up for a management plan the first thing the forester wants the landowner to do is to mark their property lines.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    Was it orange making the circling the tree or a vertical mark?

    Flagging tape is usually maintenance issues or surveys.

    Red paint circling a tree is usually property boundaries.

    Probably a recent Private Property survey.

    I have seen various colors used in timber thinning. Or utility easement.
    There were orange blazes exactly like the white blazes on trees. There also were a LOT more blazes than you typically see.

    I was just curious as it was unexpected.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by convbcuda View Post
    There were orange blazes exactly like the white blazes on trees. There also were a LOT more blazes than you typically see.

    I was just curious as it was unexpected.
    Were they the same 2"x6" rectangles on trees right along the path? Mixed in with white blazes? If so, that is a little odd.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Were they the same 2"x6" rectangles on trees right along the path? Mixed in with white blazes? If so, that is a little odd.
    There were exclusively white blazes when I got on the AT from Bear's Den. I headed south down the hill and maybe 1/4 mile from where I got on the AT, there were orange blazes just like the typical white blazes. There were a lot more than you typically see on a trail.

    I thought I'd somehow headed off trail, but that metal tube/emblem made it clear I was on the AT (along The Hiking Project app).

    The suggestion above it was the private property owner doing it makes sense. But they should have done white blazes along with the Private Property signs.

  11. #11

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    A lot of folks get confused that the National Park Service and other public entities "own" the AT outright. They dont. The AT is "protected" for its entire length meaning the public has the right to travel on the entire length but some rare sections are are only right of ways.

    It sure sounds like you were on a boundary rather than the AT.

    Generally the aluminum disks (called tablets) are not on the centerline of the AT, they usually are on the boundaries on either side. Unlike the white blazes, the sideline blazes can be be quite close together and the boundary is usually marked quite wide. If a tree is roughly on the survey line it will be marked following the direction of the boundary, if the marking is on the side of the tree at a right angle facing the line then its to the left or the right of the actual survey line. There are volunteers who maintain the AT corridor. Some maintain the trail and the boundaries, others like me just maintain the boundaries. I normally maintain a boundary in Maine, (on hold due to Covid 19) if someone encounters me out on my boundary section they are really lost. Some boundary maintainers go overboard on the width of the boundary swath they maintain. Some paid crews have cut a swath 20 plus feet wide in the Mahoosucs and other volunteers actually get close to maintaining a rough path to make it easier to monitor the boundary. The directions to boundary monitors in Maine is to not over clear especially if its open woods, unfortunately some volunteers and paid crews go overboard. Corridor boundary monitors are not allowed to make new blazes, we can only repaint existing blazes. The adjoining neighboring landowner also has the right to paint their boundaries with a different color and sometimes switch colors so on occasion I see three colors on my boundary.

    For those who think a thru hike is too easy, they should hike the boundary lines

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