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Trail Signs

When I go on big hikes, I often take pictures of trail signs so I can remember where I was when I go back and look at the sequence of photos I shot. I’ve never really paid that much attention to them, collectively, until I saw a great collection of trail signs on Chris Dailey’s blog Hiking in the White Mountains and Adirondacks. That was all the inspiration I needed to pull my own favorites together.

It’s funny how many memories come flooding back into my mind when I look at these trail signs. I wonder if there’s a special relationship between places we visit and the names we give them that enhances our recollection of them. Regardless, I hope staring at these photos (on your laptops) makes your Monday morning meetings pass by more easily.

Tuckerman Ravine, Mt Washington
Tuckerman Ravine, Mt Washington
Hairy Root Spring, New Hampshire AT
Hairy Root Spring, New Hampshire AT
100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
Harriman State Park, New York Appilachian Trail
Harriman State Park, New York Appilachian Trail
Moose Mountain Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Moose Mountain Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Mount Mansfield, The Long Trail (Vermont)
Mount Mansfield, The Long Trail - Vermont
Mount Adams, White Mountains
Mount Adams, White Mountains
New York - Connecticut Border, Appalachian Trail
New York - Connecticut Border, Appalachian Trail
Zealand Mountain Summit, White Mountains
Zealand Mountain Summit, White Mountains
Whiteface Mountain, The Long Trail (Vermont)
Whiteface Mountain, The Long Trail - Vermont
Finger Lakes Trail, East Catskills - New York
Finger Lakes Trail, East Catskills - New York
Lowes Path, White Mountains
Lowes Path, White Mountains
Mahoosuc Trail, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Mahoosuc Trail, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Baxter State Park, Maine Appalachian Trail
Baxter State Park, Maine Appalachian Trail
Mount Madison, White Mountains
Mount Madison, White Mountains
Kilkenney Ridge Trail, White Mountains
Kilkenney Ridge, White Mountains
Smarts Mountain, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Smarts Mountain, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Gulfside Trail, Northern Presidentials, The White Mountains
Gulfside Trail, Northern Presidentials, The White Mountains
New Hampshire, Appalachian Trail
New Hampshire, Appalachian Trail
The Long Trail Northern Terminus, Vermot
The Long Trail Northern Terminus, Vermont
New Hampshire - Maine Border, Appalachian Trail
New Hampshire - Maine Border, Appalachian Trail
Flood Damage, New Jersey Appalachian Bridge
Flood Damage, New Jersey Appalachian Trail
Treeline in the The Northern Presidentials, White Mountains
Treeline in the The Northern Presidentials, White Mountains
100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
Maine Gap, The Long Trail - Vermont
Maine Gap, The Long Trail - Vermont
Israel Ridge Trail, White Mountains
Israel Ridge Trail, White Mountains
New Jersey - New York Border, Appalachian Trail
New Jersey - New York Border, Appalachian Trail
Mount Washington, White Mountains
Mount Washington, White Mountains

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18 comments

  1. I think you just turned me into a collector. =)

  2. Oh baby, I'm going back to mine. You have some nice one from the Whites I have never seen. Thanks so much!

  3. The Zealand Mt sign reminds me of a trip I took in March 1996. The snow in this picture is a little deeper than what I experienced then but it was still impressively deep. In July I passed the same spot and took another picture to memorialize the March experience. I would guess that this picture was taken around March also. Great blog. I also loved the sign 1.5 miles short of Rainbow Springs Shelter. I was there last September and hiked that trail next to a truly RAGING brook. Love the 100 mile wilderness.

  4. Philip I love trail signs and have a growing collection of them…in photo format of course. Signs have always interested me, old and weathered, hand painted, directional, state lines, they all have a story behind them, if they could only talk.

    • The Appalachian Mountain Club and the Randolph Mountain Club, which manage most of the trails in the White Mountains, have an annual auction each year of old weathered trail signs that need to be replaced. You would be amazed, people will pay (donate) $1000 dollars or more for one of these old signs – I was outbid for two signs this year. It's a cool thing I guess.

  5. I also like to take pictures of trail signs. After the trip, the timestamp on the images gives me a good idea of my pace. For some reason, the white and green signs always seem to say "You're in the White Mountains"

  6. Here’s one of my favorites that DripDry took in 2010.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/DripDry860/AT2010#5453306438490471762
    The guy holding the traffic sign didn’t see the humor in it, but it always makes me smile.

  7. Love it! And all this time I thought I was a little strange for shooting every trail sign I came to…now I feel like a rare stamp collector, counting the ones I share with your collection. Granted, I’m probably still a little strange. Here’s my favorite from my collection: http://www.northeasthikes.com/winter-hike-mt-adams-lowes-path-white-mountains-new-hampshire/signsnow/

  8. Haha, Darren, that’s a good one with the rime ice on it, and RevLee, very funny. Nice pics, Philip. I like taking trail sign photos, too. Nice to see years later and then revisit the spot and see an old friend.

  9. Love it… fun collection. One of my all time favs is on the Fischer Towers hike near Moab Utah. It says “Trail Ends” on an old weathered wood sign on the ground near the edge of a cliff.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I love the signs that have warnings of how remote the section of wilderness is. I remember encountering my first one on the Long Trail (NB) at Glastonbury Wilderness. I was so excited! Only a hiker can relate, I imagine.

    The only thing that compared (but wasn’t nearly as cool), is the logging road Rt 108 in New Brunswick between Plaster Rock and Renous (hence the name the Renous highway), a 201-km stretch of twisty, hilly two-lane road with no services. http://autos.ca.msn.com/specials/road-trip-guide/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=26569301&page=8

    There are of course, longer stretches of remote highway that I haven’t travelled, but none of them are as cool as stretches of remote hiking trail.

  11. I have a few – I’ll try to add them with a link. Love Trail signs!!

  12. Where is the Kilkenny ridge “Not Maintained” sign?

  13. Not there anymore. It was at the top of the disputed trail down the west side of Cabot. The homeowner started waiving guns at hikers and rather than fight him in court, the USFS just closed the trail.

  14. Funny, I take pictures of trail signs, too.

    One favorite, my son at the first sign on the second day of Skyline-to-the-Sea, a 32 mile three day hike. It was a father-son hike. He was out-hiking me then, now he’s running cross-country at college. This was the first seriously lightweight hike for both of us. We borrowed frameless GoLite packs, tarp-camped, and came off the trail carrying 16 pounds (him) and 19 pounds (me).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/walter_underwood/4267617447/in/set-72157623069080723

  15. Here’s a link to Trail Signs on my Blog. :)

    http://lynchburgcools.blogspot.com/

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