Sunday, April 12, 2009

Work Crew Flagging

There are many flagging tags along the trail to help us as we are working. With different crews and volunteer workers it is helpful to know what needs to be done and the flags serve as indicators.
Pink flags are the original survey flags. They follow the line of the trail, but are not the definitive foot trail. Most of these flags were placed in surveys between 1996 and 2008 by Allen deHart and assistants. These flags create the straight lines of sight for developing the trail.
On areas that we are beginning to develop the foot trail there are blue ground level flags. These flags are indicators for the cut line for leveling and are always on the high side of the trail. Often they are 5-10 feet apart and indicate where dirt should be pulled from to level the lower side of the foot trail. The goal is to create as straight of a cut as possible between the blue flags.
In our section we have been using yellow flags to indicate a caution area or obstacle. These areas need a priority attention for safety concerns. They may indicate a potential stumble or a eye level danger or any other potential safety issue that needs attention and maintenance.
A green flag indicates that there is a ground level hazard or maintenance need. Sometimes that may be a single item such as a rock in the trail, or stumbling root, or hole. If the flag is on a single item it may be that simple. The green flags that are attached to a blue flag indicate a section or stretch that needs trail leveling. Generally there will be a green flag on a blue flag and then another at a point that indicates the length of the stretch that needs improvements.
Following is a short video clip showing examples of the flags as used in one area on the MST trail in Watauga County.

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