Blaze

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A Blaze is a mark, normally a colored paint strip about the size of a dollar bill on a tree or post. It is used a a navigation marker world wide. Hikers use these marks as a way to navigate the forest and to help prevent other hikers from going off trail and getting lost. 

How to read the Blaze.  

 Two yellow blazes, this means the yellow trail is taking a turn.  

Two yellow blazes, this means the yellow trail is taking a turn.  

The basic idea is simple, a trail blazer will start at the beginning of the trail and mark the first tree with a single blaze. He or she will then look down the trail for the next most obvious tree to mark. The plan is to make your next blaze visible from your last blaze and so on. At some point in the trail the next blaze might not be so obvious, if the trail makes a sharp turn or crosses a road in an odd way. The blazer will put a double blaze on a tree to tell you that the trail is changing corse and you should stop and pay close attention to your next turn. 

 The white blaze on this bridge tells me that the trail crosses the bridge.  

The white blaze on this bridge tells me that the trail crosses the bridge.  

The color of the blazes very from trail to trail. At most trail heads you will see a trail ma that will tell you the color of the blaze. If there are multiple trails in one location each trail will get a different color so that you know witch trail you are on and you will know witch trials you cross along the way. It is possible to be on two different trails at the same time. At this point you might see two or three different color blazes on each tree. Let's say you are following the Orange Trail, and suddenly you see an orange blaze next to a red blaze. You are still on the right trail, keep watching for either trail to have a double blaze at that point the trails will again separate. If it is a double orange blaze stop and look to see where to turn! 

 The FT, Florida Trail.  

The FT, Florida Trail.  

Some blazes are iconic. Take the Florida Trail, an orange blazed trail that is over 1000 miles long! If you have hiked in Florida there is a great chance that you have hiked on or have crossed this amazing trail!