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[ft-l] Keeping Hiking Trails as Hiking Trails

What we (FTA) are looking at is a system of kiosks the length of the FNST and I would like to expand that to the entire Florida Trail System.

We're talking a small kiosk here, not a huge one like some land managers have.  Display area of about 36 x 36 inches.  The display area would include a header across the top, an 11 x 17 inch map of the area, and three 8x11 inch pages.  One page would list the land management rules.  One page would include info about the Florida Trail, FTA, significance of the orange blazes and double-blazes, importance of registering, etc.  The third page would be reserved for the section leader's use to tell a little about the area, post late breaking Notices to Hikers about relos, water availability, prescribed burn dates, etc.  Either an FT or FNST sign would be displayed on the roof.  The header would read something like:
"Florida Trail Registration Kiosk - Florida's Footpath Forever" in big letters.

All kiosks would therefore have the same look and feel and promote identification of the Florida Trail.  I don't know how many times I've given a talk about the FT and had someone come up to me afterward and say: "I hiked on one of your trails in XYZ State Forest, but I didn't know it was part of the Florida Trail."  We are very good at hiding our own light under a bushel basket.

The kiosk would serve multiple purposes - publicity for FTA, identification of the trail as pedestrian only, up-to-date info for hikers, publication of land management rules as they specifically apply to hikers, tracking numbers of users in local areas, a safety net for thru-hikers/section hikers, info on natural or cultural history to enhance the hike, etc. Most of the land managers we have spoken with have been very supportive of the idea and a couple have indicated that the on-trail registration kiosks could be used in lieu of mail-in permits.

We're still working on the exact design of the kiosk and type of registration method to be used but would like to have a couple in place by the end of this year as a pilot project to determine the exact info required, percentage of users who actually register, exact placement to limit vandalism, etc.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bror8588@aol.com 
  To: ft-l@backcountry.net 
  Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 6:13 PM
  Subject: Re: [ft-l] Keeping Hiking Trails as Hiking Trails

  Thanks Deb for your reasonable views.  You are right!   If there is not proper signage then how is a person to know?  Perhaps some type of prohibitive material can be placed at entrance points to hiking trails such as logs or rocks to climb over.  Hey! A PUD in Florida!  What a great idea! 

  The hikers will applaud that action and those who ride will get a clear message.  Not that proper signs should not also be used.  They indicate to all the reason for the trail and may even indicate the nearest wheeled or horse trail for informational purposes.  Perhaps a registration book can be placed at trailheads with maps and/or information about the length of the trail, the viewpoints, the services available, etc., and also some indication of the sponsor or club which maintains the trail might also be of use. 

  What do you think? 



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