South Cumberland Trail-marking System Completed
After 11 months and 85 miles of measuring the trails in South Cumberland State Park, the Friends of South Cumberland’s Trails Team has completed the posting of mile markers on every trail in the 31,000-acre park, officials have announced.
The 4-inch metallic medallions each feature trail mileage for the specific trail they mark, as well as a unique location code hikers can use to accurately report their location if they need to call first responders for help, according to Trails Team member Rick Dreves.
The markers are also color-coded to differentiate adjacent trails from one another.
“South Cumberland State Park rangers already report at least a half dozen situations where hikers, lost or injured after dark, located one of the new markers and reported the location code on that medallion,” Dreves said. “This not only gives rangers an exact fix on their location, but considerably shortens the amount of time it would take responders to reach them, and help get them to safety.”
Each marker is flanked by two high-intensity reflectors that can be illuminated by light from a smartphone screen at distances of up to 1/10 mile. The mile markers are spaced every half-mile on most trails, and at quarter-mile intervals on the park’s most popular trails, so hikers are never more than a few minutes’ walk from the nearest marker.
The project was funded by the Friends of South Cumberland, with additional support from the Tennessee Trails Association’s Highland Rim Chapter.