Czech Hiking Markers System

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Arrow signs at the start of two trails - blue and green

The Czech Hiking Markers Standard is an international system of hiking markers for tourist trails, used in more countries than any competing standard.[citation needed] The signs and markers can be used in both wilderness and cities. They are internationally well understandable as they grow from similar tradition in other Central European countries.

Basic hiking markers[edit]

Coloured markers throughout the trail accompany the hiker - this is the blue marked trail

The trail usually starts with arrow signs with names of destinations and number of kilometres marked. Each trail is then colour marked by simple markers and arrows painted between white lines (for better visibility) on fixed objects along the trail (trees, rocks, utility posts or walls) in a colour given to a specific trail.

Basic implementation of the system requires only a color paint and a brush (plus a cardboard cut matrix for even size of the signs), with which an entire country can be marked. Nevertheless, many other also very modern features can be added. The paint is chosen so that it does not impact on the surrounding environment.

Additional features[edit]

Red, blue, yellow and green hiking trails on mobile phone. Also navigation and many different features including trail description, difficulty and features used for hiking and training can be switched on as well as route planning.

The basic system of trails with markers painted along the trail can be complemented by other features. These additional features are not necessary for the basic functioning of the system though.

  • Information boards along the trail, giving information about the trail and its difficulty, nature protection, monuments, animals and trees along the trail. Logos of the supervising institution can be shown.
  • Printed Maps with coloured lines showing the trails.
  • GPS information on each trail, board or sign
  • Mobile phone application with a map and site descriptions (electronic tourist guide) contains additional information about the trail difficulty, slope inclination, gives the opportunity of hike planning and features that would not be possible on the signs etc.

Usage and extent[edit]

This method of trail blazing has a wide international usage in most of Central and Eastern Europe (including the Balkans and Caucasus), with showcase examples also in parts of Latin America and Asia.[citation needed]

Left Turn Marker on a blue trail - marker showing the change of direction of the trail

The system has been used by the Czech Hiking Club since 1888.[1] The entire territory of the Czech Republic is covered with marked trails,[2] and detailed maps are published and widely available. In the Czech Republic, over 70,000 km of hiking trails have been marked in this way. Of these, 39,816 km of hiking trails were marked in 2008. An additional 31,104 km of cycling trails, 387 km of skiing trails, and 1300 km of horse riding trails are also marked. In 1938 it was the longest system in the world,[3] but now it is the densest network.[3]

Maps of the trails have also been made into a number of digital applications - both Apple and Android for mobile phones, on Google Maps,[4] and on the Czech "Mapy.cz" (and its version for foreigners called "WindyMaps").

Czech Markers standard[edit]

This system uses three bars - usually one colour in between two white bars,[5] with different meanings attached to different colours:[6]

  • red indicates the most difficult or summit trails;
  • blue for significant trails;
  • yellow and green for easy or interconnecting trails.

These marks may be posted on wooden boards or metallic plates.

Basic Marker - Red colour used for difficult or summit trails

Basic trail markers are square, 10x10 cm in size. The volunteers marking these trails usually prepare sheet metal or cardboard matrices to keep the signs uniform in size.

TouristicMarkingArrowR-RAL yellow.svg

Any change of direction is marked with arrows of the same colour and similar design. There are also symbols for short side-trails (to peak or lookout, ruin, well or spring, or other point of interest) and for the end of the trail.

The system is usually supplemented by maps,[2] which show the trails as lines in corresponding colours. Nevertheless, maps are not necessary for the system to function, as walkers can simply follow the trail from marker to marker.

Cardboard Matrix for a basic marker of 10x10 cm - used by volunteers painting the markers along the trail

Czech Markers around the world[edit]

Several trails marked together before they split in different directions

Due to the relative ease of use and low cost, the system has spread to many other countries, often by Czech people. Originally used in the Czech Republic, the system spread through Central Europe and Eastern Europe and even to countries outside Europe. Nearly identical systems exist in the neighbouring countries of Austria and Poland.

Switzerland - same type of markers
Hiking route planning on a mobile application

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farley, David (6 July 2008). "Hiking in the Czech Republic". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Zonal map" (JPG). Mapis.cz. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  3. ^ a b "Czech Trail Marking System the Best in the World". 31 October 2006.
  4. ^ "Map showing markers on route" (PNG). Androidtip.cz. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  5. ^ "Czech Tourist Klub (KČT) | KLUB ČESKÝCH TURISTŮ". Kct.cz (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  6. ^ "Hiking in the Czech Republic". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Painted Trail Marker High In The Austrian Alps Stockfoto | Getty Images". Archive.is. 2016-11-25. Archived from the original on 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2017-03-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ ""Czech" trail marking in the Şahdağ and Hirkan National Parks". Embassy of the Czech Republic in Baku. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  9. ^ https://www.azernews.az/travel/148815.html Azer News - article from 2019
  10. ^ "České turistické značky najdete i v Brazílii. Možná budou v celé zemi - iDNES.cz". Cestovani.idnes.cz. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  11. ^ a b "S dokonalým českým turistickým značením se potkáte na ostrově Krk i v Bulharsku u Dunaje | Dopolední expres". Rozhlas.cz. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  12. ^ Lonely Planet Croatia
  13. ^ "About the signs of the paths". National Blue Trail.
  14. ^ Committee on Israel Trails (Hebrew)[circular reference]
  15. ^ ""New Hiking Markers in Negros Occidental"". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  16. ^ "Crossing the Polish-Czech Border on Foot". Polishnews.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Hiking in the Tatra Mountains. Private Walking Tours in the Tatra National Park". Discoverzakopane.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  18. ^ "A Guide to Hiking the High Tatra Mountains – Poland and Slovakia". BootsnAll.com. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  19. ^ "Český Banát - Romantické prázdniny na českém venkově v Rumunsku - Nové trasy". Banat.cz. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  20. ^ Pavel Novák. "České turistické značky ukazují správný směr i v rumunském Banátu | Evropa". Rozhlas.cz. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  21. ^ "S obnovou Jubilejní karpatské stezky, která vznikla před sto lety, pomohl kraj - Orlický deník". Orlický Deník. 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  22. ^ "System of the marked hiking trails in Slovakia". Slovakation.com. 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  23. ^ "Kam vede červená? aneb budovali jsme turistické značení v ukrajinských Karpatech". Treking.cz. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  24. ^ "České značky přinášejí naději (Česká republika) | Lidé a Země". Lideazeme.cz. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  25. ^ "České turistické značky na Krymu". Mzv.cz. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  26. ^ "Туристичні маршрути. Карпати. Великий Березний (г. Явірник - г. Красія) | Картография". Ukrmap.com.ua. Retrieved 2017-03-25.