Three blazes on a hiking trail signifies the beginning and end points of the trail.

Hikers in Duluth, MN are asking for better trail markings on the Kekekabic Trail to keep hikers from becoming lost on the sometimes confusing and winding 42 mile trail. A burned out area in one section makes the trail even more difficult to follow and just last fall 2 hikers were lost in the area for 3 days before being rescued.

Normally Superior National Forest officials would have no problem improving trail markings and signage but much of the Kekekabic Trail lies in wilderness areas where man made objects, particularly signs, are prohibited. Proponents of the signage argue that massive rescue efforts with helicopters and search groups like the one undertaken last fall actually have a much greater impact on the wilderness area than a few strategically placed signs. Officials from the forest service say they’re willing to consider additional trail markings and for now it seems there is little opposition.

What do you think? Should trail signs and/or markings be allowed in wilderness areas? Are trails in and of themselves evidence of human activity in wilderness areas?

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