Storm after winter storm, snow piles up deeper and deeper, 20 ft (6 m) or more on some snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. Trail signs are normally mounted at a set height on a post planted in the ground. Once the snow has piled up over the sign, the sign is no longer effective. Ranger Districts with winter trails programs have been dealing with the problems of signing snow trails for as long as they have managed winter trails. The Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) asked snow trail managers to explain how they keep their winter trail signs visible. MTDC also developed some prototype signposts that might work in all snow depths. The prototypes worked, but were too cumbersome and costly to recommend, except in special situations. The report describes signpost systems that work best in shallow, moderate, and deep snowpacks. Traditional signposts, anchored firmly in the ground, work best for trails with moderate and low amounts of snow. Free-floating signposts, supported only by the snow around them, work best in moderate and deep snowpacks. Telescoping signposts and signposts with temporary bases work for shallow, moderate, and deep snowpacks. However, these signposts are more expensive and take more work to install and maintain than traditional or free-floating signposts. The method of driving a steel fencepost or metal pipe into the ground as a temporary support for a tubular plastic signpost is regarded by the MTDC as an unacceptable safety hazard.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: v.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00962920
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 9823-2806-MTDC
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 29 2003 12:00AM