Hey, my name is Anthony and this is how MarkerTrail came about.
I worked at Cummins Falls State Park for several years and have instructed and led programs like rock climbing/rappelling, wildflower ID, waterfall photography, water safety, rock hopping, and a lot more in a number of parks over the years.
While hiking a trail one day I noticed that the trail had four different types of trail markers along the way and it wasn’t an overlap of multiple trails. Out Tennessee State Parks have won and been nominated best trails in the country which got me thinking that our TSP trails could use a new look that is useful and appealing. I designed the first prototypes and talked it over with a number of park Managers and Rangers. Those who had created and blazed trails over the course of their careers. We talked about the best size, the use of colors, how to mount them, and more. Once the final design was created, additional items came into play like mile markers, 1/4 mile markers, and reflectors for overnight trails. There have also been glow-n-dark trail markers for the primitive campsite trails at Fall Creek Falls State Park.
Colors tend to correspond with the colors on the park trail maps. The mile markers help when getting to a visitor who needs assistance when they can tell which color trail they are on and what mile marker they have passed. This can save time getting to them.
While designing the trail markers I wanted the parks to have a way to pay for the markers so I began designing souvenir items. There are over 50 souvenir options available with more being designed throughout each year. Some get retired but there are the visitor favorites like the Souvenir Trail Markers. They look just like the ones on the trail but are slightly smaller and have a magnet rather than holes for mounting. The souvenir items can be purchased in many of our Tennessee State Parks gift shops and online here.
I enjoy our Tennessee State Parks as well as being creative and helpful!
You can help support placing trail markers on trails when you purchase MarkerTrail souvenir items in the park gift shops and here on the website. I like that you enjoy our Tennessee State Parks and trails and hope to see your pics from the trails on social media. I search for them and try to repost them on the MarkerTrail social pages.