Resources for Trail Maintainers: Recommended Blaze Colors

Central North Jersey Trails Committee
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Painting Blazes

We want to remind all of our trail maintainers and trail supervisors that the Trail Conference has a chart of acceptable blaze colors that must be adhered to. 

This color chart can be found on the Recommended Blaze Colors page on the Trail Conference website. We offer three or four choices for every blaze color, as well as colors to match tree bark. We suggest downloading this chart so you'll have it with you when searching for the correct color. The computerized paint matching services found in hardware stores should easily match the color by the name and/or paint number listed on this chart.  

We recommend using oil paint. Latex is the second best. Both should be gloss, which has a longer life. Foam brushes makes the job a bit easier in most cases. 

The size and shape of each blaze must be uniform and follow the designated blazing guidelines for the particular trail. 

As an example: 2x3-inch rectangles must be 2x3—not 3x5, or any other size. The largest blaze we have is the 2x6-inch white rectangle on the Appalachian Trail. If the blaze has grown too large, it must be reduced by trimming it to size with a paint color that matches the bark color as closely as possible. 

Note: Some blazes, such as on the Highlands Trail, are a diamond. Others might be two colors—over and under, or a square within a square. You may also have round blazes in your trail system, and some may have a different color in the center. No matter what shape, your blazes must be consistent in color, size, and placement at eye level, where applicable. 

If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor. 

If you get “skunked” and can't find any of the recommended color, please contact [email protected], and we will find you as close of a replacement as possible.