As we review and update our trail database, we need to define what blaze information is to be stored in the database and how it should be stored. This document describes the fields related to blazing which are proposed to be included in the database and how each field is to be used.
The intent is to store in the database a reasonably complete description of the blazes used on a trail. This information will be stored in three fields: blaze type (paint, tag, mixed, or none), a brief blaze description chosen from a list, and an optional text field for a more detailed description of unusual blazes. It is important to note that these descriptions may not fully describe every detail of the blaze. Trail Conference personnel responsible for blazing must work with the land manager to specify the full details of the blazes to be used on a trail. When a new trail is created or a trail is reblazed, we should strongly urge land managers to use a standard blaze and not create a unique blaze.
The blaze description is an attribute of an entire trail, not of segments or parts of a trail. In particular, the blaze description does not change if one trail becomes co-aligned with another and the co-aligned section has two blazes, one for each of the trails. The blaze description for a trail always describes just the blazing which applies to that single trail.