Sharing the facts on the snow-vine Trail Signing Changes
The Guidelines for Trail Signing and Placement have changed for this year.
Seven trail signs have been removed from the trail signing program and are no longer available in the sign inventory.
The following signs have been removed from the program:
- Winding Trail (winding arrow)
- Keep Right
- Gate Ahead
- Left & Right Hairpin Turn
Many clubs have asked what will replace the signs that are no longer available.
The following is what VAST is recommending:
- Winding Trail: There is no replacement for this sign. The majority of the trails on the Statewide Snowmobile Trails System are winding; all snowmobilers are supposed to operate in a "Reasonable and Prudent" manner.
- Bump and Dip: No replacement, but again a Reasonable and Prudent operation standard is in place.
- Keep Right: The same as the above, Reasonable and Prudent operation.
- Gate Ahead: All gates should be marked on either side of the gate, both on the right and the left, with Hazard Markers.
- Hairpin Turn: Curves should be marked with a right of left hand arrow based on curve turn. In the case of a sharp curve, they should have a "Sharp Curve Ahead" sign placed at least 100-feet prior to the curve.
In all of the above cases, if there is a hazard to the snowmobiler from a Dip, Bump, etc. there is the option to install a slow sign.
The Trails Committee and VAST Trails Team worked on these changes over the course of the past year. The driving force behind the change is that we are striving for greater consistency in our trail signing program and believe we can achieve this through simplification of the current inventory. The Statewide Snowmobile Trail System was designed and constructed throughout the last 40+ years in a non-engineered environment and maintained by thousands of volunteers across the state. VAST is not legally responsible for the placement of trail signs; signs are installed and removed by volunteers as a courtesy, providing visual assistance and information to the rider. Although VAST provides guidelines for the placement and installation of trail signs, volunteers shall use their discretion in placing trail signs; therefore interpretation of sign placement will vary from one area to another. In order to promote safe and responsible riding, trail signing must be consistently placed across the 4700 miles of trail and snowmobilers shall always operate their snowmobiles in a reasonable and prudent manner.