In most provincial parks and conservation areas, maps are available
or are posted at the beginning of a trail. Each intersection will be
signed. It is simply a question of knowing the name of the trail and
Hiking trails managed by trail clubs are usually marked. Although
individual variations do exist, the usual marker is a white rectangle,
15 cm high and 5 cm wide, painted on trees or fence posts beside the
trail. There may also be small signs marking the trail and distance.
Usually as you hike the trail, the markers face you, and if the path
ahead is not obvious, another marker is visible from the first. A
double marker (one above the other) indicates a turn. Usually the upper
marker is offset in the new direction of travel; otherwise, look for
the next single marker to either the left or the right.
If by chance you lose the footpath, simply return the way you came
to find the previous marker. From here you should be able to relocate
the trail and your route.
Whenever you are hiking or walking, particularly on an unfamiliar or
poorly blazed trail, it's always a good idea to carry a compass with
you, in case you lose the trail and get lost. Learn how to use the
compass first, and remember to orient yourself before you set out on
the trail (also study the trail map and, if you're with a group,
discuss the common direction you would all head towards if you lose the
trail). Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have a GPS (Global
Positioning System) navigation device getting lost is less likely - but
it's still a good idea to carry and know how to use a compass in case
your batteries run out!
(Sources: Kawartha Conservation, www.kawarthaconservation.com; Hike Ontario, www.hikeontario.com)