There’s a new look on Viking trails. New aluminum signs – 120 of them – at all trail intersections are designed to help Vikings and non-Vikings (especially Morin-Heights and Carte Réseau passholders) find their way around our trails.
The signs match the existing signage system on the Morin-Heights network and conform with the Quebec "Normes d'aménagement, d'entretien et de signalisation des sentiers de ski de fond". The MRC, which gave Viking a grant for the new signs, wants skiers from around the region to be comfortable wherever they ski.
Signs include five elements
• Degree of difficulty - Trails have been assigned a degree of difficulty following the standard designations of Easy (green circle), Difficult (blue square), Very Difficult (black diamond) and Back Country (red triangle). Here, we see the Rouge/Red is classed as "difficult" and the Crown Ouest as "very difficult."
• Trail number - Trails have been numbered and the numbering is coordinated with the Morin-Heights network. These numbers are shown within the symbol for degree of difficulty. We see the Red/Rouge is “40.”
• Trail name - These are the same names we have always used (Rouge, Crown Sud, Blue Ridge, Racing, etc.)
• Logo - The new signs incorporate the existing colour-coded Viking helmets that have long been used along our trails
• Arrow - Shows the direction to take to stay on this trail.
Other new signs
Signs at some intersections will guide skiers to other trails ahead, such as this one directing them to the Aerobic Corridor and other trails. These are designed for skiers passing through the Viking network to and from the Morin-Heights network.
There will be many more signs like this one showing skiers how to return to the Viking clubhouse.
• Existing maps are being updated to include the trail numbers and degree of difficulty.
• Most signs will be fastened to trees but some will use new steel or wooden posts.
• We will keep existing signs with the intersection letter (A, B, C, etc), although this system is not recognized by the Quebec normes and is not integrated into the new signage.
• Up to now it hasn't been clear where the Viking Sud and Ouest trail names start and end. We have settled this and the new signage makes it clear.
• This program is made possible by a $4,375 grant from the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut, which pays for the cost of the signs and posts. Viking volunteers will supply the labour to install the signs, which has been valued at $9,000.
Thanks to ... Doug Bowes-Lyon who supported the new system, helped in its design and successfully handled the grant application; and to James Jackson of the Municipality of Morin-Heights who encouraged us to upgrade our signs and who also helped with the design and our application to the MRC. And thanks to Chris Teron for providing all this information.