Course Marking

Permanent Trail Markings

The LBJ National Grasslands features over 75 miles of trails. All trails start and end at the TADRA Point Trailhead. The Grasslands Trail Run course uses approximately 45 miles of the trail system. The race uses the BLUE, WHITE, YELLOW, and RED trails. The trails are well marked with many different kinds of permanent markings. These include painted blazes on trees, painted horseshoes nailed to trees, wooden posts and more recently the forest service has been installing steel mile markers. Some the painted blazes can be faded, so please make sure you look closely. This is especially important on some sections of the White and Yellow trails where the faded colors can blend into the posts.

Notice that some of images show multiple colored blazes. These are sections of trail are where multiple trails converge. An example of this is in the first image below. In this image there are five blazes. This is where all five trails converge coming into (or leaving) TADRA Point. Notice there is also an ORANGE blaze. This is for the Orange trail. You will see this blaze on some sections where the Orange trail converges with other trails (mostly on the BLUE trail). 

IMPORTANT: There is one small section (3/10 mile) of the course that is only on the ORANGE trail. In 2018 the blue trail was expanded by 2 miles to 15.1 miles(This section is shown on the course map as a dashed blue line.) To keep the course the same length this has required us to use a 3/10 mile section of the ORANGE trail bypassing these 2 new miles of trail. The ORANGE BYPASS starts at around 9 miles into the Blue trail and continues until 9.3 miles. This will be marked with arrows directing you onto the ORANGE bypass and back onto the BLUE trail at the end of the bypass. Images of how this was marked in 2019 can be seen below.

Outside of this small section of the Orange trail and any sections that converge with other trails you should NEVER be an an ORANGE ONLY trail. If you are, you have gone wildly off course and will likely be getting a ton of bonus miles. So pay close attention. To visualize this please review the course map for more details.

Painted Blazes on Tree  Example of where the 5 trails converge coming into TADRA Point.

Painted Blaze on Log Post. In some places fallen trees have been reused as posts for new blazes.

Painted Blaze on Post.

Example of the Painted Blazes on NEW steel posts with mile markers.

Painted Blaze on Brown Carsonite Post.

Painted Blaze on Tree (Tree on Right with Yellow Trail Blaze)

Painted Blaze on Post (Notice how tall the grass can be on some parts of the trail. So be alert!)

Blue flagging tape tied to tree branch. (The other trails have White,Yellow or Red) Flagging tape on high tree limbs have been placed on the trail system by equestrian groups.

Race Day – Course Markings

On race day you will also see many kinds of temporary course markings we use to supplement the permanent trail markings and/or direct runners along the course. We rely heavily on surveyor flagging tape and surveyor pin flags. For the pre-dawn out-and back section that the 50 Milers run we use fiberglass reflective driveway stakes with 4 inch sections of reflective tape and hanging reflectors made out of 2 inch sections of PVC pipe wrapped in reflective tape that we hang from tree limbs where possible. On a very limited basis, we use directional arrow signs and wrong way signs in areas where it makes sense. Most of these are near the Start/Finish where the trails converge.

Examples of these are shown below.

Examples of the surveyor flags we use on sections of the course where there are no trees or shrubs along the trails. These are the only colors we use.

Examples of the Blue, White, Yellow and Red flagging tape we use along the course. We only use these solid colors to mark our course. If you see other colors, we didn’t put it there.

Examples of the reflective markers we use to mark the out and back section of the course the 50 mile race runs before dawn.

Examples of the reflective markers we use to mark the out and back section of the course the 50 mile race runs before dawn.

The following images show examples of how the Orange Bypass was marked for the 2019 race. This also shows examples of the different kinds of signs we use to mark the course. Because the trail system is well marked we rely on fewer course markings during the event.

Directional arrow sign on the Blue Trail pointing RIGHT.  This example shows how the course was marked directing runners onto the Orange Bypass from the blue trail in the 2019 race. We use these sparingly along the course and only in specific locations where people tend to get turned around.

Directional arrow sign on the Blue Trail pointing STRAIGHT.  This example shows how the Orange Bypass rejoining the blue trail was marked for the 2019 race. We use these sparingly along the course and only in specific locations where people tend to get turned around.

Wrong Way sign. This example shows a Wrong Way sign at the entrance of the 2.3 mile section of the Blue trail we bypassed in the 2019 race. We use these sparingly along the course and only in specific locations where people tend to get turned around.