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Will County forest preserves adding more detailed, helpful trailhead signage

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Will County forest preserves adding more detailed, helpful trailhead signage

New trailhead signs with detailed information on path grade, cross slope, obstructions, length, width and surface material are being installed along all 134 miles of Forest Preserve District of Will County trails. 

New trailhead signs are coming to all 134 miles of paved and natural-surface paths in the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

The signs will have more information for trail users, including path grade, cross slope, obstructions, length, width and surface material. Operations department crews are installing 1,980 signs at 396 locations.

“It is fantastic to see the project come to fruition,” said Cori Crawford, the Forest Preserve’s real estate and data supervisor, who is overseeing the project. “It is so exciting to see the trailhead signage in place after all the hours of collecting, interpreting and organizing the trail data.”

Sensors were used to record trail grade, cross slope (the change in elevation from side to side), distance and obstructions. Chronicling obstructions is important for anyone who cannot physically handle more challenging trails, Crawford said.

"We collected more information about our trails so people can make better decisions about venturing out on our paths," she said. "They'll know how steep a trail is and what type of surface it has and obstacles they might encounter."

For instance, someone with a small child or a person who just had knee replacement surgery may seek a flat, easy trail for a walk. Others may want to know which trails have stairs, roots or other obstructions in the path.

Listing the grade of each path also will make trail distances more accurate, Crawford added.

Trail rules and emergency contact information are more clearly featured, and the latter more prominent, on each sign. Green icons denote activities that are allowed, and red icons indicate what's prohibited.

Crawford expects the detailed signs will be a popular addition to Forest Preserve trails.

“Path users will appreciate the level of detail this resource provides,” she said. “Whether they are looking for emergency contact information or the fine details about trail surfaces or grades, it’s all there and easy to find.”

For more information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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