|What exactly are these vaguely foreboding "management activities", and how can I know what kind of caution to use?
Spend enough time on long-distance hiking trails, and you're bound to see a few interesting signs. Here are a few favorites from over the years. Most of them are found on roadwalks in urbanized areas, though the backcountry has its fair share too.
Some signs are meant to encourage hikers...
|A pep talk from a byzantine bureaucracy. Only on the Appalachian Trail!
...and some just do it by accident.
|Undoubtedly originally intended to help Aunt Betty find her way to the family reunion.
Other signs aren't quite so welcoming. These signs are rather, uh, strident...
|Yeah. We get it.
..and others are downright homicidal.
Not all dangers involve firearms though. Danger lurks everywhere in the backcountry. Let us count the ways!
|BRAIN-EATING AMOEBAS DUDE
|In truth, the Hundred Mile Wilderness is probably the easiest stretch of the AT in Maine. Also, there's a hostel in the middle.
Heck, it can even be dangerous to pump your own fuel, at least if you live in Oregon.
Deer crossings signs are just so passé these days...
...except when that deer is named Rudolph.
|Found in Florida, no less!
Sometimes signs try and rope us into to their political squabbles...
|You gotta fight! For your right! To parrrrrrrrr-tay! This strike shut down most of the town for over a year.
...and sometimes, we get a taste of good-old-fashioned evil.
|In next week's Tournament of Terrible, 2-seed Overt Racism looks to fend off a tough challenge from 15-seed Ambulance Chasers!
Sometimes, signs are just plain confusing...
|Contradictory arrows. Maybe they want me to do the hokey-pokey.
|I have a feeling the bus won't be on-time today. Or ever.
..and sometimes they've been install by Captain Obvious.
|Yep, it's a street. Not to be confused with a road, a lane, a highway, a highway, or a boulevard.
Finally, a few random fun signs:
|The offerings to the Chicken Corners Deity have gotten more elaborate over the years. Top is 2019, bottom is 2015.
|Choices, choices: stale beer at the Backstreet Bar or lukewarm beer at the Chetco Brewing Co.
Let's conclude with my favorite trail sign of all time.