About hiking trail markers
The first hiking trail on the territory of today’s Czech Republic was marked by the Czech Tourist Club in 1889 from Štěchovice to Svatojánské proudy. Only red marks were used up until World War I. After the War, a unique four-colour system was created using red, blue, green and yellow markings. The Czech Republic today has more than 42,000 km of marked hiking trails, which is greater than the length of the equator. More than 1,500 trail-markers are responsible for renewal of the markings and maintenance of the information elements. The basic rules for marking hiking trails are 37 pages long, and those volunteering to mark trails undergo a four-day training course. There might be as many as 1 million markers across the entire country.
In this project, Stéphane Corbet takes a distinctive look at hiking trail markers, which acquire a quite unanticipated artistic value complementing their main purpose. The markings are random and transitory works of art that will slowly but surely be wiped away, obliterated by natural events or by human or animal interventions. From the day he first discerned the beauty in the markers themselves, the loveliness of the landscape was no longer his sole purpose for hiking and the search for the markers took on new meaning as well. The landscape, which should perhaps play the main part, takes on a merely secondary role or remains altogether unseen. Through this project, the author wanted also to draw attention to the excellent work of the volunteer trail-markers who maintain the hiking trail markings all through the year.