New mile markers planned to go up in Columbia trails

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia trails will get new and improved mile markers by the end of the year.

Currently, the MKT Nature and Fitness the Bear Creek trails are the only ones with mile markers throughout the trails. However the mile markers are only available every half of a mile. The new mile markers will be placed in all nine city of Columbia trails and will be placed every quarter of a mile. The new markers will also look aesthetically different. The mile markers that are being used now are brown and have aged over the years. The new mile markers will be bright and colorful. 

They will also include more information on the mile marker itself. The new ones will include the name of the trail and a maintenance phone number that trail-goers can contact if there is a fallen branch or trash in the area. 

Janet Godon, the GetAbout Columbia Outreach Coordinator, wrote the Recreational Trail Program grant (RTP grant). The grant gave the city of Columbia $18,500 that will allow the city to create about 40,000 new trail guides and maps and install the new mile markers. 

"We felt that there was a great need to mark trails in a safe manner. The old trail mile markers are old and worn out and they blend in with the surrounding nature," Godon said.

Godon said that the new mile markers will also enable emergency medical services to easily identify and locate the incident on the trail.

"We don't hear about accidents a lot but this way people will know exactly where they are and what trail they are on. People interchange the MKT trail and the Katy trail all the time," Godon said.

Wayne Fields continually exercises on the MKT and other trails in Columbia and is glad the city is putting up new mile markers. 

"It's almost like highway markers. If you're on an accident on a highway, they can tell you exactly where it is and I think for emergency vehicles to know where the injury occurred would be very beneficial," Fields says.

He also likes that the mile markers are being put up more frequently throughout the trails because he can gauge how fast or how many miles he has walked easier. 

Katie Boschert is a sophomore at the University of Missouri and has been using the city trails at least once a week. She likes the idea of a brighter and more detailed mile marker because she has gotten lost while running on the MKT trail before.

"It would also give me more confidence to come by myself so if something does happen, I can always call my friend or tell them where I am at," Boschert said. 

The city of Columbia will start installing the new mile markers on wooden posts in the next month starting with the Bear Creek trail.

Godon said that all new mile markers should be set up by Dec. 15th of this year. To read more about the Columbia trail system click here