Picture of a large trail marker tree located in St. Louis, Missouri taken with Dennis Downes during his visit in Missouri last September. The tree is protected by the community and is a lovely example of a beautiful trail marker tree.
Unlike today, in the olden days before electricity, cars and modern communication, people got around by horse back and with their legs. When people walked through the mid west they had no way of knowing which direction they were headed or any trail signs along their path. Instead, they have to create a system of communication to help fellow travelers.
For the native Indians, they left markers on trees to let people know where and how to get to the next destinations. In some cases, the trees were bent in a way to stand out. Trail markers will left on the trees so that anyone hiking or traveling through the area could see the trail sign and understand them.
It was a very creative means of communications. Many of the trail marker tree still exist today and stand as a great testament to the skill and resourceful of those who came before us.