Trails start with either a kiosk or a simple routed white "Trail" sign. These are mounted either on a post or a tree. Routed natural wood signs with trail names in either green or white lettering will be found at the start of most trails.
The Trails Committee is installing numbered trail intersection markers. Each conservation parcel has its own letter (e.g., B for Benfield) and each marker is numbered. The new intersection marker numbers are included on the maps in the 2018 Edition of Trails in Carlisle. Each marker displays beautiful nature-themed artwork by students in the Carlisle Public School Middle School Art Club under the direction of teacher Rachel Levy.
A blue disc with a figure of a hiker located about six feet from the ground marks the way along most Carlisle town trails. Some of the older trails have a blue paint blaze the size of a dollar bill. Trail markers for some of the older conservation parcels, such as Davis and Greenough, are red paint blazes or can tops. Trails in Great Brook Farm State Park are marked with paint blazes or blue plastic triangles.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) trails in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge are marked with dollar-bill-sized plastic tags that have the department's duck logo on the top. These trails run parallel to the Concord River and are open only for walking, due to the delicate habitat. We wish to thank the USFWS for working with us in providing public access to some of their lands in Carlisle.
Access to some of Carlisle’s trails is seasonal due to weather conditions or agricultural usage. In the Concord River Meadows Reservation, for example, the River Trail is often literally under water in spring and early summer, but during winter when the river freezes it's a spectacular setting for skiing and hiking or snow-shoeing. Similarly, leased farmlands offer limited perimeter access after planting and before harvest, but are open for cross-country skiing and even hunter pace events in late fall and through the winter.