Understand the marking of hiking trails

In order to best prepare for your future hike, it is important to learn how to decipher the trail markings! Here is some information on this subject that will allow you to stroll with complete peace of mind.

GR Forest of Rambouillet

Pedestrian markup

You will find several types of markings on your way, starting with painted markings: the method most used in hiking. You will see them on different supports such as trees, rocks, walls or poles. The latter are also installed in areas free of marked paths.


There are three main names given by the French Hiking Federation (FFR) allowing hikers to choose their route according to the difficulty and the desired distance:
– The “Grande Randonnée” or GR trails. Undertaking a GR means embarking on a path comprising several stages to discover a territory or region in an itinerant way. They are marked in red and white;
– “Country” GRs or GRPs. These routes form loops allowing you to discover the riches of a particular territory. They are marked in red and yellow;
– The “Walks and Hikes” or PR. Shorter and easier routes, they can be covered in less than a day's walk. They are marked in yellow

Hiking - biking - forest

MTB markup

Following a mountain bike route means first of all understanding the signage and the triangles of the markings. The triangles show you the direction to follow along the circuit and also give you information on the type of course.

Bike rides

There are three main colors in the MTB markings of the French Cycling Federation (FFC): 
– Yellow triangle: it is the most common beacon on our paths. It means that the circuit is local;
– Red triangle: it is used to indicate a circuit longer than 80km or a Grande Traversée VTT;
– Brown triangle: it indicates that the circuit follows a Regional Natural Park.

As for the color of the number, it gives you the difficulty of the course:
– Green channel: for all levels and the whole family. This type of circuit is ideal for a family bike ride, it takes place without significant hills and over short distances. The circuit is very easy and suitable for all practitioners;
– Blue channel: a hiking trail. You are not yet a pedaling pro or an inveterate climber, but you want a little more relief and length? Opt for the blue circuit, alone or with your family!
– Red channel: For sportive people. A longer course, hills, descents and technical trails: the red circuit is more diversified, but above all more sporty. Reserved for trained mountain bikers;
– Black channel: the most technical and the most difficult. The black circuit is ideal if you want to brave the difficulties and experience thrills! It is a physical and technical course.

Hiking - horseback - forest - ride

The equestrian markup

The hikes or equestrian loops are marked with orange-yellow signage. Be careful not to confuse with the signposting of Walks and Hikes (PR°.

Horseback riding