''Mark Trail'' is one of the PrintLongRunners of newspaper comics, first introduced in 1946, initially written and drawn by Ed Dodd (Jack Elrod succeeded Dodd in 1978, and James Allen in turn took over from Elrod in 2014). The comic focuses on Mark Trail, a photojournalist and outdoorsman for a magazine. His assignments always lead him into danger and misadventures in the Lost Forest National Forest. Joined by his friends and family there, most strips had him discovering some environmentally unfriendly evil-doer that he would punch out, and then tell about the endangered animal of the week.

It's often poked fun at by ''Blog/TheComicsCurmudgeon'', and is ripe SnarkBait due to its over-the-top {{green aesop}}s. Also notable for [[{{Demonization}} demonizing]] the endangered elephant into something that ''is'' a danger to all in one strip.


* AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: It frequently featured miscolored animals, such as ducks with green bodies and brown heads (instead of the other way around) and baby-blue chicks. Who often grow to the size of Buicks and talk out of their butts, but that's another issue.
* AnAesop:
** GreenAesop: The overarching themes usually equate to this.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: For some reason, Jack Elrod never drew nipples on any of the strip's male characters.
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: In a ludicrous strip once, it was said that a man who abuses his wife was under stress from work would be all fixed and a good husband if he adopted a child. Um... No.
* BeardOfEvil: Played straight. [[http://www.hickorytech.net/~flapper/trail.html More explanation here.]]
* '''BoldInflation''': Often when something {{GASP}}-inducing happens.
* DistinguishedGentlemansPipe: Mark smoked a pipe up until the 1980s, when anti-smoking advocates made him quit. The pipe's gentlemanly qualities were the reason he smoked it in the first place, as it gave him an intellectual, Waldenesque air, and it was that much more surprising and exciting when he dispensed woodland justice with his fists.
* GoodHairEvilHair: Beards are evil, long sideburns are evil, and {{bald| of evil}} is ''sometimes''.
* HesitationEqualsDishonesty: Played terribly straight. Start your sentence with "Um," and you're a villain.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Andy, Mark's St. Bernard. Once untied a captured Mark with his teeth.
* IntrepidReporter: For ''Woods and Wildlife Magazine''. His bravery is unquestioned, but sometimes his journalistic tactics are a little suspect.
* MsFanservice: Cherry has gotten much fonder of wearing swimsuits and revealing clothing since James Allen took over as artist.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Mark Trail used to be allowed to age, but is now caught in a time freeze so powerful that even he can't punch his way out of it. He even occasionally revisits old storylines, trapped in an eternal loop where everything is the same except where censored to match the values of the outside world. His adopted son Rusty is an example of the trope too, although he's sometimes drawn like a teenager.
* OffModel: Ed Dodd was very talented when it comes to drawing animals, but sometimes his rendition of people... suffered. This was one of the reasons why the shots in the frame were zoomed in on an animal with the speech bubbles coming from an unseen human to the side of the panel, giving it the unintentionally hilarious effect of looking like the animals are the ones spewing exposition.
** Dodd's eventual replacement, Jack Elrod was even ''worse'' at drawing humans -- his rendition of Rusty for instance has been nicknamed "the [[EldritchAbomination Elrod Abomination]]" by more than a few. Fortunately, Elrod was at least in the same league as Dodd was when it comes to drawing wildlife. The current artist, James Allen is somewhere in-between Dodd and Elrod, and his human characters tend to look a little goofy, but at least aren't terrifying.
* PietaPlagiarism: Happens a few times
* PrintLongRunners
* SpockSpeak: Contractions and informalities are apparantly forbidden in Lost Forest.
* StandardFiftiesFather: Mark again.
* TwoDecadesBehind: Possibly [[WebcomicTime literally]]; in one 2008 comic strip he tells the kid he's taking with him to leave his [[strike: mp3 player]] ''cassette boom-box'' at home.
* WorstNewsJudgementEver: In one story Mark Trail loses his beloved puppy. This apparently is so important that an enormous picture of the dog is put on the news paper's A section, and a two column story on it.
** Also: [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1794 "FAMOUS CONSERVATIONIST RESCUES RACCOON"]]