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Found an answer by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources. For new, clear ice, 4 inches should be good for ice skating or any activity involving just a person's weight. They recommend double that thickness (8 inches) for white ice which has about half the strength.
Think about it: one to two thousand pounds (450-900 kg) falling about five feet (1.5 metre)? Of course it's going to hurt the cow.
This answer is "you shouldn't", since it appears from your description it's not your land and you have no authority over it. Unauthorized private modifications to public land can be a serious problem. Not only can you get into trouble doing it, it may make work and cause problems for those who are in charge. If you really want to see this trail marking ...
I can't speak for lands inside a city, but out in the woods the best way to hide a trail, is not to leave a trail. I grew up in the sticks where growing up everyone I knew had a secret fort somewhere in the dense forest, the thing to do with your buddies after school was to hang out at your secret fort-building it up, fortifying it, shooting BB guns-or to ...
This answer assumes that either land ownership is not an issue, or that you have permission from the owner. Please read Olin Lanthrop's answer for a discussion of the ethical issues of whether you SHOULD do this. A lot of the details of trail obfuscation depend on the local ecosystem. For instance, a general rule is to put branches in front of the trail ...
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