FAQ: Do you have any advice for developing a community nature trail?

An ideal nature trail blends the beauty of the landscape with interpretive signage to offer an inspirational and educational resource to a community.

by American Trails Staff

An educational trail, or nature trail, is a wonderful resource to a community or greenway. Typically, these trails meander through a natural area, offering marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest.

While much of the standard guidelines apply, there are special considerations to consider with nature trails. Nature trails should offer significant visual appeal, sampling elements of the landscape such as a pond or wildflower garden as well as offering educational signage.

The University of Arkansas released an extensive guide, Nature Trail Development on Small Acreages, which serves an excellent overview.

Also, consider studying the work of other nature trails. You can find all the nature trails we have profiled, as well as other resources specific to nature trails, by browsing the NATURE TRAIL tag, in the resource library.

Be sure to check out these related resources, including a webinar on interpretive design:

Related Resources

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

Community Driven: How Engagement Guides the Vision and Planning of a Community Wide Trail Network

Apr 25, 2024

With an emphasis on community wide trail networks, the best practices explored in this session will better equip professionals and community members toward creating vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities through trail development.

Grand Canyon Greenway: From Vision to Reality

Apr 4, 2024

This webinar will feature three members of the original design team who will take attendees through the vision, design, and development process to develop the Grand Canyon Greenway.

More resources in this category

FAQ: Trail Graduate Programs

posted May 24, 2021

Are there any graduate programs that are focused on trail planning, development, and design?

FAQ: Apps for Trail Management and Volunteers

posted May 19, 2021

Information on apps that can be used for trail management that would be suitable for volunteer-type organizations.

FAQ: What is the definition of a trail?

posted Jan 14, 2021

Defining a trail corridor in law, policy, and planning.

FAQ: Graffiti on Trails

posted Dec 2, 2020

Solutions to graffiti on trails.


1,338 views • posted 05/22/2018