Trails and greenways create an opportunity to teach visitors about history, the environment, and the community
by Stuart Macdonald, Trail Consultant, American Trails
One of the attractions of trails is that they provide a close look at natural areas, neighborhoods, or wild places. This "sense of place" is what brings people back to a pathway. Many trails are specifically designed as "nature trails" to teach school groups and the public about a particular habitat or ecosystem. Others, such as the examples here, are just typical trails where managers have provided one or a few displays on local topics of interest. Many different kinds of signs are in use, from the basic plaque to large gazebo-style exhibits.
From wayfinding signage that help the public navigate your trail, to informational signs that educate trail visitors about the area, promote conservation, and create a more interactive experience, proper signage can take trails to the next level.
The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail joined the National Trails System following designation by Congress in 2006. The trail helps visitors experience, envision, understand, and protect what the explorers and inhabitants of the region encountered 400 years ago.
Trail Tales is a community-focused educational outreach and shoreline interpretive program centered in the City of Anacortes in Skagit County Washington.
This toolkit was designed to assist managers in developing and implementing regional or site-specific interpretive plans. It describes each step in the process from the early planning stages through implementation to evaluation.