THE INTERTWINE Regional Trails Signage Guidelines

Prepared for Metro Sustainability Center

This manual serves as a technical resource to guide parks and transportation agencies as they plan, design, and fabricate wayfinding signage along regional trails in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area.

by Mayer/Reed

Metro and its partners developed the manual in response to requests from the public for better uniformity and consistency of signage along regional trails. Additional impetus came with the advent of The Intertwine brand and the opportunity to give the regional trail system a unifying identity.

The guidelines are intended to be followed when signing off-street regional trails and on-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities that serve as the primary routes connecting one trail segment to the next. The manual gives guidance for sign placement, messaging and content, color, size, and font. It should be used when signing new trails for the first time or when replacing or retrofitting signs along existing trails.

Since it is primarily local parks and transportation agencies that will implement the signs, Metro and its partners felt that guidelines were more appropriate than standards. The guidelines are designed to offer flexibility to agencies that already have trail sign standards in place while also providing solutions for certain conditions where existing standards may fall short. For example, these guidelines embrace the increasing ubiquity and popularity of Oregon’s standard green bicycle directional sign and recommends its use along on-street bicycle connections, while acknowledging that the sign is not ideal for use along off-street trails since it is not intended for pedestrians and does not generate intrigue about The Intertwine.

With these guidelines, parks and transportation agencies can provide regional trail users an attractive, consistent sign system.

Attached document published June 2012

About the Author


Mayer/Reed, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary Portland, Oregon based design studio providing urban design, landscape architecture, product design and graphic design services for the environments in which people live, learn, work and play. Our studio’s work in creating places for human activity explores the social, cultural, ecological and historic contexts that shape these environments.

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

Informing the Trail Experience: The Process of Signing a Trail

May 18, 2023

The webinar emphasizes learning about the trail and to determine what needs to be communicated, and where information is best posted.

Using Signage to Turn Your Trail into a Destination

May 20, 2021

Learn how to leverage a new or existing trail(s) to increase its exposure and increase visitation.

More resources in this category

iZone Imaging Brings Bugtopia to Life Through Signage

posted Jan 14, 2022

iZone Imaging’s High Pressure Laminate brings to life the interpretive signage throughout the Brawn Family Foundation Bugtopia Playground at the Calgary Zoo. The signs are eco-friendly and can withstand the high traffic interactive area over time. (Sponsored Content)

Signage Solutions for Every Trail System

posted Jun 11, 2021

Pannier is the leading manufacturer of signs, panels, exhibit bases, and frames. With a full line of exhibit bases, there is a product for every trail and wayside application.

BLM Sign Guidebook

posted May 7, 2021

This National Sign Guidebook presents information for planning, designing, fabricating, procuring, installing, and maintaining signs in a clear, complete, and user friendly format.

Trail Signage Guidelines

posted May 6, 2021

The purpose of this document is to provide the required tools for trail planners, designers, and contractors to deploy a cohesive trail signage program throughout the City of San José’s Trail Network.


412 views • posted 07/27/2020