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.
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.
Published June 20, 2012
Don Meeker, president of Terrabilt, reflects on trails as a critical sanctuary during COVID-19, and provides guidance on signage to keep everyone on trails safe. Terrabilt will also provide the production artwork for their COVID-19 trail sign for free.
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.