Trail Wayfinding Systems

A Practical Guide to Principles, Best Practices and Deployment

This webinar will provide trail and greenway planners, designers, and managers with a practical understanding of trail/ped/bike wayfinding and informational systems with an emphasis on in-the-field structures and media.

Presented by:

Event Details

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

Nothing worse than your trail users getting “lost in the woods” or “lost in the city” or taking a route beyond their desires or abilities! Nothing better than clearly defined routes where users know the way and feel welcomed.

This webinar will provide trail and greenway planners, designers, and managers with a practical understanding of trail/ped/bike wayfinding and informational systems with an emphasis on in-the-field structures and media.

Elements addressed include: directional and locational; use and access; safety and regulatory and related systems including branding elements Communicate the role of these systems, the hierarchy of elements, and methods for effective implementation and upkeep including in-house and contracted services and materials.



Learning Objectives

• Define and understand the role of wayfinding systems and devices in enhancing trail and greenway projects.

• Understand best practices of effective, sustainable and attractive wayfinding systems.

• Identify and understand the key types of wayfinding systems and devices and related improvements and how they function to promote a richer, safer, more comfortable and better-maintained trail experience.

• Understand the types and roles of display media to communicate information such as in-the-field signage and artifacts, printed materials and on-line elements.

• Understand practical methods to build systems affordably including in-house and contracted professional services and products.

• Understand users needs and preferences and ways to glean that information to build better systems.

• Acquire creative solutions through case examples


Webinar Partners


Jennifer Rigby, Director, The Acorn Group, Inc.
Tustin, CA

Jennifer Rigby is a board member of American Trails and director of The Acorn Group, an award-winning interpretive planning and design firm. For over 25 years she has created interpretive master plans and media for trail systems in a variety of settings: windswept dunes, ancient redwood groves, arid deserts, cypress swamps, and hardwood forests. Regardless of where a project takes her, her focus is on creating meaningful experiences for visitors with a variety of media including wayfinding systems and interpretive panels. See her previous American Trails webinar on interpretation titled “Telling a Better Story: Best practices for developing interpretive panels for trails.”

Jenny’s background includes interpretive master planning; teaching in formal and non-formal institutions, including zoos and aquaria; interpretive writing; exhibit and graphic design; and visitor studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social ecology, master’s degree in education, and two California teaching credentials. Certified by the National Association for Interpretation as an interpretive planner, Jenny has been working in the field of interpretation since 1982.


Karen Vitkay, Alta Planning + Design

Karen Vitkay is a Registered Landscape Architect with Alta Planning + Design in their Portland, Oregon office. She has focused on bicycle, pedestrian, and trail planning and design for the last ten years and currently leads Alta’s national wayfinding practice. Karen balances design creativity with an understanding of federal guidelines and standards, to achieve designs that are implementable as well as community supported. Her experience spans a wide range of project scales and scopes, from master planning a national bicycle plan for the country of Qatar to developing construction details for a 500-foot-long section of multi-use pathway along a creek in her backyard.

Karen says, “I trust we have the ability to live more gently on the land, and I aspire to design the paths to do so. As a landscape designer, I seek to positively affect both our natural and built environments. I strive to create works which: benefit a wide range of people, are context sensitive, and positively affect public health, social interactions and our quality of life.”


Mark VanderKlipp, Principal-In-Charge of wayfinding projects, Corbin Design

Mark VanderKlipp is Principal-In-Charge of wayfinding projects with Corbin Design. Mark brings his experience as facilitator and advisor to the project team, clarifying objectives and developing strategy for both the verbal and visual aspects of each wayfinding solution. He has led strategy for the Mecklenburg County Greenways, Charlotte, NC, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO; Milwaukee RiverWalk in Wisconsin and the City Centre Calgary pedestrian system in Calgary, AB. Along with Jeff Frank, he’s recently begun work on the Great Rivers Greenway project in St. Louis.

Mark has written and spoken for many civic and trails groups, including American Trails, the International Downtown Association, Michigan Downtown Association, the Center for Applied Environmental Research, Oakland County (MI) Water Trails Association, the Urban Transportation Monitor, Tourism Northern Ontario and the Society for Experiential Graphic Design. A runner for 35 years, Mark participates in several annual trail races and explores trail systems on foot wherever Corbin Design’s work takes him. In 2013 he completed his term on the SEGD Board where he served as Treasurer. Mark is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan.


Jeff Frank, Senior Designer, Corbin Design

Jeff Frank joined Corbin Design in 2005, and has been involved in planning and design for a number of trails projects throughout the United States. As a Senior Designer, he is responsible for all aspects of trail system design, from gathering input from client groups and the general public through detailed design, specification, bidding and installation. His designs are well known for being beautiful, functional, mindful of the context of the environment, durable and cost-effective.

Prior to joining Corbin Design, Jeff was Signage Designer for the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL, where he developed a variety of wayfinding and interpretive programs. He and his wife are avid hikers and travel extensively to experience the outdoors. Jeff has completed trail wayfinding standards for multiple urban/rural trail systems: Mammoth Lakes Trails in Mammoth Lakes, CA; Mecklenburg County Greenways, Charlotte NC; Forest Park in St. Louis, MO; Traverse Area Recreational Trails (TART) in Traverse City, MI and the Little Traverse Wheelway in Petoskey, MI. His current work includes wayfinding standards for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources/Northern Region and the Great Rivers Greenway in St. Louis.


Robert (Bob) Searns, Owner, Robert Searns and Associates, Inc.
Denver, Colorado

Robert Searns has a four-decade history of visualizing, planning, and getting trails and greenway projects built. He was Project Director of Denver’s Platte River and Mary Carter Greenways—both national-award-wining projects. He helped plan the Grand Canyon National Park Greenway, played a key role on the Memphis Wolf River Greenway, and authored the Commerce City, CO Walk, Bike, Fit plan. He has written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Trails and Beyond Magazine. He chaired American Trails and was a founder of The World Trails Network as well as being a delegate to the America’s Great Outdoors White House conclave. His current book is Beyond Greenways: The Next Step For City Trails and Walking Routes, published in 2023 by Island Press. He resides, writes, hikes, and bikes near Denver, Colorado.


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While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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2,495 views • posted 02/05/2018