About DCR
State Parks
Soil and Water
Dam Safety and

Guidance on Signs

Trail managers should provide information about their trails that allows users to choose the trails within their skill and capability level. It is important for all users, but especially elderly or disabled users, to understand a specific trail's maximum grade and cross-slope, trail width, surface, obstacles and length before using the trail. The Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) is a tool that land managers, agencies and individuals use to monitor, improve and document trails, which enable informed trail choices. This information should be made available at trails heads, in brochures and on websites.

A comprehensive signage plan is needed to inform trail users about the safe and appropriate use of all facilities and to convey a sense of the place. The appeal and utility of a route is related to the quality, coherence, consistency and frequency of the signs along it. Good signage not only enhances the visitor's experience along the trail, it promotes the trail and conveys the community's economic vitality and civic pride. Where trails cross jurisdictional boundaries, signs should remain consistent in design, color scheme and logo. Visitors should feel confident that they would not get lost along the route without a map. Clear signing toward and away from a trail system is as important as signs along each route. This alerts automobile traffic to watch out for self-powered traffic and advertises that an alternative to using the car is available.

National Guidance

Guidance from Virginia

Statewide Trails

Other Examples