• Trail of Tears artwork and trail walk

    Trail Of Tears

    National Historic Trail AL,AR,GA,IL,KY,MO,NC,OK,TN

The Sign Planning Process

Signing projects typically start with you and your ideas about where national historic trail road signs are needed to make the trail and trail sites visible. The earlier you contact NPS staff, the more assistance we can provide throughout the project. The process may also vary based on the specific needs/conditions of your project, so the steps shown here are a general outline. Please download the Steps to Road Signing (215 KB pdf) for an overview of the process, from identifying a project to installing the signs.

A NOTE ABOUT SIGN FUNDING

Implementation of your sign plan will require finding funding to purchase the signs and installation hardware, and for labor costs associated with installation.

Funding considerations

  • Sometimes the local road or highway jurisdiction will agree to provide the labor to install the signs, but they may or may not be able to provide the posts and hardware.
  • Sometimes it may be necessary to contract for the fabrication with someone other than sign suppliers used by the NPS.
  • Sometimes local jurisdictions have a sign shop capable of producing the signs to the sign standard specifications.
  • You may also want to consider funding sources that exist with the local jurisdiction or state.
  • Larger signs considered for high speed roadways or interstates could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Contact NPS for sign costs.

It is important to coordinate early with trail partners and the NPS to consider funding availability and options. Having a sign plan in place should facilitate funding.

ROAD JURISDICTION APPROVALS

In order to implement your sign plan, it will be necessary to get approval from each road or highway jurisdiction for all roads to be signed. To help facilitate approvals, complete the sign plan first and have it reviewed by NPS staff. Signed forms should be mailed or emailed.

Form for State Departments of Transportation (97 KB Word doc)
Form for all other road jurisdictions, i.e. cities, counties (83 KB Word doc)

Did You Know?

Elkhorn Tavern at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

The Cherokee people in the southeastern United States built European-style homes and farmsteads, developed a written language, established a newspaper, and wrote a constitution. But they had no equal protection under the law and could not prevent being removed from their homes on the Trail of Tears.