Considerations for the Sign Planning Process

Sign projects often start your ideas about where national historic trail road signs are needed to make the trail and its sites visible. Contact NPS staff for assistance. Signs are standardized but occassionally the process varies based on the specific needs or conditions of your project. Please download the Steps to Road Signing pdf (489 KB) for an overview of the process, from identifying a project to installing signs.


Implementation of your sign plan will require finding funding to purchase the signs and installation hardware as well as the 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.


In order to implement your road 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.

Last updated: May 9, 2019