Tools for Route Marking & Graphic Identity

The suite of tools in this section provides PHT segment managers with the ability to assist current and potential PHT users in trip planning as well as navigation. Consistent use of these elements on signage, as well as in print and Web materials, will ensure that users and advocates perceive the network as a unified system and a set of complementary--and outstanding--outdoor recreational experiences. Following are some general tools--terms, use of the official PHT insignia, fonts, symbols, regional locator maps and messages--tools for route marking and tools for publications.


What's in a name?
The following terms can be used to describe the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail:

  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is the official name.

  • The abbreviated name is the Potomac Heritage Trail.

  • The initials PHT can be used for brevity.

  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network, Trail network, Potomac Heritage Trail network, or PHT network can be used to refer to the physical network of trails and routes, as well as the larger community of agencies and organizations involved in the management and stewardship of resources in the PHT corridor.
The PHT insignia (logo)

Signs link people to places; they enable safe journeys and enrich the experience of travel. At their best, they enlarge our perspectives and deepen our appreciation of our heritage. Use of the PHT logo helps to achieve all of these ends.

The PHT logo, an official “Federal mark” published in the Federal Register, is the official Trail insignia. With written permission from the Trail administrator, the logo may be used on signs and in printed and electronic media such as brochures, guides, maps, and websites. The logo should not be used in place of a blaze or other means of marking a route in cases where directional guidance is necessary and/or desirable. The design of the PHT insignia is part of a family of insignia for national historic and national scenic trails within the National Trails System. Authorities for development and use of the Trail insignia (or logo) can be found in the National Trails System Act (as amended), 16 U.S.C. 124(a) and 1246(c) and in "Protection of Official Badges, Insignia, etc." in 18 U.S.C. 701.3.

Use of the PHT logo provides visual continuity and recognizes formal relationships between and among PHT segments and the PHT network, the National Trails System, the National Park Service (as the administrator), and PHT management partners. When possible the logo should be placed on the main body of a trail sign in the upper right hand or the lower right hand corner. The official trail logo – three color (black, white, and Pantone 299 blue). PHT segment managers can request versions of the marker as a 3-inch decal (for use on a post), a 3.5-inch plastic marker, and/or as a 9-inch plastic marker.



To ensure a high level of readability, the following fonts are recommended and reflect Outdoor Developed Area Guidelines that uphold the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).

  • Arial
  • Optima
  • Trebuchet
  • Frutiger
  • Helvetica
  • Tahoma
  • Univers (sans serif)
  • Century (serif)


Interpretive Themes

The statements below describe the PHT network as a whole and can be used to inform content on signs and in printed and Web-based materials. Interpretive themes communicate meanings, concepts, contexts and values represented, collectively, by the resources associated with the PHT; they are fundamental to the task of telling the stories associated with the PHT and of describing the values for which the PHT corridor is nationally significant. Partners are encouraged to use these statements as a basis for site specific interpretive media and programs.

§ A Meeting Ground of Ideas: The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is based on a network of mutually beneficial partnerships to develop and sustain a system of trails and associated resources for recreation, transportation, health, and education between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands in western Pennsylvania. Among users and stakeholders, the Trail is also a meeting ground for ideas and practices, reflecting a desire for the conservation of lands and waters, for educational opportunities combined with outdoor recreation, and for a celebration of regional diversity and distinctiveness.

§ Natural History and Human Ecology: Between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands, the Trail corridor includes portions of five distinct physiographic regions. Each region, in different ways, has inspired and shaped human generations with beauty, abundance, and utility.

§ Nation-Building / Nurturing a Nation: Routes connecting the Potomac River with the Forks of the Ohio River provided an essential context for the development of the US republic, and now connect Trail visitors and users with the places and stories related to the founding and continuing evolution of the nation.

§ Boundary, Corridor, and Crossroads: As a boundary between north and south and an east to west route into the North American interior, the Potomac River has been a crossroads of opportunity, diversity, and conflict.

Last updated: January 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Potomac Heritage NST Office
P. O. Box B

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


(304) 535-4014

Contact Us