Finding your way on Arboretum Trails just got easier, thanks to a new wayfinding sign and map system. The installation of new trail signs is wrapping up now, just in time for spring. 

This project has been in the works for four years, guided by an interdepartmental task force whose job was to assess the existing trails signage and create a comprehensive plan for improvement. 

“Their work laid the groundwork for the redesign of the Arboretum’s first full color map – you can’t draw a map unless you have surveyed and detailed the trails and roads on your property,” said Senior Director of Mission Delivery Clara Curtis. 

“The Mission Orchestration Team took the lead to envision and design a new full color map that used the trails task force’s findings. Working with an outside map maker and map and guide brochure designer, the map project took another year to work through. The map was so well received and it laid the groundwork/foundation for building a signage system.”

The new signage system corresponds to the newly created maps, with color codes to help identify which trail you’re on. The system also includes “You Are Here” maps that will help hikers easily navigate the trails. The location of the closest emergency call box is identified on each sign, so you can rest assured that help is never far away if you need it. 

The signs themselves were designed by Element Advertising and produced by Signarama of Asheville. They’re solid aluminum and the posts are powder coated for a long lasting finish. 

Because trails continue to be one of the Arboretum’s most popular attractions and our trail system has been designed for hikers of all ability levels, these new wayfinding signs make our trail system even easier to follow. Our trails have set many folks on a lifelong love affair with hiking and the impact of this project not only improves the hiking experience and ensures guest safety, it will set even more novice hikers on the right path.

Future plans for the trail system include adding native plants to areas of the trails, opening new connector trails, and building shelters. 

We are grateful for all of our thoughtful members and donors who have made this project possible. If you would like to contribute to future trail improvements, please visit our website here or contact Winnie Hough at or 828-665-2492, ext. 210